Evolve, Damn It!

The most conscious, most loving, and most honest relationships don’t end, they evolve.

EVOLUTION: A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.

Emphasis on the word gradual.

As far as I’m concerned, this is by far the best way for a loving relationship to end because, well, it doesn’t. It evolves. Gradually over time, a relationship may evolve from a loving and passionate, sexual relationship to a loving, deep life-long friendship.

The love doesn’t die, it evolves.

If this relationship is an open one, that is a type of non-monagamous relationship like a polyamorous one, other people may come into your or your beloved’s life, bringing new passion and love along with them to the benefit and enrichment of all concerned. When they do, they do so and deepen the love and connection between your and your beloved. Loving together, you love others. Loving together, you love more. It’s not about finding something better. It’s about opening your heart to more love, different experiences.

Unfortunately, this happens all too rarely. I’ve had it happen once in my life, with my ex-fiance in a monogamous relationship, but even that ended more than could have. It was not as painful, though, because it ended with love and respect after some evolution had taken place. Afterward, we stayed in touch, and we’re still friends nearly 20 years later.

In true polyamorous relationships, where all parties are open, honest, take responsibility for themselves and their actions, actively pursue their own self-awareness and self-growth, and aren’t afraid to examine their own insecurities and fears as well as be present and in a place of support while their partner examines and works through their own, relationships will have the presence and compassion and support to evolve.

Allow me to define what I mean by “true polyamorous relationships.”

Polyamory, as I’ve discussed at length in previous posts, has no hard and fast rules. Each polyamorous or non-monogamous relationship truly must make their own rules and agree upon definitions to words (like jealousy, serious, relationship, sex, etc.) that work for the couple in question. That goes for the details of specific polyamorous relationships. All relationship structures depend on honesty and openness for real intimacy & success, but Polyamory, as opposed to other forms of non-monogamy like swinging or just the nondescript “open” relationship, relies on a heavy level of commitment. “Commitment to honesty, to sexual safety, to facing one’s own insecurities, to making difficult sacrifices when necessary, to the difficulty of standing up for oneself when necessary, and a willingness to be with a partner through some very strong emotions.” (Source)

Unfortunately for those of us who are looking for a real relationship in polyamorous circles, those who have an innate fear of commitment and intimacy have a tendency to think that their lack of responsibility and inability to commit makes them “polyamorous.”

It doesn’t.

It makes them dangerous to the hearts and souls of loving, giving, honest people.

Too often, I’ve learned, that players consider themselves “polyamorous,” thinking they can have lots of NSA sex. Commitmentphobes consider themselves polyamorous, thinking that if they just date married women they never have to take responsibility for their own actions, for the heart of their partner, and avoid “drama” and hurt feelings, because, well, that’s what their husband’s are there for.

Um. No.

Next week, I’m going to explore commitmentphobia in another post, but let me just say this: it is a psychological illness, like any other phobia. If you find yourself in love with a commitmentphobe, they must acknowledge the issue and commit to working on it, usually with the help of a therapist. If they do that, then with some patience, understanding, and a lot of love, you can make a relationship work. However, if they are content with just going from breaking one heart to breaking the next, then get out and get away for your own safety.

I have absolutely no respect for players, on the other hand. These are wo/men who knowingly and consciously “play” their partners, making them believe there is really intimacy and connection when it’s just part of their manipulative game.

There is nothing fun about hurting people.

As I’ve said before, and I’m obviously much better at saying it than doing it, trust takes time to build.

Words + Supporting Action + Reliability Over Time = TRUST.

I had a counselor once tell me that it takes at least three months for a person to show their true colors, sometimes longer.

Last week, I came across a wonderful blog on Getting Past Your Breakup. Among the several great articles therein, one called “Benefit of the Doubt” caught my eye. It’s an excellent post. Please read that and others on that blog if you are going through a breakup. Some very helpful information there. This entire blog is in support of the book by the same name. Great book, too. Go buy it.

Hmmmm. A book on surviving a broken heart. I’m an author. I’ve certainly have experience doing it…

Maybe so! 😉

I totally digressed away from the topic at hand! Imagine that!

So, in your relationship(s), examine yourself often. Be honest with yourself and then be honest with your significant other. Openly discuss your fears and hopes and dreams. Openly discuss your insecurities and love and desires. Openly discuss everything. Have fun. Go out and play. Stay in and play.

When doubts or questions come up, discuss them with your partner. Don’t vacillate in your own head for days or weeks or months or (god forbid) years on a decision without sharing these thoughts with your partner. You are PARTNERS in this. You’ve chosen to share your lives together, no matter how long you’ve been together. Give them the respect of being part of the decision-making process. Don’t let a change come out of nowhere in their eyes because you didn’t have the courage or respect to discuss it with them.

