Ok, so I fell a little behind but i'm just going to double post today to make up for it.
SL Bloggers - How hard do you think it is to find a relationship in SL? If you have an SL relationship, have you met in the physical world? Would you meet them? Do you think it would change your SL relationship if you met?
RL Bloggers - Would you start a relationship with someone you met online? Would you have a problem telling people that's where you met? Do you think it's easier to meet someone online rather than at work or at a club?
Wow, I started this entry 45 minutes ago, wrote out the entire post, realized it was like a short novel, and deleted. I've realized my story is just entirely too long for the purpose of this challenge so i'm going to recap and stick to the questions.
I'm going to start with the RL section. I met a guy online when I was 13, he was 18. He was starting college in California, I was staring Jr. High in Illinois. It never should have worked but it did. It was 1996 and there was still a huge stigma tied to online dating. We never really "dated" but we became very close and shared everything. I only told a few friends about him and hid him from my parents. Looking back now that was totally stupid and dangerous but luckily it never turned into something they would make a lifetime movie about. Anyway, through the years we fell for each other and things got complicated. We both went through rl relationships but never really stopped talking during any of them. In 2006 I talked him into joining second life so that we would have somewhere to hang out and do stuff together. It was perfect. We bought land, made our home.. got jobs at a club, he was a dj, I was a hostess. It was like we were living together only we had none of the rl pressures to deal with. Eventually he started to mention meeting up in rl. I was against it.. I felt like after all the time we had spent in sl that I would never live up to his image in rl. Even though he had seen pictures of me, I felt like it would still be nothing like he was expecting after he had spent so much time seeing my as my sl avatar which is of course what I WOULD look like if this was a perfect world. We fought about it quite often but always ended up dropping it. I just wasn't ready for it. I started to think he had finally given up until... the day he showed up at my work unannounced. I was an emotional disaster.. there are just no words to describe how it feels to look up into the face of someone you have known for so many years that you are just seeing for the first time. Mind blowing is an understatement. So before this gets too long again, i'm going to give you the condensed version. That weekend we did end up hanging out.. but it was only because I had a LOT of alcohol. I'm talking straight captain morgan right out of the bottle. After that, I felt awkward around him.. and he said that he felt closer. Our sl was totally ruined because after meeting, it just wasn't enough for him. Eventually I went on a vacation in Oregon for a week and he joined me there with my family, which was the first time they had heard about him. A few months later, he moved here and we got an apartment together. Three months into that, it all fell apart and I moved out. That was 2008 and we just recently started talking again this month.
So yes, I did start a relationship with someone I met online and I do admit, even to this day it still feels funny to say that we met in a chat room. I think even though it's more common, people still want to hold on to that whole "people you meet on the internet are PSYCHO CRAZY LIARS" thing and it just makes it awkward. I also think that is is much easier to make people think you're exactly who they want you to be online which is also why I think they have such disastrous outcomes in some cases. When you meet people in rl, it's harder to be someone you're not. This was my problem. Being together with him in rl.. he just wasn't the person I thought I knew. I admit that I had issues I probably should have dealt with before he moved here and i'm not saying it was totally his fault, but I do think he told me a lot of things he knew I wanted to hear and then had a hard time hiding his true self when we were together. So I would have to say, most times, meeting in rl will totally change your sl in one way or another. Whether it be good or bad, it's going to seem inadequate at some point.