• @Septimaeus
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    312 months ago

    I have nothing against practical monogamy save for this. You must free the ones you love before they can freely choose you.

    It’s why insisting on lifetime guarantees of sole-possession is the worst possible way to soothe your jealousy or fear of abandonment.

    If you can’t let go of that fear long enough to put someone else’s happiness first, it doesn’t matter how many oaths, contracts or incentives you use to fortify your conquest. You will never know what real trust feels like.

    • @Rev3rze@feddit.nl
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      172 months ago

      (Pre-edit: this became much longer than intended. You struck a chord in me it seems.)

      You’ve articulated this so very well. It’s a lesson that took me many years to learn and comes with the prerequisite of respecting yourself and respecting your partner to such a degree that the relationship comes second for both of you. Each person’s first priority should be themselves. Both parties need to respect that to the point of accepting that staying together is not a given and is contingent on both parties being fully satisfied with the direction your lives together is heading.

      The funny thing is that I’ve never felt more confident in my relationship since learning that. I used to think that’s putting the relationship second to yourself is antithetical to commitment but actually it’s the other way around. The only way to fully commit to a relationship is to make sure that maintaining it is a concious choice rather than an expectation or given.

      The way my dad illustrated this lesson in my youth (and I took the advice but only recently learned the full meaning of it) is like this: life is a journey down a road with many crossroads. Should you find a partner, you walk together. If you hit a crossroad and can’t agree on a direction then thank each other for the lovely journey together but let them follow their own path. Find that partner that is going to the same destination and you’ll have found happiness in love.

      • @Septimaeus
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        2 months ago

        I like that analogy. Is the blessing of a traveling companion measured by miles shared? Of course not. They had and will have their own adventures apart from yours. Pretending otherwise is just immature, but demanding otherwise is selfish.

        Yet many do. “Me or no one” exclusivity under “till death” contracts are considered normal. The coercive nature of these relationship parameters are rarely considered, and neither is their cost, many of which relate to consent.

        This is where I usually get pushback so I’ll explain. For simplicity, consider the typical (sexual) consent scenario, where Alice gives Bob consent but withdraws it later. Can Bob retain her consent by getting her to sign a written contract? No. But what if the contract just prevented her from leaving? Again, no. But what if the contract specified an incentive she forfeits by leaving? Legal, but no. But what if the contract made him her only option without forfeiture? Again, legal, but no.

        Perhaps, having signed such a contract, Alice might acquiesce, and may even be enthusiastic at times. But sadly, Bob just put a lot of effort into making it difficult for him to ever know for sure, because “to have and to hold” Alice was more important to him than her freedom and happiness.

        This is why I insist on relationships that are explicitly open from the start. It’s not important to me to have multiple partners, but it is absolutely essential to me to be chosen freely. Not in exchange for anything. Not to fulfill a promise, duty, or obligation. Simply their current preference and desire. The result is I can be certain in each moment that my partners want me for me. Not my status or money or security I provide. Just me. And my life is so much better for it, because that kind of trust is precious and, apparently, quite rare.