Lately, it seems that multiple key figures in my life have been having difficulties in their romantic lives (no names given to protect the innocent) and this troubles me. Not so much because their problems involve me directly, but because I care about them all and don’t want to see them hurt. I have a very ‘big brother’ instinct to want to punch anything that makes people cry.
However, after these problems blew over (or at the very least stabilized themselves), I noticed that they all have the same common problem; they were non-traditional relationships where all parties involved failed to communicate to each other.
Now, I’m not going to say that these so-called alternative relationships are bad or destructive. I’ve seen plenty healthy relationships work out with multiple partners and partners of the same sex. Hell, often they have whole families of their own that are more stable than the average traditional family.
I think the problem here is that the times have changed. Alternative lifestyles are more accepted than ever before. As a result, new people are indulging their curiosities. And that’s perfectly fine, but they’re often so eager to dive in that they disregard forming that mutual understanding with their partner/partners.
I cannot stress enough how important talking to each other is. Don’t wait until it becomes an issue to discuss it either; nip any potential problems in the bud now. Talk about each other’s needs, other partners if you’re interested, and even the small stuff like music and mood lighting.
And don’t give me the diatribe of, “but a relationship is supposed to an adventure. You need to figure things out for yourself.” F*** that noise. That’s why I broke up with my first ex-girlfriend.
Incidentally, that’s also why I make it clearly and openly known that I’m asexual. I owe it to anyone that may have an interest in me that there are just some things I have no desire to get involved in up front.
As for why that is, It’s not that I don’t feel romantic inclinations towards others; far from it. In fact, it’s not uncommon for my heart to be caught several times a day. I simply have no room for the sexual aspects of traditional relationships in my life.
For one, I’m far too busy to concern myself with sex. I have a day job to pay bills, a passion project that I’m trying to make into a business, multiple hobbies to maintain my mental health, and the full list of chores to do around the house. Even if I did care about it, I doubt I could adequately dedicate myself to it to my partner’s satisfaction.
Then there’s the aftermath of sex; parenthood and STD’s. Contraception isn’t infallible, after all. “What if something happens? Can I be a father? What if they get diagnosed with something after?” Given my mind’s tendency to race with uncontrolled thought, it’s a miracle that these thoughts haven’t led to castration yet.
That said, I recognise that sex is a need that others need to fill. So I don’t judge and I communicate MY needs to any one that’s interested until I find the right person (or persons – who knows what may happen?) with the needs to match. And really, that’s all any of us can do.