Lora sold a vanity to a man yesterday. And I wondered why a man would buy a vanity if not for a woman in his life. But he asked Lora for a copy/notransfer version of the cosmetics so that he could put them on a temp-rezzer. So, that meant that he wasn't planning to give the vanity to anyone, but he was installing it in his home for someone.
In SL, there is no such thing as community property, except for land deeded to a group. So, it's as though this man was saying to his sweetheart, "What's mine is yours." In essence, the home and everything in it belongs to both of them even though it might be just in his name. Kinda like some marriages in real life.
It's not so much the monetary value of the object. For something that costs a few US dollars, it's not worth fighting over who gets what in case they part ways. But what struck me was the symbolism of the gesture and how powerful that is.
I met couples who build homes together in SL because they could not in real life. I know a young military man who is deployed in Asia and who once bought a home in SL for himself and his sweetheart, who is in the US. I met a couple from the opposite coasts of Australia who live together in SL.
SL bridges the physical distance. It satisfies an emotional need for closeness, the same emotional need that prompts us to move in with a lover in real life and build a life together. Even though the house and the furnishings are virtual, it soothes the heart of the ache of the physical distance. The sense of closeness is still there. Proximity by proxy.