The more the merrier

 

This post was cleverly scheduled to come out on Valentine’s day; but as those who are familiar with this little corner of the Internet will know, I am not the most punctual of people. Indeed, when asked why I do no take up writing as a profession (assuming I could write professionally), the foremost reason I cite is my inability to meet deadlines. What is life, I daresay, without a little bit of procrastination, and the gnawing regret that comes after the time to affect change has passed?

Ah, but there I go again; prattling on about something that has nothing to do with the theme of this post. Today, sitting by a steaming mug of filter coffee, I wish to talk about the nature of romantic relationships; rather, the nature of relationships in general. More specifically, I wish to present my case in favour of something we’ve come to learn more and more of in recent years: polyamory.

I have long been of the opinion that for any relationship to be truly sustainable, it needs to have a certain degree of “openness”. Relationships which are rigid in their definitions and closed off in their approach to society often find that a claustrophobic environment is non-conducive to their growth. The reason for this, to me, seems quite simple: we are complex beings with complex needs, and so we need to derive our sustenance from a host of people, and not just one person at a time.

Don’t you think it’s a little impractical, really, to assume that one person is able to satisfy all your emotional, physical, and intellectual needs? Conversely, isn’t it a little unfair that you are required to fulfil the very same needs, single-handedly, for someone else? I can, of course, see the charm in this: that one person is all you need for everything, ever, is undoubtedly a charming concept, but how much practical value does it really hold?

Humour me for a while, and picture this: you have your significant other with whom you have a blossoming relationship. Yes, there are fights, but you are able to “kiss and make up”, and you perceive things through rose-tinted glasses. Now it just so happens that you are plagued with an issue which your partner is not adept at handling, or which requires a view which your partner is unable to provide. You seek solace in another individual to whom you attach some value, and your qualms are put to rest.

Polyamory, most people fail to understand, is not just about having multiple sex partners, though that is very much a component of it; neither is polyamory a way to justify promiscuity. Polyamory is about understanding that more than one people should be allowed to influence your thoughts on love, career, sex, and all the other facets that make up life. Polyamory is about embracing the change that is brought by opening up to more and more people, instead of being confined to a box, with only one other mind for company.

Yet another aspect I’ve seen people have trouble with is that of relationships being a spectrum, and not a binary switch between polyamory and monoamory. It IS possible to sustain an emotionally polyamorous relationship without also making it physical. In fact, that has largely been the nature of my relationships for a long while now, and it has caused me little to no discomfort. On the other hand, it is also possible to have a physically polyamorous relationship without having an emotional one. There are hundreds of other combinations which abound when one truly considers the diversity of people, their needs, and the rationale behind relationships in the first place.

As is often the case with my personal posts, I shift the blame for things onto society. Society has conditioned us to make two things an integral part of our lives: labels and definitions. We spend our early years growing up in a society which has an obsessive need to label and define everything, relationships included. A couple who does not wish to label or define their relationship is still called a couple, because how else are we to attach stereotypes and conventional tropes to them. Even the most progressive of us get caught in the rigmarole that is the need to define, if not label.

There is a person, of remarkable intellect and a face which the gods must have forgotten to fault, with whom I sustain a relationship. What kind of relationship, you’d be tempted to ask, and therein lies the problem. Is it not enough that there is a relationship of some sort? That there is something physical (barely, to my displeasure), something intellectual, and something emotional in this relationship is enough of a definition. Our need to define things by assigning labels to them limits our expansion and growth as human beings; this is a belief that has only strengthened with time.

It is not as though I have taken a pledge against labelling, however; I understand the need for certain labels, such as defining certain things as harmful versus safe, or correct versus incorrect. Where relationships are considered, though, I cannot understand the obsession with monoamory, which seeks to lay possessive claim on another person. Relationships are deeply personal things; in fact, they are deeply interpersonal things, and with over seven billion people in the world, to limit the interpersonal interaction of a person to just “the one” other person seems to me inherently selfish.

