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Featured What is a relationship?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by AHClemist, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Nope. People are complex. I don't say it at all with negativity. l have matured a lot and l have more empathy now so complexity is okay.
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    I hope you meet again. It sounds wildly passionate, two wolves howling in glee as the moon bathes them in surreal beauty.
     
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  3. Pinecones

    Pinecones Well-Known Member

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    I like your question. I think the word relationship is as loaded as the word love. Technically, ANY interaction we have with anything around us is a relationship. It's a place. It's how you feel. It's where you stand. With your family, a love interest, friends, your dog, bugs, a can of beans. You have relationship to and with all of them. And technically you can also identify exactly what level of 'love' you have for each of those as well!

    I, naturally being inclined to pinpoint exact terminologies and descriptions for them so that I can clearly identify what it is I'm speaking about, prefer to think of 'romantic relationships' or 'long-term co-habitation' as partnerships.

    I'm in a great partnership right now. Yes, it's WORK. OMG intimate relationships are SO COMPLICATED and take a LOT of time, effort, and willingness to grow and learn with the other person. I honestly don't think it's for everyone. And if two people want to engage in such an endeavor, BOTH of them need to be willing to take on the work load of learning the other person, IMO. You can't pick and choose what you like and don't like about the other person. At least in my view. You have to be able to see them for EVERYTHING that they are, good and bad, pleasant and frustrating, and say "can I contend with all of you". And if you can't, it's not gonna work out well. That's not to say you should just shut up and take the behaviors that hurt you or upset you, things that are unfair or unacceptable. But it means you're willing to talk, understand, and work with each other to grow through these obstacles.
    Anyway, one major thing is that neither of us want to engage in marriage. Because we're both on the same page that marriage implies ownership. "My husband" "my wife". Our culture I think lends to being very 'ownership-based' with relationships. It wants to take the idea of a partnership and turn it into a power structure. Which is heinous. We are our own people. And "My partner" automatically cancels out any indication of ownership or power over the other. Hence why we like the word. We are here together because we enjoy one another's presence and company, we enrich each other's lives, and we care for one another. And, IMO, that kind of relationship, that kind of partnership, DOES NOT need to be a sexual one. It's attainable regardless of age, gender, location- anything. So anyone seeking a partnership in their life, with one or more people, or hey, even animals, truly has a lot of options! The biggest limiting factor here then is cultural perspective; what is and is not acceptable, taboo, or provocative. I once had phenomenal chemistry with an elderly man, at least 40 years older than me. It was really sad, actually. He had this beautiful spark in his soul and we got along famously. He was brave enough to tell me how he felt and I shut the door. It was so tragic. My reasoning was logical; I'm just starting my life, and his sun is setting. I wasn't ready to take that on or undertake such a compromise. But it really made me challenge our cultural views on things like age and other "limitations" regarding "who we can and can't be with". Oh shoot, I could go on more about rebelling against the het-binary sex culture and how crap it is, but I don't think I need to here.

    Anyway, back to your unique situation. You said "The more I thought about it, the more that last part bothered me. Why can’t I decide that I do not want the other person in my life anymore? I’m not going to stay when I feel physically or emotionally unsafe. Because he felt that there was this strange dynamic of “relationship” between him and I, I am not allowed to make decisions by myself?"

