“So are you in a couple now?”
I replied, “I don’t know if you follow my blog at all?”
“I ask because as I share there, I don’t do traditional monogamous relationships.”
“I seek out Romantic Friendships instead.”
“So I am never ‘coupled’ in the traditional sense.”
She replied, “Yes I knew this but don’t you have a main relationship on which you can rely?”
I answered further, “Ha ha. Not really. I just connect with whoever I connect with.”
“Each girl has her own unique qualities I enjoy and appreciate her for.”
“I don’t think in terms of a primary.”
A lot of people wonder what she wondered when she asked about a “main” relationship.
A lot of people who are polyamorous approach their relationship life that way.
Frequently this is because they were first monogamously married.
They only chose afterwards to “open” their relationship.
So it feels more natural to still look at their marriage relationship sort of as the central one.
Polyamory is just a way to configure your love life and there are plenty of variations of that. In fact as many as there are people working this out for themselves apparently!
What I advocate here is my own version.
I call it Romantic Friendships.
Why do I prefer this approach?
Because I believe it is the most conducive form for nurturing and sustaining the feeling of romantic love.
While there are other ways to have a polyamorous love life, and it is even technically possible to have a monogamous romantic friendship, each of these variations loses part of what makes Romantic Friendships ideal for romantic love.
My background is Evangelical Christian.
I still technically adhere to that viewpoint.
I also lived many years in a long term monogamous relationship.
It usually surprises people I advocate the relationship style I now do.
It surprises me too.
I would not have expected to end up seeing things this way.
But I have a long history of ending up thinking things that would have surprised me, had you told me prior that I would end up thinking that way.
This is reality for someone like me.
A Myers-Briggs INTJ personality type.
Endlessly analysing and systematizing for practical purposes?
We tend to end up “way over here” compared to everybody else.
Stubborn creatures we are!
We frequently also stand quite convinced our perspective is correct, because of how thoroughly we arrived at it.
We are still open to being corrected though if new information changes our mind.
But don’t tell us something is so just because you FEEL it is.
Feelings are notoriously non-quantifiable things.
Don’t get me wrong.
I REALLY value feelings.
They are central to romantic love.
I consider romantic love to be my purpose now.
So why do I think Romantic Friendships are a better way to configure your love life?
There are lots of factors that come into play.
Much more than I can describe here.
A lot of it has to do with how attraction works.
And recognizing nature’s designs.
Understanding the difference between attraction and attachment too.
But if I were to summarize the reason for my view in one sentence it would be this:
Romantic Friendships are the best way to configure your love life because ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and familiarity breeds contempt.’
I’m not sure if this is one well known phrase or two.
But that’s it in a nutshell.
You naturally take for granted what you think you HAVE.
What you have ALL THE TIME.
You naturally desire and cherish what you think you DON’T have.
What you are LOOKING FORWARD to.
Romantic love consists in the wanting.
Not in the having.
It thrives on wanting, desiring, looking forward to, appreciating.
It gradually fades whenever HAVING kicks in.
It is about valuing your partner.
Not about taking them for granted.
These are deep rooted realities in your psyche. The reason your romantic relationships experience the problems they do, is you are not taking these realities into account.
You are not alone.
Most people don’t take them into account.
Even when the statistics are made plain.
People still prefer to cling to the fantasy that it will “be different in my case.”
Romantic Friendships take these realities into account.
Your partners are free to have other partners too.
So you never take your connection for granted.
Your partner is not YOURS.
They can be and indeed may be in relationship with others besides yourself.
They are with you when they choose to be with you.
You are never ENTITLED to have them in your life. You value that they choose to share themselves with you but you never take them for granted when they do so.
Instead you look forward to enjoying their GIFT to you whenever they choose to give it.
Because they don’t have to give themselves to you.
They can discontinue your relationship at any time.
They are free to give themselves to whoever they choose.
Whenever they choose too as well.
So you love them with an open hand.
You also do not live with your partners.
So your relationship and experience of each other never becomes familiar.
Monogamy and most forms of polyamory violate one or both of these realities about how romantic love works.
They fail to let absence make the heart grow fonder.
They allow familiarity to breed contempt.
They reap the consequences as a result.
The statistics for relationship breakdown clearly show this.
So that’s a quick explanation of the central reasons why I advocate Romantic Friendships like I do.
As I said there are lots of other factors involved too.
I’ll be sharing those as time goes on.
But what I’ve detailed here is the gist.
So is it clearer now why you should consider configuring your love life this way? What do you think about what I’ve discussed here?
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