Jul 16, 2016

i think: relationships

hello good evening. i'm going to write a serious post now, the first in a series called "i think." this one's about relationships.

i think some people are not wired to be in long-term monogamous relationships. actually i think a lot of people aren't, but it's the default in our society so we try to do it anyway. i base this belief off 1. my own experiences, 2. looking around, and 3. reading (especially reading Sex At Dawn).

there's a lot of evidence that indicates humans are biologically wired to partner up for about four years, or as long as it takes to produce and raise a child to the point where it can walk around and do things for itself, and then we're ready to move on. looking back at my two serious relationships, that timeline pretty well holds up.

i understand there are many people who find partnering up for life to be desirable and completely comfortable -- those people should definitely do it. the rest of us probably should not, because it makes for a lot of heartache.

here's my real issue with it though, and most people will agree: maintaining a long-term relationship is hard work. and i don't want to work hard on that. you know what's hard? all of life. school is hard, work is hard, families can be hard. keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy is hard. money can be hard, caring about what's going on in the world is really hard. doing your taxes, taking your car to the shop, chores, and all the unexpected shit life throws at you is hard. i don't want the thing that's supposed to make that all easier to handle to also be hard.

and you know what i've found? this lifestyle really works for me. being alone can be lonely at times, but it can also be tremendously relaxing. it allows me to spend time the way i want to spend time, and it allows me to care for other people better. and it can mean that people leave my life when they want to, but i can deal with that better than i can deal with one of us staying when we don't want to. and you know, the important ones tend to stick around anyway.

the reason i'm writing this is in case anyone out there feels like me, and like me has spent a great deal of time feeling guilty for the way we're wired -- feeling like a failure at the thing we're supposed to do. i let go of that idea a couple years ago and decided to live with integrity -- being honest about and true to who i think i am. my life has gotten so much simpler, and is actually filled with wonderful, meaningful relationships. they look different, and they change easily, and they might not even have all the pieces i'd like all at once, but i've never felt so ok.

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