The Middle Years: 2011 - 2014
Thinking back to this period of time its all a bit of a blur. Maybe I was sucked into some singularity by inescapable gravity or did time dilation transcend from SL to RL. Ultimately what I do know is due to RL studies I found myself less and less logging into SL. With the ongoing pressures of study and eventually moving overseas on a University student exchange program I simply stopped using SL.
The most difficult thing during this time was dealing with that fact that I had not clearly informed everyone in SL that RL had to take priority. Looking back I felt guilty for a period of time, people must have thought the worst. My partner assured me that is simply part of the package when it comes to anonymity in a virtual world full of avatars that can choose to disclose or not discloses ones private life.
Overtime, I lost contact with everyone, even my SL partner. Looking back it was possibly a good thing cause it would never have gone further and I really did need to focus on RL. Not to mention it would have been cruel for both of us to even continue to talk about it going further. If I look back analytically I had closed the door on that chapter of my life.
At the start of 2014 situations changed in RL, my partner and I now in a fully committed relationship were a component of our lifestyle had developed into a dom/submissive nature. We both found ourselves struggling with the poly-amorous aspects of our lifestyles. We decided the best solution was to both seek active online communities were anonymity would form a natural barrier of safety and still allow for us both to be poly-amorous and at the same time be very selective in RL with potential 3rd parties. My RL partner rejoined the virtual community she role played as a Dom and I commenced the process of reconnecting with SL, this time as a Submissive.
I was surprised to find my SL partner was still my SL partner and we did discuss the potential to be together in a role play scenario. We even attempted it, however it was not working as there were still feelings on their side that went beyond SL and it would have been wrong to continue. Long story short we had the difficult but necessary conversation and split. That was the end of what was my first and only meaningful SL relationship at the time.
At the same time I simply enjoyed SL. I found myself enjoying the SL live music scene more and more. It soon became the main reason I would log into SL, a place to relax, listen to people sing. Lets not forget the social aspect of these kind of venues, places to meet people, from the good, the bad and the down right creepy.
I started to reconnect with some old friends, overtime I found myself removing most from my friends list. They either nolonger log in or we simply drifted apart. New friendships formed as people crossed my path, some would become close, others just people I see on a regular basis and then others..... "can I puke now!" I now keep my friends list as small as possible applying the same fundamental rule I follow in RL. If over time there becomes a lack of connection from both sides then I remove and move on.
I am not one to prioritise the importance of a friendship over another, however I do have a few close friendships in SL that mean more to me than all the others. Its just a natural part of life. One, has become possibly they only guy I tease and flirt with on a more explicit nature. I am sure he loves the constant game of trying to outwit me even though he knows he will never seduce me. The other would come totally out the blue over a conversation on the boots I was wearing. We connected day one and she would become my SL partner. For now all I will say is she is the main reason I remain in SL, she is my best friend in this virtual world. The one I choose to love, to devote myself too.
I do keep my friends list as small as possible applying the same fundamental rule I follow in RL when it comes to terms with contacts. If over time there becomes a lack of connection from both sides then I remove and move on.
The remaining parts of this series "Purrs Like A Kitten" will bring you from 2014 to the present.