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Non-traditional relationships and assoiciated stigma


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Old 24th October 2017, 10:23 PM   #1
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Non-traditional relationships and assoiciated stigma

I have experienced this summer one of the most intense interpersonal experiences in my life, which did not happen to develop in the traditional linear route. [Background here]:Quenching the fire?

[A]re we as a society accepting to (interpersonal) relationships that are not bounded in a box?

What do we consider 'appropriate' interaction?

Why do we consider our own experiences end all and be all?

It is near shocking to me that people openly discuss and participate in adultery, relationships for financial benefits, status based relationships, but has been upset with a benign crush because it didn't develop as 3rd date - sex, 20th date - meet the mom, 200 dates - rings exchange, etc?

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Old 25th October 2017, 12:33 AM   #2
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It is near shocking to me that people openly discuss and participate in adultery, relationships for financial benefits, status based relationships, but has been upset with a benign crush because it didn't develop as 3rd date - sex, 20th date - meet the mom, 200 dates - rings exchange, etc?
Evolutionary psychology has approached this issue. You should read about it.

About the context - Consider visiting a therapist.
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Old 25th October 2017, 12:37 AM   #3
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Evolutionary psychology has approached this issue. You should read about it.
Which part of the topic in particular? Could you provide a reference?
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Old 25th October 2017, 12:58 AM   #4
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Which part of the topic in particular? Could you provide a reference?
Can't remember a specific author/article at the moment, I'm searching at Jstor but it's full of feminist rubbish, can't believe it.

EDIT: seriously, you have no idea how much I'm cringing at the articles I found
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Last edited by EthanSPK; 25th October 2017 at 1:01 AM..
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Old 25th October 2017, 3:30 AM   #5
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No_Go,

No one is upset that your relationship with this man didn't progress into a romantic one. That is fine; heck, it's ordinary. Many people have platonic friendships, pen pals, drinking buddies, shopping friends, and so on. I have a friend with whom I share nothing in common except politics.

What happened in your thread is not quite as cut and dry as you have depicted it. You met a man and were immediately enchanted by him. You couldn't sleep, couldn't focus, couldn't think of anything else. You said he was the most inspirational person you had ever known. When he went more than a few hours without texting you you had panic attacks and assumed it was over. When he flaked on your dates you cried and said you needed a lot of time to recover, that you wouldn't ever meet anyone else like him. He finally told you he just wanted to be friends and you were heartbroken. But you saw him again and were so desperate to keep him in your life that you agreed to be platonic friends, even though your feelings are still so powerful.

This isn't about friendship. This is a situation of unrequited love. That's incredibly normal and there is nothing wrong with it. The problem is that rather than acknowledge it for what it is, you seem to think it's best to nurture and stoke your feelings for him even as he is very clear he doesn't reciprocate. Gaeta correctly pointed out it was like a teenager having a celebrity crush; you are madly obsessed with this man and don't even really need him to participate.

No one is upset. No one is offended. People are just surprised that a grown, intelligent woman with so much to offer is openly choosing to obsess over a man who rejected her romantically. Again, had you guys simply met and it hadn't worked out but you still decided to hang out as friends, that would be completely normal. The only difference is the amount of power you granted this man over your life, which you described in painstaking terms over sixty pages.

NuevoYorko made a good point too: if a man fell madly in love with a woman who rejected him and said she just wanted to be friends, but kept posting obsessive thoughts over and over about her online, including things about how he wanted to dance with her to learn about her "body control" and joked how he so desperately wanted to have sex with her and how he wanted to help her with her sexuality questions, he'd be called a creep and a stalker. I don't think you're either of those. I think you're extremely inexperienced romantically and you are just acting more like a teenager than an adult.

