Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sharing Thoughts With Readers

Like any writter not every idea I get on my mind can be easily expressed in written words; For quiet a while, i have been trying to introduce interpersonal relationships insight into some of my entries... But none of those drafts have actually made it out yet!

Reasons vary: To start with, relationships are complex... And since you are dealing with other humans the scope of variation greatly explodes more than any other topic I tried to feature ever before....
The slightest assumptions can become big flaws; Besides the inheretly complex nature of relationships, I find it hard to express observations in unambigious and clear way...
Additionally, my interpersonal relationships theories relies largely on my own personality, and are not "mainstream" relationships model, therefore its hard to reinterpret my person insight using the already established terms people use to describe relationships!

Another concern is how does discussing relationships affect current and future relationships... For example, if i show support to one system or introduce ideas that are questionable, current relationships might be adversely affected; And future ones might even more severely be affected because it would introduce assumptions about the other person's character early on in the development of the relationships which might affect the communication due to those convictions!

So, i want to ask few questions; Something that might give me insight to write new stuff in that topic; The questions are: What do you know about open relationships? How do you perceive open relationships? How do you contrast open relationships model with the closed relationships model?


Tala said...

relationships are very complex, its not about you anymore. its about two. you are part of something. and relationships manipulate feelings. its very sensitive. it has more than a dimesion. and no one can forsee where does it head to. and it differs from one to another.

well relationships circle the word commitment. and different models are set from this point of definition.

open relationships do not have any commitment from both sides. its more physical and led by desire, why would you want to try more than one person. just to make sure that whom you choose is the right person or not?

i still don't know what do you want to talk about Zeid.

anyways i dont support the open model. and i guess the closed model is understood in a possessive way which is wrong too.
but its natural that you become possessive when you are part of a relationship. whether closed or open.

still i find it as a sensitive thing to talk about.

Devil's Mind said...

"well relationships circle the word commitment."
Trust , Love or Commitment?

"open relationships do not have any commitment from both sides."
Open relationships -i think- dont require commitment from anyone, but they need more of it to work out... That is it asks more of the people in it to make it happen...

"just to make sure that whom you choose is the right person or not?"
Although this is NOT one of the important reasons, but isnt that a reason good enough? Can you really afford letting the "right person" just go unnoticed?
Wont you think when you tell your partner(boyfriend or otherwise) "dont go out with this or that", that the girl you are forbidding him to meet might be his soul mate?
Can you really forbid love in the name of love? (word "love" used in a limited way, because i actually have some reservation to freely use that word)

Tala said...

Trust and Love are Basic Factors without them it cannot be called a Relationship it would be Lust.

but you cannot deny that there is whether in Open or Closed relationships something no matter how slight called commitment.

what do would the partner differ from a normal friend? how special how he/she be? can you love two at the same time?

there is a foundation for every realtionship it starts with understanding and having common grounds, to think of your partner before thinking about yourself. it takes a lot to make it happen. sometimes a lot of compromises.
well i know if you are sure of what is between you, you should not worry whomever ones meet.

but still there should be Devotion, what about if you found your soul mate in someone else. what about who is left behind, who was true to you. relationships are not just good company
you will get attached sooner or later. and the more you stay the more its harder to leave. it is selfishness when you look for your own happiness and ignore who gave you priority to himself/herself.

and something else. it hurts when you compare. it hurts a lot. when you make him/her feel that they are not good enough or when you treat him/her as a property.

and one more thing ( you say MY girlfriend, MY boyfriend ) no one owns anyone. you are free to do what you want. but respect the feelings of your partner.

you would say that : what is she afraid of, if she knows me well, why wont she trust me enough.

i would say : if you were sure of us, why is he so afraid of commitment?he not so sure, be friends, dont start a relationship, its not fair.

the question is: what do you want from a relationship? why are you having a relationship with X, Not Y? could it possibly turn to Z, because were not so sure? please!

