As I look back on my relationship history, I am noticing that I kept falling into what someone has called the bonding trap – getting tied into a romantic relationship more than I enjoy. I would like to design a mirror mosaic for my relationships, which includes having a man in my life but not as a couple-partner. And this is already where it starts: There don’t seem to be words available for the kind of relationships I envision! Our language reflects the single/couple dichotomy making it challenging from the start to express what we might want that does not fall into that dichotomy.
Of course, add to that the beliefs we acquired! Somehow, probably because that’s the model I grew up with, I fall into the bondage trap. I spend more time with the new male friend than is sustainable for me – and then I don’t yet know how to pull back from the new relationship energy to reduce the amount of interaction to a level that feels more comfortable, which is far less than long every day calls and whole weekends. In my last relationship, this reduction actually happened but that was not because I requested it! He had a project he was focusing on, which led to less time together. And I really enjoyed that! Now you could argue that was because it was an unhealthy relationship. That could be, though I don’t think so. It made the time we did spend together more enjoyable.
Reading about solo polyamory a few years back, I knew that this is what would work for me. Now I want to figure out how to counteract the singlist and couplemanic beliefs in me that get in the way. Of course, I also want to make sure that I do that within in the context of a healthy relationship as it is challenging enough to relate outside of cultural norms!