While they're not the first (or thousandth) couple to marry after meeting online, Kristen Birkin and Steve Sweet sound like the most heartbreakingly redeemed. They met in Second Life, where both had dealt with their loveless marriages and dead-end lives by bravely escaping into a virtual world on the Internet. No, no, they also met in real life, moved in together, and plan to get married, which is actually pretty great! But then they talked to British gossip site Showbiz Spy and gave depressing comments like these:
The avatar I am now is quite stunning. She is everything I should have been years ago, slim and attractive. I finally felt I could be who I wanted to be. I felt stronger.
You do everything [in a Second Life wedding, performed 10 weeks after she met Steve online] you would do in real life like chose the dress, chose the flowers, chose the venue.
Eventually there were suspicions. There was one occasion I was in our house in Second Life and there were pictures of Nik and Kira on the wall holding each other and my ex-partner saw them. She looked at it and said "are you having an affair?" I just went cold and said it's a computer game don't be silly, what could possibly be going on?
People we speak to in Second Life complain about real life getting in the way of their Second Life time. Given the choice they would almost live there permanently.
Thank god the couple says they've moved on past Second Life (they only log on a bit) and back into the world where Kristen can raise her real live daughter.
Of course, just when Second Life starts to sound not that life-ruining, Showbiz Spy tells the story of Carolyn, a woman who neglected her husband and four children to spend 14 hours a day on the game.
After telling the story of her drawn-out online relationship, which she turned into another failed real-world relationship, Carolyn says, "I wish I could feel connected and in love back in my marriage again. If I could push a button that's what I would do." Glad to hear so much commitment!