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Recently, I found myself talking to several friends about why they were in Second Life (SL) and whether or not they also get romantically involved with others in-world. The single largest factor I found was that they were unhappy in real life (RL) and came into Second Life to fill what was missing. Out of all the ladies, over 80% were married (a few said they lied and told people they were single or divorced) and the rest were single/divorced/widowed.

I wasn't that surprised at the numbers, but what shocked me was why these people were in-game: it was for the exact same things they desired in real life. They wanted romance, to be loved, desired and, in general, just to be happy. Ladies, I'm here to help you. :P

It turns out that most have grown apart with their significant others in real life. Some haven't even made love in over two years in real life and, when they did, it was mainly to get their hubby to stop nagging them about it.

So, here they are in Second Life looking for love and romance to fill that void. It's surprising to me though when I spoke to men (which are mainly married men - yes ladies, men also lie about it) that they were there to look for a new chapter in their lives, for romance, or just to have sex.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel wanted, needed, desired, loved, etc., be it as friends or as lovers

OK, before some of you get bent out of shape, YES people do come into SL to also hang out, escape real life, etc. But you get the idea here: both male and females are in SL looking for the same thing. :)

Do people end up getting burned? YES

Do people really fall in love? YES

Do people think the grass is greener with that other avatar in SL (you know what I mean here)? YES

Do people find it easier to hide behind an avatar or create an ALT (for way too many reasons to mention here)? YES

So why do it? Why go down this path?

At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel wanted, needed, desired, loved, etc., be it as friends or as lovers. It is human nature!

I'd love to find Miss Right and be able to spend the rest of my life happy. Am I looking? No, not really. BUT, just like in real life, sometimes people come into your life and you just click. You smile when you see them log, you feel warm inside, you can't wait to open that chat (or even better, they open it first) to say "Hi! I missed you... how was your day?" And other smoochy things. :)

So now you met someone and the magic starts to happen. You hang out, you dance, you tease and flirt with each other and, at some point, BOOM! You fall in lust/love.

Now here is where its gets tricky! (You all knew this was coming.)

The day comes where the "L" word comes out and nothing else in the world matters. You are in heaven. You decide to get married, partner, the whole nine yards... It's a total love fest.

OK, some of your stories end here... AND you live happily ever after! Congrats!

BUT, for the majority of them, they don't.

I have a few things here to talk about so bear with me. I promise it will make sense. (Well, it does in my mind.)

Here are the most common things I see/hear happen:

  1. You find out that he/she is married and has lied after you have proclaimed total love for each other.

  2. They are an ALT (way too many ALT reasons to talk about here, but you get the point) and their primary avatar is still doing "other things".

  3. The grass just got greener with the amazing avatar you met at a party, etc.

  4. They find out it's not what they wanted and leave, create another avatar, or even say they are quitting Second Life.

  5. Real life takes them out of the game and you're left hanging.

  6. They cheat on you (even with your friend sometimes :P ) with the same avatar. Now, if you go this path, you must really want to get caught OR you just don't care.

  7. They just never log-in again.

I can go on and on, BUT you get the point.

Now I have had so many people cry on my shoulders about relationships that I could easily write a book about online dating.

The funny thing is that this also happens in real life! How can you think it's going to be much different in Second Life? In fact, it's easier! You can hide behind your avatar and do what you want. There's no real face to look at, no visual thing that makes you think that there's a real person behind that avatar who cares for you, loves you, and has committed themselves to you.

It's very easy to say "we are done" and walk away. You don't even have to look them in the eyes and see the heart you just ripped apart.

Heck, some of you just switch avatars and are never heard from again.

I thought about this one a lot and I came up with something I would like you to think about before you do something like this in the future.

Imagine you are, say, eight years old and totally dependent on your mom and dad. One day, you are at the mall with them. You stop to look at something and - BAM - you turn around and they are gone. You start to panic. You start to walk fast in every direction, calling their names. You can't find them. They are gone. Do you know that feeling? Totally freaking out, fear growing inside you, etc. It's a horrible feeling!

Now, think: is this any different than just "poofing" away in Second Life? Leaving that person that loves you all alone, not knowing what happened to you? Did something happen in real life? Are you in the hospital? Did you die? Should they call the local authorities to make sure you are ok? Etc.

Now some of you probably read that and thought "yea right... Uh HUH..." Well, in the past year, I have heard the missing avatar story over 30 times! So it's very real and it is very upsetting to have happen to you.

The good news is that most of these items I listed above can easily be reduced/removed if you just communicated and were honest with each other!

A relationship takes constant care and work. It is not easy (especially in Second Life) and, yes, you are going to fight, argue, and have differences in opinions. It's human nature. BUT don't say "screw it" and walk away at the first sign something is wrong! You both wanted to be with each other or you wouldn't have gone down this path in the first place!

Next time when you get into a heated discussion and you get to the point that you are going to explode, try this: take a deep breath, count to ten slowly, and reflect on what you were going to say. If someone said that to you, would you be hurt? This method gives you a chance to pause and maybe not say something you will regret later.

If you have been burned, don't give up. There is someone out there who is your soul mate! I believe it and have seen it happen!

I wish you all the luck and happiness in your life! Now get out of my IM so I can finish what I was doing on this pose ball...

YAY... Q and A time:

Ted, will you partner/have sex me?

Partner? NO. Sex? Maybe... Send me your RL picture, CV (resume) and we will talk about it. :) Wait, you want to be my sugar momma? Then the answer is YES to both!

My boyfriend wants to have sex in public in SL. (It's his fantasy.) I want to please him BUT I am shy.

IM me and I will personally work with you on your shyness issues in semi public places. :) Err, better yet... explain to him that you are very shy and, even though you want him to be happy, he should respect your wishes. If he truly cares for you, he will say "don't worry about it." Or he'll be like me and say: "Ohhhhh I was just kidding!" :P

Ted, I really like this guy and I want to be with him in SL, but I can't commit to him in RL. He tells me that his feelings don't end when he leaves SL but questions how can I care for him that much if I can't feel for him in RL the same way as in SL.

First don't let him go. He is a rare one in SL! This is a tough one though. You must explain to him why it can't be in RL so he understands. I am the same way here. If I feel for someone in SL, it's the same feeling in RL, so I can see where he is coming from.

I would think: "does she really feel for me this way, or is it just a game?" You have to be open and honest about it if you are going to move forward at all. If you explained why, he would likely understand and try to figure out a way for you to be together if the feelings are mutual. Good luck!

How do I find out if my girlfriend is cheating on me with an ALT she created?

I think the bigger issue here is: what leads you to think this? Reflect on your relationship and talk to her. You might be surprised that when you talk to her, she will actually tell you what's going on in her mind. And, BTW, her ALT is amazing! :)

There are so many more questions that I wasn't able to answer here due to space limitations. I did respond back to everyone that requested an answer. Keep reading here. Your questions will definitely find their way here at some point! And remember: I am only a Happiness Consultant. I am not a professional; if you feel you have a serious issue, please contact a trained professional. I'm only here for your happiness!


Original posting by Ted_Floresby on Jan 17, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=437

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