You have said the only way to get this out of your system is to embrace it fully. That's not entirely true; I mean, would you tell someone doing drugs that the only way to get clean is to OD? At some point you have to acknowledge the obsession as an unhealthy thing and limit its power over your life. You argue that your obsession is healthy and beneficial for you, because it brings you happiness and allows you to be independent (???). Yet we all know that if he called you up tomorrow and asked you on a date, you'd be on cloud nine and of course would say yes. You even said you are "not closing the door on dating him or other people", ignoring that he has already closed the door on dating you.

Again, there is no stigma to friendship, ever. There is something of a stigma about grown adults acting like teenagers, insisting their one-sided obsession is normal and healthy. You can't have a real friendship with this man until you have the feelings of a real friend. What you have now is still obsession. True friendship requires honesty, and you are not being honest about everything that has transpired in your own heart.

Last edited by lana-banana; 25th October 2017 at 3:43 AM..
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:07 AM   #6
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Lana - you have a very rigid understanding about what romance is that I happen to disagree with. Let’s refrain from this reference and just agree to disagree on that topic.

After having 2 years of live-in relationships (ie de facto marriage experience), i also can’t agree being inexperienced romantically. Facts say otherwise. Only thing I can say is that I was a late bloomer. I did it by choice and still think it was the right decision to venture into mating later in life.

I wonder why someone smart as you would make a binary statement- romantic/non-romantic, for relationships. Heck people including you have commented on sliding scale for sexuality that is something waaaaaay more close to binary than relationships or in other words there are less states where it can fall.

I strongly believe the rage in the other thread was coming from the fact that people could not understand that I (or anyone else) can enjoy such an interaction MORE than a relationship with ‘final goal’ - wherever the final goal is - friendship, business, romance, marriage.

I have repeated over (and over and over) that relationships with sexual partners (I dislike the word romance) do NOT define me, do NOT have impact on my identity, do NOT increase/decrease my self-esteem.

— A tangent from it was the fact my family members have always been telling me (untrue or not, it’s a viewpoint) that especially for females marriage/coupling in general stagnate development. Yes, it’s extreme statement and yes, this is way i was extremely uncomfortable in my ‘traditional’ relationship where I had to shield my ex’s attempts to travel to my family and ask for permission to marry me. I was deeply ashamed by this deep inside - and made several threads about it, so the evidence is even in here.

What enchants me in my recent experience, besides the fascinating person (not bulging on that), is the fact that I learned it is ok to compartmentalize relationships. I think I discussed that with you. E.g. this one may meet my intellectual needs while another one will be my activity partner etc. that’s what I refer to non-traditional configuration.

I’m not saying this is the only possible way to be happy. I’m just saying that this is a valid way to be happy. In apparently tolerant society, it touches me in a negative way that people just violently opposed to believe something as simple as that: that a woman (human) may enjoy living their life in a way that doesn’t target neither coupling nor solitude but the grey area in between.

Btw - I have responded to every opinion (therefore the long thread) out of respect to the people that shared their thoughts. It is a principle of mine in life (I don’t go to bed before zeroing my inbox), sadly it was perceived as obsessive and not just polite.

Please excuse me for typos - it is 6am and I’m typing on my phone fast because I need to beat the traffic in few. This is excessive clarification but since it raised questions... so as (very obvious) jokes... I’ll stick to being very explanatory....

P.S. For closing doors: IME that’s a female illusion. Once initiated the path is there. I’ve had sequels with every ex or even date of mine. This is an observation worthy for separate discussion but I just wanted to throw it out there because the closing doors opinion was, apparently, also source of misunderstandings...

Last edited by No_Go; 25th October 2017 at 6:11 AM..
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:20 AM   #7
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I originally wrote a lot here, but am increasingly aware of how futile any of it would be. I suppose it's easier to believe that others are rigid and uptight rather than accept what happened. Until you get over that hurdle, it's unlikely anything anyone says will reach you. EthanSPK's suggestion for therapy to deal with this particular situation is a good one.

Last edited by lana-banana; 25th October 2017 at 6:51 AM..
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:54 AM   #8
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It's one thing to want a different relationship and it's another to change and model yourself to fit in a pseudo-relationship.

