Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Fine Romance...

I've been single for a whole year now. And I intend to be single for a good period of time still. I have a pattern when a significant relationship ends... I crawl into a hole and die for a while... spend some time grieving.... spend a short period of time shagging madly.... then fall madly in love and build (my version of) a white picket fence all over again and start playing wifey. My version of wifey is a very queer version - negotiated non-monogamy, sex work and kink - but I'll still bake cookies.

I'm currently wanting to extend my madly shagging period for as long as is possible, in order to spend as much time unlearning ingrained relationship behaviours that I can. I've spoken to several friends about these issues, and (I don't know whether to be glad about this or not) it's not just me. No matter how queer we all are, how feminist, how into alternative relationship models - the Hallmark sentiments still resonate with many, many queer women.

Still over-looking obvious issues with a partner or prospective partner's character. Still valuing a partner or prospective partner's interests, goals and needs over our own. Still putting the 'relationship' in a central place in our lives, and putting more energy into it than our careers, hobbies or passions. Still changing or downplaying our uniqueness or things that are ordinarily of huge importance to us in order to not freak out a partner or prospective partner. Still feeling completely wrecked when relationships end.

How many women (regardless of their sexuality) put the same amount of passion and energy into their jobs as they do their relationships? If more of us did - we could well be running the world by now - rather than just shouldering the world (Atlas was a Titan in Greek mythology, who as a punishment held the world on his shoulders - I never really bought the idea that a male was really in that position - it's usually a woman holding up more tha
n her fair share of the world). Queer women may have particular issues that cause us to over-devote to relationships. Mental health issues are rife within the queer community (an affect of stigma), and our partners may be particularly needy as a result. Some of us have genderqueer , transgender or intersex partners, who may need special support. Often isolation and stigma that we are experiencing may mean relationships and the intimacy experienced in them may be especially important to us.

And let's face it - regardless of who you are - how many healthy relationship models are you presented with? Popular culture is full of knight-on-a-white-horse riding in to save you from the mundane images. "I'm nothing without you"; "I'd die if you left me".

I'm really interested at the moment in the idea that you can focus on changing behaviour and the attitude shift will follow. So one of the things I'm finding helpful right now is paying attention to other areas of my life - my work, projects, friendships and spirituality. This means that I'm not allowing any room for romance to rear it's head, and if anyone appears who has enough amazing qualities to tempt me in that area, hopefully, I'll only have so much time to squeeze them in. Spending time living alone and pursuing my interests and goals has made me a happier, more fulfilled person with better self-esteem. I'm less needy because I know how to meet my own needs. I'm laughing more, I'm more playful and more relaxed than I ever was in those unsatisfying, unbalanced and controlling relationships. I'm so proud of myself for tackling depression head-on and making amazing in-roads - all because I could devote all my time, energy and motivation to my own wellness.

I guess what I'm saying is that a happy, busy person is less likely to put her whole self in to a relationship - particularly a unsatisfactory one. Someone who demonstrates tremendous self-care and self-valuing is less likely to lose her sense of self by being too much of a care-taker in an unequal relationship. And instead of rescuing our partners - how exciting would it be if we could rescue ourselves?


mayhem said...

Hey hair/whoretic

finally stumbled upon your blog

Last posting must be a gift from great twat in the sky - your words are wonderful, wise briliant.

and timely

penguin pics extremely cute.

can't wait for debbie show

big hugs

whoretic said...

Hey Mistress of Mayhem.

Nice to hear from your gorgeous self. Glad you liked the post. I've been hearing a lot of heartbreak and relationship issues from friends, so I was moved to post this. Glad it felt helpful. Id love you to come to the Debby show, and let me know if you wanna go booty dancing some time.


t0xxx said...

Followed a link from Zoo's blog universe and materialised here for more learnings on queer/non traditional relationships. As Mayhem said, timely... issues i have been dealing with myself over time, looking for the elusive key to being in relationships not just for a long tme but a good time... a notion i think annihilated by monogamy with lies or hell, non-monogamy with lies... fuck. anyway. yes, over feeling wrecked. Your words are very sensible and wise. i wanted to ask if you thought the baking was inherently bad? *smile* or do you just like to bake? and is baking in a relationship not on, even if you like baking outside a relationship? i dunno, i guess i'm just thinking that I know for myself i'm a domestic animal, in or out of a relationship. I wonder if those kinds of activites become more loaded when in a relationship... and can become irksome and signal a *role*... anyway, thanks for the words...

whoretic said...

Hey there Zoo's stalker.

I don't think baking is the root of all evil, but maybe obsessive care-taking of partners without taking care of yourself might be. I can eroticise baking, as a queer femme role playing behaviour, but I'm aware that those role play games are loaded with baggage from enforced gender roles that are ultimately oppressive and bad for people's mental health. So maybe tread carefully when nearing an oven. That said, we all gotta eat...

thanks for stopping by.