    This guy's words are toxic. His emotional maturity is lacking. You've hit the nail on the head; you have EVERY RIGHT to make decisions for yourself. You are NEVER responsible for someone else's emotions. We are all responsible for how we react to our feelings, even how we choose to feel about things. And to try and force someone else with our emotions is abuse. Plain and simple. It's emotional abuse and manipulation. If there's any single piece of 'relationship advice' I wish I could shove down everyone's throat, it's to learn to identify manipulative behaviors, which are intrinsically abusive regardless of whether the offending person is doing it knowingly. I've been in the trenches of abuse most of my life and now that I've finally learned to recognize destructive and toxic behavior I'm so much healthier and safer for it. It doesn't mean you need to 'pass judgement' on the other person, it doesn't mean they're 'bad'. But it does mean that they're not yet capable of a fluid, functional, and growth-oriented partnership with another human being yet, if they haven't learned to refrain from manipulating the people around them. That's something we're supposed to teach toddlers to stop doing. It disgusts me when adults do it, personally. But again, I try to keep my feelings as a reminder of how I should not act, not as a means of judgment or power over others. I'm still responsible for how I choose to react to how abusive behaviors make me feel. Adopting "I'm right, you're wrong" mentalities is a way of creating a power structure within yourself. But you should learn what truths you do believe in and stick to them for your own sake.

    So this transitions into HEALTHY BOUNDARIES. Something I've been discovering the last few years and am still learning myself. Do we ever stop learning it? So once you start to recognize manipulative and destructive behaviors in others, you begin to reach an understanding of who that person is and why. At least to some small degree; it usually takes a long time to really know someone. But, you get my point I hope. Understanding why they do what they do lends to patience and kindness. Not excusal of their behavior, but compassion and the ability to contend with them in a healthy way, and without allowing them to hold power over you. I've learned to do this even with my close loved ones. I've had to learn how to keep some people at arm's length (which I REALLY struggle with because I just want to love everyone), I've even had to remove contact with abusive family; it makes me sad, but I am SO MUCH HEALTHIER for it. It was not easy to do and I questioned myself about my decisions, but I know I've made the right choice for me.

    I've been better at setting firmer boundaries with both friends and strangers alike. Part of that is knowing them and recognizing their modes of function, being able to predict their choices and understand why they make them, and as a result I've learned to understand myself better. Priority one is 'what's best for my own health, safety, and happiness', priority two is 'what's best for them'. Which are both tough questions and very subject to perspective and circumstance. There's never a solid clear answer that everyone will agree with. But if you can come at it from a perspective of understanding and compassion, you'll more likely make healthy decisions in relationships.

    So this guy says "YOU made me angry. It's YOUR fault. YOU can't run away.". The passionate and damaged part of me wants to say "tweak those words very slightly and you have a rapist on your hands". and while that's not really my point, and it might be a little heated for the context, that's honestly what my 'reg flag' alarm bells would be saying in my head if some guy said that to me in your situation. And regardless of that strong sentiment, those are words of manipulation. Don't let them confuse you or doubt yourself. You do not own him anything and are not accountable for how he has chosen to feel and react <3

    We're pressured by our culture to seek relationships, partnerships, marriage, etc. It's this thing you have to achieve. Especially as a cis woman. Your value in society is strengthened and increased if you have a man dedicated to you. It's really messed up if you think about it. I've spent long periods of time single, from a combination of having "high standards" (i.e. zero tolerance for manipulative behaviors, which everyone wanted to dump on me for, because in our culture, emotional manipulation is a frighteningly normal and acceptable behavior), but also a HATRED for how strongly everyone wanted me to 'find a man', to 'get married'. "Hey, you married yet? When you gonna find a man? When you gonna get married and settle down?" It's the ONLY thing any relatives say to me, especially aunts and uncles. They don't give a crap about me as a human being with a unique life, they only care that I 'find a good man' to 'take care of me', because apparently being a woman means I'm helpless and can't fend for myself, and means I'm somehow worthless if no man wants me, and means I'm stupid if a man does want me and I refuse him. And the longer I remain single the more they start to gossip about me 'being gay'. Which would be a dumb thing to gossip about even if it were true. That crap boils my blood, so I'd dig my heels in and reject that culture, rebel against it as hard as I can.

    But I was still desperately lonely, so I never stopped searching for a real partner I could share my life with. I think there are people out there who truly do well in isolation. But many of us crave some kind of partnership. One or more souls in our daily life that share love and care for us, the give us their time, attention, service, needs, and affection. Those are languages of love and they fulfill our needs when we're lacking in a feeling of acceptance, understanding, and value.

