Friday, October 16, 2015

Relationship Anarchy

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: deviant, haunted, desolate, transparent, wretched. 

They were submitted by:


Matters of the heart require a person to be completely transparent. I don’t mean that you have to tell someone you don’t like the way their eyeshadow looks that day (because maybe its not about your preferences), but you do have to be perfectly clear about what you want and how you feel.

I am, always. Transparent.

But, that doesn’t make things any easier for me.

You see, I’m sort of aromantic. That doesn’t mean that I can’t fall in love with someone. It doesn’t mean that I’m some sort of wretched creature haunted by the past who has had her heart stomped on one too many times or a desolate, lonely cat lady who can’t find love. I’m not some deviant who only cares about herself and has no regard for others. But, I can’t be in the confines of a traditionally defined relationship without feeling like I’m suffocated. I get depressed, anxious, lose all sense of self in relationships that come with all these expectations of how people are supposed to act and feel, what they do and don’t do, how they relate to one another.

The first reaction I get, typically, is a statement that I haven’t met the “right” man yet which doesn’t even make any sense to begin with since I don’t *only* like men. Regardless, the idea that everything I know about myself can be resolved or changed because of a man is a bit absurd. And then there are the people who assume I have a broken heart that just needs to find love to mend itself or that I need to get laid. There’s always a few people who believe I don’t really know what I want and need to figure myself out, or that I need someone to sweep me off my feet or that I have only had shitty relationships. I’ll come around. I’ll want to get remarried one day. I’ll stop wanting to have my cake and eat it, too. No matter how transparent I am about my thoughts and beliefs, rarely can anyone accept that they might just be the truth. Instead, how I feel and what I believe is treated more like a challenge to prove me wrong.

Not being heard is quite an annoyance to say the least.

The thing, for me, is that I don’t really need the labels. I don’t necessarily have problems being monogamous, but I don’t want someone thinking I’m not allowed to be my flirty self, that I can’t call on others for the conversations I crave, that I shouldn’t spend so much time on the people I write or my hobbies or writing period. And, in my own experience, even when the idea of a relationship is (even falsely!!) a remote possibility, I am expected to make changes that really aren’t me. I am perfectly willing to make comprises and sacrifices for someone I love, but I am not, absolutely not, going to lose myself in someone else’s insecurities while they attempt to control aspects of my life, theirs, and ours together that are truly beyond both of our control.

To me, any social relationship, even one without clearly defined labels, is existential in nature. It’s going to end. One way or another, the relationship will either run its natural course or at least one member of the relationship will die. It’s a fact of life. There is no escaping the fact that forever is sort of an arbitrary term that doesn’t mean what it implies. To me, and in my experience, promising someone forever is taken to literally mean forever, and both parties end up trying to control every little thing they can to ensure the other person’s promise is upheld. Controlling another person’s behavior, though, is really sort of impossible without a pretty severe level of emotional abuse. See, I can make a commitment, a promise, and focus on my own behavior, what I do, how I behave, and how I treat the other person, but I can’t *make* them treat me the same way, behave the way I do, or not sleep with anyone else. I can’t make them love me and only me for the rest of life. As human beings, it seems like controlling things is what we want to be able to do….but it’s just not the way things work.

My existential responsibility, then, is to enjoy what is in front of me while I have it because I really have no control over how long that person is in my life. All I can do on my end is love them, treat them fairly and with affection and the way I want to be treated. I can choose monogamy and hope that person does, too, but there’s no way I can put a metaphorical chastity belt on them with a label or a piece of paper. I can tell that person what I want and what I expect, but I can’t enforce that in any way, so why should I spend the time we do have together worrying about it? I’d rather just *be* with that person for as long as we decide it’s good. And when it no longer is, we can agree mutually to go our separate ways. Does that take a label or a marriage certificate? Maybe it does for other people, but it’s not what I want. I just want to appreciate what I have for as long as I have it with someone and live life instead of spending all my time worried about what the future with that person holds.

I concede that may be odd in the world today, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know exactly what I want and how to get it or that I need someone to come along and show me everything I knew about myself was wrong. In fact, I don’t *need* anything except coffee in the morning, hugs from the kid, and Halloween candy.


Thanks for reading! Here are the links to the rest of the participating blogs: Baking In A Tornado Spatulas on Parade The Momisodes Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm Rena’s World Confessions of a part time working mom Never Ever Give Up Hope Someone Else’s Genius Searching for Sanity Climaxed Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles The Angrivated Mom Eileen's Perpetually Busy


  1. Coffee, hugs and candy sound like pretty solid priorities to me.
    I did write a post a while back about the future of marriage (or lack thereof, in my opinion). Some people do well mating for life, but others of us stagnate if we try to force ourselves to stay in relationships that no longer work. I think you'd be surprised at how many people are questioning long term relationships as you are.

    1. And it's not even the idea of long-term that really bothers me as much as why I'm.supposed to make a promise to anyone I date that we will last forever. It's kind of absurd. Some relationships just can't. Instead of getting all butthurt about it, people should really just be grown up enough to accept that life isnt a disney fairytale.

  2. Love your post, especially the last part ;-)
    Life is too short for all the expectations, labels and complications. Love shouldn't be hard work. At least not in my book.

  3. I think part of the reason my marriage has lasted so long was because we don't constantly worry about the future. I know we'll still be together tomorrow, and that's good enough for me.

    "All I can do on my end is love them, treat them fairly and with affection and the way I want to be treated. I can choose monogamy and hope that person does, too"-- Beautifully said!

  4. I got tired of how much I changed for the men I was with, to the point where I was a totally different person once I was in a relationship. Deciding to stop looking for relationships was the best decision I ever made, and even though it was over 5 years ago now, people still tell me I will change my mind one day, but I am totally happy with my own company, plus that of my daughter, my tiny group of friends and my family.

  5. We are what we are and damn the consequences. Sounds good to me.

  6. Awesome post. I'm the type that likes to keep my circle small and I never give all of me to anyone, not even my husband. It's safer that way.