Belenen (belenen) wrote,

reflections on partnership, polyamory, and soulfriendship

Since I broke up with my ex I've become aware that the structure we had while we were together really didn't work for me. The idea of having primary and secondary relationships has always been something I wanted to avoid, but when one person always gets more of my time and energy, there's a hierarchy whether I like it or not. I want all people to have the opportunity for an equal impact on my life. If I am sharing more of my life with one person, then creating that opportunity is far more difficult (if not impossible). That's one reason I really don't want to live with a lover again.

It used to be that my 'ideal' relationship was a closed circle with 2-4 people, all of whom were involved with each other or at least good friends and all of whom lived with me. Now my 'ideal' is really more about me -- I want to have a life that is fully my own which I invite people into but do not share completely with any person. I see every relationship as three people; me, the other, and the shared self. For me, in a partnership I tend to become more of that shared self than I am my separate self. I don't know if it is my natural response to sharing everything, or an immaturity, but I cannot share my whole life with someone else without editing myself to better match the shared self (which is constructive if the shared self can teach me, and destructive if the shared self cannot teach me). When I first got together with my ex, I stepped into a box that was SO much larger than the one I'd been living in with my parents, and oh what a relief it was! But I grew until I filled all the corners -- and the second I left the box I began expanding. There is no way I could fit back in now, even if the box was repaired. And so even if I find a box that is much larger than I am and would be comfortable, I don't want to take the chance of growing into box-shape again. I want to live outside of all structure instead.

And this makes me consider the concept of soulfriendship. I don't know if I want to have that again either. All of those qualities are things I strive for in every friendship, and I definitely think having them as a clear, dedicated mutual focus is amazingly helpful and growthful, but it IS a more intense form of relationship and it takes a great deal of time and energy. Thus one simply doesn't have as much for other relationships and they become secondary by default. I didn't have the same lessening-of-self experience with soulfriendship, but that may be because my soulfriendship was long-distance and therefore there was separateness included. I think soulfriendship is something I'll want to try again sometime, but I'm pretty sure it won't be soon. I've valued blending above being, and I need to learn being before I practice blending again.
Tags: b - ex-partner, polyamory / relationship anarchy, soulfriendship

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