Mushing and Dating/Relationships

  • Pitcrew

    I tend to avoid online relationships through mushing. I don't manage long distance well and being in the boonies and the random hit or miss of the awkward single pool lends me to avoid it online. I've had one like twenty years ago, we departed friends, and reconnected 20 years later on Arx randomly. Really that was the only RL mushing relationship I engaged in that went from IC to OOC.

    How do you single people mu* and date or hold a relationship at the same time? Do you mush or explain it? Is time an understanding an issue? Usually I focus on RL and take a hiatus and then as a relationship finds itself and we each take our own personal time I'll engage in online role-playing again.

    How many of you met your RL loves through mu*ing?

    I'm dating now and my online time is near zero. I often wondered if I would have been better off trying to and find a gamer to get with but at the same time I'm not an all-in mu*er either. I am a pretty active father, have a career, and my priorities are towards offline.

    It's interesting having this hobby and meeting others that do not. I usually get stares and no understanding (even if there is no time issue).

  • @buttercup As far as the hobby and explaining it to someone, I recently had to do this to my therapist (don't laugh) as a basis for explaining relationships in my past that had effected me and where I am now. Using the comparison to correspondence through letters when that was one of the only ways to communicate long-distance, and how people developed feelings through that medium, she understood the concept very quickly, and our conversations on the topic flow pretty easily; she gets it. I was actually pretty nervous going in to that conversation, but I was encourage by friends that the only way I could get better was to tell her the truth, and not alter or shift it around to put myself in a better (saner?) light.

    It was great advice, I don't regret that.

    As for time and relationships from MUing, the hobby can be a foundation for many, many overlapping interests, particularly in storytelling. Branching out from that can generally be successful, you can pull it into real life and into a real life relationship with effort and consideration, but the success varies. Thinking about what is more important, the story or the relationship (the real one) can also impact where things go. That sounds strange, but I've seen it happen.

    As far as time? I spend a lot of time waiting for things in my day to day, and a lot of time idling online while I go about my business, so to that I say it's about balance and not getting obsessed, just like any other interest or hobby, and if you're dwelling on it and your time in it is affecting your life negatively, you need to assess what you want from the hobby and if you can manage it in a healthy way. Otherwise, shit falls apart and that's no good for you or your family or your friends or even the other people who play the game.

    All my opinion, based on observations and experience. My perspective is definitely not the only one.

  • Pitcrew

    My boyfriend and I are big fat nerds who met via RP, then became OOC friends, then he met my RL friends, then he met me, then we became RL friends, and then one day when he was visiting and we were drunk, I got sick of his shy hinting and shamelessly threw myself at him.

    That was a little over ten years ago. Now we have a house and too many cats and no time to RP together, which is hilarious because we RP on the same site and our characters are married. I guess they, too, grunt at each other incoherently in the mornings and assume everything is fine so long as the House isn't on fire and the occupants are fed.

    <3 you, @insomniac7809 !

  • Pitcrew

    A looong time ago I met a girl on a MU, turns out her Aunt lived 2 blocks away from my grandparents. So we met up, and we had a thing for a while, not entirely official but I had FEELINGS and many a nice vacation up in the boonies. A lot of very fond memories.

  • MUSHing is what set me up for my post-high-school relationships, all of which have been very fulfilling.

    MUSHing is a safe space for me, where I can explore whatever identity I want to explore. I can explore gay, straight, bi, pan, trans, any sort of relationships I can. I would never say that I can completely empathize with sexualities beyond my own, but I like to think that MUSHing serves as a reasonable substitute, to the point where I think I have much more empathy for others.

    I mean, for a robot.

  • Pitcrew

    Met my current girlfriend through MUs. She lived in Canada flew all the way out to AZ for 3 weeks to see if we clicked. We did and she spent a year waiting on the US immigration system to approve her work visa. It's been 4 years (we don't RP together anymore) and no one has been killed yet so great success.

  • Pitcrew

    @buttercup said in Mushing and Dating/Relationships:

    How do you single people mu* and date or hold a relationship at the same time? Do you mush or explain it? Is time an understanding an issue?

