A year ago, I had the idea that it might be interesting to interview a new Second Life Resident for this blog. I went to Help Island Public in search of a newbie who would be willing to sit down and share their initial impressions of Second Life. I was fortunate to meet Kyla Riddler; she was eight days old at the time and our conversation became the post A Portrait of the Avatar as a Young Woman. She had some interesting things to say, including a healthy skepticism about relationships in SL. Her view shifted a little with time and she partnered with tonk Mayo. Kyla and I would talk from time to time, but we really hadn’t been in touch much for the past six months. So I was a little surprised when I received an IM out of the blue from tonk. He shared that Kyla had just passed her first rez day and was wondering if I would have any interest in doing a follow-up interview. The more he and I chatted, the more it was apparent that they had a wonderful story about their experiences in Second Life together and it would be great to interview both of them.
Curious about what they said? How does a new Resident go from being skeptical of SL relationships to partnered? Are there any twists and turns to the story? If you have the time to scan the first interview with Kyla, it provides a fun context, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy their story. Read on after the jump to find out what they had to say!
Charlanna Beresford: Thanks for having me here today! Good to see both of you!
Kyla Riddler: Thank you for coming!
Charlanna Beresford: I can hardly believe you’ve been in SL for a year, Kyla!
Kyla Riddler: It has flown!
Charlanna Beresford: So as you look back on your year, what has been the biggest difference from what you first expected?
Kyla Riddler: Falling in love has to be it.
Charlanna Beresford: Funny you should mention that! I was going to ask you. If you remember back to when we first spoke, you said this about relationships in Second Life: “It is raaather interesting and makes me wonder how real it actually is. Like to what extent are they really together? Are they together in RL too?”
So, tell me what happened? How did it change for you?
Kyla Riddler: Ah yes! And at that same time I said that, I also had my friend Tami telling me “it will happen to you, you just wait and see!” Still I disagreed. Until tonk and I started talking. He bet me that I’d be partnered within a month. We bet $777L on it! Less than a month later I was partnered to him! 🙂
Charlanna Beresford: That’s really wonderful! But what really changed for you? I mean, I know people who have a no dating in SL rule that they’ve made work for them. How did you change your mind?
Kyla Riddler: You can’t help the growing feelings for someone. The want to be with them. Having this medium helps in getting to know the person. I couldn’t resist it, nor him. He touched my heart in so many ways.
tonk Mayo: Let me just say this, I used to ask Kyla why she changed and all the feelings and stuff, and since getting to know her, I know she’s not new to chat with people on the Internet. So when she fell in love with me, I wasn’t shocked then as much as I was later when I found out all the friends she has. I can’t help but ask her “why me?” She has loads of good friends and never even thought about relationships. I’m still “like wow!” that this actually happened; you have to know Kyla to know this is against all she would have believed in a year ago.
Charlanna Beresford: And tell more about how you met and fell in love?
Kyla Riddler: We met at HIP (Help Island Public). It wasn’t something we jumped right into. We had loads of mutual friends, so spending time in the beginning was normal, as a group. They used to play a gesture about him in local “tonk – your future ex partner” and someone said I would be his future ex, as a joke. And I thought “no way!” We’d IM each other, he’d come shopping with me, and it was during that time that we made that bet. He kept asking if I’d found someone! He secretly hoped I hadn’t!
tonk Mayo: Well, I didn’t know much about her. So I had this plan to make her a bet that she would fall in love within a month. And, of course, that helped me keep tabs on her and a way to break the ice.
Charlanna Beresford: And so what flipped the switch?
tonk Mayo: One night we had one long talk as friends.
Kyla Riddler: Yes
tonk Mayo: I think after that we both knew.
Kyla Riddler: When we spoke it was, even though we didn’t know each other that well, we just gelled. Something made us click and brought us together. He’s great and funny, and giving and loving!
Charlanna Beresford: You’ve been together for 11 months now in SL?
Kyla Riddler: Yes! J Part of it has been challenging because of the distance. But we’ve grown and spend loads of time talking and spending time together beyond SL.
tonk Mayo: Thing was when we first met, and got partnered, not a lot of people had faith in us, well me, because for some reason I had a reputation as a flirt and stuff.
Charlanna Beresford: How many times had you been partnered before, tonk?
tonk Mayo: Well, properly I have to say twice but I did this thing for a joke and partnered about 20! 😛 I was actually partnered when i met Kyla. But can I say, with other partners I eventually found that I had times where I felt “OMG, I have to log SL and talk” even when I didn’t want to. I have NEVER felt like that with Kyla. It’s weird because I just know I want to spend the rest of my RL with her.
Kyla Riddler: *beams*
Charlanna Beresford: Has your SL relationship changed your RL?
Kyla Riddler: Well for me, I have someone I can share my deepest thoughts and feelings with. He’s there when I get home. There where I’m having a bad day at work. It almost feels like he’s just away on extended business. We’ve made plans for future RL.
Charlanna Beresford: Plans for future RL?
tonk Mayo: I’m moving from the United Kingdom to South Africa in October. (Kyla is South African)
Charlanna Beresford: OMG, really? Have you actually met in person yet?
Kyla Riddler: We haven’t met in person yet. We Skype video almost every day, and if not that we Skype voice or sl voice. A lot gets lost in text, and it’s better for us to voice or video.
Charlanna Beresford: What a wonderful story! I’m really happy for both of you. Congratulations!
tonk Mayo: I’m halfway through a divorce RL and I have two girls 11 and 15. She’s met my youngest and all my real life know about Kyla. My oldest daughter still is not coming round to idea yet.
Kyla Riddler: Thank you Lanna :)) It has its challenges, but overcoming them is what makes us stronger.
Charlanna Beresford: So other than love, what else can you say about your year in SL, Kyla?
Kyla Riddler: I’ve learned loads. How to build, thanks to tonk. We started making tattoos, we even had chickens for a short while. Until I finally, with eyes closed, killed them off. We’re bredding bunnies. And well, overall being creative. Shopping. And of course having a blast with tonk and friends.
Charlanna Beresford: So thinking back, if you had three pieces of advice to give a new avatar, what would you say? (and both of you can answer this)
Kyla Riddler: 1.) Enjoy it, there are no limits to learning, meeting great people and having fun; 2.) Be yourself, true to who you are RL; and 3.) Don’t take everything people say too seriously. Only the people that matter will be there until the end.
tonk Mayo: My 3 pieces of advice. 1.) Just have fun, be yourself; 2.) Treat people with respect as you’d like to be treated! They are real people with real emotion; and 3.) don’t forget there is an RL as well!
Charlanna Beresford: Those are great pieces of advice! Thank you both for taking the time to talk and catch up!
Kyla Riddler: Thank you! This has been awesome.
tonk Mayo: Thanks, and looking forward to reading the blog.