I just wanted everyone to know my story. I wrote this blog after a holiday I had with my "lover" at the time.
Now she is my fiancÚ, and we are open to all aspects of it. I'll probably write about how things have changed since then at some point.
so here it is:
The Evolution of Relationships in My Mind
UPDATE: This article has been rewritten and remastered to be an overwhelmingly good read and carries my very soul with it. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Finally, It has come. This is probably the most sought after post I'll ever write. Many have been begging me to write for a long time and I have been putting it off (I'll explain why I was/am putting it off at the end of the post).
My views weren't all that crazy for along time. Up until I met someone that turned my brain upside down and helped me make sense. I'm not going to share where or where I met her, as that might reveal her identity. I'm going to start by going over my views in chronological order, identifying which events shaped my mind and reshaped my views on such issues.
Phase One: Growing Up in Saudi
As you can imagine this part of the story is quite boring. My views on relationships that came from Saudi society are very simple: NONE. MARRIAGE ONLY. However, there was another source of opinions; American TV. We were/are a fairly westernised family. Both my parents' travels have made them culturally aware and fairly open to the outside world. So we had american TV at home. This includes all american day time dramas. So my view from those were fairly traditional, How relationships work, jealousy, hard work, expectations, cheating, longevity, and every other aspect of relationship most people believe. I had minimal interaction with the opposite sex, and when I did it didn't go favourably for me. Interactions left me more confused than I first was. So there was no practical situations where I could test and form my own views.
Phase Two: A Cadet in South Shields
South shields let me test out all the information, impressions, and outlooks that I gained from all that TV. So I was what I thought women wanted and needed. I was an emotional, sensitive, caring, intellectual partner. I proudly wore my heart on my sleeve and left it there for the world to see. I was doing this all through my time in South Shields up until the big heart break happened at which point I realised I knew nothing about women and had no idea how to get one to fall in love with me, or even be attracted to me. This heart break created the need I needed to change and fuelled my next phase.
Phase Two: Being a student in Newcastle
As my life moved onto to Newcastle I got a chance that many other people didn't. I get to reinvent myself and present myself as I had wanted to. I did just that, I presented myself as Uber-friendly, social creature that was easy to talk to, and made everyone feel very comfortable. Fresher's week was my first dabble in women. For those not in the know, freshers week was the first week of term where the university has a huge week long event. They take students from all years into their voluntary employ. During the days the older students took the newer ones to different activities and tours of the city. During the night time, every night is as messy and huge as it gets in the town. They take It is an entire week of mayhem and getting to know random people that you barely know and get to know them. This was a week I ,now, describe as "all you needed to pull was the ability to lean over". So I fell into that kind of mentality. One night stands, getting wrecked and talking AT women, not with. and practically no emotion or return business. For me, this suited me nicely. I got the excited of meeting new people every time and explored different opportunities. I did not spend enough time to get bored with them (that's a good thing, I get bored quickly).
So as time went along I started getting more comfortable with my craft and getting to know myself better and better. I had been with a number of one night stands and was slightly disappointed with the amount of intimacy and its impersonal nature. I found that pulling the friend of a friend made it much more personal and added an element of emotion (not a lot though) so I enjoyed going out with different groups of people that I didn't know for this reason. Also made me enjoy pub crawls as well (created a few of my own).
All the while this was happening I was slowly learning about the art of seduction through the various PUA (pick up artists). I found that there was a community of devoted men who turned cruising for women a science in and of itself. There was a vast array of knowledge, insight, techniques, and meet ups. I didn't join the community very actively, mainly because my objective was different than most. I wanted to increase my social skills with the bedding of women an added bonus. Whereas everyone else was only interested in the bedding (I'm not saying that bedding wasn't my objective, but gaining more social skills was a top priority for me at the time). So I went through the articles, the examples, the exercises, and everything they required of me. After many failures, I finally succeeded and passed through to what was considered PUA. I looked back at that moment to the work and I realise something. My original intention was the also the resultant of all the other PUA at the beginning. We didn't get women because of we knew some secret knowledge others didn't. We got them because we grew socially. From social outcasts we became leaders of our respective social circles. Over the course of the journey I gained traits without realising it. We were more confident, more eloquent, more engaging, and more personal in out interactions. Something I have kept with me since those days.
