In a world designed for socialization and interaction, it is easy to find people with whom we identify and with whom we create relationships of various kinds.
The line between fidelity and betrayal is very tenuous. However well intentioned someone is and regardless of our vowed allegiances in RL, the allure of the unknown draws us and our romantic spirits seeks new adventures that can result in parallel relationships between two worlds.
Therefore, when embarking on a virtual relationship are you cheating on your RL significant other?
While for many having a parallel relationship between the virtual and the real world is a dilemma, for others there isn’t an issue because there are extenuating circumstances: open relationships where the boundaries are established, unsatisfactory relationship, where the relationship in SL is seen as a complement or even the total discredit that having a loving relationship means betraying the real life one. We often find the sentence “SL is SL and RL is RL” in many resident’s profiles, sentence that gives foundation to this theory.
The reply to this question is very subjective. There are many personal factors that generate different responses and different postures regarding this topic. As such, the SLE spoke with some residents and asked them share their points of view. We would like to thank all for participating.
Resident A: I am married in SL. We don’t believe in cheating… since we are open to see others. I have a real life girlfriend, she knows about my sl wife.
Resident B: If you and your real life partner have set rules and guidelines and are open and honest it’s not cheating if you agree… It’s when you hide and sneak around that makes it a cheat.
Resident C: I guess the only opinion I have is that each person brings their own ideas about that to SL and it's up to each individual how they choose to see it.
Resident D: I do feel that dating in SL whilst in a committed RL relationship is a form of cheating. The internet has redefined the more "traditional" definition of cheating in my opinion--it's not just restricted to it merely being a physical faux pas. "Intellectual cheating" is just as abhorrent to me, if not worse.
Resident E: I think it depends on the situation. If you are going behind your spouse or girlfriend or whatever they are RL's back, then yes it is cheating. If you’re in a poly or open relationship, and there is complete honesty, then no its not.
Resident F: Yes, it’s cheating. No question.
Resident G: I'm not sure I've never come to a conclusion on that issue, but if I had to take a side, I'd say that having online sex through SL is a violation of RL monogamy. If the rule is "no sex with anyone but me," then having sex with someone in SL violates that rule.
Would you like to share your opinion? Do place a comment on the article.