We can’t keep thinking that one size fits all when it comes to romance.
The reason I think most love advice is crap is because each and every single one of us are so freaking different.
We have different needs, wants, desires, fantasies, upbringings, personalities … how in the world can one methodology or process apply to everyone when it comes to love?!
As someone who grew up seeing themselves as unconventional (and continues to live unconventionally), I never related to most messages I heard about love.
Don’t get me wrong. I tried. I tried really hard!
I was in a serious relationship with someone in my late 20s. I’m talking engaged serious. We were together for two and a half years. He was also the first guy I was involved with long term. Up until him my usual relationships lasted one to two months.
I had no clue what I wanted or what a healthy committed relationship looked like. Needless to say, going in I did not have many expectations or requests. ‘Don’t leave me and show me love.’ Those were pretty much it.
Not trying to diminish the relationship at all when I imply that my ‘standards were low’. It was an intense, passionate, chaotic, soul expanding experience. I would not take it back as it has grown me into the woman I am.
At 27, I was a step-mom, a homeowner, a corporate regional manager, a fiancee. Talk about some big shoes to fill.
For one thing, I NEVER saw or wanted that kind of relationship dynamic for myself. Yet according to the whole world, you find one person, marry them, pick one place to live for most of your life and raise babies.
Yeah, not my cup of tea.
It challenged me immensely but I came out of it feeling wiser about life. It also made me very clear as to what I do and do not want for the next go around.
I wanted to be with someone who I traveled the world with, made a difference together, maybe adopted kids later in life, was cool with me being an entrepreneur, and did not care whether we got married or not.
Although I was becoming clearer and clearer as to what my ideal relationship looked like, it took me a long time to come to the place of being okay having it. To resist conforming. To know that I can design my life and my love however I wanted. That it would be not just okay, but fantastic, because it was made for me!
These days, my personal mantra is as follows:
“I am unconventional and I deserve amazing love, MY WAY.”
Dictionary Definition of Unconventional:
Not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed: “his unconventional approach to life”.
To be unconventional is to act, dress, speak, or otherwise exist out of the bounds of cultural norms.
My Definition of Unconventional:
Anything that’s nonconformist or out of the ordinary.
Being an entrepreneur.
Being a traveler or nomad.
Following your passion as opposed to security and golden handcuffs.
Loving someone regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation
Creating your own relationship dynamic based on what works for you – monogamy, polyamory, or any other version
My Experiences and Relationship Fears being Unconventional:
I have been an entrepreneur for 10+ years, which meant I had this belief that I was too much for guys and that they wouldn’t understand that my career and passion took a premier spot on the priority list.
I have been a traveler/nomad for 3+ years which meant I had the belief that no one would ever want to be with someone who did not stay put and/or would never find someone whose lifestyle would match mine.
I have wanted to experiment with open relationships for 2+ years which meant I had the belief that people would think I was weird or had a problem with commitment. (Even wrote about it in a previous post for GMP)
The more I have embraced who I am, which is someone who walks to the beat of her own drum, the easier it has been to attract a similar type of person in relationship.
My last relationship was with a guy who was just as passionate about traveling as I was, did not believe in the traditional sense of marriage, wanted to make a difference in the world, preferred to adopt versus having his own kid and desired an open relationship.
As they say, like attracts like.
My time with him allowed for an experience that proved to me that anything is possible. We learned a lot together and were able to bust up our own long time limiting beliefs around love and relationships.
Bottom line with all this is that you get to be your damn self and have the kind of love you want!
It’s your life, and your love … live accordingly.
Natalie is a co-creator of the Open Relationship Design eCourse and a co-host of Sex the Podcast. If you’d like support in creating an open relationship that increases intimacy and deepens trust go to www.openrelationshipdesign.com.