Devil's Mind said...

but still there should be Devotion; Can you really enforce devotion?

you would say that : what is she afraid of, if she knows me well, why wont she trust me enough.
I think this question shows lack of understanding open relationships; The question is: "What am I afraid of? Why dont I trust my partner enough?"... I think many open relationists would be ready to provide some type of commitment to their partners (if their partner insists on it), without asking for any commitment in return!

can you love two at the same time? This question is better be asked in a discussion involving polyamoury (which states that a person can love more than one at the same time), rather than one involving open relationships (which deals more with the ethics of relationships); but i want to ask a question: Can you love two at separate times?

when you treat him/her as a property. isnt that what closed relationships are doing: Treating your partner as private property?

when you make him/her feel that they are not good enough Also i disagree. Closed relationships leads to feeling inadequate(I would!); Openness in relationships ensure that you kinda *know* that you are more than adequate! (This is worth elaboration; Maybe later)

Thank you Tala for responding: keep it up, you're giving me insight of what i should be addressing in future posts..

I hope others would also contribute, wether for or against so as to maintain diversity....

Tala said...

Devotion is a Characteristic of people, it ranges from on to another, Dogs are devoted, why cant humans be?
The question is: "What am I afraid of? Why dont I trust my partner enough?"... (sounds suspicious)

without asking for any commitment in return! does this mean being prepared that this relationship could come to an end and im fine with it if it happened
or does it indicate that this is not a contract and no one is forcing you to stay, but when you choose to stay, it would be more meaningful.

Can you love two at separate times?
the first thing that came up to my mind is NO but i don't know, it depends on what kind of love are you talking about, how profound. but its very possible to love two at separate times, does getting over anyone counts as two? well, past experiences leave out marks behind. no one can erase them. how would you be with someone new, while you are still emotionally attached to the one before. my friend describes this as the Rebound. but this relationship would not last for long. because its just meant to heal. can a relationship end without a break up, without damage behind? does open relationship minimize the damage?

NO closed relationship does not make anyone a property, when you commit to someone it does not make you theirs. you are who you are, but the one who you are with is the one who knows you very closely and loves who you are whether whats good or bad. thats why i tell people, dont draw the perfect picture for yourself infront of your partners, they should see the defauts before the charming stuff, so you wont get shocked afterwards. to live happy .. i guess it all happens by being yourself and not faking anything. nothing stays hidden. you partner is the only one who can read you right.

yeah we need participants. you know when you posted this topic, i thought about not responding but its ok. its not too private.

Note: each is interpreting the sentences in different ways :)

Devil's Mind said...

or does it indicate that this is not a contract and no one is forcing you to stay, but when you choose to stay, it would be more meaningful. Not "more" meaningfull; But it is "only" meaningful that way! Thats the attitude of an open relationist: Dont be in a relation because you have, or because you promised to, or because whatever... Because if you are in it for any reason besides that you originally want to then that relation is doomed to end sooner, or worse later!
this mean being prepared that this relationship could come to an end NOT because it wouldnt hurt, NOT because (s)he's fine with it, BUT because (s)he cant be happy with their partner without being absolutely sure that they are willingly in it!

If two people stay together for reasons other than they actually want to, more pain will follow rather than less;

can a relationship end without a break up, without damage behind? I believe the answer is YES! I cant profess that good relationships last forever, but I think I can positively say that good relations end well...

I think that communication is the key to a successful relationship; The reason that many people engage in closed relationships is lack of communication between the partners... But if a person can honestly, openly, and effectively communicate with their partner there will be no need at all for "promises", or things of the like!

Some people think that people in open relationships dont know where they stand; But i think that this is simply not true: Open relationists know where they stand because they hear honest feedback from their partner, because they know the other partner's emotions, and accordingly know if it is working or not!

On the other hand, the status of being in closed relationship eliminates the need for communication... Its like saying: I have their word on it!

Excuse my a little bit extremist view, but I think a break up shows nothing but the failure of its participants to communicate; Especially an unexpected break up! I mean, I cant imagine a couple having good communication say the words: "I cant believe we're breaking up, I thought everything was alright!";

I guess you agree that a relationship wouldnt be fine one day, and oops, the next day everything became a failure, right? So, if the couple have good communication they will "feel" trouble coming ahead their way, and if they love each other enough, they will hopefully work on it before it becomes a dramatic problem... But even if that did happen, it wouldnt happen day over night, it will take time; And being ignorant all that time to the problems shaping up in the relationships shows lack of self-discovery from each part of the equation, as well severe lack of communication;

Thats why i strongly think that a break up is a sign of big failures of both partners be it open or closed...

yeah we need participants. you know when you posted this topic, i thought about not responding but its ok. its not too private.
It is one of the goals of this blog to communicate thought that some of us might feel "uncomfortable" communicating; Its one of the goals to break those imaginary red-lines that only exist in our heads, and our limited perception of life...

