I know that Love is in the Air, but I like the song Love is All Around so much better. Of course, my favorite version (or perversion) is Billy Mack's, but 'tis no longer the season. Love is certainly all around us right now, what with hearts and cupids being displayed all over the physical world as well as WoW. Mix it with all of the Lunar Festival lanterns in game, and you've got one gaudy Azeroth.
However, romance isn't just about decorations, fragrances and boxes of chocolates. It's also about couples getting to know each other and exploring relationships beyond friendship.
Hi. About two months ago I met a woman on WoW that I play the game with quite often now, and I'm very interested in her romantically. How should I approach this? I have spoken with her and flirted with her quite a bit, but I dunno if dating her would ruin what we have on WoW, or if it's really a good idea to do this. I've never dated anyone I've met on a video game before. I'm mostly a casual gamer, but I have played WoW for about 6 years now, on and off.
Note: I have talked with her via social networks as well, and I have seen what she looks like. I am currently 26 years old.
If you have any insight, please and thank you, I appreciate your time and effort.
Drama Mama Lisa: Romeo, welcome to real life -- because make no mistake about it, a relationship with someone you've met online is nothing if not real life. It's not a game. It's not trivial. It's not any less important or valid or meaningful because you met in WoW. If anything, you have a stronger potential to share common interests with someone you've met through a hobby like WoW than someone you met randomly at some bar downtown. So congratulations on that!
Now, what's your bottom line about how to approach this? Well, there's the obvious issue of verifying that she is who she says she is. If you're already chatting with her on social networks, you're well on the way to having this covered.
Most people would suggest taking the plunge and professing your interest to her at this point, but I'd take a slightly different approach. Online romances tend to be sweeping, consuming affairs, and it's hard to sort out whether you like a person in person if you've already convinced yourself you're madly in love. Why not find out where she's from and try to arrange a more casual meetup, before things go any further? Maybe a weekend meetup of guildmates from your region? At the very least, try to find a time to talk privately in Vent (if not by phone) on a friendly basis about things outside the game.
If you don't click, it's much better to know now rather than later, and it'll be easier to preserve an enjoyable friendship if you're not already busily lacing the strings of a romantic relationship.
Drama Mama Robin: I completely agree with Lisa about trying to meet this potential romantic partner in person before you proceed too much farther. Online romances are so intense; it is very easy to get caught up in the purified interactions that don't include the physical realities. How you both communicate online in both group and one-on-one settings doesn't always reflect the same communication in the physical world. It would be best for any popular future together to see if you both like the way each other looks, smells, gesticulates, etc., before you go past the point of no return.
Of course, if you are geographically distant from each other, this can be difficult. But if you don't, you may find yourself incompatible -- or worse. So allow me to be a cautionary tale.
I was in a great guild in EQ in which we did a lot of group activities together. We played together for over a year, getting to know each other to the point of becoming good friends. There was this one guy who all the women thought was rather dreamy. He was intelligent, knowledgeable, chivalrous, fun-loving ... /romantic sigh ... He and I became romantically involved online, exchanged photos, chatted on the phone, etc. It was head-over-heels, heart-thumping, glasses-steaming, online romance at its most intense.
We lived across a continent from each other and decided after a few weeks that rather than meeting and going from there, we would just move in together. I know it sounds completely stupid, but we were in love, and people have been successfully dating as penpals for generations, right?
Anyway, neither of us had misrepresented ourselves, but we don't always know ourselves, do we? It soon became clear that we were completely incompatible, and the signs were all ones that we would have discovered if we had actually physically dated. Some very scary drama happened as well, which I also could have avoided with some good, old-fashioned social interaction in the physical world. Yes, this is an extreme case and yes, there are many success stories -- but it doesn't mean something similar or worse couldn't and doesn't happen to others. It won't hurt to protect yourself (and enjoy yourself, for that matter) by really, really getting to know this woman who interests you while you are still thinking rationally.
I do think that you can find genuine (and safe) love in WoW, if appropriate precautions are taken. So move this potential romance to the physical world, and just supplement your "real" dating with your time in Azeroth.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas@wowinsider.com.