OK, this one is a little less diatribe, and more point of view. I’ve thrown shade at marriage as a goal. I’ve talked about the idea of relationships that are a lot less “spend all your time with me”. I’ve talked about relationships where it’s just about existing together, not necessarily trying to achieve something. I’ve talked about not forcing myself to be “useful” to a relationship, and just focus on being me (which is still helpful and competent, just I don’t have to worry about that as a supporting concept for a relationship.) And, well, a number of other things along the way. These are changes to my choices in how an “idea” relationship would go – though, keep in mind, relationships are a contract of sorts, and through communication you find the points in which two people try and find the “sweet spot” for them to exist together (and, sometimes that changes.) Even marriage isn’t completely off the table – I’m just a lot less concerned with the idea, and more concerned with the idea of building a relationship where me and whoever exist in a state where we don’t stress each other with the goals that society puts forth.
Now a little bit about the things I don’t want to change about how I deal with relationships…
Someone I’m in a relationship will still remain one of my first priorities. They call me when I’m doing something, and they need help? I’m there. If there’s two possible things I could be doing, and one of them is with my significant other? Then I’m going to be with my significant other. It’s always going to be a thing with me. If I have someone in my life, I’ve let them be there for a whole lot of reasons.
I’ve seen people to treat their significant others as if they were a distant friend. I just don’t understand that. If I’m going to accept someone in my life into a long term relationship position, that means they’re someone I enjoy. They’re not just a friend: they are one of my best friends, someone I truly enjoy my time with.
That doesn’t mean spend time with them to the detriment of getting my work done, or excluding other friends from my life, though. There is a line there that I have to maintain.
Yes, I’ve been messed around on. Doesn’t matter – just because I don’t approve of the behavior of others doesn’t mean I should reverse my normal intention of always being faithful to my partner (if we’re in an exclusive relationship.) But, that’s not all of what loyalty is about. I have previously defended people to the point of near insanity – ignoring the problems entirely. I’ll admit, in the future, I have to listen more carefully to what those around me have to say about those I accept into my life in such a fashion. Picking the right person becomes even more important when I realize how deep my loyalty to someone I’m in a long term relationship really runs.
They are who they are. If I accepted them, then I have to accept them as they are. If someone is abusive, and I accept them, that’s my bad – and I need to leave the situation. But, if they’re quirky? Then I accept their quirks. Let’s face it: at this point in my life, I’ve gotten pretty damned specific: if they are quirky, it’s probably going to be pretty easy to accept that, and they’ll probably be quirky in ways that are compatible with my quirkiness. 😉
I’ve always been a big believer in helping make stuff happen for the person in my life. And, it’s going to remain that way. This goes further than that – it’s about the good days and the bad days. Helping achieve dreams – or at least trying – is great. That only represents one facet of being supportive, while the day to day support is even more important.
I have a hard time lying, and a hard time concealing things from anyone in my life. And, well, I’d much rather continue that trend. If I can’t be honest with someone I have a relationship with, then what’s the point?
It’s hard to describe the level if shittyness I’ve seen with some couples. I never understand it. Now, I’m all about having fun with my partner, and that will continue, though I’ve gotten much better over the years about exploring where the lines are BEFORE I accidentally use a joke that steps on one. But, I love to rib my partner, and I’m great with them doing it to me, too. That’s part of being a sarcastic jerk who’s also respectful at the same time.
And, loyalty, acceptance, priority, etc. also falls in that respect thing, so I won’t repeat all of that 😉
Openness & Communication
In a way, this one is unfair. I’ve actually tried to be open, and communicate my feelings – but, let’s face it, I had a chunk of my life I hid very well. Part of it is documented in my Abuse posts, and some of it is… well, private enough it’s not in my blog, and probably never will be. But, minus that: I do try and communicate openly with someone if I’ve let them be the priority person in my life. It’s not always easy, of course. Telling someone you don’t feel well because of something going wrong in your head is a great example of it not being easy; I should have done it. I didn’t. So, I actually want to be better at this in the future.
But, for the normal day-to-day and long term relationship sort of discussions? That (I think) I’m fairly good at. If someone is going to be there in the long term? Well, I’ll let them in on what has happened to me over the years that could affect things if they resurface. Seems fair if they’re going to be there for the long haul.
What, you actually read all three of these? Have you no life? 🙂 This is the thing: just like everyone else (well, I hope everyone else), this is something I’ll re-evaluate again. And, sometime down the road, I may end up having to write another 3,000 words on my views on how I’d like me to be in relationships. So why write it all down? Just like some of my previous blog posts, I can go back and look at this – either to remind myself where I’ve been, or remind myself where I wanted to go. Sometimes, in a world with so many right and wrong answers to things, it’s nice to see what I thought the right answers might be. And, of course, if I put it on my blog, I bother sharing it with the world, since some folks actually seem to read and enjoy my blathering when I post it. 🙂
Cover image by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen on Flickr.