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SL Relationships, what is it all about?


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Hi everyone,

First off, I hope 2012 is starting out well for all of you :)

Recently one of my good friends and I were having a discussion about SL relationships and it struck me that it doesn't take long for people to jump into relationships after a very short period of knowing each other.

Taking my friend as an example, she was telling me that someone she had met maybe a week or so ago has already wanted commitment from her, as an SL partner. Though she feels that they get on very well, she didn't understand how someone could get so attached after just a short period of time. We both wondered about what committment really is in SL? when she explained her trepidations to him about even going forward in the committment direction, he told her that he thinks they have an amazing connection and called her his soul mate. (??) and that she was worried about nothing and that it was normal to partner with someone after a couple of weeks and that is already a long time. It didn't leave me with a good impression especially when he was annoyed at her for not coming to him and leaving me in the middle of our conversation (possessive much?!)

For me personally, it boggles the mind. Maybe I'm a cynic but does the same 'rule' not apply in SL as it does in RL? How would you know someone so 'well' after such a short time? Is this whole committment and soul mate thing just role playing? My advice to her was to steer clear and take a step back. There are so many people out there to meet. Anyone who is so eagerly willing to devote their entire SL experience to you and persistently wanting to get into RL space and give you guilt trips for silly things seems a bit off to me. Now even I'm wondering if I'm too quick to judge (?).

That's my two cents, what are yours? I'd be interested to know your take since everyone's experience in SL and on relationships are so different.

Do people really take their SL into RL? Is that wise?

Thanks all :)

 

 

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It is just too fast.  One can get hurt by jumping in too fast.  Get to know someone.  No one can be your soul mate this fast.

 

Personally I have found if difficult to find many friends at sll and I am very socialble and kind.  I'd like to know where she is finding all the nice people.

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If you look back on in this particular section of the forum you'll see lots of posts giving opinions about this. My own observations about this after 5+ years, is that relationships fall into one of these categories

A SL relationship 

  • is strictly a form of roleplay.  While there may be real friendship, the 'deeper feelings" is between characters, not their RL persons.
  • is a game of pursuit and one or both of the people are 'players'.  Once they partner they get bored, split or disappear then pursue someone else.  Sometimes they are honest that this is what it is and sometimes not.
  • is a game of domination and submission that stays in SL but may eventually go to RL under the same terms
  • is a relationship of genuine feeling and may or may not last a very long time, because in the end they aren't that compatible.  If it lasts a long times but never goes RL may be for  valid reasons.  Sometimes this is because they are already committed in RL, and sometimes not and it has more to do with financial or other obligations.
  • is a relationship of genuine feeling and may go to RL after a period of time with either happy results or not so happy because they end up not being compatible when they leave the fantasy world of SL and have to deal with RL issues.  I know several couples though that ended up married in RL and very happy.

If I were in you friends position, I'd tell the guy that she wants more time to get to know him better and not be pressured into accepting any deadlines.  They need to sit down and be totally honest with each other about what each expects, what is comfortable for both, and what the 'rules' will be.  If they can't come to an amicable agreement on this then its time to call it quits.  If he really has feelings for her he'll respect this, but if he is trying to worm his way into her RL after so short a time, that would send up HUGE red flags for me and I'd run fast..

 

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You aren't being too quick to judge.  Unfortunately, there are many people out there with poor boundaries and therefore very easily disregard others. 

Romance in SL, in most cases, seems to be like a comet.  Burns brightly and fades out quickly.  For some it is a hobby, notches on their belt.  For others, it seems that SL is the only place they feel they can connect with other people.  Few are lonely and snatch up whatever companionship or romance that graces them.

However, there are those that do find strong and lasting relationships.  I think those are the ones that take the time to build a friendship and then it develops into whatever manifestation works for them in SL and RL.  I've had all types of relationships here in SL and finally found one that suited my pace of life.

I think it's personal preference when it comes to relationships here in SL.  No one should be forced or made to feel like they have to have one in order to have a life here. 

I think you gave your friend great advice and I would have echoed the same thing.  There are major warning flags being waved and you were smart to point them out to your friend.

