Truetalk has been writing since he was a teen, and only in the last five or so years has he taken himself seriously as a writer. He lives in the Vancouver area of BC, Canada, where he has lived for most of his life. He finished his degree in psychology at Simon Fraser University in 95 when he started his counseling practice for individuals and couples. He recently completed his PhD in psychology and philosophy at University of Life in Black Rock City. His counseling practice though broad in a practical sense, is specialized in alternative relationships, including the various forms of polyamoury, polyfidelity, or what ever other poly-like relationship you may be working on. He has studied the human psyche for almost his entire life, and has a thorough understanding of consciousness, human psychology, and our current social structure and how we as individuals or groups function and dysfunction within our culture and general social milieu. He would love to hear any feedback from the readers of this community, answer questions or even take requests or topics to write about.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Stasis and change

The question is, what have I learned this month? Well, I think I may have learnt a few things, lets see if I can itemize them. I have learned that friendship is not as offensive to love and intimacy as I once believed. Better said, the fear I have felt of just being friends, though I have known it to be some kind of psychological fear which has haunted me, froze my actions, and darkened my mind is not the bad thing I thought it was. I see better now than ever, that it is a good thing to be friends when you are polyamorous. I have learned also that I am alone, and that all the connecting with any of those people will not change that sense of alone, or loneliness. I work and try to connect, but I am still alone. Those are the main things I have learnt this month. We shall have a closer look at each; they may even be connected themselves somehow.

I have felt this battle raging within my being for some time now. Though there are few external symptoms to this inner battle that rages within my own head (and heart?), the few that there are will be dealt with later, lets first just reveal this battle. Inside I am always battling with two seemingly different goals and desires. One says that I want to be alone, different, or that I do not want to create the connection or relationship that binds me to another in the way that I have seen in my past. Sure there is a bit of fearing the past in that statement, but that fear is based upon awareness. I am aware of how those past relationships have created something between my partners and me that I could not sustain. The relationship is too hard, making it not really wanted anyways by creating a sense of imprisonment or confinement. I want more from love than what I have been told and instructed or directed in how to live in a loving relationship. This is a complex set of both thoughts and feelings, but the main message here is that I want my relationships to be plural, open, free, loving, giving, trusting, faithful and true. The other proponent of this inner struggle says that I want to create a connection that is long lasting, passionate, sensitive, fun, growing and changing through time, dynamic and flexible, something strong and resilient. This is kind of like the relationships I have been told by society and culture to create, thus I get a bit confused. I think that I should, since I want it, just pursue what I have always been told to have. That my tinkering with and rebellion against the love bonds of humanity is not my business, and just accept and be what you can as you are.

Seen from a different angle, this is the battle between change and stasis, between different and the same, grow and die. I know that the first of all of those is the more beneficial action, and to choose to remain the same is a foolish and wasteful life. Thus, the entire above paragraph is merely a confession of weakness and fear, in the face of change, being different and growth. I am at that point now when I can ask the question of how will I do this, because it is relevant to my own life and pertinent. I have become close with someone and we have been friends from the start. This relationship has continued to grow and is now a beautiful young thing of intimate friendship.

Before I would have thought that I want more than friends, and that I was somehow being refused all that I could have or want and give also. Now I see that the creating and keeping of friends is good, even though the relationship is changing, but there is just no labeling this change, you remain friends, just better friends. In polyamory love is already there, it is not assumed, but it is given and received both openly and privately.

This is an over simplification of relationships, which makes sense in the poly life styles because of the complexity in the number of relationships, and the different energies and dynamics that these multiple connections will create, which necessitates the simplification of the relationships formed. Thus, stay friends! At no real point or time is there any reason to say that we are an item, we are going out, or seeing each other, or that we are boyfriend and girlfriend. Why do we even use those labels except for the purpose of the rules and obligations found in monogamous relationships. Being of the mind-form polyamorous, I see no real need to use those identities. In fact this could be a simple and effective way of making sure that I do have different and changed, growing relationships.

There are levels of intimacy, and dimensions of connecting in any relationship. In my own relationships I will include as many levels and dimensions in each friendship as we both feel comfortable with. Thus, as I see the pattern immerging, most couples will start their friendship with a psychic connection, and on a cautious or low intensity of intimacy. This will gradually progress or grow in intensity, and if this progress goes well, the people involved will add to their connection the physical dimension too. This movement in the relationship will increase immensely the energy in the relationship, as the body and sensual, erotic dimensions are introduced into the connection. Most, or many people are satisfied with these two dimensions of their being connected; creating a relationship that is stable, secure and unlikely to grow further. If a couple was to want more, then they can add to this relationship the spiritual connection. The spiritual dimension will add to the relationship compassion and giving of a deeper love that is both and neither physical and/nor psychic, but in an intangible awareness of a deeper and more real existence. This relationship creates an awareness of love, and an exchange of love that included all dimension of our existence. There is completeness and fullness in the connection, and the couple is now able to have a complete expression of love.

This form of relationship is possibly unheard of because many people who do form spiritual connections do that firstly, and then from there the relationship does not usually include the physical dimension, and the connection is forced to stay in the heady and ethereal existence of the non-physical. While if the connection is first physical, then that too is rarely pushed up to the spiritual. If the couple start with the psychic, which most do, then it will go in one way or the other, and most keep it like that, and neglect to also add the final dimension to create a whole relationship. I'm not sure if this is why relationships tend to remain incomplete as far as their potential goes, but here are diagrams explaining how relationships often manifest or become what they are: Phy=the body/mind; Psy=the mind/emotion; Spi=the spirit/body-mind
These percentages are estimates, and represent the general population of the relationships out there in how they end out, or the potential and form that people trend towards when forming relationships.

In all cases with the polyamorous connections the only label needed is to call someone a friend. The depth and nature of these friendships is a private matter that you are able to share with whom you please. Behaviors speak for themselves in many cases. It forces honest communication as well, because the people in the relationship will need to discuss what each wants at any given time. This also allows for movement, change and growth through time, by acknowledging the possible and actual change of feelings, thoughts and desires, needs and also other wants. Generally there are no assumptions because the relationship is foremost a friendship. Friends always respect their partners; they assume only the most basic of respect and courteous behavior. I can envision this as a very simple solution to one of the first struggles in creating new polyamorous relationships that are intimate and sexual: the struggle against falling naturally into the form and condition of relationships that we have been given through our culture and larger society.

The first struggle is to resist conforming, to not do what is always done, to stay true to your beliefs and remain open, free, honest and loving. The rest of the struggles are still to come, and will be discussed as they appear.

Truetalk is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. He can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Truetalk ; June 26, 2007

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folks have read this article.