    I tend to MUSH a lot less when in a relationship and that is more of a time issue than anything else.
    Usually after we have had a couple dates and it is time to reveal the hidden geek secrets, (comics, wrestling, and RPGs in general) I usually explain it like a table top but mention it is on line, if someone is familiar I go more in depth.
    Never dated anyone I met on a MUSH, never even contemplated it.
    As for the lack of understanding I have never encountered most have just treated it like me playing a video game online.

  • Pitcrew

    Met my husband on a mush. He came out to visit, I moved across country 2 months later, we got married less than a year later, and now we have been married for 17 years and have 4 kids, 2 cats, and a halfway paid off mortgage. Before that I'd been married very young, and after that I was a major slut (highly recommended, no I'm not being a sarcastic) and fucked a lot of other young folks (and occasionally old folks) male and female, mushers and non mushers.

    I hate bars. I dont really drink. Starting in my twenties I met most people I knew through various interest groups on the internet, including mushing. Hell, even my chosen family who I see locally and frequently and who I would implicitly trust with my kids is like 80 percent people I met on a mush. I've known some for like 20 years now.

    Lots of people meet their partners/lovers through mutual interest groups once they're out of school. I dont think mushing is any different.

    Fuck, half of my moms group (most of whom are 10-15 years younger than me) met their partners through computer games or other online communities. It's a thing with the youth.

  • Admin

    Way I see it, people need to meet somewhere. Usually that involves their mutual hobbies or what they do for fun.


  • Pitcrew

    Current partner, I met mushing. I have met people over the years a wide variety of ways, and I can say without question that I would never date a non-gamer again. Not that I care if we do the same types of games, but somebody who has absolutely no interest in the same kind of entertainment / doesn't have the context for what gaming entails? Ugh. Unless I come to a point where I can give gaming up (ahahahahaha), no.

    This isn't really a problem for me, mind. I can't think of anyone in my social or regular-professional circle that isn't a gamer in some fashion -- all of my coworkers, most of my work friends, and so on (I am in IT, so there's that). I pretty much don't know any non-gamers well except for one of my sisters and her husband. They don't game. We don't hang out.

  • I thought dating online was for wierdos until I met someone on a MUSH one night and we started chatting. Months go by, we exchanged numbers and emails... One thing led to another and we started actually dating.

    I think we were together for about a year? Neither one of us quite had our shit together, though so we eventually broke up. It was a super messy breakup, too.

    I check up on her on occasion, because I feel bad about the way we moved on. Last I saw, she was super happy and married, which makes me super happy (I'm married, too!). Man, that was one relationship that I screwed up.

    Anyhow, when I was young, single, and gaming, none of my friends knew it. I was mostly a closet gamer until 2004, which was after my first year of college. I was a fairly promiscuous slut (dudes are totally slutty) from about 15 - 22...

    Let's see... So yeah, I've me a decent number of people who got together on a MUSH and eventually got married (looking at WC:RH, I believe at least 3 pairs of people). I know Firan had a number of people who hooked up.

    Anyhow, I no longer think it's weird that people occasionally meet on MUSHes and fall for each other. It's pretty cool, really. I also no longer hide my incredible nerdiness. Most of my friends know I play text based games. Then again, most of my friends are also programmers, cyber security nerds, etc these days.

  • I usually explain it as a writing group. None of the people I've ever dated were into RPing, so it was all weird for them. I explained how I like to write and that MU*ing was a writers group. I explained more accurately as I got closer to the person and the weird stuff was less likely to send them running to the hills. Time is not nearly as abundant as when I was single, but that's just priorities. The gf moved up the list over many other things, not just rp.

    But that process served me well. I'm married now and everything's good. I still find time here and there, just not as much as when I was single. But I'd much rather be in a good relationship and rp sparingly than single and rp all the time.

  • Most people I date have some familiarity with, or understanding of tabletop RPGs, and some of them even have experience playing them. I don't think I'd really want to be with someone that was like, not into RPGS or thought they were 'too nerdy' or 'weird'. So I just explain it as a text-based, online version of that, for the most part; very much an exercise in collaborative writing as much as it is a game. One of my partners I've even managed to get into MUshing because they had played tabletop RPGs before and were interested, and we still RP together.