Rania said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rania said...

Very interesting ideas... i have lots of different views, and I don't know exactly where I stand when it comes to this subject.

Can you love two people at the same time? Can you love two people at separate times?
In the Picture of Dorian Gray, Harry tells Dorian, "Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible."

It's all about communication. I believe that any two people who communicate long enough, deeply enough, openly enough and honestly enough will probably end up in love, or one of them will, at least. That's why I don't believe in "the one" for you, your second half that's waiting for you somewhere out there. Several people can be right people, lots of people can be very wrong people... Why should you be "stuck" with someone once you choose? Of course you need to know and trust the person in the first place.. but people make mistakes, and you shouldn't continue to be with someone whom being with turned out to be more painful than happiness-bringing.

You can love more than one. But can you love as strongly the second time? Can you give as much? Don't you lose something of yourself every time you let go?

Of course loving is different from loving and being loved in return, because when the latter happens, you would, for a while at least, lose interest in being with other people (in a relationship, that is).

But then again, what is "choosing"? Why should every person choose a person? What is faithfulness, and what is commitment? The meaning varies from one person to another. The value of sex is regarded in different ways- some people view it as the ultimate expression of love and would feel too guilty to enjoy any sexual experience outside a closed relationship. For others, it's purely physical, and they can have great sex with someone they don't love or respect and it would mean nothing afterwards. Women are generally more hurt by emotional infidelity, while men are more disturbed by sexual betrayal (according to studies). Cheating is a fact of life. Is is better- safer, less damaging- to deny it, or to draw some lines for it?

I agree, though, Tala, that it hurts a lot to be compared, and no one would want to create a chance that allows for this comparison.

The status of being in closed relationship eliminates the need for communication... Its like saying: I have their word on it! Though not always true, I believe you have a good point: it's like losing the need to nurture the relationship.

Just some random, incoherent thoughts!
(Sorry about the previous comment, i had completely misplaced a paragraph!)

Tala said...

Rania :)
i agree with everything you said except for:

Several people can be right people i guess as we grow up, we become more selective. it would appear that several people can be right but it is (CAN) and it deosn't mean they are all ok. do you believe in clicking with someone or the spark that hits you? well,i do, i guess its something really sweet and essential but its just a click afterall, you need good communication, but you might not be able to live with him/her, because she/he is cold or not the kind of lover who would fill your senses. you should be friends for sure. and believe me , you cannot decide that you are meant to be together before at least 9-12 months, thats when all the charm disappears and when your partner acts like he/she really is and you really can tell whether you can live with this person or not.

i still can't find the open model truthful .. just can't. its not like picking a shoe. which fits me best. i just can't take the idea that im trying out two possibilities at the same time. i know that if you truely love someone you'd wish him/her happiness even if it was not with you. but there are people who go through their self discovery on the expense of the emotions of others!
my point in very simple words, you partner is not an experimenting field. hang out with whomever you want. but don't tell to act cool when you go date someone or start hitting on her/him and i should be ok with it. and even i cant imagine going out with someone else while being with someone. what is that??!

Just a Question : what is the percentage of Open Model Relationships that really succeeded, and how many trials did any example of yours did it take him/her to find the soul mate?

Devil's Mind said...

I agree, though, Tala, that it hurts a lot to be compared, and no one would want to create a chance that allows for this comparison.
I also agree; Since this seemed to cause misunderstanding, i want to address it: If a person by their nature compares people together, they will do that in BOTH open and closed relationships... Cant he just compare to his ex? Cant he compare to his friend's gf? Well, the possibilities are endless, so comparison isnt something particular to open relationships; I guess using comparison in either open or closed model is an indication of the poor capability of the comparer to communicate positively. And since open relations rely mainly on communication, rather than any other factor, to keep that relationship alive, such mis-communication can be fatal to that relation...

