Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: focusing on me

What I Don’t Need

At some point before I’ve talked about relationship needs, that is the needs of the relationship, but in the last few months something that has been extremely important for me to realize has been a different sort of relationship need, that is, a lack of need.

When I was younger a relationship or, more accurately, the absence of and desire for a relationship was always the focal point of my life, with other things often working to fill the void I felt without a partner. I think part of the reason why I left theatre life is because I was so focused on the need to be in a relationship, the need for a partner, and I thought theatre would distract from that. The reason I have recently been able to come back to it is because of this new lack of a need.

The word “need” is thrown about so much even though so often it is impossible to accurately separate needs from wants when in the moment, one must step outside and analyze and discern in order to figure out what is really necessary and what is a passing fancy, and even that is difficult without hindseight. Luckily life is much like the philosopher Jagger sang1, and often these things work out on their own. Needs aren’t bad things by any means, so long as we can distinguish between need and want.

So often are we told that in order to be a complete and true person we must be in a couple, we are only part of a whole, and when we are told something over and over again it becomes like a need. We do not need others to fulfill or complete ourselves, though we often feel like we do because we are told that we do for various reasons. We are told we are incomplete without the perfect partner, not to mention marketing strategies which tell us we are not complete without some product or another, but that is a whole other post. The point is we need to be able to be happy and complete without external influences.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need relationships. After all, humans are social creatures, as the cliché tells us, and I’ve studied enough psychology and sociology to know that is basically true2. While love is part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relationships in general aren’t the same as the idealized spend-all-of-your-time-together can’t-think-of-anyone-but-each-other completely emotionally dependent romantic relationships perpetuated by society. We grow up thinking that is what we need, to find someone to fill the void within ourselves, before realizing that no one can really fill that but ourselves.

Need indicates more than a desire. Saying that I need something is the same as saying that there is some fundamental part of me that requires something in order to survive, be complete, or be happy. I do need friends and relationships, but that doesn’t mean I need any one specific person. If that was true than no one would ever maintain friendships outside of romantic relationships.

Distinguishing the difference between the idealized relationship and a healthy independent relationship is something the triad taught me. While I knew in my head that it was best to have lives and friends and interests outside of the relationship I always had a difficult time engaging in anything like that aside from school. Once I graduated I lost my outside focus and my relationship with Onyx was strained ever since. He was also supporting me financially, he was basically providing me with the first three levels of my hierarchy of needs and neither of us was completely comfortable with that.

Spending time away from him really has done wonders for our relationship, for both of us. I’ve gotten to the point of embracing my autonomy and independence, enjoying time alone in a new way, which was truly necessary after the triad, which truly was a spend-all-of-your-time-together dependent romantic relationship. In addition to everything else I actually think rediscovering this independence has actually been a major catalyst for the rediscovery of my desire to be submissive for long periods of time rather than for short bursts during play. Now that I am not dependent on him my choice to be submissive is that much stronger. But I digress, that also is another post.

“I need you” now leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be needed or to need anyone else, it puts too much pressure on the relationship. I would rather everyone involved was coming to the relationship from a place of want and desire, a place where the relationship is fun, voluntary, and exciting rather than necessary or required. Thus I am officially striking the phrase “I need you” or any derivative thereof from my romantic repertoire. I choose instead to employ phrases such as “I want you” or “I crave you” which are equally as powerful but are less dependent.

edit

Brought to my attention by the wonderful Kristi, Amanda Palmer’s cover of “I Want You, But I Don’t Need You” is fabulously in the exact same vein as my post above, and therefore needed to be embedded and shared. Not to mention it’s Amanda Palmer which automatically makes it that much more awesome.

  1. Referencing both the pilot episode of House and The Rolling Stones, of course. []
  2. I do have a degree in Psychology, which basically just allows me to go “hmm” when presented with any personal information about a person. []

Rights and Responsibilities

I had never broken up with someone before, but now I’ve essentially had to do it twice in the span of a week or so. I feel like I don’t have the right to mourn or be sad because I was the one who said it’s over. In reality I know that is nonsense, I have just as much right as anyone to be sad about the ending of the relationships I worked hard on and put so much energy into the past months to years, but it’s difficult not to feel like I should not feel the way I do.

My heart aches for both of them every day. I have dreams about them and talk about them all the time. While I seem to be able to maintain a friendship with Onyx the possibility of that with Marla is extremely unlikely, next to impossible at this point really. I’m still somewhat in shock from everything that has happened, still very numb, still haven’t processed everything, and still don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if I can stay here in Alaska or if I have another option at this point.

Their relationship wasn’t as deep as the ones I had with each of them. This is the longest Onyx and I have been away from each other in four years, and that alone would be enough to cripple me but that combined with being so far from Marla and knowing that I have and continue to hurt her just makes everything unbearable, to the point I have a hard time getting out of bed a lot of days. My motivation is shot and I’m just generally down.

While I was the one who called it quits, it wasn’t because I don’t want to be with either of them, if anything it’s because I want to be with both of them but had to make a choice. I love them both very much and will continue to love them, but the circumstances are such that I can’t be with either of them right now. I have high hopes for the future, and I feel like I survived one of the worst poly situations possible (not the only bad one, of course, and probably not the worst) so that’s something at least.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned from everything that has happened is I cannot be responsible for the emotions or emotional well being of others. It is something I have always done and probably will continue to do, but it is something I am working on. While this doesn’t mean I don’t care about the emotions of others or that I would stop empathizing or anything it does mean that I need to accept I cannot change their emotions or even help if they will not let me and that it is not responsibility to hold back my own feelings for the sake of someone elses (I’m still working on that last part).

I guess it’s self-explanatory to an extent, but for as long as I can remember I’ve taken on the responsibility of making sure everyone around me is happy, often to the detriment of my own happiness and well-being. I can’t say this will stop, but at least I’m going to be more aware of it. I also don’t think that wanting the people you love to be happy is a bad thing, but there is a point where it can be taken too far, especially if those around you are not willing or not wanting to change.

I am responsible, however, to my reactions to new relationship energy (NRE). I love NRE. I love the feeling of a new relationship, the excitement, the passion, the discovery, everything. This is dangerous, and something I want to go into more depth in another post, and I think this is the reason why we moved so quickly into everything.

It is easy for me to get caught up in a new relationship, I have discovered, and I also have a tendency to be a bit of a chameleon, changing myself to fit my partner’s desires without any conscious intent or effort on my part. This doesn’t work well when multiple partners with vastly different desires come into play.

So, I’m working on discovering myself outside of relationships, focusing on what I want and what I need both here and now and in the future. I have been so aimless since I graduated that I have lost sight of a lot of things, and it’s time to get that back.

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