sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:30am on 27/12/2011 under , , ,
I think it's kind of uncool to like Alanis Morrisette, but I'll admit I was influenced by her, growing up. I listened to music on repeat, those days, to hear how it was being made, try to get into the heads of the performers, and of course learn the lyrics (I've always found it difficult to follow any kind of accented singing voice, and various tones make it hard to make things out). I've just been talking briefly on twitter about mutuality, gift-giving and expectations in relationships, and my take is always that as long as there is mutuality, some kind of reciprocation, I'd never worry too much about how it's done; my brother, for instance, just bought me a book because he "owes me a present", which prompted a brief discussion of the term "owe". Culturally we're taught to expect that people exchange Things, the bigger and better the Thing (or the more well-planned) the stronger the relationship. There's no getting away from it, we're all part of the culture, and in truth we do like these tokens of affection, as much as we appreciate the objects themselves (books and music are particularly precious to me, and that someone knows this is a sign of how close we are). I'd like to think I can appreciate the positive, generous side of that, the reminder now and again to be sweet to one another, without making people feel the negative pull of obligation, shame or embarrassment that they haven't or can't reciprocate. And back to Alanis... This is the song I've been thinking about (lyrics here), and while I think living like that entirely is a path to being abused, it... would be nice if it were possible to love that way. Another one that I remember wondering at was 21 things I want in a lover - that lyric, I figure I can describe it, since I have a choice in the matter - seems like something that needs saying. Especially as a young woman, I'm glad I heard it. I'm fully aware now of how much (and in what ways) I fit the societal ideal, and I know that someone who expresses attraction is not doing me a favour. It's not something I'm obligated to return.
I feel I should say more, but before the inevitable cheese sandwich craving hits, I'm going to watch some of The Princess Bride.

sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 07:33pm on 15/12/2011 under ,
I identify as poly, and have done for a long time, even if it doesn't always affect my relationships. I'm much more wary of new connections than I was when I was younger, so I like to have discussions early on in relationships about the boundaries involved, and it's not always easy to get that when you first know someone; and then so often they aren't happy to live like you want to, or, being as I'm not in an area particularly rich in interesting people, there simply isn't anybody else I'm interested in anyway. So. Not obviously poly, but poly nonetheless.

To me it's a structure that makes it possible to discuss different ways of loving people, a framework that's useful to talk in. It links in to how I can love my family, without romance or sexual desire, and call it love, and love my friends, without romance or sexual desire or blood links, and still call it love, and love my partners, with or without romance and long-term plans and whatever else society expects us to have, and love each and every one of those individuals differently and well.

It means still loving the man I was with in my teens, and being happy to see him doing well, and being glad of our time together despite people thinking our age difference made him unsuitable and despite our having split up.
It means still thinking fondly of the musician I dated long-distance, who broke it off over the phone and whose whereabouts and activities I know nothing of, and wishing him well all the same.
It means that loving the ex out in Afghan and sleeping with (or getting involved romantically with) other people, should I choose to do so, are not mutually exclusive. It seems unlikely at this moment, but that isn't the point. The point is having the option.

And it's caused me (us) problems, and it's not clear-cut, and it's changeable, and that's okay. Just having the concept in my life makes it better. Knowing that I can love, in my own way, and who I want, makes life better.


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