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Venera Halsey

Is it really wrong to want RL relationship from SL

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I just started to read the Forum again after long break. Lot of interesting conversations, new and bit older but one thing has made me wonder and actually so much that I want to start new topic about it (hoping there hasn't been one lately but I'm sure someone will let me know if there has been).

Lot of people are talking about how SL is what ever you make it, it's your world so you can be what you want. Then these same people say it is wrong to try to find or to be open for RL relationships (friend, lover, soulmate...) that start in SL. I don't understand the logic behind this and also I find this being really bad excuse to lie in SL.

I have met many people that see SL just as fantasy world, escape etc. and don't want to mix RL to SL in any way. I have met many people that see SL as part of their RL but don't really want to mix both (they are themselves in SL and talk about RL but meeting people from SL in RL isn't what they want and they keep lot of RL things to themselves). I have met many people that see SL as part of their RL and are also ready to extend SL relationships (meaning any kind of relationship, not just partnership)to RL if they meet right people .

For some reason I've met more and more people who fall in to that last category so I can't see how it could be wrong and how someone would have right to say all those people are wrong. Maybe SL has already changed or maybe something else. I don't know but I would love to hear what other people think about this.

To avoid assumptions I want to clarify that I have friends from all those 3 categories and I have been all of those depending people I interact with and also my RL and SL situation. I have met few people from SL in RL but also I've had partnership that had absolutely nothing to do with my RL (and anything between those).

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I don't think there is a 'wrong' way to have any kind of relationship in SL.  We all want different things from our experiences in-world. Personally I don't care if sl and rl are mixed or separate.  It seems natural for people to judge what others do based on what our choices for ourselves are .  It is all personal choice, so do what you like, have the relationship you want and share the information you are comfortable with.

Cinn

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Cinnamon Mistwood wrote:

I don't think there is a 'wrong' way to have any kind of relationship in SL.  We all want different things from our experiences in-world. Personally I don't care if sl and rl are mixed or separate.  It seems natural for people to judge what others do based on what our choices for ourselves are .  It is all personal choice, so do what
you
like, have the relationship
you
want and share the information
you
are comfortable with.

Cinn

exactly.  well said.

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I mixed SL and RL without really expecting or hoping it would happen.  After spending a year with my SL love, I went to meet him in England.  I'm from USA.  It has developed into one of the most precious relationships in my life.  He has been here twice since that first visit and we plan to see each other later in the year.

I can see it both ways, especially if one is married and using SL as an escape.  That would raise the stakes.  But, we are both single and enjoy travel, so there's no downside.  I do understand the risks invovled in meeting a stranger and tried to take precautions.  However, I found that it IS possible to "know" someone through SL.  I was nervous.  Yet, so thankful I took my chances.

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I wouldn't say it is "wrong", but rather that it is very important to make sure the person you are socializing with has the same outlook that you have.

I'm one of the people who absolutely does not want to mix RL and SL. I absolutely never seek real-life relationships linked to my SL fantasy fun, nor do I want to know the real-life details of the people I do SL fantasy fun with, beyond "Yes, I am over 18", and "No, nobody's gonna get pissed off that I am here and doing this sort of activity with my SL friends.". Anyone who starts trying to get real-life info from me will be disappointed, and I try very hard to make sure that anyone who seeks any sort of "relationship" with my SL fantasy character knows and accepts that it's just on-line fantasy fun, and never will go further.

Not everyone is that careful, or warns others of where they stand.

I can't begin to count the number of people who have bemoaned their broken hearts here, because they made the mistake of seeking a real-life relationship without first making sure the person they were romancing had similar goals and aspirations. It can be a very tragic mistake to fall in love with someone's pixel puppet, only to find out that the real person is the wrong gender, old enough to be your father, and married with a jealous wife!

