X

Woman Leaves Real-Life Husband to Pursue Video-Game Romance

This is the story of a middle-aged woman from the UK who decided to end her unhappy marriage to pursue a fairy-tale romance in an online video game which ultimately resulted in a real-life wedding.

Kelly Sexton was 37 when she first started playing Second Life, an online simulation game where players customize their avatars and live out their fantasies. She was suffering from fibromyalgia, ME and non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), and Second Life proved a welcome escape from the troubles of daily life. She was married at the time and had four children, so she never really considered the idea of falling in love with a stranger and starting a new life, albeit an online one. But that’s exactly what happened.

On New Years Eve 2016, Kelly’s avatar, Selena, was approached by a tall, dark-haired, buff male avatar who started pole dancing in front of her. She found it very funny, so she started flirting with him.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Second Life

“He wasn’t wearing much – boxer shorts, angel wings and sunglasses,” the 41-year-old woman recently recalled. “Then he started pole dancing in front of me and it was so funny. I just thought ‘wow, he looks interesting’. I started flirting with him.”

The mysterious avatar, named Staticmuse, then asked Selena out on a date, which led to them spending hours in a virtual amusement park. Over the next few days, Kelly would spend up to 20 hours a day in front of the computer, talking to Nick Von Asten, the American man controlling Staticmuse in the game. She told him from the start that she was married and that she wasn’t interested in a relationship, but also revealed that her marriage wasn’t a happy one. The two agreed that they could go on being girlfriend and boyfriend in Second Life, though.

 

The more time she spent with Von Asten in Second Life, the more Kelly realized how unhappy she was in her real life, particularly her marriage. Only a few days after beginning her online romance, she admitted to her husband that she wasn’t happy in their marriage, and hadn’t been in a long time. To her relief, he felt the same way, so they agree to go their separate ways.

Despite having never seen each other, Kelly Sexton and Nick Von Asten declared their love for each other after only 10 days of dating in Second Life. At first Kelly was worried that she was being catfished, after all she was 10 years older than Von Asten as well as disabled, so she hardly considered herself a catch. But then he sent her a picture of himself in real life, and she found him “absolutely gorgeous”. They jumped on a video call and the moment he saw the look in Nick’s eyes she knew “it was just love”.

 

On February 25, 2017, Serena and Staticmuse got married in Second Life, in a ceremony attended by virtual friends from all over the world. Staticmuse himself built the virtual chapel they got married in, piece by piece. They then went on to have a full virtual life, getting a digital house together and even going through a virtual pregnancy which resulted in a virtual baby.

In December of 2017, Kelly flew to the US to spend a week with Von Asten in real life, and the moment he greetd her with “hey sweetie!” at the airport she knew she had found the “missing piece”. In the months that followed, Nick came over to the UK to meet Kelly’s children, and they apparently “loved him”. He even gets along with her ex-husband…

In December of last year, Kelly and Nick tied the knot in real life, and both say that they are living a fairytale together. They haven’t been spending time in Second Life anymore, since their real-life selves are much more interesting, but they say they want to get back into it eventually.

“When I first saw him I felt like my soul had found its mate – my missing piece. It’s a perfect story with a perfect ending,” 41-year-old described her unique love story.