Ever wonder about what makes or breaks a relationship? Being poly sure hasn’t given me any magical insight into relationships but it has given me plenty to think about. And as much as I would wish otherwise, being kinky hasn’t helped that much either in teasing out what makes relationships work best.
Both poly and kink communities are big on preaching about needs and wants. But I haven’t seen much help beyond trial an error on how to decide which is most important to pay attention to. So we are all doing the best we can. No one has that magic wand to wave around, no one can claim we do relationships better because if we can admit it, being poly, being kinky adds to the work a relationship requires.
Why would anyone add more work? It comes down to getting what we truly need.
I may be slower than most in figuring these things out. I tend to need to know all the details before I can see the full picture of things otherwise I never feel sure about how things fit. I’ve analyzed my own relationships ever since my first heartbreak searching for the answers. I’ve consumed a number of self-help books, relationship strengthens and all sorts of what not’s. Very little of all that has helped. There are a few pieces, words of comfort, bits of wisdom to be gleaned. There just isn’t any experts. But in being my own matchmaker….Know Thyself!; is wisdom. Getting there is a whole ‘nother story.
Relationships are all dependent on needs of those involved and the goals, expressed and unexpressed of those very persons. I think most can relate in getting involved with someone who wanted something totally different that you in life. Sometimes, that just isn’t known at the time when the relationship starts. Life has a way of changing things when there is enough energy to produce change.
It’s often the needs that aren’t well-known that prove to be key. I could list a million and one wants but to narrow down what a real need is for me has taken me years. I’ve known compatibility: but on which level, in what aspects and where; can make the difference between thriving and collapse. The surprising aspect is just how important sexuality is turning out for me. Sex drive needs to be compatible so there is some wiggle room. But sexual arousal pattern, needs to match. There isn’t any wiggle room on this at all. Figuring out that sexuality can break down into parts has helped me find the broken pieces in my relationships. It’s clearing up a lot of confusion.
Ambiguity tends to drive me batty. I need clear boundaries, outlines and understandings. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this influences my relationship styles. I’m not sure anymore what I could call a vanilla relationship or where it sits in levels of control and corporation. I am either in control or I am following. If I am fighting for control or fighting to give up control, then it’s not a good relationship for me. I know someone out there is going “Duh!” but please understand this has taken me years to figure out. It’s taken me years to accept myself for who I am. I had to appreciate who I am to even see this clearly.
This is about needs that are far beyond looks, economic status, values and ethics or even religion. It’s not about if the toilet seat can be left up or down or even which way the paper should unroll. It’s not about how one slurps their soup or the way they laugh at a funny joke. It’s not about those deal-breakers that shatter everything. It’s about self-awareness of deeper needs that only comes after experience.
And I am still learning.
Do not Tire of Learning!
~ Delphic Maxims