I also think it is wrong to assume that any sort of majority among the people who are in SL are seriously interested in real-life romances. In my experience, the people seeking real-life relationships with people they met in SL are a small fraction of the population. That doesn't mean they don't exist, or that you shouldn't seek a soulmate here. But it does mean you should proceed cautiously, and not take everything at face value.

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I totally agree with you and most problems I've seen have come from the situations where people didn't tell each other how they take SL and eventually found out they had complitely different view to it. Sometimes reason has been one person telling they see SL one way when they actually see it some other way and that is complitely different story.

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No, it's not wrong, imo.  I don't see anything wrong with it, but I have friends on SL who have gotten hurt because they thought someone cared and/or loved them, but didn't for more than two weeks that is.   But, in my case, I'm not looking for a partner except to dance with and enjoy friendship.  I have a rl bf, so I tell the men that IM me I have a rl bf, and there response is always I have a rl gf.  I feel more comfortable telling a male who IM's me, I have a rl bf so I don't lead anyone on.  This is my SL too, and I don't need a partner nor for SL to be just a partnering website.  There are lots of people here who are married in RL, and they are my friends and looking for friendship only also.  It's best to be upfront with people, but I highly doubt you will get that from a lot of people who IM you. 

 

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I think the word wrong is wrong.  It is perfectly ok to want what you want. Whether you want to keep SL separate from RL or mix it up, there is no wrong.  However, and this is a big caveat, if you want what you want from someone who wants the opposite of what you want, you will be disappointed.  There will be drama and perhaps heartbreak.

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Lets just say it can end not good, if you seek to make a sl relationship to one in rl. Its possible that you the other person don't want to meet in rl. Reasons for that are countless like the stars in the sky. And even if it comes to a meeting.....you or the other person probably don't get what they expected....sometimes the "magic" just went away (a case that often happens to people who make contact over datingwebsides, they fall in love with words, not with the person they later meet in the real world).

Its risky and not many people are activily searching for those kinds of relationsships here in sl. Just ask before you fall in love whats about RL meeting.

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Personally I have never actively searched any kind of relationships in SL, not friendships or romantic relationships. Things just happened and I have been open and taken risks but been aware of the risks. So far I have only met friends IRL but it doesnt mean I wouldn't be open to do the same with someone I have stronger feelings for. That would be huge risk and even hoping that to happen would make me vulnerable to get hurt. It would be my risk and if I would get hurt I could only blame myself unless the other person would have given me wrong information about his intentions (or I haven't bothered to ask).

Seems to me that so far we all agree that it isn't wrong but it is a huge risk. I am still waiting some people to disagree.

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I don't see a problem with somebody wanting a real life relationship from SL.

I think this feeling is comparable to something as old as penpals by written letter 100s of years ago... if passion is felt they may begin writing love letters to each other perhaps & maybe eventually they decide to meet. Relationships can begin long distance, this is not new.

Second LIfe is a much more advanced communication medium than a written letter, why look at it as a lesser social vehicle?

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It's not wrong and you're free to use SL in any way you like. However, you have to be prepared to meet many people who use SL in an entirely different way, and you cannot expect them to cater to your personal needs. In other words, they might role play an online character that is quite different from their RL persona. Many residents think that the ability to be someone else is the entire point of SL.

For example, you can't expect people's SL gender to match their RL gender. The same goes for weight, age, and physical attractivity. And of course people who own a Porsche or a yacht in SL might not be that wealthy in the real world. Their RL character traits might be entirely different too. Many people who are shy and withdrawn in RL are a lot more outgoing and cheerful in online communities.

What is even more important: Some people don't appreciate being asked about their RL, which makes it very hard (if not impossible) for augmentationalists to get to know the person behind the avatar or to "verify" that they are who and what they appear to be. Being an immersionist myself, I find it very rude to start an online relationship with RL-related questions. After all, I'm here to escape SL.