Allow your love to grow and evolve into whatever it will become. As long as you’re coming from a place of love and understanding and compassion, hurt feelings and misunderstandings, part of any relationship, will be minimized. As you move along in love together, you will learn how to best manage these and other types of pain and fears together.

You are a team. Love deeply together.


~ by omgrey on March 28, 2012.

16 Responses to “Evolve, Damn It!”

  1. Reblogged this on evolution of the chicken and commented:
    This is a great post!

  2. I agree in principle with what you’re saying. The warning I’ve got (or maybe I’m too cynical at this stage) is that relationships–especially poly relationships–have similar survival rates as mutations do, before they evolve successfully. Natural selection, in relationship form. After a certain number of relationships die on the vine due to natural selection, I find it hard not to bring residual fallout baggage into future relationships. Thus, creating an ever-increasing uphill climb to offering true commitment (and embracing others commitment). More failed relationship mutations makes it more difficult to evolve successfully.

    I truly wish more people lived to what you’re saying–not just lip service.

    Life is tricky, no?

    • Life is very tricky. Yes.

      And, agreed, most relationships don’t evolve, unfortunately. My last one didn’t. It crashed and burned overnight, or very close to it. I had tried to convince him to let our love evolve or devolve into what it would over time, but he’d have none of it. He gave up on us. On love.

      I like that you compared it to the survival rate of mutations. Quite accurate.

      Both parties are bringing emotional baggage from past relationships as well as childhood, adolescent, and teen issues. We all are full of baggage. If anyone says they have no baggage or they don’t like drama — run. Those are usually the people who create unnecessary drama and are in complete denial of it. They point the finger at their partner instead.

      Everyone has baggage. Everyone is broken in some way. Everyone has issues. If they say they don’t, they’re in denial of them or hiding them away. They are not self-aware enough to have a healthy relationship. Their issues will surface, and it will not be pretty.

      In order for a relationship to truly evolve, both people must be very self-aware, introspective, responsible, loving, compassionate, honest, open, communicative, and committed to the survival of the relationship. And, let’s face it, most people aren’t any of those things, let alone all of them. They can be, of course, if they choose to be, but they would first have to be self-aware enough to recognize that they weren’t those things. :/

  3. Exactly.

    While most people aren’t all of those things, hopefully (idealistically?) the ones we choose for relationships have some of those qualities… just to get the relationship out of the starting gate, so to speak.

    I think a large piece of relationships is accepting the baggage. That you can look beyond the baggage, or it melds in a (generally) positive manner with your own baggage. And, willingness to work on both parties baggage.

    That’s relationship evolution for me: seeing past the flaws, accepting the weaknesses and–most important–accepting/embracing that the other person is doing those same things for you. No matter how much you accept someone else’s weaknesses, it’s for naught if you don’t open yourself to them accepting yours.

    • Idealistically, yes, we choose people with as many of those things as possible. I’ve learned, quite a hard way, that many people fake some of those things really, really well.

      Relationships are about accepting the other for who they are, no doubt. And them accepting them for who you are. Baggage, issues, and all, in both directions. No two people will be 100% perfect match. Ever. But if you are a good match, it’s about committing to the health of the relationship by investing yourselves in each other. You love this other person. They enrich your life.

      Relationships aren’t easy. Or, perhaps I should say, casual relationships can be easy, but they’re not deeply loving or intimate. Deeply loving and intimate relationships aren’t easy, but they are far more fulfilling.

      Agreed about seeing past the flaws, etc. The problem in my last relationship is that I was embracing his issues and flaws, loving him completely for who he was and encouraging him to never edit himself, to be free, to be real, but he wasn’t doing that for me. He wanted me to edit myself to make things easier on him. He wanted me to take responsibility for my actions and words, which I gladly do, as it’s part of being in a loving (or any kind of) relationship, but he refused to do the same. He expected me to take care of his heart, which I did, again, as it’s part of a loving relationship, but he would not take care of mine.

      And that’s not a relationship. It takes two invested, committed people to make a relationship work and allow it to evolve.
      Unfortunately, it only takes one to end it.

  4. I have been reading your blog for some time now. It gives me food for thought. This may sound like a rhetorical question, but it isn’t; What would you say to a person who claims they are polyamorous but who goes through the following pattern; They wait until the primary relationship gets into a rough patch. Instead of communicating, they disappear. They return and it turns out that they went out to have a sexual encounter. They don’t tell you where they have been and if you find out they get defensive and say, “We are polyamorous, so what business is it of yours?”

    What would you say to something like that?

    • My first reaction to this as I read it on my iPhone in my car was: FUCK!

