Intuitive relationships may develop based upon creating space for emotion, connection, boundaries and evolving communications. This means taking into account how we build our relationships and networks, how this replicates value according to sexual, romantic and platonic lines, which are not linear and are informed by hierarchies we’ve learned and internalized. I think this goes into more than simplifying monogamous and non monogamous relationship practices. We want to redefine how and what values are recreated, how intimacy is guarded and explored, what defines our connections to each other. I think throughout our relations, this really comes down to what principles we want to practice and why.
Most people have many relationships they value within a continuuum of emotional capacity and care for others. This care shows up in different ways, based on consent and mutual desire or preference, and also based on cultivated denial or reliance on certain care models that might exploit labor. These relationships have different communication practices, frequencies, ways in which we articulate need and fulfillment. Dominating practices and structures tend to reproduce value based upon social hierarchies, such as race, gender, ableism all contributing to how we form connections.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to make room for our desires and attractions in a continuum of emotional capacity, without imposing a stagnant relationship model. Without creating hierarchies out of sexual or romantic relationships, and taking into account how hierarchies are reproduced through our social relations. Regardless of how many relationships I do or do not have, it comes down to how i experience connection and attraction and how I want to go through life navigating meaningful connections. I tend to prefer a relationship practice that indicates multiplicity, many relations, based within a continuum of emotional capacity that can take many forms because I feel like this is closer to reality once we remove sexual romantic partnerships as the pinnacle of connection between consenting adults.
How many relationships I can cultivate seems to be related to how many relationships I am navigating at any given time, and my emotional capacity. I do not use Emotional Capacity to mean a limit that can be reached for principled relations, but as a check-in on my own internal process and relationship with myself and how this affects my presence with and contribution to relationships with others. I think my ability to forge meaningful connections has everything to do with how vulnerable I can really be with myself and others at any given time. Even if there are some less strings attached relations, or more specific relationship agreements, it is still my responsibility to know who I am and what I am going through and what energy I’m bringing to these connections at any given time. This is #goals though.
I have so many questions about how to create meaningful principled relationships. I think about how navigating attraction and negating possession is one of the main things that draws me to non monogamy or relationship multiplicity. How attraction can mean many things, many types of desire, and doesn’t immediately have to be sexualized or romanticized. Couldn’t intense attraction be wanting to get to know someone, collaborate on a project, something drawing people together that doesn’t have to be typified or translated into hetero-patriarchy-romance? I desire to cultivate that and so that makes me want to pursue healthier communication and relation patterns that do not repress or shame attraction. Relationships that highlight consent, and redefine commitment based on consent and agreements and not entitlement or ownership.
Communicating about these feelings is hard in a stigma and power laden world. We live under patriarchy, government, body policing, gender violence, transphobia, desirability, competition, white supremacy and ownership models that have been ingrained into our social experience. The question is how to draw ourselves out of these repressive practices, restoring consent, recognizing established patterns and refusing to reproduce usability of each other.