relationships: (romantic)
When a good friend finds hirself leaning on hir other friends and getting the support sie needs, do you find yourself jealous that you weren't the one to fulfill hir needs?

Why, then, would you find yourself jealous when your partner gets hir needs fulfilled elsewhere?

What is it about romantic relationships that implies absolute priority?

If I'm out of town and my lover find hirself wanting some action, feeling very dissatisfied with masturbation, should I be happy about that, about hir loyalty to me? Or should I be glad if sie finds fulfillment with another person?

And this is why the concept of a strong monogamous relationship bewilders me.

I am a strong and independent woman. I demand a strong and independent partner. That means neither I nor my partner should flex to meet the other's desires...if my partner wants a girlfriend to watch football with, that's too damn bad, I hate watching football. If I'm a night owl, I shouldn't try to change that to suit my partner's morning schedule. If he hates the idea of rough sex...well, I won't get that fulfilled with him.

This desire to not have a malleable partner leaves me sort of stuck if I find any needs not being met...if my partner accommodates the needs against hir desires, then I feel like I'm in danger of hir becoming codependent, which I would be irresponsible to allow.

So, how's my partner to feel, if I have unmet needs sie won't meet? Should sie be thrilled that I'm loyal to hir even though it means giving up some strong desires of mine?

To me, it makes more sense that sie would be happy to fulfill the desires sie can, but would also be happy if I went to another person (or people) to meet other needs. After all, I'm making myself happier; why shouldn't my partner be glad?

I do not believe jealousy is important to a relationship--quite the opposite, it hinders both partners' ability to become happier.

If an action taken by one partner would cause the other partner distress, the issue should be addressed...say the third person had been romantically entangled with one partner, and the other partner would become jealous upon renewed intimacy, then that could be a legitimate concern, and must be completely cleared up before any action can be taken.

If there is an issue of safety, that must also be addressed--say the third person has an STD, this must be discussed and precautions agreed upon, possibly even including sexual abstinence with the third person.

But I believe a truly secure, loving relationship would allow for nonmonogamous activity, to allow for greater fulfillment of each partner. Jealousy that a partner's needs are being fulfilled outside of the primary relationship is a very backwards concept to me--I'm usually unhappy if my partner's needs aren't being met.
relationships: (Default)
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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