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It's amazing how fast we are to label things that...really don't matter. Gender, sexual preference, varieties of relationships, race...why do any of these things mean anything?

I recently read a fascinating book by Wendy-O Matik. The book was called Redefining Our Relationships. It dealt with the emotional aspects of non-monogamous relationships, including even discussions about friendships.

Wendy-O used one term in a steadfast light--her partner. All other terms were interchanged. Lover, friend, sex buddy, family, soul mate...and it got me wondering. I've often pondered the culturally-imposed black-and-white perspective on relationships of the romantic variety, and to a certain extent also thought about friends whom I'm intimate with...but this brought to mind a new concept. Even with the freeing up of concepts within boundaries, I was still imposing boundaries on my relationships--romantic or not. And truthfully, why? They're all lovers, and some are soul mates. Like B, whom I have slept with, and whom I continue to flirt with, who sometimes holds my hand or massages me. Or R, whom I live with, share physical and emotional intimacy with, and the majority of my time. Or S, whom I have slept with in the past, but who now is someone I see or speak to only on occasion, when we have something to say to the other, or we happen upon one another in a given setting.

Why distinguish these people's relationships with me by confining them to labels? Yes, S is my ex boyfriend; but he is not merely that. And R is my boyfriend, but he has also been a friend for nearly a decade before we began dating. These relationships simply don't exist within a definition...they are each unique. To define these relationships within society's narrow ideas would be to cheapen and limit the ability to interact with these lovers, to share the natural love every human has for another.

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Relationships

November 2009

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