 

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If I was your friend I would feel pressured, it's her perogative to set the pace of the relationship.  Its true that time in SL is different than time in RL, romances and relationships sometimes move pretty quickly but if she is not feeling it she should put the brakes on, there is no obligation to return someone else's feelings.  Of course its fun and romantic to be swept up in a torrid romance... that's why many people have been partnered many times, when the novelty wears off they move on.  It would be ideal if she could just communicate to him her hesitations, she might end up losing him but in my humble opinion it wouldn't be a great loss.  If you can't live your SL honestly and with integrity, if you are scared to speak your mind then what is the point?  This is the perfect place to roleplay the person you want to be, not repeat rl mistakes.

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someone she had met maybe a week or so ago has already wanted commitment from her, as an SL partner. Though she feels that they get on very well, she didn't understand how someone could get so attached after just a short period of time. We both wondered about what committment really is in SL? when she explained her trepidations to him about even going forward in the committment direction, he told her that he thinks they have an amazing connection and called her his soul mate. (??) and that she was worried about nothing and that it was normal to partner with someone after a couple of weeks and that is already a long time.  

There are some misunderstandings built in here.

The title of your post is Relationships, but what you are concerned about is SL Partnership. Those two are not the same. There are people that have loving and durable SL relationships without being partnered, and vice versa. 

I think the key here is that your friend feels pressured, while her partner is annoyed by her reluctance. This shows that they are not on the same footing about what an SL partnership is about and it's a bad sign of course. Your friend may change her mind after thinking about it.  But that he thinks they are soul mates sounds like he is just spinning a tale and should be a warning. 

That doesn't mean that in general there is anything wrong about partnering fast, if both think it would be fun. SL is only a GAME. I did't join SL to find love, but found it accidentally and very quickly. We partnered up before I even knew what SL romance even was and just tried to develop it from there. It has been a rollercoaster, but also fantastic, and 3 months on is still developing.   

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Hi, what is to quick ?

SL or RL people meet and short after they get partnered or married or ...

For some that works for others not. I do not think there is a set time you need to know someone before you get together.

And of course, time in SL is on fast-forward.

5 Years back i met one on SL and only helped her to change clothes. During that 20 minutes i felt that she is different. We didnt meet for days and even then only for quick hello´s a dance or even only an IM about - sorry i´m busy talk another day.

Now we are best friends in real and without some obstacles, different countries ..., we would be together.

I believe in love at first sight and not only about physical attraction. A few first word can turn me totally off or interested.

Monti

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One of my all time favorite songs.

SL Relationships.  Just like RL Relationships, you can't put them in a box.

To use if I may, a political analogy, you see people of the same political party totally happy together and then I know couples who are opposite political parties who are totally happy together.

Sometimes people meet, things click from the very first day and it's 'happily ever after.'

Other couples, things happen slower.

Entering in to any relationship you have to be clear about the terms of the relationship.

Generally speaking though, in SL as in RL, the 'pressure syndrome' is a red flag.

It is really easy in SL to become fixated on another person, to want to 'own' them.  That is not a relationship.

A healthy relationship is about wanting the best for your partner.  Both people benefit when both are of this mind. 

For each person where they want to go with a relationship, what they want to do, it's an individual choice.  Whether it is 'what happens in SL stays in SL,'  or if they are willing to take it to RL.  I make no judgement  as to whether that is good or bad. 

I do have one side opinion here.  The media (news) because it thrives on sensationalism, has really blown the 'be careful' message about who you meet On Line so out of proportion that they have seriously tainted its possibilities.  Things can go wrong in RL just like they can in SL.  But things can also go very right.

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I will be honesat and say I do think you're judging him harshly. I say this because you haven't even asked him what his definition of a relationship is yet. You haven't found out for him if this is simply part of his roleplay(very frequent thing here in sl, very), or if he's saying he has rl feelings for this woman. You're judging him based on your own perceptions and ideals. Which I am not necessarily saying is a bad thing. Sometimes we judge harshly, it happens. But I think as far as relationships go we should never involve others in our decisions(and that includes their ideals) and we should never judge a book by its cover.