Naturally progression got me thinking about the next step. I considered the first traditional option. a committed relationship. I saw the benefits of such an arrangement but felt it wasn't for me. I saw some things I didn't like about them:
The biggest one was the expectations. This was the worst; each person in the relationship had their own expectations and fantasies of what a relationship/significant other was and was in fact imposing it on their partner. "compromise" they called it. Each one was meant to morph his/her personality to fit around what their partners expectations were. Not only that, but the partners were judge, by each other, on how well they fit this fantasy of romance and love aligned who they are.
2) Finite Emotion
It seemed to me that everyone in a relationship was under the assumption that we have a finite amount of emotions to portray. And that these emotions are utterly controlled by the other member of the party. Most of the time not even directly. An example would be if you met someone new (regardless of sex and orientation) the person would get really interested in this person but be wary of their partner's reaction to this new found friendship/ emotion.
3)Who Owns these Emotions
Something I noticed with couple of that type is that the big emotion (love) is owned (if not controlled) by the committed lover. No exploration is allowed or experimenting. Even the love one has for friends of the sex one is not attracted to has to be limited to intimate-less friendships.
More importantly than all of these there was a committal issue that prevented me from committing myself to someone for the long term; I'm going to end up going back to Saudi at some point anyway, and growing that attached to someone is out of the question. I believed
it at the time.
The only other traditionally accepted option was "friends with benefits". On paper, it seemed not only feasible, but perfect for someone like me. However, reality wasn't so. It was in fact a predecessor to its more traditional monogamous full fledged relationship. I think mostly because of the expectations that people have about them, and how emotions evolve in such a relationship. Also, jealousy played a dangerous very prominent role in these.
There was something else at play too. The reason why I made sure to write the post about change before this one is because it is heavily related. I get bored of people very quickly. Friends or otherwise. and once I'm bored of someone there's no going back. I end not wanting to spend any time with them or trying to engage them in any way. It's not great for either parties to be honest and I have found a solution to this problem some time ago.
I would remove myself from their lives intentionally, in the state where I really want to spend more time with them. I would force myself out of that happy moment knowing that the pain I'm feeling has value in the longevity of this friend/relationship. So I learned to do with lovers as well. I would pry myself in the height of friendship only to return at a later date for an equal amount of fantastic fun.
There is a reason why I chose pictures from the film "Time Traveller's Wife". I originally watched this film because Rachel Mcadams is one of my favourite actresses and I wanted to see everything she was in. However, when I watched it I felt a strange feeling of understanding of the lifestyle she lives in the film. A husband weaving in and out of her life without her control. I realised that would be my definition of a committed relationship (if I were ever to have one). The weaving in and out would be necessary to maintain the long term aspect of our relationship. While the film isn't exactly what I see happening , its an eye opener to the life my lovers will have to contend with.
I carried on carrying these views for some time, at one point I gave up entirely on one night stands, and I had a couple of lovers who I dubbed as "fuck buddies" and eventually some emotions swelled up and they had to end (sometimes from me as well).
Phase Three: Polyamory
Our story starts with a lover and a holiday. I understand now that we're extremely similar , but at the time I just thought she was kool. She explained to me the concept of polyamory and it completely sunk in, I felt my entire essence reverberate with the word and years of misguided outlooks about relationships just vanished at the very thought. Polyamory means having multiple relationships. I define it , because I have to for the reader, but it has no clear definition to me. To me it means the heart is no longer restrained by cultural relationship views. The general gist of it is that you have more than one relationship.
An ideal example would be similar to the following:
1) Have a relationship with someone who is emotional, kind, thoughtful, philosophical, and enjoys talking about her feelings and the like.
2) another relationship where she is fun, outgoing, throws caution to the wind, and is crazy.
3) A third where it is not physical, you just enjoy some time alone talking and perhaps watching a film and spooning.
