It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Over the years (Yes, it’s been that long now.), I’ve blogged about many types of relationships in Second Life (SL) and the communities that these blossom in.
I’ve attended weddings inworld and blogged about them. (Which BTW seem to be on the rise.)
But, I’ve never blogged about marriage in SL. (Significant Other wonders where this is going and hopes that I don’t embarrass us.)
Recently, I met a couple inworld who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary.
They are Charles and Natasha Miami.
My three loyal readers may recall Charlie from my recent story about his nudist resort inworld, Isla de Amores.
(I also want to take this opportunity to apologize to Natasha for failing to mention her in that story. She is Charlie’s partner and co-manager of the resort. Since I hadn’t met her during the interview and didn’t have her permission to mention her, I hadn’t. Significant Other smacks me on the side of my head.)
I thought this would be a good opportunity to show another facet of life inworld and Charlie and Natasha kindly agreed to an interview with me about the subject of marriage in SL. This is their story.
They met after Natasha had just come back from a six month hiatus from SL a few months before and she just had a small parcel of land with some friends whom she chatted with. Natasha was only online a few times a week.
Charlie was hanging out at a nude beach as he puts it.
The beach was Dreamer's and this is where they first met. Natasha says she saw Charlie saw him there often for weeks but didn’t speak to him as she rarely IMs strangers.
But, as Natasha says, they hit it off very quickly once they started to talk. The icebreaker appears to have been Charlie having a picture of his Real Life (RL) dog in his profile and that is what prompted her to talk to him. (Seems they both like German Shepherds. They also both have an interest in history but it was definitely the dog that got things going.)
As for the idea of marriage itself, Charlies says that they figured it was the right thing to do because they liked each other.
Natasha says that she had never even thought about partnering before and she never thought that she would do it. But, she explains changing her mind simply by saying that she fell in love. (Significant Other warns me not to make any jokes here.)
Natasha continues, adding that she knew she didn't want to be without Charlie. Also, she has old fashioned values, and really didn’t want to share a home without a commitment.
(Needless to say, Charlie’s been beaming as Natasha talks about their courtship!)
Once Charlie started to talk about getting a home together inworld, Natasha told him her feelings about that. And, he thought partnering sounded like the right thing to do. They went ring shopping two days after they decided to get married. Charlie adds that the courtship was fun and they decided to get married at Franks Elite.
When asked if this was romantic or just a business partnering, as many do inworld, Charlie and Natasha reply simultaneously (Not the easiest thing to do inworld.) that there was no business involved at all.
Natasha just says that they were in love and she would never partner for a business reason.
Natasha describes their wedding ceremony as lovely. Charlie adds that it was the best wedding in SL as far as he’s concerned. Natasha’s two best friends were the maid ofAnother friend was the best man, while another friend gave her away. She laughingly describes it as a formal wedding.
Natasha feels very lucky to have two close woman friends to stand up for her and to have had them as friends for seven years.
Charlie and Natasha also had a reception with cake, a DJ, and everything as she puts it. Approximately twenty people attended. Most of Natasha’s close friends were in the wedding party. Many of Charlie’s old friends from Wild Coast were in attendance.
Neither Charlie nor Natasha are married in RL although she’s recently divorced.
So, when asked what's married life like inworld compared to RL, Natasha said she could answer that. She feels much closer to Charlie emotionally than she did to her RL ex. She explains further that she would not have gotten so close to Charlie if her RL relationship had been a good one.
Charlie and Natasha try to spend as much time together as their RL schedules allow. Sometimes his work keeps him AFK a lot and other times she travels in RL so they don't see each other as much as they would like. But both are committed to making their marriage work, so it does. Which is pretty much what any relationship is like whether inworld or in RL, IMHO.
Charlie continues saying that they do everything a regular couple in RL does including sex of course. Natasha explains that sometimes they don't get much "alone" time because things are busy at Charlie's office in RL, but they usually are able to fit some in. Charlie adds with a smile as often as they can and have attempted to set records at it when they have the time.
Their sex lives are only inworld but let’s just say that there is RL satisfaction. (I’m still not that type of blog!) They haven’t met in RL but do talk by voice almost every day. (For the record, Natasha was shy on this point but Charlie freely spoke about it. Must be a guy thing.)
One aspect of Charlie’s and Natasha’s SL marriage is that they are monogamous inworld which I’ve found to not too common.
Charlie says that he’s come to understand this. But, Natasha does know other couples who are also monogamous. Given the nudist resort that they live in I especially found this different. Natasha’s explanation is that the sim has evolved to what it is and theyAnd, Charlie adds that nudity does not mean there will always be sex. Natasha says that she has no interest in anyone else.
As for having sex out in the open at a nudist resort, Charlie says he’s sure they’ve been witnessed and Natasha coyly admits to a little exhibitionism on their part. It’s not a big deal for them. Neither of them has any interest in voyeurism with their guests.
Charlie says that he doesn’t watch people, but he does like to see where people choose to have sex because that gives him an idea of what furniture and locations some prefer when they visit. He has no problem with people watching them because he’s only focusing on Natasha.
As for the difficulty of being faithful to one another given what SL can be like and where they live, Charlie says that it’s not hard. Natasha adds that it’s not at all difficult. She’s in love with Charlie and he is the only man she wants. Fidelity is easy when you have a strong attachment.
Some of the difficulties of married life are the same that couples experience everywhere. Natasha says it can be frustrating when they are limited on time and they have had issues with other people causing silly drama. What Charlie calls typical SL drama. She didn’t go into detail, just because it might cause more silly drama.
On a personal level, Natasha doesn’t recommend marriage inworld in general. For her, there is only one Charlie and he is the only man in SL worth marrying in her opinion. If both parties are committed it can be a good thing she adds. Natasha believes that they have a more permanent type of a relationship than a lot of people who are partnered in SL.
Charlie simply says that he likes having Natasha as his wife. He desires no one else.
Charlie and Natasha are a happily married couple in SL.
They have successfully leveraged SL to enhance RL with this very special relationship that they have. Maybe we’ll be seeing more of these long term relationships inworld. Only time will tell!
I wish them well and congratulate them on their first anniversary again and hope that they have many more!
I’d also like to thank both Charlie and Natasha for taking the time to meet with me for this interview and their very frank and candid answers to my questions!
I’d also like to thank them for permission to use their wedding photos with this story.
Now, is there anyone else out there celebrating a wedding anniversary?
Please let me know, I’d love to meet you too!
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
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If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life please click here.
If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life please click here.
Open roads and kind fires!