We’ve always been told there is only The One out there for us. Just one. But here’s the thing, human beings are not a completely monogamous species. Let’s face it, both sexes are often on the lookout for the next story, the next connection, especially if they’re involved in one already.
It’s our nature. Aside from dolphins, we’re the only species that has sex for pleasure. Like most males in the animal world, we seek to spread our gene pool. Or just to experience somebody else, whether to boost our ego or just because the moment presented itself.
In the society we’ve been raised, boys are taught to believe that the more girls we have a sexual encounter with, the manly-er we’ll appear. Girls are taught the opposite and if she experiences more than one partner sexually, is automatically judged.
We’re told that all we have to do is find a partner who can make us laugh, cry, be there, hold space, bear children, cook, be compatible, nurse us, be intelligent and intellectually stimulating, be bedroom compatible and sex Gods, trusting, committing, physically appealing, never look at another man\woman again and having a stable financial base doesn’t hurt either.
But what we don’t realise is that it’s what feeds our stress levels. It’s far too much pressure to put on any one individual being. And eventually, when there’s too much pressure, the top blows and, like your hair, you’ll fall off.
Relationships between humans should be divided among humans. Like your circle of friends; there’s the party friend who’s wild and free. The friend who you can tell your darkest secrets to and consult with. The friend who you play sports with on the weekend and the annoying friend you can’t seem to get rid of.
Relationships would be so much easier (and less pressurised) if we all had a partner for each of our many different needs. How many times have you said, “He’s great for camping trips, but he’s a jerk when he drinks”?
And it doesn’t necessarily mean that partnership is always a sexual relationship. It might get a little physical but it doesn’t mean it always has to end up in the bedroom.
My partner wanted us to be in an open relationship. I knew what it meant but didn’t realise what it entailed. As the man, this should have been the ideal situation; I’m free to be with whoever I want but have my main squeeze to whom I can turn to for anything.
Out of respect (without respect we lose control and pain is inflicted), we set rules in place: When we’re together, we are together. When we travel separately, it’s a chance to explore.
My partner is my best friend, the closest human to me on this planet. But the thought of her being with another man, whenever we were apart, would raise my anxiety and stress levels to match what you felt when Trump won the elections.
If she didn’t answer the phone, email, message or Skype, my thoughts and suspicions would immediately wonder to her being with someone else. I would allow myself to drown in this hurricane of suspicion, accusation and hurt… so much hurt… but I could never bring it up with her even though we talk about everything. And I mean everything. It would’ve put extreme pressure and stress on her and us. And I was starting to feel resentment against the woman I love and am in love with.
My insecurity issues had weakened me against my own Ego which had taken full control.
In the almost two years that we’ve been together I went from a happy, bouncy and lighter-than-life fun guy to a heavy, sad, consumed-with-anger-and-suspicion non-being. I wasn’t living. And I wasn’t allowing her to live.
Without realising it, I was holding myself back, holding her back and, she in turn, held me back. Which meant we were holding us back. We weren’t allowing ourselves to feel the freedom we needed.
My Ego had successfully fooled me into thinking that I could be the All-I-can-be for her in the one package. But both our Egos became the third and fourth wheel.
Instead of challenging myself — which really meant my Ego challenging me, because it was all about the Ego — I should have found a way to be able to let her go and for me to get out into the world. I closed down and went offline because all my focus and attention went to try and satisfy her every need.
It almost destroyed us.
We are conditioned to expect so much from just one individual and all we end up doing is being blinded by these impossible-to-fulfil expectations. Eventually, you drift apart and hurt each other. You end up fighting, always demanding a change, always wanting the other person to take more responsibility, to be less hurtful, more compassionate, more understanding.
I know now and, more importantly, accept, that every time we’re apart, when we reunite, it’ll be like those first few months at the start of a love story. When things get too much, just hit the road for a bit and know and have the confidence that you, and your significant other, will come back to each other.
We should all have multiple partners and different experiences, with the freedom and confidence knowing you aren’t doing anything wrong — as long as you’re honest with everyone involved (and shrug to society’s judgement).
You’ll have a balanced, harmonious relationship with your partners, learn so much more about life and relationships, lessons that you can then pass on, cause less pain and abuse and you’ll feel lighter, less pressurised to live up to expectations that society and its shepherds have decided that that is the way to live.
Nothing is permanent. Everything is finite and the sooner you come to terms with that, the easier life becomes.
Sometimes being with someone else makes you realise why you’re with your partner. Like how travelling broadens the mind. Everyone has something to give, something to teach. Why limit ourselves to just one resource of information when there are many to explore?
Now, I truly feel free enough to go out and experience other connections without guilt. I’ve quelled the hurricane of suspicions. Thoughts of resentment and anger have evaporated and can’t feed my Ego which has weakened significantly. I’ll do my thing, she’ll do hers, and when we catch up we’ll catch up on a lighter human level. She knows she can come to me for anything and talk about anything just as I know I can go to her for the same.
We’re both taking a step forward rather than back. Rising in love, being hopeful romantics, setting less boundaries. Being accepting and open. It’ll be scary and it’ll take time to shed that shadow of guilt. But as long as we support each other and respect each other’s space, we’re going to be fine. We’re going to be better.
I know for myself that it won’t be easy but like with anything in life, nothing you want is. But the more you communicate and stay honest, the easier it’ll become. You’ll be surprised at how open you can be with your partner even if you and they see other people.
Sometimes you need time apart. Just be clear to each other what that entails. Communicate with absolute honesty and set rules in place that you both agree to. And don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Otherwise things can backfire quite rapidly. And you’ll be rinse ‘n’ repeating the conditioning and lose your hair.
And always – ALWAYS – practice safe sex. Your partner deserves to know if you’ve been with someone without using condoms because you’re putting them at just as much risk as you are putting yourself.
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