WHY WE NEED TO STOP BELIEVING IN OLD AND DUSTY RELATIONSHIP RULES
It was Valentine’s Day yesterday – or let’s keep calling it love day by the way – and I have to admit, I loved seeing so many beautiful, thriving, giving romantic relationships, where partners were paying tribute to each other and their love. But it also made me think about relationships in the not so classic way and the way we think about them. And girl, we’re so far behind - society messed us up and limited us and or relationships in a big effing way.
The perfect relationship exists in a lot of our minds, and it’s mostly cisgender and monogamous. It follows rules – you find someone (hopefully your soulmate, yay), first you date, then you’re partners, then you move in, get engaged, get married, have a family and grow old together. This is what the media projects, what is often reflected in our families and probably in a majority of our circle. Hell, I’m in a monogamous, cis-het relationship. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with it. But the bigger question is, if this is always what we want deep down? Or is this structure so engrained in us that we simply forgot to follow our instincts?
The other day, I had a conversation with some colleagues about open relationships. The general opinion was a hard no. And I also had the feeling that they didn’t think that an open relationship is a legitimate one. And that made me actually sad.
Why is it that we think that an open or even a polyamorous relationship isn’t a legit one? If three, four or whatever amount of people decide to be together, is it worth less than a monogamous relationship between two people? That thought is a hard no for me.
There’s only one rule in a relationship that always applies: Everybody has to be informed and has to give consent to the situation. If you go for an open relationship, go for it! If you see people in an open relationship, celebrate it, celebrate their decision to stick true to what they want – even if it goes against society’s standards! Hold yourself accountable – make sure you give this relationship just as much as any other one. Check yourself on this, for yourself and for others. Love deserves respect. This goes for ALL relationships, no matter if polyamorous, open or monogamous, homosexual, heterosexual, etc.
Breaking this stigma is hard af. Because the majority of people still think in this very old, dusty way, also about monogamous relationships. I often overhear people say things like: “Oh eventually she will want kids, you’ll see”, “Don’t you think it’s weird that they don’t live together?”, “They don’t even want to get married”, etc. You get the gist. The importance is to hold people accountable. Educate them. We need to learn to let others live their best lives. Whatever that may be for them.
And we need to learn to live our best life. It might be hard at first, you might need a lot of practice to live in a relationship you actually desire, because it goes against people’s expectations. You might disappoint your parents, you might have to put in hard work to be okay with it yourself. It might not work out at first. You might get hurt. But living true to your feelings is freedom.
That’s why it’s important to regularly check in with yourself and your relationship status. Is the conventional thing really right for me? Or do I need something else in my life?
Love is love and it comes in all kinds of different forms and sizes. Maybe you find one soulmate, maybe that soulmate is your best friend, and you will have multiple partners along the way. Maybe you fall in love with two people, maybe with more and you have a closed relationship with them. Maybe you want to explore but still be with someone at the same time. Maybe you will get married, maybe you won’t. Just know: It’s all up to you, it’s your life and only you decide. The truth is that only we ourselves decide what relationship is fit for us, what shape and size makes us truly happy.
The beautiful thing is, that we have the freedom to costumize a relationship however we want to. How amazing is that?
So don’t be afraid of the opinion of others – the important thing is that you are real with yourself.