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Falling in love with another Character?


Kimikimi

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this has probably been asked before but, every now and then I have had moments where I am able to talk to another player for hours on end. Then they can also do the same to me, for a good hour it felt as if we were in our own little world RPing together. Some of my friends said it was love. And I somewhat agree with them, so is there anything I should know about these sorts of connections in game and in character?

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Trend very carefully if you're only talking about characters. The person behind the mask is likely quite different, thus the character you're "falling in love with" does not actually exist. If these feelings have propped up due to OOC interactions, well, then you have another scenario entirely. One I also advise you trend carefully, lest you end up hurt.

 

Becoming close friends, where you enjoy talking with that person daily needn't be more than that.

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I am the biggest hypocrite on this area, because I actually met my boyfriend through RP, but it's not something I'd exactly recommend. I've had some experiences where someone has fallen for me through my character, in which case it is not so much me they're falling for but rather because they project my character back onto myself rather than realizing that there is a line between ic/ooc. Each episode of this always ended rather dramatically, resulting in me no longer speaking with the person oocly etc. I'd say overall, the blurring of the IC/OOC line is the root of most drama I've been involved in or heard of. Because when you blurr it at one point, you can no longer be terribly sure of it in any situation, which means if a character suddenly does something mean to yours, you might start suspecting the action was oocly motivated because the player has an issue with you - it starts a very slippery slope. So indeed as the others say, tread carefully.

 

I'd also say it's not a given that just because you can talk with someone for hours on end, that it's due to love or love-like feelings. I certainly know a handful of people where if a 5-6 hour skypecall happened it wouldn't be unusual - but I do not have feelings for any of them. We just like talking a lot ^^ It might not be the same for you, but either way if it is so you'll figure it out sooner or later :)

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I'll echo what the others have said, in different wording: The character and the player are separate entities. One is Captain Jack Sparrow, the other is Johnny Depp. For all his zaniness, Johnny Depp is not Jack, his life isn't like Jack's, his personality isn't Jack's.

 

So, bearing in mind that fundamental truth... if you find yourself - that is to say, you the player, not your character - feeling like you're in love with Jack Sparrow, then you must recognize that you're feeling that way about fiction. Your feelings aren't for Johnny Depp.

 

If, on the other hand, you were chatting with each other out-of-character... not roleplaying, but player to player at that point... then that's different. However, it's only very slightly different. Most people are very different on the internet than they are in person, because a lot of the social awkwardness or anxiety that comes with interaction differs greatly in an online environment (especially by text, but even by voice or webcam). Here, it's easy to express yourself in terms of what you believe you are and what you want to be, rather than what you really are. It's easy to say one loves to cook, but reality may be that one routinely has pizza delivered because one spends one's evening at the computer in FFXIV rather than with a ladle and pot. 

 

My advice is... just... don't. If you're single and lonely, this isn't an answer to that. Yeah, there are examples out there of people who met as players in an MMO, across states or countries, and met each other over those distances, relocated, married, etc, and their lives turned out happy. There's also like a bajillion examples of how it turned out terrible for everyone involved. It's improbable that you'd be the exception, and that's just statistical logic.

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I met my girlfriend through RP too. There is no right or wrong answer for this. In my opinion, the RP is miles better if there is a strong OOC rapport between the players involved, so you can crush on your RP partner, sure. 

 

What's important is to keep your expectations in check. Enjoy it for for what it is, but don't plan on it going any further than that. RP plays from the heart, it's emotional, and emotions are like a drug. You can get high when it's good, you can become dependent when you get used to it, and you can go through withdrawals when you're deprived of it.

 

Letting an IC relationship bleed OOC is a risk-reward matter. The more you let it progress, the more fun you'll probably have, but the more disastrous it could be when it ultimately ends. I've seen people quit games and guilds collapse over this sort of thing, but I also know a lot of people who turned an online connection into a real-world relationship.

 

But honestly? All that drama can and will happen anyways whether you get emotionally invested with another player or not, and the fun doesn't last forever, so you might as well enjoy it while it's there.

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Is it love? No it isn't, such a thing will take time to get to and like so many have said, they met their RL partners this way.

 

Friendship is probably closer, you found someone you can interact with that makes the interaction positive and more than 1+1=2. 

 

For me I am here for IC interaction, but in an RP partner it works best with some trust that is OOC. So often these things bring OOC friendships.

 

The kicker is that the interaction is over a limited channel. In one level you only see part of who someone is, at the other end many people are not who they claim to be.

 

My advice, enjoy the friendship but be sceptical and prepare for hurt. That may sound harsh but many many people have experienced this. Yet we still open our arms and hearts with hope.

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One of the core tenants of roleplaying is dividing In Character and Out of Character acts and feelings. What a character does IC does not, and should not reflect, on one's OOC feelings and perceptions towards that player.

