I’ve always said that I have a higher standard of expectation for myself than I have had for anyone else around me. But, sitting here, I have to wonder if even the lesser standards I have for others aren’t sometimes expecting too much of people.
When I had nights like this while I was still married and would try to talk about them with my ex, eventually every one of those discussions ended up with him calling me a mutant — because nobody else in the world thinks or acts the way I do.
I don’t agree quite as much with that sentiment.
But, with some of the lessons learned over the last two years, especially on the subject of relationships, I have to wonder sometimes if how I was raised was so completely different than the supposed “norm” for humanity.
Take the subject of relationships. Yes, I’m fully aware as a polyamorous person I am already in a category that is not the “norm.” Except, I have lived my life with a staunchly monogamous family. My model for relationships is my parents, who will be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary this August. Regardless of the style of the relationship, they taught me to communicate with my partner. They taught me that a fight isn’t the end of a relationship, even if things were said that were later regretted – although amends and a visible attempt at not repeating the mistake are expected (and given). I learned that just because someone looks appreciatively at another person of their partner’s gender, or makes comments to that effect, does not mean that they are lusting after that person. Hell, as an artist I have an appreciation for the human female form, but I feel no romantic attraction to those of my own gender.
I learned that insecurity is a fact of life, but that expecting your partner(s) to change so that you feel somehow “less insecure” is an impossible request. If you are insecure, the issue is inside yourself so any changes that someone external to you makes will have no real, lasting effect on your feelings of insecurity/security. You will always have just “one more tiny change” that they have to make for you to be happy.
The problem is, I watch some of the relationships around me. I see the manipulation, the jealousy, the coercion practiced by both sides of the relationship (whether it is monogamous or not). I see people choosing to stay in an unhealthy relationship because somehow it is better than being alone (a repeating fear that I myself am working to overcome). I see people showing affection to their friends, but having to hide it from their significant other because their S.O. will go postal if they knew about it.
I see people flogging themselves for minor infractions of their monogamous relationship, but turning around and ending up actually cheating because it feels better than the guilt over the minor infraction (kind of that “in for a penny, in for a pound” thought process). And excusing it because they aren’t receiving what they need from their S.O. – whether or not they’ve communicated that need.
Why is it so hard to have an honest relationship? To have a relationship where one’s own emotional shit can be shared with one’s partner, without an expectation that the other person has to change? To have a relationship where BOTH individuals (again, whether it is a monogamous relationship or a non-monogamous one) carry their own burdens of interior shit, and don’t expect the other person to carry them?
And why is it that someone like me is told that I’m not good enough for a relationship, or that I’m only non-monogamous because it is the ONLY way I can get laid?
First off, that last question? Yea, hope you enjoy that little piece of fabricated superiority. Because I can tell you, I have more than enough offers if all I wanted was to get laid. And, yes, I want more than just a “fuck and forget about it.”
AND, I deserve more than that too.
So, are my standards too high? Possibly. But I refuse to lower them. I “settled” for something less than what I deserved. And if there is one thing I can say, I am learning not to repeat the mistakes I’ve made.