      This is so not okay on so many levels.

      If you are the “primary” partner, it’s always your business, unless it is agreed upon beforehand that both of you can do what you want without consulting and/or telling the other. Even if this is the case, for the person to say “what business is it of yours?” is quite rude.

      Disappearing from a tense situation is emotionally abusive, unless, of course, it is agreed upon beforehand that s/he needs space during an argument and tell you they need to leave without a word. Still, it doesn’t take much to say, “I need some space to think, but I will be back to discuss this in X minutes/hours.”

      What you described is a very abusive pattern, and not at all healthy. I’ve come across people who identify as “polyamorous,” but they don’t embrace the core of the honesty or the responsibility that comes with relationship, especially multiple relationships. They use it as an excuse to do what they want when they want, and that’s not okay. That’s not what polyamory is.

      Polyamory cannot be defined universally. Each person/couple have their own definition, but it is widely agreed that it is based around love, honesty, respect, and openness. This persons behavior doesn’t show any of those things.

      • “unless, of course, it is agreed upon beforehand that s/he needs space during an argument and tell you they need to leave without a word.”

        Yes, of course. I would respect and understand if it were done that way. But it isn’t done in that way. We have an understanding to communicate with each other so there are no secrets or surprises. We don’t have to tell each other everything, but something like “I met someone on line and I may go have coffee with them and see how it goes” or something comparable. But what actually happened is she met someone online, planned a date or an encounter without telling me and then she simply disappeared, leaving me worried that something bad has happened to her.

        At times she understands how traumatizing that was for me. Other times she denies that there is anything wrong with what she did because “we’re polyamorous”. Then I tell her that she hasn’t the slightest idea what polyamoury is. The odd thing is that other times she understands the ethics very well (ala “The Ethical Slut” et. al.).

      • It sounds like she understands the ethics when it suits her.

        Again, there is nothing okay about what she did. It was deceptive & abusive. It hurt you & the relationship.

        She needs to accept responsibility for that and begin to rebuild the trust she betrayed.

  5. Thank you so much for being a voice of reason. I know it may sound so obvious to you and your readers that this person’s behavior is unethical and insensitive, but when you live with someone and love them and don’t share with others the bad things they have done (out of shame or embarrassment), your lover can convince you of ridiculous things. Sometimes we need to open up and discuss such things to get outside opinions. My problem was that i was so hurt and ashamed that I did not tell anyone. Also, my lover put severe pressure on me to keep our business private. My advice to anyone at out there is this; if your lover wrongs you, don’t keep it a secret. Open up and discuss it with someone. Thank you O.M.!

    • Silence is the abusers greatest weapon.

      If your lover is putting pressure on you to keep things quiet, that’s a warning sign right there. Especially in a polyamorous relationship.

      It’s always more clear to objective viewers, so please don’t beat yourself up. Also, feeling ashamed is natural, but it’s not your shame. Please read my post on Overcoming Shame. I’ve written a lot on here about emotional abuse and betrayal bonds and such. Look around. My experiences and insight may be of more help to you.

      It’s taken me five weeks on NC (no contact) with my ex with tireless support and advice from friends and readers to even begin to see his abusive nature and actions. When one is in love, lots of things go either unnoticed or are excused away. But I’m starting to see just how abusive he was and how inherently misogynistic he is. Read my earlier posts, like Breathing Out, I Smile to see just how in love I was with this man. I still love him dearly, unconditionally, really…but that doesn’t mean he should be in my life. He’s dangerous to me and to many women.

      I hope you find peace. We’re here for you. xo

      • Thank you so much O.M. I can breathe! No longer waiting to exhale! Yes i have read the posts you suggest. As always, you serve up healthy food for thought.
        In the interest of fairness, there are two sides to all relationship issues. I am getting going in for anger management. Instead of separating long ago, I stayed with this woman until recently. Frustrations and resentments erupted inappropriately in loud angry words. That is not OK for me to have done. Everyone is human, including my ex and as of now we agree to go to counseling together for a healthier break-up and separately for our individual issues.
        “I hope you find peace. We’re here for you. xo”
        I am choked up over your kind encouragement. You are a great asset to the poly community O.M. Thank you.

      • There is no doubt issues on both sides. Always. I’m glad to hear you’re getting help. That’s the difference, isn’t it? Who is aware and working on their issues and who is in denial about them.

        Verbal abuse is also not okay. We all are verbally and/or emotionally abusive from time to time, in heated or unconscious moments, but it’s about apologizing for those times, learning from them, and acting differently in the future.

        It’s great that you’re going to counseling together. I would love the opportunity to do that with my ex.

        Thank you for your kind words as well. Namaste. xo

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