 

Character interactions that are strongly romantic or strongly negative/violent/unsettling are the two most common - and dangerous - pitfalls where this falls apart for some players, and I would urge you not to fall into the same trap.

 

When one builds a good RP rapport with a player, that very often leads to forming OOC friendships and getting to know one another as players rather than characters. In the above comments, some of these friendships have evolved further into OOC relationships, but these are very likely from building up a long term friendship that just happened to blossom into something else due to a host of reasons.

 

I am confident there are many, many, many players out there for whom this is not the case: (read: they may have characters that are very much in love, but OOC they are either friends or perhaps even the very best of friends, but nothing more).

 

I'll echo what the others have said, in different wording: The character and the player are separate entities. One is Captain Jack Sparrow, the other is Johnny Depp. For all his zaniness, Johnny Depp is not Jack, his life isn't like Jack's, his personality isn't Jack's.

 

 

Absolute nail on the head. It takes a long time to get to know anyone: be it in real life or online to the point where one can even remotely entertain the notion of 'love'. Please, please, please do not let the artificial highs of fictional romance sway OOC perceptions of someone.

 

(And the same goes for IC negative interactions, should they arise! I've had a character recently go through some terrible things/terrible interactions with other characters, but I know OOCly that the players involved are right upstanding folks, and always ground myself in that if things seem very intense.)

 

[Full Disclosure: I met my husband in an RP LS in FFXI, but it was a very, very long road OOC to get to that point - as most relationships are.]

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*Snooze bubble pops* Frankly, take all advice given on this subject with a mountain of salt. Everyone brings their own individual bias to a discussion surrounding one's heartstrings, including your friendly neighborhood hat here.

 

Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

 

I have rolled the dice on internet-born relationships many times.

 

In the end, you must choose what is right for you. What your heart tells you, as you are ultimately the captain of your own destiny.

 

-Hatter

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Online long distance relationship is a difficult road to tread, one I've been experienced in for the past 7 years which ended in a self inflicted dose of tragedy. 

 

Though others have already mentioned it, you really can't know the person on the other end until you live with them for a bit. You can choose to believe everything they've said to you in IC and OOC as true facts about the person, but at the end of the day there's always the possibility that not everything they told you was true. Long story short, I would advise to stay as good friends and leave it at that. 

 

There might unexpectedly be someone great for you out there who also happens to live closer to you than you think. If I could travel back in time I would have told myself the same thing. 

 

Why admire a painting on the wall when you can find the real thing relatively close within your reach? 

 

Personally I would highly advise against pursuing a relationship in the game, but alas some lessons are best learnt first hand than through secondhand knowledge.

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While reading your post, my first impression based on the title was that there was feelings for a character (implying the fictional character played by someone).

 

However, your post seems to say differently. You've talked for hours on end with a -player- I assume OOC. You've built a very good rapport. I would hesitate saying it is love but you've built up a friendship. Sometimes, relationships of a romantic nature come out from good friendships. I would hesitate jumping forward and saying in love if you haven't seen them first.

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Thanks for all the comments, I understand what you all mean. Though I am not looking for love online, I still have those feelings while talking to some people. A lot of people would say not to RP with personal emotions, but I wouldnt RP without emotions since that is my whole goal of RPing. IC most of my characters are looking for love, most never really got very far. But with some people like, this person in particular I feel that a IC relationship would work out.

I feel that it has to be agreed on by both parties of course, there have been IC relationships I have cringed at simply because those people dont tear at my heartstrings the way some of the others do.

 

Sometimes I even feel relationships IC are not such a good thing since they can take away from normal RP with others.

 

Meanwhile OOC I am very much feeling my own characters feelings, therefore I feel in love with that character but I am not going to try an actual relationship OOC with that person. I admit it would be nice, but I dont see it happening too much.

 

So just to clarify for people when I said I am falling in love for another character, I mean that in the IC sense of my character is falling for them. But OOC I am feeling these feelings and a real connection between the two.

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This might sound condescending or something, but I promise it's not.

 

When things like this happen, it's probably best to get outside. Go to a coffee shop or something and talk to someone face to face. Refresh your social setting and the feelings that go with it and all that.

 

That's not to say that online feelings can't eventually turn into love, but more often than not they're just a need to form a connection that you can also form elsewhere with much less risk and much more ease.

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Thanks for all the comments, I understand what you all mean. Though I am not looking for love online, I still have those feelings while talking to some people. A lot of people would say not to RP with personal emotions, but I wouldnt RP without emotions since that is my whole goal of RPing. IC most of my characters are looking for love, most never really got very far. But with some people like, this person in particular I feel that a IC relationship would work out.

