Look What Love Has Done

Where once each breath was just a sigh of aching emptiness;
Where once I hardly felt the beating in my chest.
Now each breath feels like a precious kiss of life;
Now inside me beat the wings of a thousand butterflies.

Look what love has done to me;
Look what love has done.
This must be how it's meant to be.
Look what love has done.
And my heart is dancing through each day;
My soul is running free.
Look what love has done to me.*

* Jaci Velasquez (1998) Written by Rob Mathes, Stephanie Lewis

Is it possible to virtually love someone so much that it spills out into RL? Nothing has changed and yet there's a subtle difference in the world. The sun is brighter, the air is clearer, everything looks crisper, colors are more intense, music is sweeter. This affair has had an incredible effect irl that even my family and my friends noticed a difference in me.

Everything goes so well. There's wanting to preserve what we have for as long as we can. And there's wanting more, yearning more. So we inch closer and closer to the line that separates SL from RL.

(Although, my friend Anna disagrees. She says that I'm not *inching closer* to the line. She claims that, in fact, I've drawn a line and already crossed it, then drawn another line, crossed that, drawn yet another line, .... It sucks when your friends tell it like it is and you know they're right.)

My fear is that, if we cross over to real life and the veil is lifted, then the spell breaks, the innocence is lost, and the fantasy fades. Going into RL is a great risk -- double or nothing. Either you get a great romance in both SL and RL, or you lose what you already have.

And the odds are against you. Many have told me of stories of people who took SL relationships out irl. The "happily ever after" never happens outside fairy tales. And SL is a fairy tale.

On the other hand, how long can I live locked up in an emotional tower? January lover and I have so much in common and we are so often in sync that it feels like I'm interacting with my own reflection. The odds of me meeting someone like him again are miniscule. If we keep it platonic, will we always wonder "what if ...?"

Maybe the trick is to figure out which odds are better -- making an SL affair work irl or finding someone like him irl. And then maybe I should take December's lesson: jump in, take the risk, and carpe diem. Then, at the very least, I could say that I met life head-on, that I chose to truly live, instead of simply allowing life to happen.

On the other hand, ...