I’ve put a lot of expectations into my romantic relationships. I am by nature a romantic person, and I have always wanted what I thought was a romantic, passionate relationship.
What I’m in right now, though, is an aromantic, “queer-platonic relationship,” a term that basically means we are best friends, partners, and are “in love” in a non-romantic way.
And that has taken a lot of the pressure off of our relationship. I have everything I need and want from this person (and from my sexual partners—we have an open relationship).
So what’s missing in my life? Romance. And now I can embrace that in both the long walks on the beach sense (not that I couldn’t do just that with my partner), and the 19th century poetry sense.
I realize that as a person I have many needs in relationships: romance, sex, partnership, love, physical affection.
With my “main” partner I have partnership and love. That basically means we are best friends, and we also rely on each other emotionally in a way that is more like that of people in romantic relationships (but we don’t have romantic or sexual feelings for each other).
I have physical affection and sex from another partner. We don’t have romantic feelings for each other or have any partnership.
So right now I’m having most of my needs met, just by two different people. This is why I like open relationships. A lot of times people settle for having just a few of their needs met, but all of them are important. I would love to find a romantic partner who meets all of those needs perfectly all the time, but I doubt that exists.
So that is why I choose polyamory. Because now I have a partner I call my owlfriend (she identifies as agender, so she isn’t a girl) and we can be partners who love each other without the rest. And I can have sex and friendship and affection from another partner.
If I only dated owlfriend, I’d be starving for romance and sex and more physical affection. But without her, I’d be in a ton of pain because I love her so much. If I only saw my other partner, I’d be starving for romance and partnership. Together they fulfill most of my needs.
I consider being “in love” with someone something that can be romantic or platonic. You have the same fluffy sort of needy feelings when a relationship is platonic, but they aren’t as fluffy or needy. Definitely less needy. You accept that you are one of many close friends, and love passionately without the sex or romantic passion.
I think most people think “the one” has all of these needs perfectly in check most of the time; but the reality is most people can’t fulfill another person’s needs entirely.
So I’m happy being platonically in love with owl (and a few other people, really), partnering with her, and getting other needs met elsewhere with other awesome people.
I love romance and seeing the world as beautiful. And now that I don’t have to project all of my romantic ideals onto some individual, I can be free to breathe in the beauty of the world and of human relationships.
How have your relationships changed your outlook on relationships in general? Let me know in the comments!
Written by Zeinah Zaki
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