I feel that it has to be agreed on by both parties of course, there have been IC relationships I have cringed at simply because those people dont tear at my heartstrings the way some of the others do.

 

Sometimes I even feel relationships IC are not such a good thing since they can take away from normal RP with others.

 

Meanwhile OOC I am very much feeling my own characters feelings, therefore I feel in love with that character but I am not going to try an actual relationship OOC with that person. I admit it would be nice, but I dont see it happening too much.

 

So just to clarify for people when I said I am falling in love for another character, I mean that in the IC sense of my character is falling for them. But OOC I am feeling these feelings and a real connection between the two.

 

Sounds like we were all very confused by your OP there. lol

 

Okay, so! A friend and I had been shipping our characters hardcore for a looooooooong time of playing early on when this game came out. She's married, I'm not, but damned if we both weren't utterly in love with how our characters were as a power couple. OOC, there were no personal feels other than knowing she was an amazing person and a great friend. IC though, we were constantly gushing about things and what we loved most or dreaming about new stuff the two were gonna do together, yadda yadda yadda. So in that respect, I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with falling in love with characters played by others. I have ZOMG feels for lots of characters played by people I know and specifically a man-crush on Warren Castille because Reasons. Bromance! Enjoy it, it makes the game a lot more fun.

 

-Hatter

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Ummm, It sounds like you are suffering from SERIOUS emotional bleed and that's a red flag situation.

 

I mean I understand people rp and sometimes make connections oocly. Heck I am friends to some degree with my.whole fc oocly. 

 

But you very openly say that you are experiencing your character's emotions and that's a sign you need to walk away and get off the game for a bit.  IC and OOC should never mix. Your character's relationship with this other character and your ooc relationship with the person who plays the character are two different things. Period.

 

Now if your OOC relationship becomes more than a friendship, great. But it should become that because of things that happen that are unrelated to IC things. Cause if you go after this person feeling 'love' and they have no desire to be anything more than friends ooc, you are setting yourself up for drama that will very likely ruin your friendship and your IC relationship.

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Thanks for all the comments, I understand what you all mean. Though I am not looking for love online, I still have those feelings while talking to some people. A lot of people would say not to RP with personal emotions, but I wouldnt RP without emotions since that is my whole goal of RPing. IC most of my characters are looking for love, most never really got very far. But with some people like, this person in particular I feel that a IC relationship would work out.

I feel that it has to be agreed on by both parties of course, there have been IC relationships I have cringed at simply because those people dont tear at my heartstrings the way some of the others do.

 

Sometimes I even feel relationships IC are not such a good thing since they can take away from normal RP with others.

 

Meanwhile OOC I am very much feeling my own characters feelings, therefore I feel in love with that character but I am not going to try an actual relationship OOC with that person. I admit it would be nice, but I dont see it happening too much.

 

So just to clarify for people when I said I am falling in love for another character, I mean that in the IC sense of my character is falling for them. But OOC I am feeling these feelings and a real connection between the two.

 

Sounds like we were all very confused by your OP there. lol

 

Okay, so! A friend and I had been shipping our characters hardcore for a looooooooong time of playing early on when this game came out. She's married, I'm not, but damned if we both weren't utterly in love with how our characters were as a power couple. OOC, there were no personal feels other than knowing she was an amazing person and a great friend. IC though, we were constantly gushing about things and what we loved most or dreaming about new stuff the two were gonna do together, yadda yadda yadda. So in that respect, I feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with falling in love with characters played by others. I have ZOMG feels for lots of characters played by people I know and specifically a man-crush on Warren Castille because Reasons. Bromance! Enjoy it, it makes the game a lot more fun.

 

-Hatter

Its hard to describe feelings sometimes. So I didnt really know how to ask the question

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Ummm, It sounds like you are suffering from SERIOUS emotional bleed and that's a red flag situation.

 

I mean I understand people rp and sometimes make connections oocly. Heck I am friends to some degree with my.whole fc oocly. 

 

But you very openly say that you are experiencing your character's emotions and that's a sign you need to walk away and get off the game for a bit.  IC and OOC should never mix. Your character's relationship with this other character and your ooc relationship with the person who plays the character are two different things. Period.

 

Now if your OOC relationship becomes more than a friendship, great. But it should become that because of things that happen that are unrelated to IC things. Cause if you go after this person feeling 'love' and they have no desire to be anything more than friends ooc, you are setting yourself up for drama that will very likely ruin your friendship and your IC relationship.

Ah, I get what you mean. I play and RP because I find it fun, that is my most important thing I keep reminding myself, have fun. Emotions or characters feelings IC, OOC, can be a big NO for some people. But most people I talk to say they feel their characters emotions OOC. OOC however I do not act on it. I just enjoy having those feeling whether its of the character in love or feeling depressed for some reason. It lets me see what its like to step into my characters shoes for a moment, and feel what they feel. Just a reminder OOC I wont ahead and be all "My character loves you, so I love you too" it just doesnt work that way and I am just trying to have fun.

