I’ve used the term IFB a bit; those who don’t know it, it stands for “Internet Fuck Buddy”. I made it up because I didn’t know of another good term for, well, what I got going on.
The thing about IFBs–and I forgot this, being at the early stages with one–is that it takes time to cultivate the “B” part. I’m a trusting elf and I want to trust everyone right from the getgo, but the fact is that actually really trusting them is something I can’t do instantly, no matter how much I wish it were otherwise.
But you get to experiencing moments that make you open up just a little more. Moments that whisper “It’s okay” and coax you out just a little bit more. I had a bit of that today, and I once again thank my new IFB for being more patient with me than I’ve been with myself.
Another thing is that this is around about the “crushy feelings” portion of our program. Where everything about the other person is fascinating and appealing and draws you in all the faster. When I was less experienced with online romances, I felt guilty about this. OMG, if I’m getting a crush on this person, does it mean I love my husband any less? The answer is no. See, your body reacts to emotional stimuli from the brain. If you’re angry, for example, your body responds by getting tense. You body doesn’t know the difference between actual anger and imagined anger; if you’re in an intense RP fight with someone, you physically feel the same way as if it were a real fight. THIS is why cybering works. People who have never experienced it and can’t see its appeal don’t realize this. Well, in that same vein, when you get to being more intimate with the fantasy of someone–which, let’s face it, is what SL by and large is–your body responds the exact same way as it would in RL. You get that rush, that excitement, that feeling like all is right with the world and come hell or high water you’re feeling great so long as you’re thinking of that someone.
OK, listen close, because this is a crucial thing to remember: what you’re feeling is OK, it’s valid, and it’s not actually being in love. Don’t start to plan to leave your life’s partner. You don’t love them less because of the crush you’re feeling now. If you do love them less it’s for reasons unrelated. Let’s not confuse cause and effect. The polyamoury community (yes, there is such a thing) refers to this rush as NRE or “New Relationship Energy”. I agree the word “energy” sounds a bit newagey woo-woo, but at least they have a term for it. They also have a term for the feeling of complete trust you get for someone over a period of time, that feeling of knowing you could be at your level worst and they’d still think–to paraphrase from Juno–that the sun rises out of your butt. That would be, surprise surprise, ORE, or “Old Relationship Energy”. Again, may not be the greatest choice of words, but at least there are words.
Getting back to my point–at least I think it was my point–I’m going through the NRE part with this new IFB. And I only learned recently that I’m his first ever IFB so I hope he doesn’t get too mixed up in crushy feelings that he gets confused or hurt. I’m getting to genuinely like this person so I want to be careful.