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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Relationships and Polygamy, or 'Why People Need to Open Their Minds to Alternate Lifestyles'

One of the things that I've become aware of in the past few months of being "single" is the perception other people have of any lifestyle or relationship that is different from the normal, conformist one. Since breaking up with a man I spent four years of my life with, I have been embracing my freedom and almost making a point of seeing more than one guy at a time. My realisation when I broke up with my ex back in July was that, despite how much I loved him (and, honestly, still do), the fact that my life revolved around him was not a good thing. I had no real friends of my own* and my social life involved him and his friends. From then on, I made a conscious choice to not let that happen again. My life would no longer be about my partner, but about me, my choices, and what I wanted for myself. Never again would I stop myself from doing something just because that was what was expected of me, because I knew that that's what other people would want from me.

I made an account on OkCupid, where, for the first few months, I spent my time largely just chatting and flirting to a bunch of people. In October, I met up with a lovely boy, who we shall call J. We agreed to have an 'open relationship', in which I could continue to see other people, sleep with them, even form relationships with them if I wanted. That particular relationship didn't last long (til just after Christmas), because essentially we were just too similar (we are still friends and I'm glad I met him etcetc). While I was with him, I met another boy, who I shall call C. We became very close pretty quickly, and right now we are basically at the point of exclusivity since J and I broke up.

I never made a secret of my relationship status with any of the boys with whom I was having flirtations, whether they were likely to go the whole way or otherwise, and when my family asked about things, I never lied. But this led to some very interesting conversations with my sisters in particular. They usually went like this:

Sister: Fran, do you have two boyfriends?
Me: Sort of, yeah, I'm seeing two people.
Sister: Isn't that kind of mean?
Me: Wha? Why? They know about each other.
Sister: Oh, that's alright then. As long as you aren't sleeping with both of them.
Me: Wait...what?

I found this concept particularly amusing. It's ok to be in emotional relationship with two people as long as I'm not sleeping with both of them? Surely, if we're going by what people see as moral, it should be the other way around? The way I see it (or rather, the way I would see it if I was not in support of non-monogamous relationships in general), it's massively more unfair to be romantically involved with a person other than your partner than to be having a purely sexual relationship with a person outside of your relationship. I want to clarify, here. I am not talking about cheating on your significant other. By 'non-monogamous relationship', I mean one that is entirely consensual and where all parties know what is involved.

Since breaking up with J and being in a semi-serious, if not exclusive or 'official', relationship with C, I have planned several meetings with other guys. Only one of which has come to pass, but I never slept with him because of the guy's misgivings, as I would have been coming straight from C's house. I almost get it. Almost. We are still good friends and I am happy to stay that way. But then this weekend I was supposed to be seeing a different guy, for whom it was purely physical and I had no emotional connection to (which is odd, for me, I have to say), said something similar - that it would be weird if I came straight from C's house to go and see him, given the plans we had. Now, I had made no secret of the fact that this was what I would be doing. He knew that I would be spending the day at C's house then leaving to see him in the evening.

The way I see it, I can see how it would be a bit odd if I was coming straight from having sex with C, but I am not gross enough not to at least shower in between. I don’t see how there is a difference between it being the same day or the night before. Sleeping? What difference does sleeping make to such things? I just can’t work it out. Can someone explain it to me?

The other thing that I am seeing on an increasingly regular basis is the 'you cannot love two people equally' argument. Perhaps YOU can't, but you don't speak for all people. Now, while I am at the point where I don't want anybody else in my life except for C, I know that he's not quite there yet and that there are people who don't want monogamy at all. I don't think it is fair of people - people who are generally open-minded and liberal - to judge any other person on their consensual relationships. It is not the place of others to decide what people do with their lives, to judge them on actions which, in essence, aren't morally reprehensible in any way. My mother insisted that what I was doing while seeing both J and C was "immoral". I fail to see how. I was honest, I was open, and had either of them ever developed an issue with what was happening, I would have stopped it. I never saw the guy I was supposed to see this weekend for various reasons. Firstly I realised I wasn't comfortable doing it (sorry love, if you ever read this). I have had some issues recently with my mental health which mean that, while I am desperate to feel wanted, if I had gone ahead with it I would have ended up feeling like shit. Secondly, C didn't want me to go. Part of me wanted to be defiant for reasons I'm not going to go into, but at the end of the day the entire premise, to me, of an open or non-monogamous relationship is based on trust and respect. Doing something which goes against what the other person is comfortable with breaks both of those things.

