poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

General discussion about relationship issues.
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EGD
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poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby EGD » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:55 pm

I was wondering if besides the titling issue and/or polyamory facet….

If others just liked not having labels/titles?

I mean, maybe part of my reluctance is that I think people/partners title themselves too fast perhaps?...
And now that gay couples can marry, it doesn’t seem so inconsiderate or simpleminded to say one has a spouse.

Then I wonder do others ever feel really private about their person[s] they are involved with? I feel like I am just so guarded about my personal thoughts and feelings that it extends to my dating thing too. One visual example is that I will hold hands with those that I am good friends with in public, but will not hold hands maybe with the one I am more with. Maybe I just feel it is too personal. Or maybe I don’t just want to participate in the subjugation of myself (identity wise).
Maybe I am okay when it is other than my partner because it means something different or challenging. If someone had an issue I wouldn’t mind going yeah I am holding hands with this person, so what. And I don't mind if I look poly, (or maybe like Spin said the word polyaffectionate somewhere else might be applicable to me).
But then I don’t want people to try to pigeonhole hole me when it would affect me most. Like try to put me in a box and relate to me from that mentality.

So yeah I pretty much flinch at having my own identity… taken from me. Like if people just would like to think of me as _______’s girlfriend. I would rather just be seen for myself. And if I go to a party, I want to stand around with the guys as we discuss our instruments and music we listen to, or what we paint, then be on someone’s arm, or have someone constrictive on my arm wanting me to give them more attention, and have me be less independent. If the person I was involved with played music too that would be cool, but I wouldn't want them putting them arm around me as some sort of "she's mine" sort of cue.

I have noticed at parties I don't seem to behave like other females. But then, I don't know if this is a gender thing or if its an asexual thing or a priorities thing... whatever.
Maybe I am creating the gender thing.
Or maybe I could be more positive and just say oh yeah this person is one of my partners. But it isn't that way. I guess I'd rather not explain it then say anything that would portray less respect for them than what I feel.

Sorry I edited again, just wanted it to be shorter. I guess I am hoping there are some others who might feel what I feel. Sigh.
Last edited by EGD on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Shockwave
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby Shockwave » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:43 pm

Those are some interesting points. I think about some of those things myself.

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Placebo
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby Placebo » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:19 pm

I understand a little. I don't like the idea of being "part" of someone either. Because of that, even though a friend and I have been approximately dating for. . . oh. . . 5 or 6 months now. . . we have yet to actually mention that fact to our mutual friends, parents, siblings, etc. At the utmost, they know that we're friends and get together sometimes to hang out, but no more than that, and you know what? I don't want them to know more than that. It's private, and the relationship we have is not. . . .it doesn't fit within what I think of when people say "dating" or "girlfriend/boyfriend." It wouldn't be understood by others, so I don't want to tell them about it. Actually, we only hold hands when they're no one else about, too. And I think part of it's because both of us are fairly private, we like to "hide" our true selves, and this is one of the truest things we have, it is not open to discussion by the public.

I don't think that's a bad thing.
"Now it's right for me to be me."

Phil Halvorsen, from "The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff" (Theodore Sturgeon)

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ghosts
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby ghosts » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:59 am

I read through this sort of quickly, but yeah, I think I can identify with this.

I'm a pretty private person when it comes to my relationships. I'm also sort of conflicted... I'm not sure what I want people to know and not to know. I feel weird holding hands in public or kissing or being overly affectionate in general. I'd feel kind of strange acting like "we're together" around other people. And with one of my relationships, other people don't really know exactly *how* close we are, and I kind of like that. I don't really want to be known as someone's girlfriend, and I don't want to be labeled. I dunno. It's sort of confusing, because sometimes I do want some recognition of our relationship. ::shrugs::

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EGD
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby EGD » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:59 pm

you know... maybe if I was in a homoromantic relationship i might feel more comfortable with hand holding... i think that is also one of my thoughts too on this...

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ily
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby ily » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:18 pm

Okay, old thread, but what the heck! ;) I haven't been in a romantic relationship, but I do like to talk and gossip about other peoples'. So I can only imagine that if I had one, I wouldn't be very private about it. That said, I don't think I behave like other females ever, let alone at parties. Do you think you'd fall into certain roles if you labeled your relationship? Sometimes I wish I could just label people, to get something like commitment that I'm seeking.