In this light, I'd like to place this quote from another blog:
In particular, I find something very attractive about the sort of commitment involved in an open relationship. One is essentially committing to conceive of the relationship in a non-comparative light; to value it for its intrinsic character rather than the way it compares to others; and to care about your partner, and how they treat you, in a non-possessive fashion. It involves the recognition that: “what matters is your relationship, not any other one – even if the other involves your partner.”

I also agree with Rania, and although the thoughts maybe were random, i dont think they were incoherent!

Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. this seems a good candidate pro-polyamory argument!

what is the percentage of Open Model Relationships that really succeeded
To clarify my point of view, let me ask you a simple question: Would you rather engage in a hundred meaningless relationships, or just one or two meaningful ones?
My answer would be a few meaningful ones! Thats why regardless of the "statistical" yield of the closed model, it wouldnt mean anything to me, because I think the contract-style element in closed model makes the relationship meaningless to me! (as explained earlier)

Surely, my view of the worthiness of closed relationships doesnt nessarily apply to you as that remains to be my personal feelings and views; I guess you view closed relationships as being more meaningful! It only makes sense that a person engages in what they think are meaningful relationships (ie. closed relations in your case, since you approve that)...

I have no statistical data about open relationships; But also, having an open relationship doesnt automatically mean that its participants are adapt for such model: Most obviously, I think an arrangement where one of the partners isnt originally an open relationist is much more likely to fail...

Rania said...

"What matters is your relationship, not any other one – even if the other involves your partner."
Very interesting way of looking at it. It makes me see it in a different light!

Tala said...

what kind of relations is marriage?

Tala said...

how free are you to explore your partner in a open relationships? what is the depth of the relation? After believing that you found your soul mate, what happens?

Devil's Mind said...

After finding your soul mate (whatever that is) nothing exactly "happens"... Its just that you stay together, hopefully forever: But you stay together out of your will, and out of your will everyday in that relationship, not your will 20 years ago! (soon, there will be a post about this)

You are free to explore you partner as much as they give you the space to; If you partner was honest and an open book, they will let you go through every page without any misrepresentations; Same applies about the depth of relation, it goes as far as each one of you allows it to go.... I think, the open nature of the relationship allows greater space for exploring each other and going deeper because openness is one of the fundamental ideals that such couple agree to...

Traditional marriage, I think, is the most "official" kind of contract, thats why i'm highly skeptical about the type of love that gets people to it...

Part of the truth is, people dont marry to keep their love for each other, they marry to keep a family intact, which kinda makes sense; Open relationships are about consenting members of a relationship, on the other hand, i think marriage is NOT a bond between two people, i think its a family-preserving contract; A contract NOT to protect the rights of the couple (consenting members), BUT the rights of their children (the non-consenting members)

Open marriages were created for this scenario, although some aspects of open marriages might need better reviews so as to protect the rights of the non-consenting members....

Tala said...

in an open relationship, you are free to do what you want as you said, does it give you the right to disappear for a while and not to say why? in a better context : don't you think that your partner is close enough to deserve to know how are you doing? is there any rights by default. i know you will answer with sure no,i let her know what i want her to know, she doesn't have the right to question i tell, but what kind of communication are you referring to (i really want to hear from you)?i cant ask untill my partner allows me to question anything, its his right not to answer right? i guess the open relationship gives both parts the choice to set their borders as close or as far as they want which is good, nothing is prefixed and there are no rules. it depends on the members and what they impose over themselves. if you met a lady that caught your attention won't you tell yourself that i have a relation with a partner that is deep enough to let me not want to proceed with this one, i know you would not flirt from the first time, this is shallow, you would start a conversation to know how does she think, but what im saying is : no matter what level are you on "would you open a channel"? would you allow yourself? what about you did move on with the new one, to a higher level, you know her enough to like her (it takes time) i believe you should tell your partner that you are seeing someone else from the very begining,
ok you were truthful enough to say it. your partner if was taking whats between you on a deep level, and does not find someone else to interact with will feel threatened and will fight for you, no matter how open minded she would be or knowing that its you right and she should accept it with an open heart , she will still feel bad. she will just question what did i do wrong, what did he find there that i failed to give. i guess if one is capable of going for another option it would be enough reason to split. and to split silently even though both parts claim the open mindness and that its ok. its not a issue of attitudes or bonds or philosophies. its wounding your partner.

