I wouldn’t say they’ve come entirely full circle, but they’re definitely not what they once were. When I was a kid, I fully bought into the whole hearts and flowers romance thing, in the traditional sense of two people, committed to each other. I’m strongly opposed to cheating and honest to a fault. I still feel that way – if I have an understanding with someone that our relationship is monogamous, I won’t cheat and I don’t want them to. I’d rather be completely honest – if you’re considering cheating, then let’s talk about it and evaluate what this means for our relationship.
But aside from that, I’ve started thinking more and more about the poly option. I’ve had poly friends since I was 18 or so, and while respecting that choice, I’ve never identified as poly. After all, I know that I can do monogamy, and I don’t have a need to have multiple relationships or an open relationship. But as I get older and become more and more sure of who I am and what I want, I know that my idea of a relationship does not match that of most people. I’m very unlikely to have a live-in situation, and a relationship is unlikely to be the number one priority in my life. Sure, it could be up there, but other things are at least equally as important. Someone I’m with has to be okay with the fact that I could move thousands of miles away, or get wrapped up in a project, and for most people that isn’t “fair” in a traditional sort of relationship.
So, for those reasons, I’ve been thinking about other options. Part of why I’ve been so happily single for the past few years is that I feel perfectly fulfilled by my friendships, whatever romantic encounters do come along, and my interests. And I also am starting to realise that “relationship” is just a word we use. Saying you’re someone’s girlfriend has different values for different people, but for me a lot of it is about rules and presentation to the rest of the world. I may like to be in a relationship if I were to find someone compatible, but I’m very picky. I don’t have a problem with keeping the labels and definitions away from my love life. I also for these reasons can now see myself in a poly relationship – I would have no problem being with someone in a long-distance relationship, for example, who lives with someone else. I don’t have a problem with relating with people as friends but feeling more romantic about them sometimes. Maybe I’m an odd duck, but I’m starting to think that my sort of relationship philosophy may not, in many cases, be compatible with monogamy.