The "Impossible" Romance
Brief Sketches of Love
Let's start by going over some representative sketches of the formative period of these online romances. These sketches will help ground us before we talk more conceptually about these relationships. Most players describe fairly commonplace and low-key situations for how they first met their romantic partner.
Our characters met in North Freeport in EverQuest. His dark elf cleric was on top of the roofs, an area which I didn't know characters could access. I sent him a /tell, asking how he got up there, and he kindly showed me how. [EQ, F, 22]
We started out as two people who were looking for a group. None were available, so we decided to group together. [EQ, M, 25]
In many circumstances, both players belonged to the same guild and the guild played an important role in the initial meeting and providing sustained contact.
We played at different times, but people kept saying things like 'lol that's just what [she] said!' about things I said, and apparently vice-versa, so we started to take note of each other, as we had both thought we were pretty unique. [WoW, M, 28]
On our guild channel we would talk for a long time bouncing off of the other ones jokes and we talked casually about our RL when hunting partners in private. [unnamed MUD, F, 17]
An incubation period then typically follows where the casual relationship evolves very gradually over a period of typically 3 months to 12 months.
We started to get to know each other out of character and became friends, chatting about our day and about life in general. After a couple months of this, I went through a period when I was having a very rough time at work. He was very sweet and considerate to me through that time, asking how I was and listening to me bitch about things. [WoW, F, 30]
After roughly 6 months feelings developed, we found out we were 1 hour away and took things to phone not just game. [EQ2, F, 41]
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