There are plenty of people who have wonderful retlationships that started the same way. There are plenty of people who don't/didn't/can't/won't, as well though. There is no one size fits all. The standards, as it were, some folks have for rl relationships may not always apply in sl. Now you can accept that, and explore it, and perhaps even see if the same may be true for you. Or you can not accept that, set limits for yourself, and never cross those limits. (and anything in between the two, lol) Neither is right or wrong.

What "feels right" for him, obviously doesn't for her. That's a discussion they ought to have, though. If she doesn't feel like discussing it further, then it's probably a good time to shake hands and part ways(them, not you two, haha). But you just never know where the discussion might go. I'm a firm believer of communication, personally.

When I met my love, we were instant friends. It was totally that instant, fireworks, butterflies in the belly...friendship. It wasn't love at first sight(though that came very quickly after, we still took our time venturing down that road too, but we could've hit that path much, much sooner had we decided to). We had a closer relationship than most of my friends I had known for years, right from the first hello. Sometimes...you really do just "know".(and sometimes the other party may not agree, most certainly sometimes friends, family and other people you barely know, won't agree too). Other people thought it was weird, wrong, whatever that we were so close so quickly. Do you want to know what their prime reason for being so cautious, not to mention weirded out by our relationship? It was because we met online..in a game, and apparently these things can't happen like that. Bwaaahaaa. We showed them :P That was 2007(though we didn't become partners until 2008, after coming here together more permanently from our other game, neither of us was here consistantly before that), and we're going on 5 years later now. Clearly we did something right and all the judgments we got, weren't right.

That's mt TL;DR way of saying....don't judge anothers' relationship(or their ideals, desires, etc..) by your standards....unless you're one of the parties involved :P

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If you ask me, the whole partnering thing is just another scam by which LL makes money. They charge for letting you put your partnership status on your profile, then charge even more for letting you take it off. Even if I found someone I really truly was in love with & who I really truly felt was in love with me, why should we pay LL to announce this on our profiles? What counts is what we have between us, not between us & the corporation.

SL is a game platform. There are combat games, sailing & aviation games, building & scripting games, a toy economy game, and many other games running on this platform. In my opinion, one of the most pervasive SL games is the love & relationship game. Lots of people simply play at love on SL. Sometimes this play love may turn into real love, or so I've heard. If this is going to happen, why rush things? Why not take the time to enjoy the process? And if it doesn't turn into real love - just stays play love - oh well... that can be fun too! So my advice is to take your time, have fun, don't lay any expectations on the relationship, let it go when or if it doesn't work out, and don't pay LL any partnership or breakup fees. Simple!

Jeanne

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As far as your friend does NOT feel her RL or even her SL compromised in any way, I don’t think that her guy is being too fast. Because for me, SL and RL relationships are not the same. Therefore, a SL partnership, usually has not the same connotations as a RL one.

What can happen if they become partners?…well, as far as she set her boundaries and does not budge, not much; IMO, They will hang together for awhile, they will feel a special bond; they’d say to each other that of “You are my soul mate” odds are that they even will have arguments; and eventually someone or something else will get in the way of their relationship and they will part ways. That’s all.

Dunno; maybe I am being overly jaded here; but  most times, I see SL partnerships as a “romantic agreement” between two people enjoying an online friendship with romantic /erotic overtones; and usually; it has little or nothing to do with real, strong,  endless love or soul bonding, so to speak; therefore, the very little importance I  give to the whole thing. It’s cute, it’s sweet, it’s fun; for many people, it’s a way to waste a few LD as futile as many others ways are…nothing more and nothing less.

 

Just my 2 cents

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Jasmyn Vaher wrote:

Dunno; maybe I am being overly jaded here; but  most times, I see SL partnerships as a “romantic agreement” between two people enjoying an online friendship with romantic /erotic overtones; and usually; it has little or nothing to do with real, strong,  endless love or soul bonding, so to speak; therefore, the very little importance I  give to the whole thing. It’s cute, it’s sweet, it’s fun; for many people, it’s a way to waste a few LD as futile as many others ways are…nothing more and nothing less.

Maybe I'm strange, but I see nothing jaded about that, Jasmyn.  Some of us care more about cultivating friendships than we do any kind of soul-bonding romantic ties.  It doesn't mean we value those relationships less; friendships can be some of the deepest and most fulfilling types of relationships out there.   I think most would leave a lover sooner than a good friend.  And if you can find someone willing and committed to sharing that perspective, I think that's the ideal situation in SL for a partnership. 