As Ceera said, it is important to make sure that others use SL in the same way that you do before you inquire about their RL situation or engage in a romantic relationship. I can see that this is not easily accomplished. Together with the fact that people are free to choose their gender and appearance in SL and even their species, this makes SL rather ill-suited as a dating platform. But of course you're free to give it a shot.

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Venera Halsey wrote:

Seems to me that so far we all agree that it isn't wrong but it is a huge risk. I am still waiting some people to disagree.

 

I doubt that there's many that even would disagree, and if they did i would suspect they were only trying to play the anti for the sake of the argument. No it's never wrong to use SL in the way each of us personally chooses. However, it IS wrong to expect or assume that someone else uses it the same as you, or that others will change their outlook once you get them to "see the light".

So many people are closed-minded when it comes to different takes or usages of SL, and that is the problem. Not to the fact that those different takes exist and other people play that way, but to the accepting that their 'special little someone' they met and they find alluring, charming, etc.. doesn't in the same way they do. Once they have a little attraction going on is when you'll see the closed-mindedness and plain old intolerances come out, and that, not so coincidentally, is when things like harrassment and accusations begin. They are NOT accepting that someone they like may be out of their reach merely due to different outlooks, and refusing to believe that having different outlooks is a valid enough reason to call it a mismatch and move on.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

It's not wrong and you're free to use SL in any way you like. However, you have to be prepared to meet many people who use SL in an entirely different way, and you cannot expect them to cater to your personal needs. In other words, they might role play an online character that is quite different from their RL persona. Many residents think that the ability to be someone else is the entire point of SL.


Lets take this to level where we aren't just thinking if it is wrong or not to look for RL relationship from SL but instead also think if person can expect others to tell the truth when relationship is in the level where two people are talking about their personal views to SL.

I don't think SL is mainly for people who want to roleplay so I think everyone has equal right to expect the truth from others about their view to SL to avoid anyone getting hurt when possible.

For example A is seeing SL as potential place to find RL friends or partner and B is roleplaying and wants to keep SL and RL completely separate. When relationship between them develops they tell their view to SL to each other and expect other person to be honest about their view too (totally different than asking or telling RL information). If A decides to lie and say they see SL and RL separate too then he/she is lying and I don't think it is ever acceptable. If B decides to lie then he/she is the one lying. Either way I think each and every one of us in SL has equal right to see it as we want and also expect others to openly tell the truth about their view when asked especially when it doesn't mean that people needs to be open about their RL gender, appearance etc. I admit it isn't always so easy to know your view to SL and things can change but I am talking about clear situation when someone decides to tell a lie knowing it is a lie.

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I agree. Most immersionists / role players already have this kind of information in their profiles, usually in the First Life tab. Augmentationalists merely need to learn how to interpret statements like "I prefer to keep SL and SL separate" or "my RL is on a need-to-know basis". A completely empty FL tab is also a hint if the rest of the profile is filled out.

It's probably much harder for augmentationalists to make their intentions and expectations clear. I can see why people would be reluctant to write something like "I'm here to meet my future wife", "mother of two looking for a husband", or "I want to get laid in RL" in their profile, but that's pretty much what I'd expect them to do. I don't want to start seeing someone and suddenly find myself in an interrogation about my RL details, that's as rude as asking RL women for their age and weight imho.

This is yet another point against the use of SL as a dating platform. It's as much of a dating platform as WoW. Sure, there are some couples who have met in WoW and SL, but I still think that more specialized venues (such as online dating services) offer a better success rate.

But the best place to meet real, actual people is still RL. Colleagues at work, acquaintances of friends and family members, people in fitness studios and book clubs, there are so many chances to get to know somebody. People nowadays spend way too much time on online platforms that used to be reserved for the truly desperate. Of course there are some success stories, but nobody ever reports what happens to those who gave up their job and moved to a different continent in order to be with their online sweetheart after the inevitable breakup or divorce.

Location is important. Having a busy social life in RL is a time-tested way of meeting somebody who doesn't live halfway around the globe. People who stand a chance on the RL dating market should take this chance rather than wasting their time in places like SL, and the rest of of humanity shouldn't get their hopes up or try and spread their genes anyway.

