Second Life Relationships

Submitted by Dillan Munro

Surfing isn't just about the waves and the beach.  The relationships are part of what makes it so special.  And Second Life (SL) relationships can be a  little extra confusing, adding that element of virtuality. We were discussing relationships one day, and it seemed appropriate to write down some of the things we have all been secretly wondering. Over the next little while, we will talk about the following:

* Do you treat your SL friends as you do your real life (RL) friends? Should you?
* How do you tell someone, politely, that you just want to be friends (and not more)?
* How and /or when is it proper to delete someone from your friends list?
* What's a polite way to tell someone that their avatar needs work?
* Is it ever appropriate to tell a person about another's RL?
* Do you ever wonder if friend XXX is male or female in RL? How do you broach the subject?
* If you are in the middle of an intimate encounter with someone, and another friend IMs you and asks what you're doing, what do you say?
* Is it okay to lie in SL? If yes, under what circumstances?
* How does one break up with someone?
* What if you are attracted to two different people, and they both want exclusive relationships; how do you choose, and how do you tell the second place finisher ?


There are not always clearcut answers to these questions, but they are all worth discussing. We certainly don't claim to be experts on any of these issues but we will do our best to thoroughly talk about them in the near future.  If there are other things you'd like discussed, message any of us on staff and we will add them to the list.

Now, for question 1:

* Do you treat your SL friends as you do your RL friends? Should you?

The obvious answer to this is 'yes' to both questions. Why then is it hard for us to do that always? Hanging over all our heads is the cloak of anonymity that SL affords. Each of us has fantasies that we choose to share on a limited basis, and some to different people.

How do we treat our SL friends differently than our RL ones? Obviously, we help our RL friends when they need it:  Moving, hanging out, lending an ear, shopping, golf and a myriad of other things. A lot of those things are still possible in SL, so shouldn't we answer a call for help whenever we can?

More to come....

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