'Dance', in Second Life, photo by Tizzy Canucci

Love in a Virtual World

The enchantment is in the meeting of minds over distance, the imagined physical, aware of but not seen. The caress through the whisper of ether – the touch of an idea, the merest flicker, a response that is mediated, intrigued, curious.

The details we wish to share is what is important, a gift given freely. The whole is a demand, a determination to take everything in the name of truth. And if the truth then fails to be as expected, it is not perceived as the fault of the assumption, but the deceit of the other. There is a boundary between what is known and what is not known, but that line is not the same as between honesty and deceit.

Truth is never complete, as we can never know everything about anyone; it is always partly our own beliefs and assumptions, which we use to fill in gaps and interpret the other person. When times change we reinterpret facts in a new light, and make different assumptions – and reach a different truth, all so acutely as a relationship breaks down.

To recognise and to reject the idea of a complete knowable truth is to embrace contradiction and uncertainty, and to have the freedom of not knowing. To allow the other to be something else with someone else is to accept that they deserve that richness in their life. The demand to know everything is about one’s own needs, not that of the other, a desire to dominate and be possessive.

A relationship which allows anything to be said, but does not expect everything to be said, is the one most rooted in trust. We can never know everything about anyone, and if, hypothetically, we did, it would dispel the magic of the relationship. It is curiosity that drives our interest in others, and there can be no curiosity unless there is the potential for something unexpected. Don’t deliberately deceive but after that: Revel in not knowing. Take joy in the partial. Love the transient. Never expect the whole truth.

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