I’ve gone back to therapy. I took a year off because it just feels like first world indulgence, but my psychiatrist refuses to give me meds refills unless I’m in regular therapy, so there you have it. I like my therapist, I just hate to pay for it, or take time out of my schedule for it. I figure I should just be able to think my way out of my emotional issues.
Yes, you may laugh at me now.
Anyway, my assignment for this month was to come up with a template for my ideal relationship(s). Since this IS a poly, sex, kink, relationship blog, I figure this makes for a good post idea. So here is what I wrote for my homework.
Ideal relationship. This is hard to do because I am not looking for just one person, one relationship that needs to fit or come close to an ideal. I’d rather create a network of friends and lovers and people who care about me (notice, I can’t quite bring myself to say “partner”) who are all interconnected, or who, at least, are all aware of their connection through me. But maybe within that web there are a few tiers of relationship types, and perhaps I can describe those.
Primaryish. The thing is, my kids are my primary relationship right now. So whoever moves into this position in the web of being a “primary” relationship… well, they’re going to have to understand that they’re secondary to my kids. So they’re really only primaryish. These people will never live with me, but they’ll live close (remember, we’re talking about ideals, here) less than 15 minutes, best to live less than 5. This is because my schedule is so hard, it’s good to be able to maximize time with the people I care about.
Living too far away makes it harder to fit visits in, cuts down on those spontaneous mid-week visits that can help increase the feeling that they’re an active part of your daily life, and requires more of a set-aside chunk of time. And I realize that I DO need frequent visits with the people in this category, or they won’t be primary. The visits don’t need to be long, in fact, I prefer that some of them be short, sweet, and casual. The point is to see them, to reinforce that this person is part of my daily life, and to smell/touch them in some capacity. As much as I’d like to be completely cerebral, I’ve realized that smell and touch play an incredibly important role in my ability to be content in a primaryish relationship with a person.
This relationship needs to be with a person who likes my kids, is comfortable around them, but does not want to parent them. The relationship is strong enough that it can survive the disruption of plans that children create, and flexible enough to be able to bend those plans to accommodate those disruptions in creative ways. I’m kinky enough that the relationship needs to be a strongly sexual relationship, with a thick streak of bedroom-only dominance and submission. This person won’t be a sadist, though s/he might have some sadistic desires, but will be a Dom(me), and will be one of those that loves brats and doesn’t take any of it too seriously.
It’s important to me that this person be first and foremost a very good friend. I have to be able to feel like I can talk to this person about anything and everything. They have to have enough of their own life and friends that my own busy life, and introversion (meaning necessary time alone to recharge) doesn’t leave them feeling left out, but they need to be able to make space for me and my web of connections. If they can’t be comfortable socializing with my friends then they’re not going to be able to be primaryish because I’ll see them much less often.
They also need to be comfortable bringing me into their web of friends. They need to have enough self confidence that they do not feel threatened by my close and intimate relationships with others, and enough self possession that they can take care of their own negative feelings (jealousy and anger and sadness) without relying on me to fix them. They need to be able to articulate what they need of me, and when they need something, and when they just need me to listen. I need to be able to trust implicitly that they’ll tell me when something is wrong as soon as they figure it out, and won’t hold it against me if I don’t figure it out first. They need to respect that I have to go slow emotionally, they need to be able to engage with me when I express a want or need or finally confess a feeling.
Finally, they have to want to see me. Want to see me enough that they’ll take the initiative sometimes to make that seeing happen. I know, this sounds like something so simple. And yet LS didn’t do this, and I accepted it. He’d say he wanted to see me, but unless I took the initiative, set a time, set an activity (usually making him dinner), it didn’t happen. I just figured that he was busy and stressed. But I’m busy and stressed and I did it. So not again. I’m just assertive enough that I’ll make moves to see someone, but if they don’t reciprocate that — no matter how much they SAY they want to see me — then I’ll stop doing it for us.
So that’s what my primaryish relationships would look like. Definitely not as involved as other people’s primary relationships. Definitely nothing like marriage or life partnership as I see it demonstrated in other people’s lives. Perhaps as my kids get older this will change. At least for the next two years, however, it won’t.
I think the key here is that if I don’t fairly quickly WANT to have these people around as a visible part of my relationship web — have them know my children and other relationships (as opposed to thinking that they’ve been around long enough that I SHOULD feel that way) then they’re not primaryish relationships.
Secondary relationships. If my primary relationships look more like other people’s secondary relationships, then I think that my secondary relationships might look like friendships that have occasional benefits, or occasional lovers. These are people that I see less frequently, that I do not consider part of my everyday physical life. While the relationship is important to me, their daily (or even weekly) presence (or sexual energy even if we see each other frequently) is not. They might drift in and out of my life, but each time they come back in, they slip back into place.
If my children are my moon, and my primaryish relationships are the inner planets orbiting with me (not around me, I think, rather, I’d like us to be orbiting around our own personal fulfillment, the sun of our joy), then these secondary relationships are like the outer planets, comets, asteroids with large, elliptical orbits. I would consider them secondary relationships — rather than just fuck buddies or friends — because even if we’re not currently sexually intimate, I still consider our friendship to have the possibility of expressing itself sexually when they’re around. And any primaryish relationships would need to be ok with that.
Ok, I think this is enough for now. This post isn’t nearly as eloquent or funny as I like my posts to be. But it’s heartfelt and earnest.