Bonds are fickle things; they break and form in the blink of an eye. Bonds strengthen when they are allowed to mingle with other bonds, and form a network. Polyamory provides for that chance; the chance to strengthen not just one, but many bonds, by exposing the individual to the treasures of the human mind. Yes, there is a chance that in a polyamorous relationship your paramour would give someone else more importance than they would give you, but that is a risk you both are taking. And, in my very honest opinion, the risk and the (possible) jealousy are worth it, because at the end of the day, you are developing a more honest, a stronger relationship.

 

The life of an If-You-Can-Type-In-Full-Sentences-Sexual

Sapiosexuality, it would seem, is a sin in this day and age. Apparently, to covet a beau (yes, I dare to use that word) who is able to hold a conversation for longer than ten minutes without talking about the specifications of your fun bits is a ghastly mistake. With a population that is growing exponentially and a world that is growing smaller by none too small a rate, this lack of intellectually stimulating partners is frustrating, to say the least. The Age of Idiotic bedmates is upon us, gender irrespective.

There have been numerous occasions when someone of interest has had all the necessary physical charms, is the right age and the right distance away, and is otherwise ideal for casual merry-making, but have lost their appeal the moment they spoke. Words, which so often “seal the deal” where other factors simply cannot, seem to be the downfall of these circumstances, leaving me deeply disheartened and thoroughly deprived of a good evening. Individuals with increasingly lucrative prospects have driven me to the edge of sanity in awe of their charisma, before rudely pushing me back into the heartless reality which gleefully blares that: “no one has it all”.

And so, it seems, no one does. Indeed, the time has now come when I cannot even remember the last time I was associated with a person whom I found stimulating, in the only way that really counts. Not that I devoutly search for physical attributes when looking for possible courters (not that I would ever admit to it here for fear of appearing shallow) but it would be nice if, once in a while, a pretty face were blessed with a shadow of aesthetic common sense. In fact, the physical traits may be entirely ignored in the case of a person who, as the title of this rather an age inappropriate post proudly proclaims, can type in full sentences.

Nothing, in my opinion, is a bigger turnoff than dreaming of chatting up a beautiful specimen of mankind, coming up with a witty introduction to yourself and receiving the words: “lol. hw r u” in response. There are days, however, when those not quite Adonis-like respond to messages in language to impress, but the rarity of those events compared to the frequency of the former makes the overall issue a rather solemn one. One good chat does not a satisfied teenager make.

I wish I could give mankind the benefit of the doubt and say that only the gender which I have approached with less than sandbox-playmate intentions has presented me with such sorrowful results; alas, it is not so. Adamant to find myself the perfect blend of charm and humour, of beauty and wit, of intellect and goof, and basically any other balance there is, I expanded my horizons beyond the boundaries of gender discrimination. Finally, after years of having society define me as heterosexual, and me defining myself as bisexual, I was forced to conclude that I was, in fact, a sapiosexual and that there was nothing that I could do about it.

Of course, the fact that I am distinctly unable to maintain good relations with people is one which I have conveniently overlooked more times than is healthy. Only recently, I found myself thoroughly immersed in an individual who seems to have been formulated out of the concoction of characteristics I mentioned above, with a face to put Narcissus to shame. I would like to tell you the tale of how well we resonate, and how you are all invited to our wedding, and to the high school graduation parties of our daughters Clarisse and Daniela, but then I would have to lie, and I feel we know each other too well for that by now. And so no, there has been none of that, and I am more or less to blame.

You see, I have become so unequipped with coming across a person with whom I can connect intellectually, that I have forgotten how to deal with the situation when it does arise. I find myself trying to squeeze in too many seconds into the one minute, too many minutes into the one hour, too many hours into the one day and so on in a futile attempt of getting as much out of that person as possible. Somewhere in a very deep, dark, unfriendly and decidedly asexual corner of my mind lurks a little voice which convinces me that if I don’t soak up this individual thoroughly at every chance, I shall be left to die in a miserable corner of my one-bedroom-apartment, overdosing on Class A drugs.

I don’t claim that I am superiorly intellectual (as I would like to believe) but just that it is very rare for me to find people who stand where I stand, on the Kinsey and other scales. Over time, I have come to accept that even when I am presented with such miracles of nature, I am bound to drive them away, and so the need to have an abundant supply of them in my vicinity has greatly increased, leading to my becoming more flustered and unbearable. And so the vicious cycle entraps me within its iron hold.

