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Tuesday, October 22, 2013



There are a lot of places to meet people in Second Life and one of the most popular places to meet is the workplace because The that is an easy place to meet someone and make a connection. 

Sometimes, a couple who have been dating or are partnered figure they get along so well that they will enter into a business together or work together  but is it the best idea?

There are many opportunities on Second Life that allow for couples to work together, however , workplace relationships are one of the biggest reasons businesses in Second Life fail. I personally have witnessed this many times and recently, one of the biggest and oldest clubs in SL closed because of a personal relationship that ended. It is actually the second time this club went down because of a personal relationship that ended. Most of my experience working for businesses owned and operated by romantically involved people working together has not been positive. It would not be an exaggeration to say sometimes it was a nightmare.

Why do people choose to work with their significant other? Can it work?

The Perks of Working with Your Partner
There are some perks to working with the one you love. If you have been seeing each other for quite a while, then there are no surprises. You know their capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses and they know yours. Because couples spend more time together than just work hours , they express their opinions and ideas to each other more freely. Often a couple will be more organized and productive when working in order to get work completed so they can spend more time together outside of work. This often gives co-workers a positive attitude toward working on projects. Workplace couples often become more open in their attitudes and are more willing to cooperate with each other. 

Disadvantages of Working with your Partner
The disadvantages of romance in the workplace far outweigh the advantages. If you are deciding whether to follow this path there are some very important things to consider. The odds of success are stacked heavily against you and your partner from the beginning. The fact is romantic relationships in Second Life do not last that long generally due to real life problems, distance, time zones and technical glitches to name a few. 
First, consider how important your Second Life occupation is to you. Know that your chances for advancement may be hindered due to your relationship with a co-worker. You will experience interference in your personal relationship from other co-workers once it is known you are involved with someone on staff. People will be careful what they say to you especially if it involves your partner. 

If your partner and yourself are not on equal levels of power or responsibility in the company, that may cause difficulty between you and your partner as well as other employees. If you or your partner are criticized at work you may get a group of supporters on your side but against your partner, your partner may be upset if you don't intervene or sometimes, if you do.
Employees may think you made a particular business decision based solely on your personal relationship, for your partner's personal gain only. You or your partner may resent taking orders from each other depending on who has more authority over the other.
It is important to consider if you and your mate can maintain a professional demeanor in the workplace. Can you keep your personal issues out of the workplace? 

It is not as easy as you may think . I work with my sl husband at a club. He is a dj and he djs at other venues as well as the club I work for. I am a General Manager at the club as well as my sl husband's personal host. Sometimes I travel to other venues at his invitation, to hear him play. It is not an unusual occurrence to be IMed by the club's owner or manager and be asked if I would like to host for my husband at their venue.
Some do not ask, they throw tags at me and assume I will step up there with him. I politely refuse. Djing is strictly my husband's business. Sometimes they want me up there in the booth with him, I am fine on the dance floor with the other patrons. It is his business, he loves music and I know the hard work he puts in and I want him to succeed.
 I have a lot of respect for what he does. Sometimes he will ask what I want him to play when I am hosting for him, I tell him the same as I tell all the djs I work for," Play it Your Way DJ". I am a given. I am the host, I cannot leave during a set , my job is to promote the club and the DJ. He is not playing for me, he is playing for himself and the club. 

As a GM however, I have had to tell Gregg to check in. We arrive together usually so obviously I know he is on. The rule is that dj's and hosts are required to check in half an hour before their set and I check in . Gregg wasn't following protocol. I had to remind him it was a requirement for all djs and hosts. He would neglect other small things but because I was GM I had the feeling he wasn't taking it seriously so I had to speak to him regarding those issues. It was necessary to the club. He has to check in at all venues he plays at , even the one we both work for. He has to inform the host what he is playing giving the host enough time to send notices for the club and his dj group, and he is expected to log into his tip jar like every dj who plays at the club. 

