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Old 08-10-2013, 01:14 PM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 261

Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
The conversation of "commitment" has come up a few times recently and it has me pondering my relationship strategy and has prompted me to take a closer look at my association with IV.

IV has told me a number of times that her relationship viewpoint is that she is "just here to party". This means that the ideals of sacrifice and compromise are not applicable and that only the things we *want* to express with each other get expressed. That the idea of "relationships take work" is bullshit outright and won't be given any weight. On all of these fundamentals we agree.

The other night IV, CV, and I were chatting about this topic because a friend of mine is in a point in his life where commitment is on his mind and so I brought it up and they were happy to discuss it with me. The central idea of the conversation was "when does commitment to a relationship become unhealthy?". The three of us agree more or less on where this line is.

As I have said in one of the threads on this board, I would consider myself committed to IV. As with my relationships with my close friends, I would cut any of them slack if they were going through some kind of contextual issues and that ending the relationship would only come about due to a fundamental change in our ability to relate to each other in a positive way. CV took it a bit further and explained that, once the relationship continues because of ideals like duty, sticking to your word, toughing it out, marriage, sacrificing, that is unhealthy. The only reason that a relationship should continue is that there is a positive exchange between the people involved; external pressures are nothing but barriers to a rational exit.

To illustrate his commitment to living life without artificial commitment, CV described their relationship as friends with benefits; friends and roommates who have sex. Something about the conversation made me uneasy; the assumption being that I am also considered a FWB to IV. Intellectually I know that this is the only way to relate to people effortlessly, which is something I greatly desire. However, I don't really have any experience actually treating people with this kind of laissez faire approach. While I have always considered myself to be independent and hesitant to put labels and responsibilities on people, this is a whole different level.
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
In true IV fashion, I mentioned the issue to her and she immediately responded with a "question" which clearly stated what the issue was. She asked, "Does 'FWB' feel like it is belittling the value of the relationship?"

Yes, point of fact, it does seem to devalue the relationship. While I intellectually know that the approach of being lovers with my best friends is really the only way to have the effortless romance that I want - "FWB" in my mind also comes with an assumption that there isn't love and that it has an inherently lower value. It gets clumped in with "fuckbuddies" which I would only use to describe a surface level casual association. While I realize that this isn't necessarily the way FWB works, it is nonetheless an association I make with the term.

My close friendships are very dear to me. I love my small number of close friends intensely and I view our friendships as being something of immense value. If we were to share sex and sleeping together that would make the relationship that much more intimate. That's what I have with IV, she is a dear friend who I care for deeply, we are helping each other financially by splitting rent, we share sleep and lovemaking, she cries on me when she is hurt, we laugh together while watching Bobs Burgers, our relationship is exactly what I want minus the things I don't want.

I don't like the term friends with benefits and won't use it to describe my relationship with IV, but as long as I remember the reality of what it means it won't bug me to think that she might describe our relationship that way. It's just a difference in preference of terminology and not a difference in assessing the value of what we have.

I love having smart friends (I'm including you bozos in that as well)
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I think that the term Friends with Benefits probably rankled you because it gets tossed around a lot, and most people seem to really mean Fuck Buddy when they say FWB. Perhaps your first reaction was connected to the thought that you ought to be regarded as more than a fuck buddy. I wrestled similarly with the term FWB; hence I prefer the term "lover-friend," which holds more meaning for me. But really, having a friend is awesome, and having one with whom you share your body is awesome, too! So, FWB doesn't bother me as much as it used to. The thing is - for me anyway - just to be clear about what the words "friend" and "benefits" mean to you. It is interesting that she was talking about CV and you extrapolated from there and applied the FWB to yourself when she actually did not apply it to you at that moment. What kept you from asking her what she would call her relationship with you during the initial conversation? Did you not want to hear her answer, in case she did indeed think of you that way? Glad to read you did talk more about it with her.

Heh, my kinda topic... glad Eponine linked me to it.

I see a massive difference between "[whatever] buddy" and "friends with [whatever kind of] benefits". Someone I call a friend, instead of merely some kind of acquaintance, must be someone who connects with me on grounds of mutual love.

Thus, to me, every healthy relationship is simply a form of FWB, just with the type of benefits differing from case to case... and that's quite different from empty commitment on the one extreme, or from the loose acquaintancey fooling around of "[whatever] buddies" on the other - the former I loathe with a burning passion; the latter doesn't seem my personal cuppa, but sounds okay enough to me if everyone involved agrees on it.

As for commitment... well, as I said, its extreme just sounds like a Fate Worse Than Death to me; so I recoil from the concept in general. I'm a deeply non-committal, independent kind of person... one of the coolest things to know about a 'ship I'm happy in, like the one I share with R. for over five years by now, is that either of us is perfectly free to up and leave at any time we might choose to do so. There's nothing at all making us contractually obliged spending time together or continuing our ship, and IMO, that's awesome - it gives me the feeling that whenever we come together to share a part of our life, it's solely because that's what we really want to do, right now. Any form of commitment would poison that to me by putting the nagging doubt in my mind "are we doing this because we want to, or just out of duty to the contract we made?"

I guess that's why my reaction to the term FWB is pretty different from yours, Marcus... where you see it as devaluing your ship, to my ears the same connotations of non-committal are a pedigree of freedom and mutual love.
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