Friends and Relationships

My own values are rather liberal and my notions of social interaction have been called permissive in the past. I am however friends with a number of people who hold rather more conservative viewpoints and I honestly don’t have a problem with our differences and, neither do they (usually assuming that I’m not forcing said viewpoint down their throats). This leads to me knowing what not to talk about to them or to interesting discussion to find out precisely where our boundaries lie.

Currently I’m in an interesting relationship, well two, that is reasonably well documented on this blog and I make no secret of it in the real world… well ok I don’t mention it in job interviews but thats usually because the tick boxes on application forms say ‘Single/Married/Divorced’ if that and given that most of them don’t have a tick box for ‘living in sin’ or ‘civil partnership’ yet (I wonder if that counts as living in uber-sin?) I really am not going to make their demographics more accurate and demand a box for ‘living with two partners in two different houses’! The thing is that yeah when this initially started (that would be over two years ago now) my friends did ask about it, they asked if I was ok, what was happening, how it all worked, all the usual concerned friend questions. When I meet new people now, or make new friends then they tend to ask similar sorts of questions, mainly about how things work. I see this largely as evidence of their concern and caring about me. I like the fact that they ask about my relationships.

I also like the fact that the majority of my close friends are at the stage of asking about my Gentleman Friend and the Jellicle Cat in the same way as they would any sort of relationship. Not everyone can do that and I understand this but what I really don’t like are those people who don’t ask, who have taken rather not knowing (which is a response I am used to and well versed in) to another level, one of dismissing one relationship in favour of another. I suspect that some people who hang out with me do that to some extent, if I’m with the Jellicle then thats who they treat as my boyfriend and if I’m with my Gentleman Friend then that is. It seems though that surely someone who finds such a relationship difficult to understand, if they consider themselves to be my friend or a friend of My Gentleman Friend or the Jellicle’s then, would talk to one or other or all of us about such things.

I love to be friends, I have no worries that value systems differ because those friends of mine who do differ in outlook to me do remain friends. It bothers me though that some people find it easier to cope through subtle snubs and things that gradually build up. I prefer to be frank.

18 thoughts on “Friends and Relationships

  1. I’m not sure understanding is essential, I think acceptance is more important. In a species where everyone is a walking bundle of chemical assisted emotion, trying to understand individuals, never mind the relationships between them, isn’t going to be an easy or particularly successful enterprise. Not to say that it isn’t useful to try. 🙂

  2. I would say that acceptance and understanding are linked. I’m not sure that anyone can truly understand the relationship that two (or more) people have with each other. But in order to have any form of acceptance of it then surely people should have some sort of understanding of what it means to the parties involved?

  3. Y’know, I’m honestly not certain how my brain processes your situation beyond ‘There’s Mish and two fellers’. It may not, but I really couldn’t say myself.

  4. I’m not sure, I think that if there was a reason not to be accepting of how other people live, it would be apparent (eg causing harm to third parties). So, I kind of think it’s necessary to have understanding of something in order to find it unacceptable. I don’t have any particular interest in my friends’ domestic arrangements, and it wouldn’t be my place to pass judgement on them even if I did.

    Damn, this is difficult to explain…

  5. Well, it’s not as if polygamous relationships are anything new to me…

    Given that, my general etiquette would be to ask after both your gentlemen but politeness dictates that I probably don’t mention one in the presence of the other unless someone else brings him up.

  6. Hey sugar… I’m honestly not sure that my relationship counts as polygamous since theres no marriage involved.

    About understanding though Jo, in some part of your brain you’ve said ‘Mish & co’ and you haven’t said ‘= ick’ so I would say thats an amount of understanding that I’m not maltreating them or myself.

  7. No, I know, but you’re in two simultaneous settled long-term relationships, and I’m just saying what the general frame of reference in my head is.

    It’s just another one of these weird-opposite-ends-of-a-spectrum-that-meets-somewhere-unexpected things….

  8. I honestly don’t know! Work is my great love but also time-consuming, and my weekends are always at least half-booked. Must see about making a flying visit though…

  9. Well, it’s been around for a while (just ask F!) though I admit that I had never heard the term poly until an American turned round when I was explaining how I related to people and said, ‘oh you’re poly then.’ and I said ‘what?’

    A reasonable description can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory
    A better ‘resource’ site is http://www.polyamory.org/ (especially read their ‘How to fuck up’ section’ – very funny).

    I would say though, try not to get bogged down in the politics of it all (especially the American ones) since poly is primarily about personal decisions in how to lead your life.

    If you’re interested in what I have to say about such things then my entries on the 20th December 2003, 3rd April 2005, 31st January 2007 might amuse.

  10. I find it is worthwhile bearing in mind that poly is a catch-all term for a lot of different types of relationship. Whilst they all involve more than two people (in one way or another), the most important things about them are honesty, trust and personal choice…just like any other healthy relationship.

    I find the politics of poly similar to most other politics, ie. 90%+ is just cobblers… ;o)

Leave a Reply