I have been getting a lot of messages to speak my truth. So here goes.
The other day I was messaged by a young man. I thought it might be interesting to see what he had to say so I accepted his message request. The conversation went like this:
(his comments in bold, my thoughts in italics)
Are you married?
No, but I am poly.
Never been married and no kids?
Nope. Didn't want kids. Don't believe in marriage.
Wow, what happened? How possibly is that?
(ignoring the bad grammar) Why does something have to have happened?
That question applies to everything.
That implies there's a story behind the decision, not an intrinsic desire.
There is a story of discovering this was what I wanted but I wasn't interested in going there.
There's always a story behind love, that leads to marriage.
Love doesn't always lead to marriage. Nor should it.
Marriage is a raw deal for women for the most part. It came into existence as a business partnership and still fills that function for a lot of people.
Thinking about the studies that show that women are not significantly happier when married.
Love is also best served by not trying to possess it.
Look up the history of marriage. Marrying for love is a relatively new phenomena.
Trying love is not evil and it creates a form of happiness to someone who possesses it.
Oh, history. now it's new like you said, we all get old.
Where are you getting the idea that I think love is evil? It's the opposite. Love is everywhere and we shouldn't try to chain it, put limits on it, or demand that it stay the same for the rest of our lives.
The idea of marriage as a security blanket for your old age is false.
The more you love, the more your heart opens and the more you have to give. Marriage is all about possession of the other, saying they are not allowed to love another as much as they love you. What is loving about that?
Note to my married friends - I know for you guys marriage is a great thing and you went in knowing this stuff and made this choice. Good for you! I mainly wanted to challenge this guy's ideas about marriage since he was so flummoxed that someone would choose not to be married without some traumatic reason. I wanted to push back against the idea that marriage always has to be the end goal.
Oh, I see
I think he disappeared at this point but I was on a roll.
We change and hopefully grow. You hope the person you are with will grow with you but their path may lead them to places you can't follow. Or they can't follow where you go. That's not failure, that's success. But because we have venerated, "til death do you part", we force people to stay in relationships that are no longer fulfilling. That has caused so much pain to so many people.
We also assume that you can't love more than one person romantically at any one time. That has not been my personal experience. For me, once I've opened my heart I don't close it. Again, the ideal of marriage makes people who operate that way wrong. But it's just different.
The other thing about love? Is that it starts with yourself. If you're looking to find someone to love you to make you happy, you'll always be insecure in the relationship. (btw, jealousy is not a sign of love. It comes from insecurity.) But when you love yourself and choose to be happy irregardless of what your world looks like, that's when you have truly loving relationships.
So yeah, I have very different ideas about romantic relationships. I know what works for me doesn't work for everyone and for a lot of people traditional relationships work great. My truth is that it doesn't work for everyone and telling people that being on the Relationship Escalator is the only way to romantic happiness has been damaging to so many. I want to tear that norm down, allowing everyone to construct their romantic lives in a way that feels true to them. To me, that's the most loving choice I can make.
And I need to talk more about it.