 

If not for the emotional side RPing, I would not RP at all.

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A lot of posts here have a lot of wisdom. That being said I've always been hesitant to say you should -never- develop feelings for someone because of bleed. The reason for this being is that meeting someone you click with enough to share these kinds of intimately nerdy things with is pretty rare and I'd never advise something that could result in someone passing that up.

 

I've also known people who somehow end up romantically OOCly entangled with just about anyone and everyone they have an IC relationship with. This is the other side of the spectrum and is just....unstable.

 

As far as having a crush on a -character- this is totally normal I think. In my mind, I equate it to having an attraction to a character from a movie or TV show. They aren't real. Like I'm in LOVE with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. I think the character of Sherlock is hot as hell. Does that mean I'm in love with Benedict as a person? Noooooope. And he would think people that think that way are creepy.

 

This is also why I tend to shy away a bit from people who openly roleplay as themselves. That's just....way too blurry. That being said, all of our characters have a bit of ourselves in them, just like I'm sure there is a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch in his portrayal of Sherlock, but in the end it's not him by any stretch of the imagination.

 

I hope my incredibly dorky example was helpful. :moogle:

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Now that I further understand what you was trying to say, I think it's a more normal feeling then most here would care to admit. As Teadrinker already said, it's like an attachment to a movie character. You love them, but you are not in love with them. So as far as that goes it's perectly normal.

 

And also, as was stated above again, being warned about falling for someone OCC while IC, quit can be a slippery slope but hey,mothers have done it. Just go with what you feel. If you feel that the other person may feel the same way, go for it. Just be prepared that they may not feel the same way.

 

As far as OOC friendships go, I'd love to be OOC friends with anyone I'm IC friends with. So no harm there.

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Ohhhhh this one is a touchy subject.

 

Okay Do not fall in love OOC with an IC character any more than you would any fictitious character. The character is just that a fictitious character, and seldom is an accurate representation of the player behind the character. 

 

Now if you and the other player are building up feelings for each other because you are clicking OOC (like chatting getting to know each other etc.) That's all well and good. You're both grown adults and decide how to act appropriately from there I would imagine.

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Mai Waifu played my character's love interest in another game, but we didn't make an OOC relationship jump until we had been playing this game (separately from each other) for at least a year.

 

Relationships you make with RPers in a game can be the real deal. But you should take some time out of character to examine how you really feel, and about whom. I know that if someone fell in love with my characters as a proxy for falling for me, I'd have to ask them to give me space; my characters are usually nothing like how I really am as a person.

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As everyone else has echoed, this is a tricky situation. It can be difficult to avoid the obvious pitfalls of meeting someone new and meshing well with them; Look at the sheer number of failed Eternal Bonds in game because folks confused compatible friendship with True Love and ran headlong into things that didn't have any real staying power.

 

It's entirely possible you've found a very good friend. It's possible you just found an Internet Person who you get along with in these circumstances. It's possible you've met your FUTURE HUSBANDWIFE WHOAMG WATCH OUT. Really, though, it's not possible to tell these things with any modicum of speed.

 

If your character gets along with their character, see how things develop without an agenda. It can be easy to get all starry-eyed and start thinking of tailed and horned little babeez but the further you build up expectations the harder it can be if things don't go that way.

 

This can be repeated for OOC interactions: If you enjoy spending time chatting with someone, continue to do so, but don't feel obligated to think it's love or romance; Somethings we just like hanging out with people.

 

To tell a tangentially-related story: A friend of mine from some games past was in our guild and he had the bad habit of mistaking any sort of positive female contact as romance. If he liked hanging out with someone, it was because he clearly ushered romantic feelings for them. If they said or did anything nice for him, it was clearly them sending signals. He ended up creeping out every female in our guild because he'd get mad at them for messing with him, simply because he was unable to discern friendship from relationship. Everyone knows That Guy, and it is important to never, ever be That Guy.

 

I guess to sum up, my advice would be DON'T RUSH. Let things grow naturally, if they grow at all, and just see where things go.

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I realize that there was a certain level of understanding between what the OP wrote, and what the meant to say.

 

That being said, even if it wasn't a misunderstanding the only thinking would of cautioned against was it happening so fast. Bad mistakes get made that way. And then there was the "friends say it's love" statement....

 

I have no issue at all if you feel for someone, we're humans and we like to know that someone has feelings for us, amd to us having feelings for them. It's just tricky in an RP setting because my character could totally be head over heel in love with yours, and I may not even like you OOC. That's why everyone is saying this is hard to answer.

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