I can always tell when I have gone off on too escoteric a stream, because my page views drop off! So let me return to some basic, good old fashioned, chit chat about relationships. Specifically, let’s talk about Non-escalator relationships.
“Non-escalator relationships can be short term and casual, and they can also be long term, emotionally invested relationships. They are build-your-own-lunch-box relationships, relationships a la carte. But, how do people in non escalator relationships measure the investment? How do they read emotional commitment, security, and the ongoing life of the relationship, when they aren’t defaulting to the regular milestones of dating, moving in, getting married, and so forth?” – Polysingleish
I respect Polysingleish very much. She is one of the most authentic, responsible and mature people I have met in terms of grown up relationships. While I am monogomous (granted, it appears to be seriel monogamy), there is very little that she and I do not hold as common beliefs about healthy relationship. So I often turn to her writing to explore a new issue.
Here I am, at a point in my life where I do not need a husband. I do not need a romantic relationship, per se. If I am with a man, it is because I chose to be. I am not likely to enter into an Escalator Relationship anytime soon. So, what do I value in relationship right now?
Friendship: What is more important to me is continued friendship. Sexual chemistry comes and goes. It is a reflection of the intimacy in the relationship.
Emotional Vulnerability: if I have to seperate this relationship from the rest of my life, what is the use? How can I learn and grow, if this is something that happens on the side?
Inter-relating: Now here is a good one. I feel a responsibility to keep my child protected for emotional attachment that may not be handled responsibly. I feel a deep empathy at the sadness she feels over her godfather having no interaction with her, despite his many years of engagement and attachment. So while I don’t mind the inter-relating in my adult relationships, the child is not part of that.
Why: my only purpose in relationship is deepening. I want a co-partner for the awakening journey, to help bring my emotional maturity in line with my spiritual maturity. The includes deepening in my expression of love.
Sex: I am fully open to a distance relationship so I don’t know what the edges of this are for me. I value emotional intimacy very much. I value sexual intimacy as an expression of that, without limits.
Happiness: A healthy relationship to me looks like a relationship between adults. Adults seek equality in their relationships whereas those who operate from a child’s perspective often assume the role of either the parent or the child in relation to their loved ones. “People whose actions are based primarily on the adult mode relate to each other as independent individuals with considerable give and take in terms of reciprocal need gratification.” They have developed their capacity for both giving and accepting love and do not attempt to recreate a parent in their partner by forming an imagined connection or fantasy bond with them for safety and security. Psychology Today
Labels: The only term I am willing to accept is Partner. Not spouse, not friend. Partner.
Commitment: I do well in committed relationships. I expect commitment to be negotiated. It is a balancing act, and probably the part that is most important to me to surface – are we in the same relationship? Commitment means you are fully emotionally available and you invest in the relationship we are creating. As soon as we are not both committed to that third entity, there is nothing here but love and friendship.
The Future: I resist anything that closes down possibilities. While I am not looking for a husband, and probably won’t marry again, I can see myself in a life long partnership that is defined by us, not a legal requirement. I could see living together once my child is old enough, or gone! I have seen many beautiful relationships, full of passion and power, that were distance relationships or did not involve sharing a home. As long as my emotional and spiritual needs are nurtured and in balance, form does not matter.
So where does that leave me? “You are a healthy responsible human being. You can handle a grown up relationship,” says my friend. And I completely agree with him.