I am a relationship anarchist. looking back, i can say it started when i became an unsolicited part of date-culture, and me and my female friends (i thought i was somewhat ‘straight’ back then. it has been a long road, people...;)) went to bars where we only seemed to get together to talk about guys and to maybe check out other guys. I felt like i needed to date because i needed the stories. and so i did, ‘cause i was always willing to take care of the entertainment. :)
so I dated guys through datingsites. I hated this, because i have always hated the talks with straight cis-dudes in bars. so I mainly did lots of one night stands, which i liked better because then i could party with my friends first and just take home a stranger without having to listen to him a lot. and while i was in the middle of those moments with random dudes, i thought about the caricature i could create telling my friends about him, or about the clumsy funny situations or bad sexstories to share with them.
-it wasn’t all cynical, i even sincerely enjoyed myself a couple of times, mostly because the guy was funny and/or hot, and i couldn’t WAIT to tell them all some days later at our weekly gathering.-
date- and fuckstories are worth sharing. at the same time, i had by far the most fun-times going out with my friends. because my friends are the fucking best! they have always been. I have always loved my friends so much and thought they were the coolest bunches ever. I was a proud friend.
sometimes i even fell a bit in love with new friends, my so called ‘friend-crushes’. this could mean i was open for physical intimacy with them, other times this wasn’t really what i thought i wanted, or i just left it out there in the unknown/undecided. I just wanted to be close to them, cuddle them, they made me happy, they made me a better person, they were the ones i wanted to share my life with. and they still are, the same ones, and more recent ones.
this is why it is so confusing to me to live in this discourse of relationships where only romantic love and sexual contact is worth sharing stories about. I am non-monogamous, which means i am not limited to being with one partner to be intimate with in whatever way. then why is it that i am expected to share certain stories with some of them, whereas other stories don’t seem to be a danger or even worth mentioning?
I struggle so much with the distinction continuously made between relationships worth telling stories about and relationships taken for granted in narratives. I really don’t see why my lover should tell me all about their romances while they are not expected to compare our love to the intimacy i experience with close friends...
i would ask myself: is this story or relationship with the other person a danger to our relationship? no? then why present it like that, and at the same time leaving out other scenario’s of intimacy?
why should i tell my partner about that date i just had a coffee with and not about meeting my friend the other night and having the most life changing conversations?
I don’t want those questions, i want to break the hierarchy and the structures that create that hierarchy. I want small stories to become worth sharing, and big narratives to become less dominant.
I want relationship anarchy. poly is not enough. polyamory is an open door and that’s why relationship anarchy means so much more. of course we’re poly, we love our people, every now and then! we’re in a rhizome of encounters and relationships, and the ones that matter are the ones worth sharing.
and what matters is what we value as stories to be told.
we need to change the discourse of which stories are worth sharing, by upgrading the stories about our beloved friends to the same level as those with lovers and dates.
nothing is a danger to something else when it comes to human encounters, cause all love is different and equal. and don’t get me wrong, my jealousy can be bad, but is never about this distinction either. I can be jealous of everything and everybody. and that’s ok, i think, as long as i look at the jealousy as something that indicates some other fear i have. and my jealousy of things i can’t seem to have gets worse if i feel like the connections i invest most in are not worth as much as dates with lovers. I don’t think i am the only one.
there was a period in my life during which i was not only single, i also didn’t really have lovers or dates. people asked me: how’s your lovelife? and it made me feel so uncomfortable. I started to reflect upon this uncomfortable feeling, and i found out it was there because i knew they were asking me about dates, lovers and romance. I had no stories to tell, which would make my lovelife shit. but it didn’t feel like that at all. I felt very loved, by my friends and community. I also sometimes had sex or playdates with friends, and i felt like those were a bit more worth sharing than the ones i had a platonic friendship with. that felt not right either. like being naked with each other got you to a next level in the hierarchy of connection. sometimes yes, maybe, but other things do that as well. so i decided to try and answer this question differently. it went like:
“How’s your lovelife?”
“Pretty awesome. I feel so loved. I had the best conversation yesterday with my friend D, we talked and had dinner and drinks and we hugged goodbye and it made me feel so good.”
I want dates with my lovers and friends where i want us to ask each other: how is your love life? and i want this question to be about my friends, my lovers, my partners, and the beautiful strangers. love is love right?