You got the fire going in the other thread because we saw you metamorph in front of us page after page to fit this guy's mood. Not even a couple of dates in and you were ready to give him time and patience to help him through his sex hang-ups, I mean you don't know the man you don't even know if you are sexually compatible and you were ready to devote yourself to him as if he was a boyfriend of 3 years.

You also devote to him an undying admiration but you don't know him, you only saw him 6 times and that's enough to qualify him as the most wonderful person you've met? You don't know him.

And a last note on romantic relationship experience, living a couple of years with a man is not 'experience'. It's experience with THAT particular man, not with men. I know too well, when I got out of a 15 year marriage I knew a lot about my ex but I knew nothing about 'men' and dating. I started having a clue about men after spending 3 years dating men after men.
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Old 25th October 2017, 7:09 AM   #9
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Nobody has a problem with your relationship because it is non traditional. People are telling you you're lying to yourself that's all. You are rationalizing .

Last edited by BluEyeL; 25th October 2017 at 7:19 AM..
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Old 25th October 2017, 7:54 AM   #10
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Nobody has a problem with your relationship because it is non traditional. People are telling you you're lying to yourself that's all. You are rationalizing .
The following statement that I made provoked the rage:

Also, I feel no need to hide the negative sides of me and my partners/crushes which some ladies here desperately try to do. Therefore the more negative tone of my threads. My self esteem does not correlate with the dude I’m mating/dating/crushing on, which is very common for women, so I can see how it is confusing.

For one reason or another, many posters felt personally offended although I explained myself ad nauseum.

I referred to non-traditional in my understanding here:

I WANT a relationship - yes. I want it because I want someone to inspire me, and someone to be proud of, and experience life together. It doesn't need to be daily, and to meet ALL my needs - that to me is a prince charming fairy tale, and there is only one person that can meet all my needs - myself.


This probably caused confusion to some extend, but again - I'm rationalizing because as of moment - that's how I actually feel. Whether my past experience provoked it or not - is a separate question. It didn't provoke the fact I was happily single (and NOT willing to go to even a single date, albeit crushing) for the first 27.5 years of my life
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Old 25th October 2017, 7:59 AM   #11
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You know Gaeta - I can see why it reads that way - i.e. I'm changing for him. In reality, I have spend the entire past year reevaluating my relationship/sexual/dating needs etc. This experience just triggered what I've been thinking about for over an year.

And a last note on romantic relationship experience, living a couple of years with a man is not 'experience'. It's experience with THAT particular man, not with men. I can see that. In my case I was talking about cumulative experience of living with 2 men (one for under an year, second one a bit over - getting me to 2 years total), but.... in terms of dating different people, yeah - I haven't done much and I don't really want to. I've been on 10-12 different first dates though, so I'm not entirely inexperienced in that aspect as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaeta View Post
It's one thing to want a different relationship and it's another to change and model yourself to fit in a pseudo-relationship.

You got the fire going in the other thread because we saw you metamorph in front of us page after page to fit this guy's mood. Not even a couple of dates in and you were ready to give him time and patience to help him through his sex hang-ups, I mean you don't know the man you don't even know if you are sexually compatible and you were ready to devote yourself to him as if he was a boyfriend of 3 years.

You also devote to him an undying admiration but you don't know him, you only saw him 6 times and that's enough to qualify him as the most wonderful person you've met? You don't know him.

And a last note on romantic relationship experience, living a couple of years with a man is not 'experience'. It's experience with THAT particular man, not with men. I know too well, when I got out of a 15 year marriage I knew a lot about my ex but I knew nothing about 'men' and dating. I started having a clue about men after spending 3 years dating men after men.
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Old 25th October 2017, 8:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lana-banana View Post
I originally wrote a lot here, but am increasingly aware of how futile any of it would be. I suppose it's easier to believe that others are rigid and uptight rather than accept what happened. Until you get over that hurdle, it's unlikely anything anyone says will reach you. EthanSPK's suggestion for therapy to deal with this particular situation is a good one.
Therapy unfortunately doesn't do a sh*t for me. Sorry to break the news - I tried. The same way 'distractions' like sports do not 'help' me, if something is on my mind - it stays there. That's how succeeded in life so far, so I'd say at least in some aspects - this trait served me well.

