Togetherness in Modern Relationships

togethernessIf you think about a serious relationship you probably imagine two people who live together, share finances and are sexually exclusive. As much as it’s my idea of what a good relationship (= partnership) is, I must say that I see a lot of diversity in this respect among people I know. That’s why today I decided to write about the issue of togetherness in modern relationship.

Let’s start with the living together part. Most people would say that a serious relationship starts when you start to live together, right? Yet this isn’t necessarily the reality of many long-term relationships. One of the modern solutions for having a cake and eating it (in this case having independence and not) is the so-called LAT; an abbreviation which stands for living apart but together. People in such arrangement are in an intimate relation but keep their separate apartments. They claim that it allows them to avoid fights over domestic issues and helps them have their independence, which in return makes them better partners. What I find even more surprising are couples in prolonged long-distance relationships. I’m not talking here about the scenarios when you met someone abroad, did long-distance for a bit and then one joined the other, or they chose a new country to be together. No. I’m talking about relationship, where partners live in completely different countries for years, due to work assignments or other reasons. It’s a common relationship pattern for academics, for instance. If you think about it, it’s not an entirely new construct. Due to emancipation of women, though, now both partners focus on their careers, rather than just the man being away. I may be a bit jealous of people who have so much ambition to sacrifice their relationships, but I wouldn’t really want that for myself. My husband travels every few months and I already hate that!

Sharing finances is another divisive issue. Honestly, especially in marriage, the “we” mentality seems to be the way forward. Separate finances are a mission and it’s just tiresome to upkeep them. In my mind you’re supposed to be a team so you work for a life together. Otherwise what do you do with money you received for wedding presents? Share it half-half? You take the toaster and the coffee express is mine? As I feel this way, of course, I’m constantly astonished by the behavior of some long-term partners. I’ve seen, for instance, numerous cohabiting couples, who always pay separately at restaurants. What is it a sign of? Does it speak of a lack of trust in a relationship or just of personalities of the involved parties? I split bills evenly with friends so this sort of “what mine is mine” mentality seems weird, particularly, for people who exchange bodily fluids and shit in the same toilet. Sure, sometimes there’s a big discrepancy between what partners earn, but if you feel that, by sharing with a loved one, they’re “taking it away from you”, then do you know what sharing is about? And isn’t sharing a big part of what relationships are about? I think I’m asking so many questions because I don’t know the answers myself!

Last but not least, there’s this kind of togetherness that has to do with sexual exclusivity. Yet again, a non-negotiable for me. I’ve tried an open relationship once and it left me heartbroken and generally in an emotional swamp. I’m really trying to be open-minded but I can’t understand how it can work for other people. The beauty of freedom is that I don’t have to. Polyamory has many shades, but it is important to point out that it’s voluntary (as in: I’m not talking about cheating here). Open relationships probably come to mind first. It means you have sex with other people (you can even have it as your Facebook relationship status so it’s a thing!) retaining a chosen level of secrecy from “I don’t kiss and tell” to openly comparing discussing other people you have sex with with your partner. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, given that representatives of some religions have been practicing polygamy (marriage to numerous people) for a long time. At least these days ladies can have some fun too! Men are clearly more and more open-minded towards their partners experiments in sexuality as swinging (NOT the dance) is not unpopular. Some couples stay “faithful” to other couples, while others like swingers parties (which are just orgies, really?). Let’s not forget about the simplest form of expanding the borders of a relationship, which is a threesome. Are such arrangements a sign of the modern crisis of commitment? I don’t think so. Just go watch “Rome” or “Spartacus”. Personally, I’m a proponent of having everything in moderation. That means one dick at a time, thank you.

To sum up, modern relationships exist in many other forms than the socially (or #zlotybaby) accepted ones. I may be conservative in my own life, but I’m also happy that there are signs of gender equality in those practices. Perhaps such solutions are not ways to find long-term romantic happiness and maybe sometimes such separatist tendencies are a sign that you’re with a wrong person, but at least now females can try to have their cake and eat it too!

I have a feeling that you’ll have something to say today, Dear Rinsers 😉 Do you think living separately long-term can work? How about separate finances? Multiple sexual partners, anyone?

