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.