Mature Love As A Basis Of Alternative Relationships
It is not true, as the idea of romantic love would have it, that there is only the one person in the world whom one could love and that it is the great chance of one’s life to find that one person. Nor is it true, if that person be found that love for him (or her) results in a withdrawal of love from others.
Erich Fromm. Man for Himself: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Ethics
Craving for novelties has been embedded in our genes. Like a cat to a new box, we are attracted to new experiences and experiments. Even though aware of copy-paste pettiness, we get bitten by the bug of new #challenge or selfie style that makes us want to do the same right off. And seeing gain in alternative relationships popularity makes us consider trying something of the kind as well.
But riding a new wave requires a good deal of due preparation. In case of surfing this includes proper equipment, intensive physical workouts, understanding the waves behavior pattern, the ability to tell weather change by the wind and knowledge of depth contours. While relationships is a multi-aspect phenomenon much more complex than surfing.
So now, knowledge, skills and equipment: what are they in alternative relationships?
Alternative relationships: theoretical training
Let’s have it point-blank: the art of relationships is not a subject we’ve been properly taught. In fact only few of European states have classes on emotional and intimate relationships included in their schools curricula. While coachers who sell the promise of teaching you how to become the focus of one or several partners’ desire do it at the amateur level.
Our first-hand experience tells us they are not mutual agreements between families or astrology forecasts that make the groundwork of the XXI-century’ relationships, but love, sexual desire and joint plans. While relationships without love can be referred to as treaty, neighborship or sexual partnership.
The science of love lacks renowned experts, but competent researchers of the field do exist. They still work without determined formula of love – here it’s hard to make things as good-looking as the famous Е = mc2. But they’ve spent many years studying and describing the phenomenon of love. They are Fromm, Frankl and Kernberg who we speak about. And these are the books of the last-named that tell us love can be of mature and immature type.
With ideas given below, you can compare scientific opinion to your personal experience.
We can turn back to childhood memories to recollect our first infatuation with an idol. The feelings of adoration and admiration made us imbued with happiness, but it was nothing but ivory-towering: the icon’s image was made of pure fantasies or fragmentary information from media while his real character and lifestyle could have turned a shock. Think about the crowds of girls in love with Michael Jackson, or those of boys worshipping Madonna. How long would this love last if they happen to come by their idol’s side for a month, or two, or half a year?
Our infatuation with an idealized object is what they call immature love. It requires ultimate match with what we expect from our worshipped hero, so that every little collision with reality ends in disappointment. After all, maturity prefers real things to illusions.
Another type of immature love is alliance built for the sake of freedom. Not all of us had it this way, but someone’s first childhood infatuation secured their right to “tune out” parents’ will. When together with your love, you can venture upon the things that neither of you is bold enough to do alone – live the way you want and act against parents expectations. A sort of hiding in each other. People often leave home like this: not daring to simply tell the adults “I don’t want to live with you any more” but having guts to say “I want to live with him/her”. Good thing we have universities and colleges – they start fulfilling the function of the second one.
Dependency and one of its variations – the so called Stockholm syndrome – is another form of immature love. It occurs when an object has something we need. We choose the path of least resistance – falling in love instead of fighting. Our freedom, money, sex, knowledge, apartments - anything can come as resource. Infatuation is just an instrument of getting the desired. Our careful mind shields us from comprehending real things, making this type of immaturity so difficult to become aware of. This is the case when facts are never considered. We would proceed with reluctance and turning a blind eye to our benefits and dependency.
Here’s a list of mature love attributes based on the books of people studying it, as well as personal experience gained in numerous relationships:
- the ability to depend situationally on a partner (when being ill, suffering from traumas or bereavements)
For instance, you’re running a temperature. A fever over 100˚F. You feel shitty and sick. Shall you entrust your partner with a process of sponging your down, making tea and watching your timely drugs intake, or shall you prefer to do all this in your lonely pride sticking to your “crown” and air of independence?
- the ability to tell a partner something that makes you lose your face
Your willingness to confess about cheat lists that helped you pass graduation exams, to tell about fitness instructor who turns you on, the long drink you were treated to yesterday in the bar or homosexual experience of your early years. Why should you? Well, here it’s not the purpose yet the ability to do it that matters.
- the ability to forgive your partner
Sometimes a partner can be cruel, his behavior being illogic and ungrounded. Are you ready to find out his/her motives or would you prefer to immediately leave?
- genuine interest in your partner’s life
Your know exactly your partner’s preferences in food, sports, movies, sex and people; his/her fetishes and kinks, favorite books and actors, favorite places in your city and most-liked cities of the world, a favorite place at home and on the sofa, choice of clothing brands and cycles trademarks. You know whether he/she is goofy or regular). And this knowledge does not come from partner’s continuous telling you about this but as a result of your attention and care.
You understand that everything he/she does for you is not a duty of a loving person yet a daily present you get. Waiting for you, going together to different places, cooking, keeping one’s stuff and belongings in order – all of the said is a routine you do for each other and are thankful for.
- matching by cultural level
If you are a Capulet and your partner is a Montague and you both are identified with your clan’s ideas, what is the way you can get together? You’ll have to start a new clan of Montague-Capulets and find common values, otherwise it shall be hard to fulfill three opening points of our list.
- joint problem solving
Your partner and you are responsive to each other’s wishes. For instance, you take earphones to watch a movie for the time of your partner’s Sanskrit Skype class, and you wait for each other to dine together. The main point of this attribute implies none of you is grabbing the biggest piece of the “live-this-way-rules” pie, and your common decisions consider your individual interests.
- sexual desire for partner and accepting his/her body with all transformations that occur in course of time
It’s good to be 25: you’ve had a sound sleep, done some jogging, took a shower and now’s in the full of your health. But shall a partner’s desire for you survive 3 sleepless nights he had before a project release? Or will you still like your partner and her 5 extra kilos gained after 3 months with a plaster cast?
- understanding partner’s inability to meet all your needs and desires regarding other sex
Forgiveness seems to be the hardest deed. Still your partner won’t cope with comprising features of all your idols and all superheroes’ capabilities. He shall either beat you in chess-playing or fail to come with a perfect-all body, or will speak fewer foreign languages and happen to hate your favorite film. There is always something that is not up to your expectations. And the question is – how will you deal with it?
If you understand and accept the aforementioned attributes, the only thing left is to check up whether you are in possession of all tools needed to start alternative relationships.
Practical background of alternative relationships
It consists of the ability to act independently and take care of yourself, your everyday life, sex and entertainments. When finding a sexual partner and earning for quarters rent (them kept clean and tidy) is not a problem, your choice of partner can be honest and independent of daily wants.
And in this case the desire to live together, in two or three, shall be grounded on your need to share rather than to get.
Reality check, or looking at things from a different perspective
Having failed with their qualification assessment, some surfers suffer death in pursuit of new experiences. Couples break up even more often, lacking minimum knowledge of relationships building and relying on nothing but vague assumptions, premonition, love stories and hope for a miracle.
Alternative relationships are much more sophisticated than just couples - here every point of mature love is to be multiplied by two.
Whatever you want to try, whatever weird are the waves of relationships you plan to ride, a critical discussion with someone you trust shall always help to see whether things sound real from the outside.
Alternative relationships expertise
The XXI century is the era of niche specialization. You can see a long list of professionals and experts at scientific conferences, or use a recruiter to get the same. Yet in the field of family relationships that along with work ties for the first place in one’s system of values and time spent experts are still few.
The only way out lies in making your own search for expert knowledge and taking decisions based on personal experience and best practices of the people you take as an authority.