 

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16 comments

  1. lifehostage32 · 22 Days Ago

    You pose some interesting questions here. The honest answer is that now i truly believe that there is a relationship type and a partner for everyone. For me, i am less bothered by the living apart thing ( my ex used to travel loads for his work) i AM bothered by exclusivity. I could never enter into a relationship where i was one of many. I just know i need more than that. None of the things you discuss are harmful if they are chosen. That’s the key point. As i get older i want to keep my financial independence, i would never not own a property of my own again for example. In my younger years i just wanted to be looked after i think. We change. Society changes. There is someone for everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • zlotybaby · 22 Days Ago

      Thank you for your comment! I do think there’s someone for everyone but I also think that we can get our best someone when we’re the best versions of ourselves. I used to think I wanted a long-distance relationship and I thought that it’s my ideal but then I learnt I actually had intimacy issues and that was the reason why I wanted to keep a partner at an arm’s length. Now, I’m very happy in my “normal-distance” marriage. This isn’t to say that all people with certain tendencies need to be “healed” but it may mean that some are not getting what they ultimately want.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bone&silver · 22 Days Ago

    Yes, I think it takes all sorts, & I like that we have such greater freedoms now to negotiate what suits us. As a woman, I find that empowering. And I’d always want my finances separate- I am happy to run a joint account for household expenses- but I like my independence, plus freedom to do what I want with my hard earned cash.

    I have explored open marriages with husbands and wives; it suited me at the time, and everyone knew, or I wouldn’t have done it. Polyamory is one of the fastest growing social phenomenons by the way 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · 22 Days Ago

      To each its own. I don’t think joint finances necessary mean dependence, neither separate finances have to mean independence.

      Yes, I’m aware that it’s a fast growing phenomenon, which on its own doesn’t mean anything. Kardashians are also on the grow 😉 I’m happy people (especially women) can do their exploring these days. I have my own opinion and I know what works for me but I’m sure my ways wouldn’t work for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Asha Seth · 22 Days Ago

    Around here, we do not have such an open minded society. But I do know of people who are married namesakes or because tbey were forced by their families. And now living by their own means are much happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · 22 Days Ago

      Where are you based? People should be allowed to explore their boundaries and sexuality. I don’t think anything good comes from excessive limitations. It’s like with giving a child too much candy. If it eats too much one day and makes itself vomit, it’ll certainly be better at excercising moderation in future. I’m wishing for a world where both conservatives and liberals are allowed to make the decisions that make them happy.

      Like

  4. updownflight · 22 Days Ago

    My mother died at 61, when my dad was 62/63. He met a woman around 66 and they’ve been a couple since, with just off and on separations. I’m very happy they live separately, and she’s lucky, too. Living with my dad is rough. Even dating him long-term is rough. People are set in their ways after so many years. There are sometimes fewer negotiations when you’re older than when you’re younger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · 22 Days Ago

      I think relationships are very different at different stages of life. When you’re young you’re often looking for the soulmate, the One. Then if you’re looking for a partner later in life you often just look for companionship. The requirements may differ a lot too (like for instance it’s not important whether someone would be a good father etc). My mom met her partner in late 40s and they live in different cities. They spend every weekend and holidays together (and a lot of time chatting on the phone) and it’s working for them. I’m sure she wouldn’t have it when she was younger, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight · 22 Days Ago

        I know you’re definitely right. Though my dad and his girlfriend are companions, that doesn’t exclude sex, though.

        I’m very happily married at 46 to a 59 year old husband. I don’t know what I’d do if I was left alone at this age. It’s particularly unique for me since I’m on disability for a mental illness. I think I’m an appealing woman, but my mental illness is definitely not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby · 21 Days Ago

        Oh ja, I’m sure my mom is getting some too 😉 By the word companion I meant somewhere to keep you company (also sexually) but not necessarily someone you love like crazy or someone who feels like your other half.

        I’m hope you’ll still have many, many years to enjoy with your husband.

        I think at any age a person should allow time for grieving and then move on. Relationships are important to people and one should never give up on love/companionship. My grandmother lost her husband in her late 40s and never moved on. Even with my grandfather it was more like, she got married because everyone else did. She didn’t really enjoy neither marriage nor motherhood. Eventually she became a recluse and her brain followed the lack of her activity. There’s nothing sadder than a person who gives up on life and love.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight · 21 Days Ago

        I definitely hope I have decades and decades with my loving hubby.

        That is such a sad story about your grandmother. Almost tragic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby · 21 Days Ago

        Fingers crossed.

        I think it was tragic. She just really didn’t live much because every time when she had a choice between doing what’s expected of her and doing what she wanted, she chose the former. Perhaps, back in the days you also needed much more courage as a woman to do what you wanted.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight · 21 Days Ago

        I’m sure. I’m happy to be living now. Though my mother did have a lot of courage, even she still succumbed to such pressures on rare occasions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby · 20 Days Ago

        Hopefully the generation after us will have it even easier.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. bklynboy59 · 19 Days Ago

    My ex wife tried to do separate room separate bed thing I warned her…next step is separate house. The separate thing runs opposite to what a relationship is based on …togetherness. When you are in an exclusive relationship whether married or living together it’s an all in relationship. You don’t get to pick the good parts so as to ignore the ugly parts of a relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · 18 Days Ago

      Long time no see! Yes, I agree. I think sometimes for people who use to have togetherness, separation is easier if done in steps. Even if people don’t live together, they often “downgrade” the relationship before they completely break up.

      Liked by 1 person

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