I have been canvassing some people about this very question for the last few weeks and everyone seems to have a different idea but most end up saying the same thing “It is very difficult to maintain that type of relationship with time zones, and RL interruptions.”
So that is the opening fact to talk about long-term relationships.
Of course time zones are very critical as I have mentioned in the past, and RL interruptions are bound to happen, but I beg to differ on the latter point. I like to think about it as a RL relationship. We personally know that if two people want to be in a relationship and each person really wants it then they will make up time for it, and work around any issues that are happening in their personal lives. That is the hallmark of a good relationship.
Carrying that to SL I would expect the same to happen. Nothing out of the ordinary happens as both people talk, make sure they know when they will be coming in. Reserving time in RL to meet in SL, etc… These actions will lead to a healthy long-term relationship. Now that doesn’t mean the Domme and sub are best friends and have to share everything, it just means that each person respects the other’s time and makes an active effort. One of my favorite subs changed her RL schedule so she could fit mine and we could meet for longer periods of time inworld, oh yes and she was in Europe and I’m in the U.S. It can be done if both people try.
But if after only a few days you start to see the signs of non-commitment (false logons (in and out), logons at different times than normal, unclicking the friend box so their Domme or sub can’t see their online presence, and many other behaviors), then don’t fool yourself believing that this is going to be anything long-term.
I’ve only had three real long-term subs and it was difficult but extremely rewarding. It is a good way to come into SL and enjoy the virtual world as it was meant to be.
How do you know at the beginning if this is going to work? I personally tell the sub that if she really means it then we need to make a schedule of times to meet at first. I let her set the schedule and I adjust my time (since I’m very flexible with time), if the commitment is there, she will be inworld on time and consistently. We can then take it from there.
I’m open to comments in this very issue from both RL and SL relationships. It goes without saying that compatibility needs to be there, but I just wanted to look at the meeting issue for now.