Used to be that living together was the way to test drive a union with a potential marriage partner.
The internet has spawned another approach. Virtual marriage.
Partners in an online game enter virtual marriages by exchanging their marriage vows online as part of their game. Before their virtual friends and family. Sporting their engagement and wedding rings. After they “register” … in their online game.
The entire marriage exists online only. It’s not clear whether virtual couples can have virtual children.
The divorce rate for virtual marriages is a bit lower than that in the mundane real world, roughly forty-six percent.
That may sound like a pretty good statistic in a vacuum. But actually, it seems pretty high for a “part-time” marriage, far removed from the everyday travails of a real marriage.
And, although the virtual divorce rate is generally lower than in pedestrian real life, some years buck the trend. And some virtual divorces can turn almost as nasty as real-world divorces.
Virtual marriages may not be motivated by a desire to test drive a potential marriage partner for the real thing. They may be nothing more than a harmless online flirtation, or an attempt to induce a stranger in cyberspace to partner up for some online gameplay.
Still, perhaps would-be virtual couples should enter virtual prenups prior to their virtual marriages. Just in case …