Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogger Mix And Match: "Mixing RL and SL – The dynamics and pitfalls of living and playing in SL with your RL significant other"

I participated in the Blogger's Mix And Match, allowing my neglected blog to receive a much needed new post and a good dose of something that I know nothing about, playing SL with a RL partner. That matches my post to Vint's blog about Non-profits in SL, another topic I know nothing about, but still wrote far too many words regarding.

Cat Magellan, owner of the Get A Second Life blog, wrote this wonderful post about her meeting, falling in love, and relationship with her partner. Thankfully, she didn't write in Portuguese like the rest of her blog, so I could read and appreciate her story.

Merrick Thor of the N0nslensical blog suggested the topic.

Without further blabbering by me...

I wish – for the sake of my readers – that I could write a spicy piece about love, disgrace, sorrow, treason and flying plates and knives, but my impressions about the subject are boring, since my story is plain and simple. However, lately, I've found out that it was a very rare thing, so maybe by telling it, it may help some people. Or maybe not, who knows? These things don't depend solely on us…

Starting from the beginning,: one day I entered the grid and blogged about it on my RL blog. A lot of readers followed me. Some of them were bloggers and blog-friends for a long time. So, I've entered the grid and soon, some friends were sort of around. Everybody knows how this works: people get together and start exploring. And doing talking, a lot of talking.

To cut the story short and because 99% will remember that the same happened to them at some time or other, and know how things get going in SL, I became very close to one of these friends. We would walk around, talk, find places, talk, meet people, talk, discover things, talk and then, SL offline, send emails, then talk on the phone and write a lot of weird stuff on our blogs. And one day, with no fuss, not telling anybody else, no parties, we became partners on SL. And very very close friends in RL. We wanted to meet each other, but we lived on different countries, so that was quite difficult to implement, and we continued to talk and talk and talk (and not getting enough sleep…). For a long time we were friends and virtual lovers. For something like 8 or 9 months.

Let me tell you, it's hard. Very hard. Being together everyday and, at the same time, being apart, kills you. It's a very difficult mixture to manage; the completely stupid total happiness and the angst of not knowing. Oh, you know, you are so sure that this is the person you imagine it will be in RL. We started by playing houses in SL, we bought land, then a sim with some friends. You know your partners' favorite curtain colors and you know your partners' soul, inside out. Yes, you are completely sure…except for that 0,000001% of probability that there will be no "klick", no pheromones kicking, no hearts beating fast when you meet face to face. This is all very well, the soul side and soul mating stuff, but RL is made of more than that, let's be realistic.

Well, we survived all those months. Not without efforts, not without guts. As time went by, the more anguished we became. In the end we might as well had forgotten the whole thing, give it up, maybe it wouldn't be worth it. Your friends support you but tell each other you have gone nuts and need medication. I guess that what kept us both going, besides the romantic feelings, was our very strong friendship. We would dream about perfect encounters, but then talk about how we felt very openly with each other. We were very honest, from day zero. That's something to keep in mind, if you want to survive something like that.

Finally, D-day arrived. We met. We survived the first terrible five minutes and the next few hours just talking and looking at each other. And then it seemed like we knew each other forever. We became partners RL, till now. We are together for almost 2 years. We still do not live in the same country, we both have our lives quite settled where we are. We speak every single day, we spend all our holidays together. Some months ago, we found out we were speaking about SL too much. Funny this and a danger to a relationship: we meet in SL and speak about everything possible, and then we go from there and talk about SL most of the time. My partner almost left the grid. I took SL more slowly, and things started working out better for us from then on. Of course, all of this is not without pain or fights: we are an absolutely normal couple who gets mad at all the routine stuff. We argue about, well, almost everything, it seems. We also laugh a lot. Guess we are on the right track here. :)

Oh and btw…he's arriving tomorrow. :D

Thank you Cat for the wonderful post and good luck with the relationship.