Just before I conclude this completely unnecessary piece of Internet space, I would like to acknowledge that this is, in fact, my first official “coming out” post of sorts, and to all those who receive great shocks at the revelation of my sexuality, I’d like to say just this: really, you should have known.

To those of you who are cursed with sapiosexual friends/relatives/children/siblings/cats: please excuse the narcissism, it’s not really our fault.

Je serai poète et toi poésie

15 - 1

Ah, yes. No one says it like the French. This post attempts to defy the cliché of a “Valentine’s Day post” by becoming part of another one: the “end of Valentine’s Day post”. However, the contents of this post are not meant to stir up deep, thoughtful emotions about love. No, this post is more or less a tribute to the lovely lady whose picture is shown above, whose recent adventures in the world of relationships I have had the pleasure to understand.

You see, caught in the spirit of the Valentine month, I was unable to keep myself from wondering what exactly it was that made relationships work. What was it which held couples together? What was it that brought two people, no matter how unlikely, together in one of the strongest bond which exists between people? My search for the answers to these questions led me to a potential well of information, which turned out to be surprisingly cooperative. It is due to her willingness to share with me her emotions regarding the relationship that I am able to write this post today.

Her relationship seemed to me to be, for lack of a better word, perplexing, and I sought to understand what made this particular relationship work, more than I did what made relationships in general work. What followed was an interview of sorts, the details of which are best left to the imagination. However, the subject of interest here is the inference which we can draw from her responses.

Upon careful and rather extensive questioning, I came to some conclusions, which I care to voice here, for no other reason than because, well, I can. As a reward for satiating my curiosity, I had promised my friend that her time would not be spent in vain, and that something productive would come out of this interview.

The highlight of the interview was undoubtedly the discovery of the motive behind the existence of this relationship. The ten minute long session yielded this result: my friend is in this relationship because it offers her hope, a sense of a greater purpose, if you will. It gives her hope that there is something bigger and better out there, something bigger than any of us, and something better than anything which we have at the moment. I found that gesture to be particularly endearing: that a person could be hopeful due to another person is very endearing.

Another important discovery I made as a result of my unimpeded questioning was that it wasn’t so much about the person itself in a relationship, but about what they offered. According to my friend, her partner offered her a constant to hold on to, something which she could fall back upon when everything seemed to be going up in smoke. To this, the question which naturally followed was: what was your constant before this person came into your life. Her answer itself to this question is, again, immaterial. What we concern ourselves with is the fact that whatever it was that was her constant before, it hadn’t left her. Her partner had merely added on to her sense of stability, which fascinated me to no end.

However, there were some things which confuse me now, as they did at the start of the interview. Needless to say, each of those things merits a post on its own, and so the scope for mention of those qualms is beyond that of this one particular post. The one thing which I would like to shed some light upon, though, is something which I have frequently been accused of. People say that I am too dismissive, that I take away people’s faith where it is not my business to interfere. My friend made me think along those lines: what right do I have to tell her what to do with her relationship, or cast my scepticism towards relationships, on her?

None whatsoever. Which is precisely why this is not a post where I preach, or talk about my beliefs or opinions. This is a post destined to show how a simple girl, who admitted that she considered herself to be on the selfish side of things, decided to share the most valuable possession in her bonnet: her life. For she made it clear that she sees no end to this relationship, at least not in the near future.

The interview, which I can only assume was nothing short of an ordeal for her, showed me many things, particularly the one which is mentioned hence. The ability to see greatness in people who seem to be the worst of the litter is one which can be found even with the most unpredictable of people, and that in that greatness can lie the definition of one’s existence.

This isn’t a claim to, as mentioned above, deep and soulful love. This is an allusion to how even the most perplexing of relationships, and even the most unlikely of couples, can show how things are done. Happiness is the key here, as it is everywhere else, and the key is best found when a pair is on the lookout.

Does this mean that my stance on relationships and commitments has changes? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t like to admit anything just yet, in case the Valentine hangover passes, and I find myself under a mountain of promises which I had no intent of making in the first place.

So good luck to my dear friend, her partner, and their relationship. I wish them all the very best in life, and will attempt to keep my cynicism away from their blossoming relationship.

Happy End Of Valentine’s Day to all.