    So.... yeah.... there's my $.02. I can be strongly opinionated at times, and I don't always choose my words carefully, so please don't take offense if I've come off wrong.
     
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  4. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A 'heads up' for those of you who have been made uncomfortable by anyone on the site demanding personal information that you don't wish to give, either by personal message or in a post. You can report them. Some of the rules and regulations of this site are:

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    Insults, whether on a personal, cultural, or national level are not tolerated here.
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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
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  5. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    My impression is many "normal" people's relationships begin as mainly sexual, then slowly lapse into an amicable (or otherwise...) companionship, without any especially emotional aspect except a sort of sentimental one based upon sheer shared history. On more than one occasion, I've taken the decision to revert to being single rather than settle for something as humdrum and uninspiring and unfulfilling as that.

    Many relationships fail to live up to their own publicity. You may yearn for a relationship so you can have a companion & be fulfilled, then find yourself in a relationship and still somewhat lonely & unfulfilled.

    It is rare & magical to be in a "twin flame" kind of relationship where the bond is so deep & so spiritual that the effort required to sustain it seems both (a) minimal and (b) utterly worthwhile. I think I lost my twin flame in 2011, and since then I've been pretty ambivalent about whether I wanted another relationship or not.

    Tried one more relationship in 2011–2012, but the magic spark wasn't there, so the compromises involved in being in a relationship felt irritating & demeaning, and the sex was just kind of icky & undignified rather than therapeutic & cosmically uplifting.

    I have a pet theory that if long-term relationships were motor cars, many of them would fail their annual inspection and be taken off the road. So if you have Asperger's and are either single or unhappy in a relationship, that may not necessarily be down to your Asperger's! I am lonely & depressed but I'd sooner be that than in the wrong relationship. People tell me my expectations are too high, but once you've felt true magic, you might not want to settle for anything less; and, again, we have to admit magic is pretty rare.
     
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  6. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Relationships are incredibly dynamic, they change,sometimes two steps back, then the next day, you jumped into the next century. It takes a long-time to meet someone at the level they truly feel comfortable. Also, constantly subjecting the relationships to constant tests or questions can interfer with just healthy discovery of each other's quirks and idiosyncrasies. Past issues can creep up from prior relationships on both sides. For a great relationship, it's almost like you have to shed your skin and start out at point A minus those hangups. Anyways, true twin star relationships are incredibly satisfying.

    As far as Mia's excellent post, it was spot on. I just wanted a troll tab when someone popped up and asked me to substantiate traumatic scenes in my lifetime.
     
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  7. Baeraad

    Baeraad Well-Known Member

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    You seem to understand a relationship as a state where you take care of someone else but get nothing back in return. That's not how it's supposed to work. Your partner is supposed to take care of you and try to make you happy, too. You're supposed to both end up better off for the arrangement. That's why it's worth some extra work, because being cared for makes you stronger and happier. It's not supposed to be a zero-sum game, and it's definitely not supposed to be all one-way.

    That's not to say every relationship works like that. Most people could tell you stories of being in relationships where both they and the other person just ended up hurt and miserable and just generally giving more than they got. But the reason why people are stubborn in fighting for bad relationships is because they're hoping (often in vain, admittedly) that they can be turned into good relationships.

    The simple answer is, he was factually wrong. Either party can decide to break off a relationship. In fact, that's usually what happens. But that makes the other party feel hurt and rejected, and wailing "you can't do this to me!!!" is a natural reaction to that.

    There is a bit of an assumed obligation to not hurt other people's feelings more than you have to, and that often means giving them a chance to argue and make their feelings known, even if that won't change anything in the end. Because that makes them feel seen and respected, and that makes the rejection sting a little less. But you're absolutely not required to stay with anyone when you don't want to, and while people might imply that you do because they're not thinking about what they're saying, if you actually pressed them on the subject they'd admit that.
     
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