I think I've rambled enough, now. I just needed to have a small vent about people's interpretations of my life choices and those of others. What is right for you may not be right for others and vice versa. Tolerance and at least a vague attempt at understanding something you find it difficult to wrap your head around are, to me, the most important personality traits a person can have. Judging people for doing something which harms no-one** is, imo, the worst thing you can do.

*NB: by 'friends', I mean people with whom I spent time with socially on a regular basis. I have a lot of wonderful, beautiful, amazing friends who mean everything to me.

**NB: I want to point out, here, that I am aware that often people go into polygamous relationships for the wrong reasons and often wind up hurt. For the purposes of this post, however, those people are irrelevant because they are doing something which they know will be harmful to them and are deceiving the other parties involved, and therefore it is not the responsibility of said other parties, imo.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crisis Averted

Hello again world!

So last night I went to visit my big sister who is getting married in May. She was having a dress crisis, having spent £1400 on an Alice Temperley dress a few months ago that is two sizes too big for her (but which, of course, can be altered and things). She decided on Wednesday that she didn't like it any more since the one photo of it that exists on the internet doesn't make it look particularly great, so she was on a 'I need a new dress!' kick. Mother and me went to go and talk her out of it, because, y'know, she's not going to get that £1400 back for it. We were largely successful in our endeavour (crisis averted!), and we got a tasty pasta bolognese out of it. Huzzah!

However, there is still another dilemma, and that is to do with my own dress. Now, I am at the point right now where I am pretty happy with my weight (need to lose another stone or two since I've put one on since Christmas/New Year), but I am also blessed with hips and a chest the size of Norway. Those things make dress finding very difficult. I can't get away with wearing the same kind of thing that my twin sister, who is a size 6/8 and built like a supermodel, can get away with. I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing anything that involves me wearing a strapless bra, since, y'know, I don't want to be spending the whole day pulling up a bra. That doesn't rule them out completely - if I find a fit fit fit strapless or one-shoulder dress, I'll wear it - but it means I'd rather wear straps.

I actually found a few nice ones that would be perfect...if I wasn't 6'0". I seem to be needing to bang my head against a wall trying to find something nice, since I am the pickiest person ever when it comes to clothes shopping. Plus it has to coordinate with twinnie's dress, as well as fit in with the general hippy-chic theme of the wedding (camper vans and vintage teacups, that kind of thing).

Soooo I should probably get on with doing some actual work now.

Song for the day: Regina Spektor - Poor Little Rich Boy

Thursday, 17 February 2011

'About Me' and the perils of finding photos that fit.

Hello world.

I figured I should probably actually write something in here so that it's not just a blank-ass blog page with a bunch of links on it :D. So I am dedicating my first post to the blog creation process!

First thing that I would like to say is SCREW YOU BLOGSPOT. Restricting your background picture size limit to 300kb and then saying that if you want a full-page background the picture must be 1800x1600 or above? Bad. Show. It took me forever* to find a photo that fit both of these requirements.

So then came the fun fun fun task of writing an 'About Me' section. I hate writing about myself at the best of times, but usually I can get away with being totally self-deprecating and pass it off as being cynical and sarcastic. But this is more like writing a Personal Statement. I'm sure all of you know how bloody hard it is to write a Personal Statement without making it seem like you're totally up your own arse. I did have several suggestions, of course. One of which was, 'I like moaning and getting on Adam's tits :D', which was nice of him >.>. Other than that, there was very little of use. Another friend of mine suggested I write a list of Things Franki Likes. Except that would be boring and things.

Um um um. I am now under pressure from the Super-Awesome-and-Wonderful Fudgecrumpet to get posting, so I shall have to cut this short. Later I will discuss how Adelle is fabulous and amazing and cool and things.

Song for the day: Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes

*Note: Not actually forever. More like two hours. Which is still a long time just to find a picture of a panda.