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Drama Mamas: When roleplayed love is in the air

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I think it is long past time for another results edition of Drama Mamas. Some letter writers have already sent me the outcome of our advice, which is always wonderful. But we could still use some more. If you have written the Drama Mamas and we have answered you in print, please send us an email at robin@wowinsider.com. We will compile the responses in a future column, once we get enough of them.

On to the drama ... This week, we have another RP romance conundrum.
Dear Drama Mamas --

I've recently started roleplaying on Wyrmrest Accord, and I really love it! It's a fun way to meet new people and really get into your character, even if I only do it somewhat-casually. However, I have an issue that I need some help with. When I first joined my roleplaying guild it was fine and dandy, but one person in particular gave me more attention than anyone else. I was fine with it, as we were in character and my character was single and all, so I flirted a bit and over time our characters started a (somewhat) romantic relationship.
Now just the other day he admitted to me that he had feelings for me, out of character! I didn't really feel the same, even though I really enjoyed playing with him both in and out of character. I told him as such, and though he seemed disappointed it ended pretty amicably. But the next day, he was completely ignoring me, as were many of the others we roleplayed with. I really liked playing with these folks, but I'm afraid that by rejecting him I've irreversibly damaged my friendship with both him and the others. Is there anything I could do to mend this or should I just wait and see?

Sincerely,
Lonely Roleplayer

Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: Oh, Lonely, this is a very common story. We covered the opposite side of this before, and Lisa included some excellent resources for the lovelorn roleplayer from All the World's a Stage. Your RP boyfriend clearly didn't maintain his barriers appropriately. And now you are paying the price.

I am a little curious as to why the rest of the gang are giving you the cold shoulder as well. Assuming you didn't hold anything back, your not wanting to pursue an OOC (out of character) relationship with him should not have upset everyone else. Did he misrepresent your reaction to the rest of the group? Perhaps he made up a negative story about you badmouthing them? Or is this group just so very close-knit that rejection of one means the rejection of all? We may never know ... and I think it may be irrelevant.

No, I don't think there is a way to mend the situation, and no, I don't think you should wait and see. These people don't want you in their group anymore -- probably for the wrong reasons. This reflects poorly on future dealings with them. It's time to find a different roleplaying group.

If you are really curious as to why this has happened -- which is understandable -- you could try to find out. I don't think it's a good idea, necessarily, but it may be hard to resist. If you haven't already, you could whisper your RP ex and say something like "Hey, I thought we were good. Did something change?" And if he doesn't answer you, you might send a tell to the person you feel closest to in the rest of the group and ask about the chilly attitude. Of course, if they are truly ignoring you, you won't get a response. And really, other than satisfying your curiosity, I do not think any good will come of it.

No matter what you do or where you go, I cannot recommend enough that you stay away from RP romances. At some point down the road, if you are completely certain that the other half of the couple knows how to separate the virtual from the physical, then maybe you could try again. But this is so common a story that you may just be asking for trouble. Sorry about the disappointment, and good luck in finding another fun group of players.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: Is it just that Love is in the Air this week, or is the sticky nature of online romance simply that hard to accept? This is fire, people -- and even the chart-singeing hellfire of a fire mage in Dragon Soul pales in comparison to the skin-peeling emotional horror you'll suffer if you keep blithely roleplaying fluffy heartsies while your partner lays down pools of suffocating romance drama at your feet.

The problem is that everyone thinks he or she is exempt from the usual predicaments and entanglements of online relationships -- which of course are called usual predicaments because they're ... well ... usual. So don't feel too surprised that things turned out this way. Robin's right -- these reactions to RP romance aren't uncommon at all. And she's right about not looking back. It seems your rejection of your RP beau has stirred the hornet's nest in this group, and even if you can wait out the cold shoulder now, it's likely you'll get stung here again.

Hellfire, hornets, cold shoulders ... enough metaphors already! Get thee to a new setting or guild with due haste, young roleplayer. In the future, reserve your romantic roleplaying favors for only those champions who stand the test of time with prudence and forebearance!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP, Drama Mamas

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