Hi there, Catie here! I think everyone that reads knows at this point that Lena and I are the primary writers on this blog. What you might not know is that most of the time we write on our own and then the other(s) chime in or add to a post after it’s finished. That was the case with yesterday’s blog and this one too.
I saw Lena typing away yesterday morning before I left for work but didn’t really think anything of it. She could have been doing anything from balancing a checkbook to putting items on her Etsy to writing on her next novel. Plus it was morning, pre-coffee and let’s face it I was still half asleep friends. I leave for work and get a message from her shortly after arriving saying she had posted on this blog. I say I’ll read it when I get a chance (and find my phone) but I was sure whatever she wrote would be fine.
I was wrong.
When I read her post and immediately felt annoyed. It was still early in the day though, I’m not a morning person so I put it aside and drank some coffee thinking I’d be less annoyed when I was in a better mood.
So I stopped and really thought about it. The safe sex message was a good one. I love safe sex. Unlike Lena, I have no physical problem with condoms, goodness knows I’ve used tons in my time. I just don’t like the way they feel. But that wasn’t it anyway. Sure it sounded sorta 8th grade Health class but that’s fine. Reminders are good.
Then it hit me.
It was all her talk of THE RULES IN OUR RELATIONSHIP. (Wtf?!)
So, let’s talk about rules. Rules have their place. In society they are used to keep general order and everyone (mostly) happy. In workplaces they help everyone get their jobs done and provide some predictably. Some people set up rules for their children. I’m very glad that there are rules that pertain to things like driving. Rules have their place.
Their place is not in my relationships. I don’t want “guidelines” either it’s just a nicer word for the same concept.
In a relationship I’m not an employee or a child. I’m a full fledged person with thoughts, ideas, emotions and dreams. I’m autonomous and capable of making my own decisions. A lot of the time those decisions involve the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the people closest to me. Their requests will always be considered, if I agree then absolutely I’m all in for whatever the request is. If I don’t agree? We’ll talk about it and try to compromise. If we can’t do that? We either agree to disagree and live with the other’s decisions or if it’s really that huge of a deal we go our separate ways.
The point is I never want to be dictated to and I don’t want my relationships to lose the ability to go with the flow of life. You never know what is going to be around the next corner and I don’t want to find myself thinking that I can’t do something because of a stupid rule. They truly are made to be broken.
When I first came into this relationship Paul and Lena did request “papers” proving that I was STI free. I provided them gladly because I understood why they wanted them. I didn’t ask for theirs because I had always planned on condom use. Over the years we have each made other requests. Some granted, some negotiated, others refused outright. I’m all for a conversation but I won’t have a life full of rules.
Dang, Gina! So much passion here. Which is perfect. The whole point about the blog is to share our lessons so you (the reader) can decide what to take from it. In this case, determine “triggers.”
Call it whatever you like; the English language is incredibly diverse. But there are certain things in a relationship that aren’t negotiable. For example, having secret sex outside our circle is non-negotiable.
So speak with your partner(s) and determine what those non negotiable things are. If one of you believes that “open” means having sex with the entire east coast, and the other believes it’s only the state, you might have a problem. These things lead to arguments, distrust, and ultimately, to NON-happily ever after. Which is the opposite of what we all want. So chat it out and come up some mutual compromise that will be agreeable to all involved.