I have the experience of being in one relationship that is explicitly secondary (and even prescriptive secondary, based on the discussion above, though that's just my initial take) and one relationship with someone who doesn't follow hierarchy, though it has some "flavors" of secondary (I haven't and won't meet his family as his lover, don't live with him, don't share finances, etc.). I don't have a preference for or against hierarchy, and the different approaches are purely due to the preferences of the people I'm with.
In some ways, the explicitly secondary relationship causes fewer headaches for me. I know where I stand. I don't get confused, and I feel less jealousy. We're also maybe not as close.
The squishy secondary-ish non-hierarchical relationship causes me to have much more jealousy, and much more confusion. (But then, he's sort of primary-ish to me, which makes things more confusing.) In the end, the confusion is something I can totally handle, and the jealousy is manageable, but I recognize that it's there, and it's something to deal with.
I'm on the fence on this issue. I am starting to date someone new, and I realize that issues of time management may crop up, and that even more importantly, I'm going to have to step up my communication skills all around. I'm wondering if using hierarchic terms with the new person might make things easier, or be too restrictive. Is it just a communication shortcut? I'm really just wondering about this out loud, and appreciate that this thread may provide food for thought.
Last edited by strixish; 02-29-2012 at 03:45 AM.
Reason: correct typo