4) A fourth where you like to read the same things, love to debate about intellectual topics, and perhaps play some kind of sport.
At this point you might say that some of these aren't relationships, they are just friends ships. I call these relationships because of the emotional aspect you place on yourself to your various lovers. Having this many lovers also helps with both my need for constant change and my not-wanting-to-get-bored-of-my-lovers.
I've read quite a few reference on polyamory and generally non-monogamous relationships. Most seem to be geared towards how-to and step-by-step guide and the like. I would have liked there be more resources about the mindset, reflections, lessons, and others. But I have found that most of these resources are geared towards lovers who are not polyamorous, but are with a partner who is. So they need this support and reinforcement and I can support that. That's not to say I didn't learn some valuable lessons:
I don't have any jealousy. Let me repeat it if you don't believe me, I FEEL ZERO JEALOUSY. and if I were to feel any jealousy I would turn inwards and scold myself for feeling that horrid feeling. I understand that most people do feel jealous though and cater to their needs. If someone feels jealous its important to sit down and determine what fear/insecurity brought it up and address the issue. This action coupled with the belief that your partner is committed to your welfare and the relationship, makes for an effective way to deal with it. (a post about jealousy will be coming in the future)
2) Transparent Communication
We're all aware of the couple who hit a roadblock in their marriage because the husband lied and said he was going to the cinema, when in fact he went to play poker with his friends. The act in itself wasn't treasonous in it self but the lying was what hurt the wife. In non-monogamous relationships open transparent honest communication is more important than ever. Talk about what you did/how you feel/what you feel purely for the reason that you and your partner(s) are always on the same page.
3) Own your feelings / Emotional Control :
Owning your feelings means understanding that there is no responsible for how you feel but you. Someone else's actions may trigger some emotions in you, but that's not their fault , and you need to understand. If they decide to alter their actions because of the way you felt, that's cus they are nice people not because they have to/feel obliged to. The natural progression to this is emotional control. For me emotional control mean that I can control the amount of emotion flowing. I'm always aware of how happy/ in love/ depressed I feel. I can also control it and shrink or grow however needed. This important aspect of my survival. and while I may one extreme of control that most people won't have, we all have an element of control if we believe we do. An example would be when you stop yourself from feeling in love with someone we cannot be with them. And then letting your feelings run loose when you are with them. It's important to note that you can never go have full control of emotions or go completely against them. But much like a river of very viscous fluid, it can be guided , not controlled.
so with these three in mind there can happy polyamorous relationships. The biggest problem is finding someone who understands these principles. not an easy task. Most of my lovers have one or two. Only one I'm met in my life has all 3. She also happens to be my lover.
There have been some unforeseen implications because of this life choice that I actually quite like.
Symptom: crushing on someone who is unavailable
Old solution: Do not look at her or engage, escape and ignore to avoid more unwanted feelings.
New Solutions: I wonder is he's willing to share or ask to be part of threesome.
Symptom: Hot girl who doesn't want a one night stand.
Old solution: Oh well! I don't want to offer her a committed relationship.
New solution: I can offer something more, but on my terms.
Symptom: see someone in a very touchy feely relationship
Old solution: feel jealous and try and ignore
New solution: see if they wanna share :-D
The biggest implication is that now I can let myself feel some emotions without the need for me to reign it in , in fears I would get attached. I let myself feel that crush or the feelings I have for someone.
Bringing it all to an end with a point that is important and has the most impact on my life. I'm still new and experimenting with this lifestyle. This means two things:
If its like most things , I'll do it for a while then get bored of it. Then I will know I am not naturally this way inclined and it was all a passing passion. So I'm going to go forwards carefully and see how I feel about this. I may have to step out of it and revisit it at some later date if it proves to be like most fleeting things.
2)Adapt the Business Model
Starting with the person who I learned the word from, right up to every author I've read about the topic. I will adapt all their views and insights to create my own model. I'm going to cater the lifestyle to my liking, not try and fit my life to that lifestyle. This is going to be the hardest/funnest part. Adapting and changing is what I do best and I intend to morph into what makes sense the most. I love challenging myself, the bigger the better.
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