Tala said...

your partner if was taking whats between you on a deep level, and does not find someone else to interact with will feel threatened and will fight for you, no matter how open minded she would be or knowing that its you right and she should accept it with an open heart

ok i got this one : she should not feel worried because if he was true to her, he will come back.. if he didn't it was not meant for them to be together, what if that happened and he came back afterwards? what if he kept on going with others?? would she take him back?

i have an important question: how do you protect your open relationship? what level should one allow his partner to know others. what if he treated the two the same? what is that called

Devil's Mind said...

I think most of what you said dont apply to open relationships only, but rather relationships in general..

Allow me to elaborate:
Did you ever see in some movies how a husband tells his wife he's going on a buissiness trip, while he's actually staying at his mistress's?

So a asking question doesnt nessarily mean you get a decent answer! So whats the fuss about the right to ask a question? Simply said, if you have a decent partner, you'll just hear all you need to know; If you have an indecent one, maybe u'r better off not asking questions at all! And this is true for bor both types of relationships....

But the attitude: "i cant ask untill my partner allows me to", is a failure of communication!

what if that happened and he came back afterwards? Open relations DONT emphasize on the concepts of "left me", "break up", ..etc; Anyways, if she still wants to stay with him I see no reason not to.. If she doesnt want that, she can decline the offer! But usually, he wouldnt have left her in the first place so that he'd need to come back, they dont need to break up to start new relationships...

what level should one allow his partner to know others? I'd say: No limits! Some arrangements say things like: Its ok to have sex, but not love... Others say, its ok to love, but not sex... etc, but i think both such arrangements miss the real spirit of open relationships!

I think this is one of the times when its right to say: The greater the risk, the higher the profit is IF it works out!
In an open relationship you open your heart to your partnet, giving your partner the power to tear your heart apart if they will, or reach much more depth than any other relationship model allows you to!
When you are looking for ways to protect your heart from the unrestrained power you might give your partner, you are hiding a part of your heart... Locking it up so it cant be manipulated, and thus limiting the potential of deeper emotional connection!
You can either say: here is my whole heart do with it whatever you want (giving unrestrained power to either hurt or love)... Or say: this is the part that i will give you, deal with it! (making it hard to hurt you, but limiting the depth of relationship)
This all depends on your fears and insecurities, and what you'r lookin for in a relationship!

The thing is, you are assuming a manipulative partner, and looking for ways to protect yourself from such manipulation, rather than assuming a loving partner and looking for ways to unlock every part of you! Sure its stupid to assume that every person is such a loving person, but at the same time, its limiting to assume that your partner's goal is to manipulate you... You gotta know when to draw the line!

Finally, lets remmember that all members of an open relationship are consently in it, and thus are aware of and consenting to the risk they might put themselves into... Remmember, risk is everywhere: Even now when you'r at home writting a comment on this blog, the roof might fall over your head killing you!

Tala said...

i'm just trying to show some facts of life, how people think, and do they really treat each other, the picture you draw is beautiful. but when you see a lot of unfairness and how much people act and pretend, it just makes you doubt, makes you think a thousand times before giving, if you noticed when you walk in the streets, people are so afraid of knowing each other, they always assume that you want something from them. after personal experience, i started accepting it as a fact that people want to use you. i try not to let them get to me, i dont want to be driven in that direction. i hate the one to one theory of people.

i agree open model is ok, its very risky but its very beautiful . but its not applicable in our society when every step you make is under the spot light and your life the a subject for everyone to interfere but you!

Devil's Mind said...

Blind trust in people is stupidity... You dont find some random partner off the street and start a relation with them (I assume!)... I guess when you start a relationship, you have at least an idea what that person is like: As i said, its your rational judgement upon each situation what you want to do... And being naive isnt something i'd advocate; But when it comes to interpersonal relationships, the person you are with is one of your choice, not a general public persona!

My question is: Would you want to start a closed relationship with someone you dont trust to have an open relationship with?
If you answered YES: then open relationships isnt best choice for you.
If you answered NO: so why not start an open relationship instead?

I actually think open relationships have good yield, although i have no data to support my claim beside my own personal judgement...