Kultivate Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Jessii Warrhol is back with another edition of SL Etiquette 101! This time she discusses how to date in Second Life, with a focus on communication:
Most of us would love a partner or even a spouse in Second Life! Of course this may be just as hard to find as it can be in real life. I have had my share of partners and even married twice in Second Life, before giving up dating and marriage in Second Life all together (due to getting married in real life and not really spending the same amount of time as I once did in Second Life).
I have decided to make this a 3 part series and will focus on communication, appearance, and dating. For this first part I decided to start with communication.
Communication is key in Second Life and in both lives. How you communicate with someone can have either a negative or a lasting impression. If you have your eye on dating someone, you should be prepared to communicate in a way that they know you are interested but also in a way that is not annoying or can come off as stalkerish. Let’s focus on the don’ts of initial communication with your possible future partner:
–Dont ask for sex in the beginning: We have all heard stories of people being imed for sex without even knowing the person or you may have received ims from brand new avatars who ask you for sex or something sexual related. Usually we either mute these people or we politely say no thank you or we may fill up their im with a bunch of expletives. Either way this type of behavior is usually not warranted. I say usually because it depends where you really are in Second Life. There are places that are swinger spots or hook up places in Second Life and this type of behavior is ok and encouraged, but if you are not in one of those places, think before iming someone and asking for sex.
-If someone is partnered or says they are taken on their profile, leave them alone: This should be a golden rule. Always check a person’s profile before iming them to ask them out on a date or letting them know you are interested. If they are partnered or they have the words “I am taken on their profile…”, this means they are off limits. Occasionally you may find couples who are swingers and who are into poly relationships and do not mind you iming them, even if they are partnered. If this is the case, then send them a friendly im.
-Do not im someone who says they are not interested in Second Life relationships: this should be self explanatory but I am listing it because I still get many ims asking me out on a date, despite having on my profile that I am happily single. If a person takes the time to list this on their profile, this usually means they do not want a Second Life relationship. Do not pry or try to force the person to change their mind, this will simply lead to you being ignored or muted.
-Do not be forceful or aggressive in your communication: It is great if you are interested in someone and want them to know it, but keep in mind that over iming or sending note cards to someone may be deemed harassment. Give the person you are interested time to respond to your initial inquiries. Some may see constant communication as you being a possible stalker and the person may decide you are not worth their time.
-Do not get upset if someone says they only want a Second Life relationship: We would all love to have the fairy tale of meeting our soul mate in Second Life and then meeting that person in real life and living happily ever after. This has worked for some and they were very lucky to transfer their Second Life relationship to a real life one, but if a person states they do not mix both lives or that they want Second Life only, you have to respect their choice. If you already know you are seeking a real life relationship in Second Life, then look for like minded people who are open to mixing lives. Similarly do not get upset if a person says they do not voice or do not share social media information. If you are told this information up front and if you expect these things from a relationship, the person is not for you.
–Read profiles: Reading a person’s profile can give you information that can help you decide if you should try to talk to the person you may be interested in. You can find out if the person is partnered or taken, if they mix Second Life and real life, and if they voice and a bunch of other important information, that may save you time and embarrassment later
-Start the conversation casually: If you met the person in a club or a store, try asking their opinions about the club or store and see where the conversation goes. Or talk about the music or the activity. You do not want to base the conversation about yourself, but you do want to keep the lines of communication open.
-Ask if you can friend the person before sending an invite: If the conversation is going well and before you both log off, ask if you can friend the person, do not automatically send an invite. Remember first impressions are key here. If the person accepts your invite then thank them. Keep in mind too that you should not automatically log in and im that person each day or im them as soon as they log in. Keep the communication lines open but still give the person some space, remember the friendship is in its infancy stages.
-After some time has progressed, ask the person out on a date: Yes an old fashioned date. I would suggest something fun or ask the person to go dancing with you, the date should not be something that is suggestively sensual or sexual in nature. Remember first impressions. Check the Second Life destinations guide for places you can go.
-Friends are sometimes better than partners: After sometime (could be weeks, months, or even years) if your friend does not seem interested in being a partner or your girlfriend or boyfriend, then you will have to accept their choice. There could be numerous reasons why your friend does not want to go the next step. In either way, you do not want to lose someone who may be a good friend and while a relationship may be off the table now, this does not mean it will be off the table in the future.
For part 2 of our How to Date in Second Life series, I will focus on avatar appearance. Until next time!