I spent so many years on roleplay sims and partnered that I don’t actually know a lot about the current dating scene in Second Life and I decided it was time to find out. Sure, I could stand around which ever dance or romance sim comes up first in search hoping someone talks to me, but when I set my mind to do something, I go all out. I signed up for an SL dating service called Avmatch.
The first part was easy, create an account on the website then go to the Avmatch location in Second Life and confirm my avatar identity by clicking on their sign there. The next step was start filling out your profile by selecting a user name for the site and you can’t use your SL name as an identifier which makes sense, or people could just browse and IM you in world so you have to create a name from a list of word choices. Then came the hard part, filling out the rest of my profile. Many of the check box type questions to describe yourself, and what you were looking for, were easy enough, but both the short free text intro box and the longer description of yourself once people click your profile was much, much harder.
The truth is, I’m not at all interested in an SL relationship or being partnered and I don’t want an SL boyfriend. I know some claim that I’m bitter, carrying a torch, or martyring myself (and those are my friends) but the reason doesn’t matter. It’s just not what I’m looking for. I will admit they are right about one thing though, being single doesn’t have to mean being alone, which is why I’m doing this.
I didn’t want to lead anyone on, so I was very blunt in my Avmatch profile. I don’t like to voice and I won’t send RL pictures. I’m not even looking for an SL relationship, just casual dating. I used to be a gorean roleplayer and now I blog. I don’t read text speak so I’m looking for someone who uses full words. If that doesn’t scream date me, I don’t know what does.
I never did expect anyone would contact me based on my profile, but I was hopeful I might see an interesting person to send a message to. As I searched through my matches, and then profiles that weren’t even in my time zone, it became immediately obvious that I might be in the wrong place. Many of the people on the site are looking for an exclusive and serious SL relationship, some are even very straight forward about hoping it would transfer to RL. Most express an interest, even a requirement, of both voice and pictures.
Feeling a bit stalled as to my next step I went to join the Happy Clams to dance, and of course to tell them what I’d done. In the midst of them teasing me about joining a dating service, a notice popped up in Second Life telling me that I had a message on Avmatch and to log in to read it. At first I thought it was so cool that the service contacted me in SL that I didn’t react to the fact that I had a message. Once I did log into the site… I couldn’t read my message. You need a “token” in order to establish a contact which allows you to read or send messages to them.
The site gives you 2 free tokens per month, but I hadn’t gotten mine yet as my profile was only about an hour old. I updated the Clams as to the latest, that I actually DID get contacted, but that I’d have to pay 550L to buy 5 tokens so my dating days were basically over before they started because I’m too cheap to spend that. Being the friends they are, I suddenly had the money. Friends that pay to get you a date? I’m the luckiest girl in SL… I think?
The message was very brief, basically an “I like your profile” sort of thing, and I responded in my usual TL:DR style. He did write back, surprisingly, giving me his SL name and suggesting we meet. In for a penny, in for a pound right? Or in this case, the $550L donation that was to pay for me to get a date so I sent the IM and accepted the teleport and thus began my first Second Life blind date.
This is getting long now, if you want to read about how the date went, the rest is behind the spoiler…
I did ask his permission to write about our blind date, and he consented (poor guy) but I will be discrete and not use his name. I will say this, I never expected anyone to respond to the profile as I wrote it, but in the end it was probably the best thing I could have done as it led me to meet someone with the same sense of humour as I have.
He had teleported me to a beach, and I warned him I was coming “as is” because I had no clue I would be going on a date when the night started. So I showed up in a romper, no makeup or jewellery, and flats, my chill out clothes, and he pronounced me adorable. Yay? We chatted for a few, commented on the coincidence that we both used the word dorky to describe ourselves in our Avmatch profiles, and then the challenge was on. I showed him dorky by changing into my kangaroo footie pajamas, he had to one up me and change into a milk carton. The round went to him, but the game wasn’t over.
He then guided me towards one of those romantic couples tours, you know the ones where you sit on the ball and it walks you around hand in hand or piggy back? Well, upon sitting, there was an AO conflict which caused a bit of a malfunction with the animation. The short version? I ended up sitting on his face. No really. I’m not kidding. So while he’s profusely apologizing, unsure what went wrong, and trying to convince me that wasn’t his plan, I was almost pee’ing myself laughing. I swear, only in Second Life is accidentally getting in a lewd position and trying to explain that it was an accident a risk on a first date.
We finally got the animation sorted, and opted for the piggy back choice, so we chatted a bit while he carried me around the island. I can’t remember all that was said, a lot of bad puns and double entendre which is some of my favorite kinds of conversations actually, but before I knew it an hour had passed and it was time for me to log. Now, the big question I know you are dying to ask. How did the night end? Well…
Him: Do you know how hard I’m trying not to kiss you.
Me: Oh yah? How’s that working for you.
As I said, he may have won the dork round, but in the end I think the point went to me.
We didn’t make a plan to see each other again, though in fairness I do have this whole “no promises or expectations” rule which prevents me from making plans, but we did exchange friend requests. I don’t know if I’ll meet anyone else from Avmatch, but this turned out to be a great experiment. I really, truly, can’t imagine a better blind date experience in Second Life. If you are looking to meet new people, whatever level of romance or relationship you are looking for, why not give Avmatch a try.