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ghosts
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby ghosts » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:04 am

Can't speak for the OP, of course, but I feel like if I labeled a particular ambiguous relationship I'm in, I might feel like I'm pressured to act a certain way with that person around other people because I'm trying to play a part. That's kind of weird though, because I shouldn't have to feel like I need to fulfill others' expectations of what we should be doing together or how we should be acting, even if we called our relationship "romantic." But at the same time, I know people gossip about our relationship, as both of us have gotten questions about whether "we're together" or have been told that people have been talking about "us." By *not* labeling our relationship, that's also a way of not playing the part that people are expecting me to.

::sigh:: This is a bit confusing to talk about, so I apologize if this all sounds disjointed. But it's sort of frustrating when people just want to talk about my relationships & gossip & be all "Are they together? Are they dating? I don't know! They seem like it, but maybe they're just friends." Why should it matter? Why can't they accept our relationship for what it is? Which is obviously something really important to both of us, as we spend so much of our time together. I hate feeling like my relationship with this person is somehow not as valid or important unless I label it as a romantic relationship. I'd like for people to recognize how important this person is to me without having to feel that pressure to single this particular relationship out as being "the one." Bah.

I realize I'm probably getting a bit off-topic here since I'm not talking about privacy...

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Dargon
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby Dargon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:06 pm

Responding to Ghosts's not really that off topic but maybe slightly off topic, and by responding I might be making it more off topic by whatever:

I have noticed a little bit what you have said about the labels. Since I left AVEN, I have thought about this a lot, and have concluded that while sometimes useful, labels in relationships tend to put too many expectations or restrictions into the mix. Why can't a relationship just be what it is?

For example, I have three friends who I love more than anyone in the world (family included). We talk often (over the internet usually, closest one is about 220 miles away), make a point to see each other from time to time, despite the distance, exchange gifts from time to time, and all and all just plan enjoy each other's company. People have questioned the status of these relationships before. "Just friends" don't drive 220 miles just to spend time with someone on their birthday. "Couples (or more in the case of polyamory)," on the other hand, tend to do more physical stuff than simply hug. In the Socially Accepted Relationship Label System (TM), these three relationships don't fit any category, as it crosses bounds in more than a few places. Thing is, we are all happy with how our relationships are, so the hell with the labels.

Furthermore, going a bit into the polyamory thing, if the labels are ignored, then crossing the boundary into what is currently considered a "romantic relationship" with multiple people might be less an issue. It could even go into what might be considered very controversial territory. Suppose I (I use "I" to make things grammatically simpler) am very sexually compatiable with person A, and enjoy perhaps playing video games with them. Person B and I enjoy going out to dinners and movies and dancing and all the typical "romantic" stuff, but not so much on the sex and video games. If person A and person B both know about each other and the stuff we do and are cool with it, then I see no problem in "going out on a date" with B then returning for video games and sex with A.

In any case, I'm all for relationships just being able to be what they are.

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ghosts
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Re: poly, self-centered ness, privacy and social roles

Postby ghosts » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:41 pm

Yes, great example!

I hate how I'm made to feel like calling this person a "friend" makes the relationship seem less important. I actually feel this - whenever I've heard of people discussing this particular relationship I was referring to, & someone asks if we're together, & another person answers that we're not a couple, I sometimes feel a little twinge. I guess it's not really all that important whether or not they know how important this relationship is to me, because in the end, I'm happy with my life, & people not knowing certainly doesn't change things. But when people are noticing our relationship, & still can't seem to wrap their heads around the concept of an important relationship (yes, *just* as important as your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your spouse) outside of the Socially Accepted Relationship Label System, I tend to get all ARGH.

And about polyamory - I haven't really identified as polyamorous because I also tend not to label my relationships as romantic or non-romantic. Which probably isn't the most important thing when it comes to polyamory, but eh, anyway. I still have multiple relationships, just like this other person I mentioned above. Communication is essential to know what's going on & to make sure there aren't any hurt feelings or misunderstandings - it's the nice, responsible thing to do. But I do think that once you step outside of that system you mentioned, it can be easier to comprehend something like polyamory actually being possible & relevant - or at least for me it has, because I recognize the whole community of people in my life, rather than focusing so heavily on just that one relationship (even if it is one of my primary relationships).