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Your scenerio sounds nice n all about people telling the truth on SL, but that's not realistic as the only behavior you have control over is your own. 

While we like to think we have control over other people's behaviors, just know that we do not have any control to change SL into what we would like it to be concerning other's behavior as that's not going to happen and far too unrealistic an expection.  

We can control no adult's behavior neither in SL or RL, except our own.

 

 

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I have met people that lie and deceive (intentionally) but most people tell the truth and by truth I don't mean their gender, age... but how they view SL. I still believe that most of us want no harm to others. I don't think it is too much to ask that people are truthful about this one small thing that is at the end big thing. And it isn't same as asking others to make their SL to be like you want, it is just small detail about them, SL them.

There are always those people who don't care about anyone else and do what they want, lie and deceive, but I sure hope it will never be majority of people in SL.

 

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Well, in all honesty, there is no control over that. 

I've appreciated the men who IM me that tell me they have a rl gf after I tell them I have a rf bf, but that doesn't mean I ever hear from them again.  lol  So I sometimes wonder if they really do have a rl gf or not; however, their interest has completely disappeared.  lol  Again, I have no control over what they say or don't say unless it's abusive and against the TOS. 

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I don't think anyone who has spent some time in SL truly believes anything some stranger tells them. Not really different from RL but it is even more important in SL.

As long as majority of people seems to be telling truth more than lies (can you ever be really sure about it) and not deceiving when ever they can I don't see any reason why people couldn't be themselves and keep SL as part of RL if they choose so even when there are risks. Life is full of risks anyway. When I feel SL is only roleplay world I either choose to leave or make it purely roleplay for me too. Can't see this happening any time soon.

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I have friends in all three of the OP's categories, one very good sl friend who was looking for an rl relationship and found one in sl (and of course this friend is not in sl much anymore!).  There is no right or "wrong" - I have always been upfront with the people I meet in SL about my limits and I have a few friends that have sort of slipped into my rl (we are friends on FB or they have my personal email) but thats very rare for me as I am one who prefers to keep things separate for the most part. I do not view sl as a virtual dating service - I log in to play, explore, create, meet people and chat with old friends. 

I wonder why the OP feels so "judged" by people... I have never really had that experience in sl - oh, I have had people pissed off at me I guess, but i don't take it personally.

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I wonder why the OP feels so "judged" by people... I have never really had that experience in sl - oh, I have had people pissed off at me I guess, but I don't take it personally.

I don't feel judged. I didn't get pissed off but started to wonder because my experience how people in SL are viewing it seems to be so different from some who have been posting here. So far inworld I haven't heard bad comments about mixing RL and SL but sometimes some people don't like it when I decide not to share my RL info with them. I don't see this as personal thing but interesting one.

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The main negative I see in starting a SL relationship and then running into a stranger, is just that, running to go meet a stranger.  If it starts to turn towards RL be wary and meet with their family only, in a public place, or with some of your family members. 

There is a problem with smooth talkers on the internet, and many women have ended up dead. 

It's okay if you meet responsibly, such as public place only and perhaps with family members along.

There's a risk, especially younger women need to consider this carefully before they go fly off and meet a stranger alone.

If anyone is rushing any kind of alone real life meeting, it's best to not go.  You can say I'll meet with your family and my family only.  But someone rushing anyone to meet in real life, better to take heed and be sensible.  Just say no way.  Especially young girls are vulnerable to this rushing as they think it sounds like Prince Charming and they get filled with romantic notions, but it could happen to any of us at any age if we don't listen to our adult senses. 

 

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SL is a great place for finding rl "friends with benefits" if you move around as much as I do with my job staying places for anything between two weeks and a year as you can check out potential playmates in future locations much better than you can with Facebook or Twitter. You can keep your anonymity without much effort as well.

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