Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Online virtual relationships can never replace what we have in our every day lives but a growing number of people are turning to the internet for their friendship and sexual needs. For some it is both virtual and real life. For others it may be their only outlet for close human contact. Maintaining a healthy balance is not easy. Since the pandemic struck a number of us are spending more and more time online.
For many in Opensim and Second Life the virtual worlds are a place to explore, to try out new things that we may or may not have done in our real lives. People can hide behind their real persona where age or body issues are not relevant. The user can be exactly who or what they want to be and decide what they wish to experience in their virtual lives.
Does it matter how honest or dis-honest you are? Lets face it. You don't really know how old the person is that you are chatting to. You don't even know if they have told you their real gender. It is a fact that many female avatars in both Second Life and Opensim are male. However, if you go by the acceptance that everyone is human, and does it really matter anyway? then you are unlikely to be as disappointed or as angry when you find that sexy Sue is actually a John Doe who pees standing up.
You might think that living in a virtual world is less complicated than in your real life. Think again. Behind every avatar is a human being just like you. Whatever you tell them about yourself, and whatever you might say about the fact that you are not looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend, there is no guarantee that the other person will pay a blind bit of notice to your wishes or desires. It is all about them. They may try to change you or manipulate you into feeling guilty that the feelings they feel for you that are not being reciprocated by you.
What starts as an innocent care free and go lucky virtual life can soon get messy. If you are a player or a swinger you can expect that there will be jealousy and demands made on you for your time. Jealousy can become extremely bitter. Even if your new best friend accepts that you dally around and sample the delights of all and sundry there will come a time when drama and frustration will come knocking at your door.
So Adam meets Eve and they go off and explore together. Adam is a builder and he enjoys his spare time in opensim. He builds and finds it calming and therapeutic. Aside from this he has a number of friends that he spends time with and goes to parties and explores what there is to see in much the same way as everyone else does in a virtual world. Suddenly he finds Eve. She is beautiful, witty, great company and she seems to like all the things that he likes. They have a whirlwind romance and hang out together and all is well with the world.
Adam makes the mistake of telling her that she is special. He is clear about the fact that he does not want commitment or to fall in love in a virtual world. Everything is fine for a time. Slowly he understands that his new found friend is jealous of his other friends. The pressure is on to keep her happy without losing his social network. Eve thinks he should be spending all his time with her. Adam barely has time to build any more. The relationship becomes more intense. Eve has mood swings and moments of anger since Adam is not living up to expectations and devoting enough time to her. She is right. This man is not suited for a relationship and these types should be avoided if you are looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The couple go through a period of adjustment. The dynamics of the relationship change. They argue. They misunderstand each other. The once platonic, happy and fun relationship becomes a chore. Finally Adam snaps. He has had enough. He is not proud of the fact that he has upset Eve but the relationship can no longer continue. Eve locks him out of her friendship. Adam does not respond. The relationship is dead. Does this sound familiar? Have you had a similar experience?
Most relationships do not last in either Second Life or in Opensim. Avoid players or playboys, the swingers who thrive on multiple partners. They are bad news if you are looking for a partner or soul mate. It will just end up in frustration and tears. Rather, establish from the get go what you want your Adam for. If you want casual fun and sex and are not jealous of others that he or she might share their online lives with then perhaps Adam might work for you. Adam comes with a warning label. Do not become attached to him.
Virtual worlds are a place to have fun and do exactly what we want to do. Is it right that we should bow to the will of others and change what we would normally do in order to make them happy at our expense? If you feel guilty about how you have treated someone or how they have treated you then maybe we all need to take some adult responsibility for our actions and accept that here in a virtual world the person or persons you meet might have a different agenda from our own.
All you can do is be honest with them. Be clear, direct and up front, and if they choose to ignore your words and put pressure on you to do something that you do not want to do then do not accept it. It is your virtual life and yours alone. Let them take responsbility and don't feel guilty about it. You did your best. Live and let live. Freedom is yours as you wish to use it. Enjoy your virtual.