Rather we are in a romantic-based relationship or merely a platonic one, it is fair to say that many of us simply don’t know how long a relationship will last in SL. While this realization can be disconcerting and scary, I think it is very important to remember to simply enjoy the damn ride for as long as you possibly can…and to not be afraid of the unknown or the inevitable.
Yet, even with this realization, we may still get tangled in our feelings of want and desire. For me, I have a strong desire to be in a long term, loving relationship. Sometimes, the desire becomes so strong that it can become pulsating in scope, tearing at the very recesses of my avatar being. Yet one of many ways I attempt to keep things in perspective is by incorporating the art of play–humor, if you will–in my relationship.
Yes, I said the art of play (dammit). What I mean is that it is important to laugh at things, to create a space within any relationship you are in where you can simply look at one another, and know without question that some fun is about to erupt. Yet, in the course of that eruption, it is still important to not be intimidated by being the only ones privy to the inside joke. In fact, rather than be intimidated, be comforted by the fact that this humor is exclusive to your relationship with one another.
I will provide an example. For years, SL has had this spanking HUD. This HUD is offered for free, and enables the user to smack the hell out of any given avi’s backside. Though it was all the rage back in the day, its use has since declined on the grid. Yet one night, while hanging out with my open relationship-based boyfriend, he broke the thing out and proceeded to spank the hell out of me. You could hear the smacking sounds, too…and the sounds were surprisingly hilarious.
Not to be outdone, I looked in my inventory and pulled my spanker HUD out and proceeded to smack his backside, too. This shocked the hell out of him, but it was so funny that we could do nothing but crumple over in laughter. The laughter, though a bit charged and loud, created a mood that was laid back, romantic, and even whimsical.
This inside joke is still so whimsical, in fact, that the spank HUD often acts as the basis of an ongoing inside joke between my boyfriend and I, and sometimes we will pull the damn things out in public and proceed to go at it purely for laughs. We even smile at one another, knowing that this is a joke that we are privy to, making the world around us a little smaller and cozier.
Further, despite how strange many may perceive this as being, we find it hilarious to the point where it has become a concrete staple in our ongoing relationship.
Yet, with all humor aside, I can honestly say that I don’t know how long this relationship will last. Our friendship-based relationship is based on freedom; a freedom that allows him to be himself in any given moment and time. But it is also based on my own personal freedom, a freedom to be loved for my own insatiable spirit and talents. All of this, combined with a slapstick humor that is utterly hilarious, makes for a splendid thing of beauty in the midst of a trail of broken, avi’d based relationships.
This humor, no matter how contrite, still offers hope, because there is a joy there that enables laughter. In turn, this joy, this laughter allows a person like myself to literally take their joy back after having it taken away from them due to personal strive and hardship (in RL and SL, mind you). At last, I am allowed to relish in the fact that I can share a laugh with a wonderfully spirited man…and not have to worry about being the butt of the joke. This empowers me to relax and be comforted by the prospect of hope; to find solace in the humor that is shared between my boyfriend and I. In this sense, humor can often act as the salve that soothes wounds, not to mention bring people closer together…regardless of the romantic or friendship-based outcome.
However, be mindful that humor should not be limited solely to romantic relationships. My SL sister and I often incorporate humor in our relationship to not only cheer one another up when we are down, but to establish a stronger bond with one another. And, the wonderful thing is is that the humor is not malicious in scope, nor is it directed toward others. Rather, it encompasses inside information related to things like my sister’s SL prim babies, as well as my love to run away from them (smiles).
I say all of this because right now, we need love in the world. With all the hatred that has surfaced because of this year’s United States’ election, as well as the underlying belief that it is better to hurt others than to lift one another up and be a support to one another, love is the only thing that can potentially soften the rough edges intrinsic in our society. But love, in my opinion, cannot surface without true companionship and solidarity.
I propose that we be mindful of our use of play in our relationships, and to harness that humor to enhance and strengthen what is already there. Don’t be afraid to get close to those you care about, and don’t be afraid to love and laugh with one another, because sometimes, that is the only tangible thing we have to hold on to.