One that always comes first? A relationship that you will always choose over any other?
What makes a relationship a primary relationship?
The depth of love involved? Past experiences with a partner? Financial obligations? Or a combination of things?
Is it truly possible to have equal relationships with more than one person?
While I may not be able to answer all those questions I will attempt as many as possible. This is something that has been brought up in a few arenas lately and has been something I’ve been thinking over. All opinions are mine and can change if I find an aspect I didn’t consider originally to have an affect on my opinion.
I believe that a primary relationship is one that for a variety of reasons will always come first. I do not believe that a primary relationship is exclusive of loving more than one person to the same depth. I don’t believe that a primary relationship means each partner is of different importances.
I believe that a relationship will be/can be primary for reasons other than emotions. I believe that past experiences can relegate a relationship to primary.I believe that financial obligations can do the same. For example, in my life, Dirk would be a primary relationship. I have been through so many bonding experiences within our 28 years together. We were engaged before we graduated high school so, we grew up together. We have 2 children together and we lost a baby together. We’ve supported each other through some life changing decisions. We have a mortgage together. We even, at the moment, are struggling financially together.
Compare that to what I’ve been through with Chane. We’ve been together 3 1/2 years. We were well into our adult years when we met. We will not have children together and had basically raised the children we have with our spouses before we met so, we do not have to ensure we work through our child-rearing beliefs to reach compromises. We have been through a few life changing decisions. Our finances are not combined in any way.
So, to an extent, I would consider my relationship with Dirk to be a primary one. He considers it so and wants it to be so. All of this therefore ensures that I do treat it as primary.
Why wouldn’t I consider one primary over the other? Well, because I love them both so much. If I had the freedom for my relationship with Chane to reach its full potential, I believe there wouldn’t really be a way to differentiate between how I felt about them. Any reserve I have in allowing my feelings full reign for Chane are due to limitations in our relationship and my attempt at finding a way to live with those.
If I shared financial obligations with them both it would also be harder to consider one relationship as more important than the other. That’s a huge thing to consider. Sharing financial obligations requires trust. Trusting someone that much is a commitment of sorts.
I have trouble putting one of their needs over the other. Well, normal every day needs. Not needs that are born from a crisis or something along those lines. There are just times that one or the other needs me the most.
I often wonder how we fit into primary and secondary roles when I’m called upon to state my opinion of what we have. Labels help clarify things for generalities but can be limiting as well. Due to the fact that part of our quad is only comfortable with primary and secondary relationships, I really can see things from both sides of that coin if needed. I see how secondaries can feel about the limits of that relationship type and I can see how primaries can find it frightening to consider someone else is just as important. Particularly when a long established relationship is involved.
When I changed my mindset from monogamous to polyamorous I feel I completely changed it. For me that was a necessity to fully be able to deal with some things. Therefore, I believe that each relationship should be able to reach its full potential without limitations. That may mean it never gets past a “secondary” role or that could mean it becomes equal to the “primary” role. The most important thing is allowing each relationship to go where it will. To not place limitations on relationships. To treat each other with respect while allowing full relationship growth.
While I don’t expect my relationship with Chane to be equal to his primary relationship with Arwen, I do expect equal say in MY relationship WITH him. I expect to not be told where my relationship with him can and can’t go. I do not always get this. And truthfully, if I were entering a new relationship with the knowledge I now have from mistakes and all, I would insist on this. This would probably be a deal breaker for me.
I’d like to hear your opinions on the topic.