Really interesting anonymous thread on Plurk*, a social network popular with SLers, which starts by asking Second Life users how they're able to manage both a real life relationship while also spending lots of time in a virtual relationship. "I can barely keep up with one relationship in one world," the thread creator notes. "No idea how you manage both."
Communication, communication, communication:
For me it's emotionally fulfilling to have both and I do agree that I love each person differently. The heart has this amazing capacity when you allow it... My relationship with my SL partner is fully separate from my relationship with my RL partner. They are friends and speak openly though... I have a RL partner who understands my SL relationship. My SL partner and I had very similar needs so we have worked well together for years.
... with some pointed commentary:
I look at everyone who tells me its not real, like they are a bunch of liars and I just want them to admit it is real. Like when my friends tell me about it I'm like, i need you to stop bullshitting me if we're going to talk about this and stop telling me "oh it's not real because it's SL." I wasn't born yesterday.
I think a lot of married couples are inconsiderate of the RL people behind the SL relationship. At the end of the day, that person is alone and the married couple isn't. Just seems wrong to string them along.
And helpful advice: