Since I was a young woman, I had promised myself that I would not mess with married men or men who are otherwise committed.
In SL, he is not partnered, but he just got out of a relationship. In RL, he is not married, but he is in a long-term committed relationship.
The question I did not resolve in September comes back to haunt me. If I have an affair in virtual reality with a man who's married (or committed) in real life, do I burn in virtual hell or real hell?
How separate, really, is SL from RL? The emotions are real; that, I know. And those emotions that come out of SL affect our moods in RL and, therefore, affect RL. Time spent in SL relationships is time taken away from RL relationships. Likewise, our beliefs, our behavior, our individual culture, our upbringing, our attitudes, all these come from RL and affect SL.
So I think I've learned something else about that mysterious line between SL and RL. It is not a foot-thick lead wall. Instead, it is a porous membrane. Things seep through, both ways. The membrane stretches towards one side or the other. And, yes, the membrane can burst with enough pressure.
That is why the guilt is there. I am stealing his time away from his RL gf and I am stealing my time away from myself.
And, for several days now, I've been swatting Jiminy Cricket away. Then, last night, I put the cricket in a jar. Last night, I started an illicit affair.