Belenen (belenen) wrote,

my draws and dealbreakers: my reasons to fight for a relationship and my reasons to end one

happystance got me thinking on this subject a while ago and I've been slowly honing this from my initial comment. I love when someone asks me a question that makes me go, "oooh, I don't know the full answer to that!"

My longest, deepest relationship has been with a person that I have very, VERY little in common with as far as hobbies or likes/dislikes go. So though common interests make it easier, I don't need them. What I really HAVE to have is a similar goal (growth, learning) and attitude (respectful, open, honest) plus love.

for me to keep fighting for the relationship, the other person has to be:

1) seeking to grow, learn, and create
    (look for opportunities to grow and mature, especially with regards to increasing compassion and unlearning prejudice. Actively create a more positive self and world, and be curious about everything (and people in particular). And be creative in some way or another (including work as an art form).)
2) respectful
    (of me, of zirself, and of all humankind (a person doesn't have to be perfectly equalist, but has to work on shunning/dismantling ranking systems like sexism, racism, heterosexism, lookism, elitism, etc.) Also be respectful of all life and refrain from causing unnecessary destruction.)
3) open/honest/expressive
    (share zir thoughts/feelings/motives voluntarily and truthfully, with a goal of becoming ever more authentic and transparent. Desire to be known fully.)
4) affectionate, interested in me, and willing/able to give emotionally
    (be willing & able to put time & effort into the relationship: touching, listening, supporting, encouraging, asking questions. Desire to learn more about me.)

These things work as a draw -- the more fullness of openness, honesty, seeking to grow, respect, etc., that you show, the more I am drawn to you. I'm not looking for perfection but for passion; working to improve rather than being 'good enough' and stagnating. If a person is not all of these things, that's not grounds for me to end it, but without a good amount of them I won't fight for it if it seems to be ending on its own.


for me to cut off the relationship, the other person has to exhibit:

1) deceitfulness/insincerity
    (you can't have a real connection if it's being blocked off with lies, and I consider lying to be horrifically disrespectful. I cannot STAND being lied to -- you might as well spit in my face. Also, not keeping your word is lying, so don't make me promises you don't intend to keep. Do not, for instance, swear lifetime love and commitment and then drop me like a newborn giraffe. (five of those experiences is enough!))
2) disrespect
    (mocking others' feelings/thoughts, calling names when angry, assuming rights to things that belong to others, knowingly breaking other people's boundaries, treating people like objects, treating people according to their physical attribute(s) rather than their personality/individuality, considering oneself more important/evolved/inspired than others)
    - - including and especially disrespect of ANY person's body (considering it okay to urge/coerce a person into sex, to grope without permission, to grab on to someone and refuse to let go; essentially, believing it is in ANY way okay to touch someone's body without their permission (except where necessary for safety, as with a child about to run in the street))
3) manipulative behavior
    (especially passive-aggressiveness and trying to motivate people through fear, guilt, or insecurity)
4) destructiveness of self** and/or others and/or living things
    On other-destruction: I end things when the person is disrespectful (see #2) and/or deliberately harmful, even if it is not me ze is mistreating. On self-destruction: I end things when it gets to the point where it starts making me depressed/self-destructive/unable to listen (usually, when someone is in a harmful situation and making no movement to leave or change it (or has no power to change it, as in the case of a child) -- I find that extremely difficult to be near). On life-destruction: harm toward animals or plants for purely destructive intent or for convenience is absolutely a deal-breaker.
    - - including and especially violence or threats of violence (whether spoken or communicated non-verbally by threatening body language/breaking things)
5) indifference/apathy
    (showing no care for me, not putting effort into the relationship, not listening or trying to understand me)

Most of those things can be forgiven if it is a slip-up followed by sincere apology and efforts to make it right; but if any of them are a pattern or go without restitution it is over. I absolutely will not tolerate 1, 2, 3, or 4 as patterns of behavior -- even if the person uses them only with others and not with me. (although self-destructiveness is not as clear-cut; **I'll maintain the relationship if I can. As long as the person isn't giving me responsibility for their happiness and we have at least SOME interactions that do not center on the self-destructiveness, it can work) Number 5 is harder for me to hold as a boundary, and I've actually never ended a close relationship over it, but I can see several times when that would have been wise (more to come on that).

This sort of doubles as my moral code -- the first list being things I strive to achieve, and the second list being things I strive to avoid.
Tags: relationships, stepwise processing, the essential belenen collection

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