But I'm going off topic - I think the OP has gotten a lot of good advice from other posters about this to take to her friend.  What's key is communication, mutual respect, and setting (and following) rules for your relationship.  If that can't happen and can't get resolved, maybe it's time to walk away from it.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Viewpoint not advice:

 

SL is a great place where you can have a lot of fun if you don't get bound and hogtied by someone who wants you "all to themselves" and I dont just mean that romantically, that  can apply to friends or even groups that like to keep their people "always at elbow". The best way to decide how you want to do things is actually do what YOU want to do.  If it feels like an odd or unappealing fit it is.

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People come to SL looking for different things: Some of them friendship, others some sort of love, others just to explore the world and have some fun. If a person who seeks for love wants to have someone who seeks for fun exclusivly for him/her then is not going to work, so I think you really need to take your time no know the persons to see what they are really expecting and be very clear since the beginning of the relationship (these applies to friends, partners, bfs or gf)

I don't know, It's just the way I think, I usually do that in RL so... 

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I don't think you're too quick to judge, and I'm in agreement with you in this instance and not necessarily just because of the time frame.  It sounds to me like he was dismissive of her feelings on the matter, and that's never a good thing no matter how long they've known each other.  

And to call her his soul mate?  I know that there are times when people know the moment they meet that they were meant to be together.  She's not feeling that obviously, and he needs to be respectful of that rather than push and tell her that she's making a big deal over nothing. A red flag of drama if you ask me. 

People have different feelings and motivations for relationships in SL and I think that's great, but it 's why it's so important to be up front about what it is a person wants when relationship situations arise.  

Personally if I weren't partnered and was available, I don't believe I'd be able to roleplay a relationship and not have my heart involved.  I'm kind of fascinated by the idea, probably because it seems so foreign to me. 

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Jessika Rang wrote:

... If you can't live your SL honestly and with integrity, if you are scared to speak your mind then what is the point?  This is the perfect place to roleplay the person you want to be, not repeat rl mistakes.

That is beautifully said! 

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I know people who have been married after a few days, and divorced a few days later. There is often a pattern. It's costly to have this pattern, weddings are expensive and takes RL time to organize.

If your friend wants a serious relationship, maybe Second Life isn't the place to be looking. To be sure there are some men looking for that too, but most of them (women, too) stumble into these by accident. Self included.

Have fun, both of you, and do whatever you want to do. If you want to be a friend, let her navigate herself through the amazing corridors of Second Life.  Most of us here want to be emersed, not reminded of the constraints often tied to love in real life.

Remember 1 day is equivalent to 4 in second life. I think that's the equation. 

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To paraphrase Woody Allen, from Annie Hall.


This is a really old joke.  A man is talking to a friend who is a psychiatrist and tells him that his brother is nuts, and thinks he's a chicken.  He tells him all about his odd behavior, etc.  The shrink says "Well, that sounds serious.  Why don't you convince him to get professional help"?

The man replies "I would, but, well, ... we need the eggs."

Relationships are like that.  They're crazy, irrational, and can't possibly work.

But ...

... we need the eggs. 

SL is no different from RL in this regard.

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I don't think the "quick to start a relationship, quick to end one" are always a sign of insincerity or roleplaying. For people who really immerse in sl, the feelings are often very strong and very real very fast. In sl we are connecting heart to heart and mind to mind. Many people, especially those not yet jaded by seeing so many bang-bang quick relationships and break-ups, are overwhelmed by the surprise of stong emotions and connections sl can allow. I know I was. My first sl partnership back in 2007 was ridiculously fast, but it was also very intense. The feelings certianly were sincere for both parties, and carried into rl, complete with loss of sleep and appetite. It wasn't roleplay. It wasn't false. We still feel affection when we meet.

Later, I found the deeper relationship. This was with someone I had been close to for nearly 2 years in sl, and we are still happily partnered and committed after over 3 years togehter. No one can tell me it is roleplay or fiction. It is different from the first one. It is deeper, and extends to rl as well. But that does not mean that first one was not real too, in a very special SL way.

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