Here I'm not trying to get over a hurdle - I'm only trying to understand a new (for me) fascinating aspect of human relationships that is misinterpreted. It goes beyond the particular experience, because I've shared other ones of different nature as well.

I'd appreciate if people share their stories as well. THAT will make for a thought-provoking discussion.
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Old 25th October 2017, 8:52 AM   #13
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What do you consider to be a "non-traditional relationship"? I'm really not following at all why you think your relationship with this man is a "non-traditional relationship"

You are friends now, yes?

It's not unusual for two people to meet and decide to become friends.

It's also not unusual for two people to go on a date, and for one of them to decide they would rather be friends, and for a friendship in some sense to continue on.

It's also not unusual for two people to go on a date, and for both of them to decide mutually that friendship is the best option, and for a friendship to commence.

It doesn't mean it's necessarily a healthy relationship or friendship in all cases, but I wouldn't view any of the above as necessarily "non-traditional."

Many people have compartmentalized types of friendships and relationships.
I have all kinds of friends in my life that fulfill different needs. I have friends I run with, friends I book club with, friends I shop with, friends I drink with, friends I volunteer with, etc. So, there's really nothing non-traditional about that either. It's great that you think he's meeting your needs in some way. It's great that now you think that's enough for you. But, as others have already pointed out, that wasn't the issue for posters in your thread who were trying to help you.

I didn't see this "rage" in your thread. You are a very inexperienced dater -- 10-12 first dates? That's inexperienced. Many of us have gone through exactly what you are going through now, the infatuation, obsession, etc. with a man who has said he's not interested in a relationship. I know I've been there. Maybe everyone just needs to go through the experience themselves in order to realize when it's best just to cut bait and run. I think most of the advice you got was from a place of good intentions, so I'm sorry you see it as "rage."
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Old 25th October 2017, 9:18 AM   #14
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Ah let me explain Clia : I was referring to ANY relationship that doesn’t have defined outcome. E.g. sex (‘romance’), company (‘friendship’), money (‘business’) etc.

I’m interested in anything that doesn’t lead to a particular outcome /activity / event. E.g. having a friends to run with it’s outcome based relationship (you go to run). I was more referring to entire domains - e.g. someone satisfying your intellectual curiosity or spiritual needs.

I’ll give you examples outside of the guy in the thread:
1) A guy that was feeding a sexual need for me, via what I’d call - a consensual rape. I created a situation from which I could not escape on purpose. This person wasn’t my intellectual or spiritual mate but was feeding on a need that I had at the time: exploring my sexuality. It lasted 1.5 years and then subsided because he wanted a ‘typical’ development

2) A guy that was feeding on my need to have an idol / muse. I was very well aware this will never morph into friendship let alone romance, I was personally facilitating his ‘romantic’ pursuits. I needed him to gain perspective - he had a very strong one, about life, that I have used to build my own

3) A woman in my family (direct relative but not parent/sibling) that I used as a role model for building my principles. We had a turmoil of an interaction that shaped me spiritually.

I’m rambling a bit because I want to deface the people in discussion to make it all more neutral ... But I guess you see what I’m talking about: relationships that impact you strongly, and not in the way that they are expected to.
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Old 25th October 2017, 9:43 AM   #15
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Non-traditional relationships?

I thought this was going to be about open / poly etc.

I am not aware of wide spread social stigma regarding any of the relationships described above...

FWB, mentors, spiritual connections etc are not stigmatized.

As for the one peculiar situation regarding the 60 page thread, I am not aware of a wide spread societal stigma regarding that either.

Last edited by RecentChange; 25th October 2017 at 9:48 AM..
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