I’ll have to start by admitting that I’ve never really been actively seeking relationships in Second Life. However, this doesn’t mean I’m unable to see the similarities between relationships in the Real Life (RL) world and SL-based ones; we make the same mistakes, both in RL and in SL. Mistakes that are – to some degree – dictated by the culture in which we are all raised.
I’ve seen my fair share of people whose relationships routinely fail because their expectations are unrealistic. We are conditioned to think that relationships depend on some magic button that someone will press for us and make us fall head over heels in love with them. So, we wait – in vain – for that magical someone who will have the rather unrealistic mix of qualifications we’ve been trained to expect; someone who conforms to fictional ideals we were taught to form in our minds and expect and whose mixture of attributes will press that magic button that will make us fall madly in love.
This view of romance and sex is immature and completely unrealistic. Waiting for someone who will be like a fictional character is a pipe dream. There will always be someone hotter and more desirable than you and your existing partner. There will always be someone richer, better-looking, with bigger “equipment”, with bigger breasts, or “crazier” in bed, etc. That’s not where you’ll find satisfaction. You won’t find satisfaction in pipe dreams or in routine dates that are arranged simply to “make the relationship last”, according to a prefabricated scenario. You won’t even find it in a casual fuck – whether it is with a “friend with benefits” or in the context of an one-night stand. You won’t even find it in mere fetishistic indulgence, however extravagant you might make it.
Satisfaction, sexual and emotional, in RL and SL relationships, in “vanilla” and “kinky” relationships, lies in the connection and the bond between you and your partner and not in pipe dreams. It lies in the sheer intimacy between you and your partner: in both of you allowing yourselves and each other to be completely honest, emotionally open, and – yes! – vulnerable with each other. In sharing your innermost needs, fears, worries, desires, fetishes, kinks and fantasies, knowing that you’ll still be loved, cherised and desired – or, even better, loved, cherised and desired because you’ve trusted your partner with them. In allowing yourselves to be emotionally nude, to pour your heart, your mind, and your soul out to each other, and making your love a place where you won’t have to hide from yourselves and from each other. Once you’ve achieved that, you won’t feel the need to find someone else to satisfy you.
But there’s no magic button you can press for any of this to happen. This is something you and your partner have to work together to achieve, breaking free from the pipe dreams we’re all trained to believe in and hope for.