Sometimes, in the workplace it is not even what you or your partner does, the issues come from assumptions from other co-workers around you. This is something I find prevalent on Second Life, because you are with someone in a relationship; people assume you will do exactly as your partner does.
 I left a club I wasn't happy at, and they panicked. They thought Gregg would quit on the spot because I left. I didn't see why that was necessary and neither did Gregg. He still played there long after I left. It wasn't anything we did, it was just an assumption made because we are a couple. 

Too often I have seen couples drag their disagreements into the work place or reveal personal information about their partner to co-workers. This can end not only the relationship but the business and your employment. When an issue between a couple is introduced into the workplace, people tend to take sides for one partner or the other. This starts all kinds of feuds; workers refusing to do required tasks because they were assigned by the partner they do not favor, co-workers arguing with each other regarding which half of the couple was right or wrong and conflicting orders from management if the couple are involved are in management.
 It is also not uncommon to witness one partner bad mouthing the other openly in local chat in the presence of all employees . Some people take advantage when a rift develops between a couple. They try to usurp one of the partners or take control of the business or flirt with one of the partners openly, aggravating the situation. 

I have witnessed a terribly sad event in which one partner was unfaithful when the other partner could not get on to Second life due to moving in real life. One partner was openly straying from their partnered relationship with a co worker and it was uncomfortable to say the least to have to witness this.
 The absent partner returned, noticed a difference in behavior from her significant other and began asking questions. Again, this was a unpleasant experience and employees were put on the spot. The business ended up losing two employees, one fired and one resigned, but it made for a very unpleasant atmosphere for a few weeks. The partner that was betrayed is now partnered on SL to her rl significant other and they both own and operate a club together on Second Life and are doing well. 

Couples that Make It Work 
This event, brings in another aspect of romance in the workplace, real life couples being couples on Second Life and working together in the virtual world . These businesses and relationships seem to be more stable. Often both people will be owners of the business but handle different areas of it. Because they are couples in real life they seem to focus better on business in the virtual world. These couples often have a vision of what they want to build and how they will go about it.
The longer they have been together in the real world the better they are at business on Second life. It may be because they really know each other, communicate freely with one another and view Second Life as something they can do together when they are at home in the evenings and weekends.
It's fun for them because life in the virtual world is often easier than the ups and downs they have experienced in the real world. These people seem more "grounded", unified and supportive of each other.
 I am not saying that their businesses cannot fail, after all some real life relationships break apart as well but overall, their chances are much better than most. They are used to negotiating, compromising and are aware of each other's personalities. They have built trust in each other through real life experience and they have confidence in their abilities. Their employees seem to be more confident in the success of the business as well. Real Life couples also do not involve other people in their personal lives in the real world or their personal business on SL. They will be more likely to discuss a business matter over coffee at home and not in local chat.

Often the reason they open businesses on Second Life is because they have a similar interest , it could be a hobby they share, and they want to experiment in the virtual world. They are used to sharing responsibility; many of these couples have families and children or have an actual real life business. They are more aware than most of the pitfalls of a working relationship.

Before opening a business or hiring your mate, discuss these issues with each other. Is your relationship stable enough to take the added pressures of a virtual business? Do you want to spend every moment side by side with your partner? Sometimes the answer is for each partner in the relationship to find something of their own. You can consult with your partner and discuss your plans and support them in their interests. 
As I stated previously, I am my sl husband's personal host, I am a GM at a club and I write for the SL Enquirer. Gregg djs, builds a lot of things and designs products and he shops much better than I do. This is enormously handy. I bounce ideas off him constantly and he has let me sample some of his products and listen to his new sets. We do work together but in different ways and we both admire each other's abilities, we celebrate the successes, mourn the losses and learn from our experiences. 

Working with your partner can be done, it is not easy and the failures are many. If you and your partner can stay focused on your business plan, keep a professional demeanor in the workplace , know what stays between the two of you, trust and respect each other, you may just have a chance at success.
 It is an important decision and requires much discussion and time to consider whether or not this is the right decision for you and your partner. 


  1. Well Lanai, I agree completely with the fact shared here. There are several consequences associated with dating in workplace and those are explained in a nice way here. I have also faced such a situation where I spoiled by professional life as well because of this. I am not running any business with my partner, but working for a business and felt in love with a colleague there, which resulted in spoiled both my love and working life.

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