    As far as online relationships THROUGH MUshing go... I've had some IC relationships with folks that I consider friends, even TS though that's not really my jam, at this point. One person caught feelings and, as I found out, kind of stalked me or at least were gathering personal info from other friends of mine, considered moving to my location, confessed being in love with me. It was all too much for me, especially with my history as a sex worker and dealing with a couple of stalkers in real life, so I cut contact. I could, maybe, hook up with someone I met through MUshing, but I have trouble seeing myself creating a serious relationship with someone that I met through MUshing - and if I did, it'd need to be navigated carefully. RPing romance is cool, compelling sometimes, even, but having that part of your RP cross the IC/OOC delineation is something that I'm weirded out by. My partner and I have never had IC romance, actually, funny enough, despite our chars typically being very chummy on grid.

  • I have tried twice. I have failed twice. Everything looks so good in text and photos and talking long distance over the phone etc. Meeting in person is where it all fell apart. You can't force physical chemistry.

    It would be nice to date someone who was into MUing. Maybe. But I'm not convinced that's not just a wishful thinking theory.

  • Pitcrew

    @sincerely I upvoted this, but also wanted to say thank you for such a thoughtful answer.

  • I met my husband in a tabletop group, a few years before I started M*ing. I met other folks through LARP before that as well.

    While we were together -- we didn't get married for almost 20 years after he moved in with me -- we had an open sort of thing for a long time, and I ran into some folks through M* in that period.

    Some things went great, and I'm still friends with those people many years later in some cases. Some things went spectacularly wrong, too. All in all? Ultimately not any different odds than I ran into meeting people in person first outside the hobby. The problems that would crop up tended to be the same problems, even if they sometimes manifested in slightly different ways.

  • I tend to be pretty open about being into nerdy stuff when it comes to relationships, so I make no secret that I play RPGs and also do so online. As such I tend to date people who are into similar things or at least are aware of them.

    I have never dated anyone I met on a MUSH though and to be honest have avoided it to a certain degree. I think the only MUSH people I have given RL contact details or my name to are those I have known for years and years (I have a rare/unusual surname.)

    Of course I also live in another country to almost anyone I meet on a MUSH.

  • Pitcrew

    I met an ex through online roleplaying (not MU, but same difference). It didn't end well, but I don't blame the medium we met on, just poor decision-making on both our parts when it came time to wrangle a long-distance relationship when she had to go home after vacation [her clamining she could handle it (she couldn't) and me deciding to give yet another (third) long-distance relationship a try]. There's a lot more details to put in there, but they're mine.

    Current girlfriend is new (she plays tabletop RP and we actually just started a call of Cthulhu game with some friends of mine, so she's understood the concept of MUing when I've explained it to her) and I am not MUing at all, though that's less because of her specifically and more because I have been socializing way more in the past year and that has cut down on my availability and time for it. Also, I am back in school (and doing pretty well, which only happens when I attend class and actually put in some time and effort into it). So between a full-time job, classes, a girlfriend I see on the weekends, and finding a night every week to hang out with a friend or two, my free time tends to be extremely erratic and I just end up filling it with a random video game.

    Typically League of Legends.

    Essence Reaver Volibear FTW.

  • Pitcrew

    I've met a few lovers through mu*, and none of them have been disasters in the way my non-gaming people have so....

    But. I met my husband on a mush, and since he was already a player, he grasped the need to be up at 3am for a scene. We met in person after playing for a couple of months, spent four days together. He proposed at the end of those four days. I said yes. We got married. 13 years later, he still won't play the games I want to play with me but persists in playing games that need a graphics card... He was Prospero on mednights, if anyone remembers him :P

  • Pitcrew

    I met my husband on the first MU I ever played on. We weren't romantically involved on the game, our characters were never more than friends, but we started chatting, talking about our equally horrific romantic entanglements and transitioned from OOC chatting to phone, to meeting in person when it turned out he lived 40 minutes away. There was a LOT of drama and fallout due to respective online partners and weird 'I'm young and stupid!' games, not between he and I but my gaming group at the time.

    It's been 17 years that we've been together, married for 12. He doesn't MU at all anymore, and in fact the fallout and drama that happened after we got together chased him off for good. But he understands that it is something I can't quit, which is nice.

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