Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Telecaster68

Should your partner be the most important person in your life?

Recommended Posts

Telecaster68

I'd always taken as read that they are but on a few threads recently, the idea that they're not, and shouldn't be, has popped up.

I'm not saying couples should be joined at the hip, or there aren't circumstances where the needs of family (ill parents, kids' education etc) take precedence, at least for a while.

But mostly, yep, partners come before family and friends as far as I'm concerned, and I'd expect my partner to do the same, and I'm perfectly happy for my friends and family to put their partners first (except for their kids).

This is someone you've committed to exclusively*, may well have kids with, a house, shared finances, you maybe see as much of their family as your own, you're planning a life together. Their needs come before anyone else's, and knowing that is part of the deal with monogamy, surely?

----

*yes, yes, polyamory, etc. I'm talking about the vast, vast majority of relationships which are monogamous. This isn't to invalidate polyamory, it's just not very common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarfeather

Well, since I'm not monogamous, it's a moot point. When you can have multiple partners, there's no reason they should be in any way considered more important than friends. I think the notion of having someone be your "primary" for practical reasons, such as kids, is reasonable, but then that person doesn't necessarily have to be a romantic partner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigellaseed

I think joint needs with your partner should come first but at times each person in a relationship can and should put themselves first if they are unhappy. I could extrapolate if you want but I guess you know what I mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

Children come before your partner until they reach adulthood. Child neglect is a criminal offense. Neglecting your partner is a civil offense at worst, and even then only if you are married and the neglect is pretty extreme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Children come before your partner until they reach adulthood. Child neglect is a criminal offense. Neglecting your partner is a civil offense at worst, and even then only if you are married and the neglect is pretty extreme.

I agree, hence my '(except their kids)'.

The point being made in other threads was that friends should be the same priority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigellaseed

I think the OP did mention kids to be included too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross
Dont have a life partner so maybe my opinion wont hold much weight. But from what I have seen, I believe that your lifes partner(s) needs, while definately important, shouldnt be the first and foremost to the point where you neglect other aspects or people in your life. Even your life partner may find it increadibly annoying (unless their narcissistics and completely self centered) tjat you do nothing but cater to their every whim of problem, especially when not asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Float On

personally I would enjoy having a partner who is mutually more important with each other than any other. but I don't feel it is something that should happen, and I don't even feel that my having a partner at all is something that should happen. I mean, I am happy by myself, a partner could be nice to have but I'm not driven to necessarily find one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
your lifes partner(s) needs, while definately important, shouldnt be the first and foremost to the point where you neglect other aspects or people in your life.

Absolutely. That's what I meant by being joined at the hip. Defining yourself through your partner is obviously not particularly healthy either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HelenMelon

I always had the attitude of 'your partner should be your best friend, but not your only friend' - but in some cases I think it's probably important to put yourself and your own wellbeing first, or you'll just be miserable. It also probably depends on the sort of people you and your partner are, every relationship is different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

A partner in a relationship similar to marriage comes before friends and family members for whom you are not next of kin. But if a partner is jealous and needy and doesn't want you to spend time with family and friends, that is probably an unhealthy relationship that won't last long. In that case cutting ties with family and friends sounds like a bad idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Just to clarify - I didn't mean put your partners needs before your own (though there are times when that's the right thing, too). I meant, for instance, if you had an ill friend and an ill partner, you look after the partner not the friend. This attitude seemed to be surprisingly controversial when it came up before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

I would agree only if it is clearly impossible to do both. Situations can easily arise where a person is obligated to care for more than one sick person and then they have to do the best they can. But if it's something like donating a kidney, the order of priority is children, partner, family of origin, friend, stranger in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cbc

I would say yes. I don't see the point in committing to a relationship with someone if they're not going to be the most important person in your life. Mind you, there's still a place for certain family members to be almost equally important in a slightly different way if you have a strong relationship with them. But in a loose sense, I still say yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

Children come before your partner until they reach adulthood. Child neglect is a criminal offense. Neglecting your partner is a civil offense at worst, and even then only if you are married and the neglect is pretty extreme.

I agree, hence my '(except their kids)'.

The point being made in other threads was that friends should be the same priority.

This would be very difficult to pinpoint as to which side deserves (Im not sure thats the best word to use. Bear with me here) the exclusively high amount of devotion.

I know that usually TMI are for graphical purposes so I'll go with TML here. I will look it from a purely logical point here so people, youve been warned. Youre not to take this at heart nor is it directed at anyone.

From a logical standpoint (and yes, even in emotions, you need logic) neither are entitled to exclusive devotion. At the expense of sounding like an arrogant narcissist, the first and foremost important person is yourself. After yourself come both friends and lovers.

The reason I say this is that for starters, you have your own personal things to deal with. Things that neither friend nor lovers can solve for you. Secondly, neither friends nor lovers are perfect matches for you. You may have certain issues that youre willing to talk only with your friends and certain issues that your only willing to talk with your lover and then there are issues you work out by yourself. Also at the end of the day (figuratively speaking) you may decide or conclude that neither one is suitable for you, just as you can decide that one is or both are.

I think that this shares the same issue as sex when it is pedestalized. The concepts are important, but people tend to take them to an irrational and often times hurtful level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

It's not about who's entitled. It's about who you want to put first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dissolved

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

It's not about who's entitled. It's about who you want to put first.

Yes but I was looking at it from a neutral perspective. If we take it to a personal level, the answer to the question becomes "who you choose to put first"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigellaseed

Jade I understood all of your points but struggled on the last paragraph about 'hurtful'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

The point to me is that you can't have a neutral position. If you have a partner, you've chosen them, and part of that choice is choosing to not be neutral.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigellaseed

I guess a lot of us on this thread may not have had such a long-term relationship like you, Tele, so it may slightly sway us to a more independent stance on this one. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigellaseed

I think if your relationships have been shorter and more unsuccessful then it would make one more cautious to put any new partner first before your own needs..that is what I meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Maybe... and my great age may make a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

The point to me is that you can't have a neutral position. If you have a partner, you've chosen them, and part of that choice is choosing to not be neutral.

But youre the one who males the choice are you not? Thats whu I mentioned before that from a personal stance, the answer of who you wish to put first comes from you. Its not the nature of the relationship that determines it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

The point to me is that you can't have a neutral position. If you have a partner, you've chosen them, and part of that choice is choosing to not be neutral.

But youre the one who males the choice are you not? Thats whu I mentioned before that from a personal stance, the answer of who you wish to put first comes from you. Its not the nature of the relationship that determines it.

Yes, but to me, one of the defining characteristics of a relationship partner in the sense we're discussing, is that they come first (apart from the parental illness/kids exceptions).

Sure, I'm choosing to define the relationship like that, but I was honestly shocked that this wasn't universally the case. I don't actually see why it's a primary relationship without that characteristic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

Jade I understood all of your points but struggled on the last paragraph about 'hurtful'

Relationships and sex are two subjects which much too often suffer from an ideal of "this is/must be so" when in both situations, the answer of how they will affect a person lies within that person himself but peer pressure (culture, family, friends, etc.) dictates otherwise and people suffer alot trying to fit in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111

I know I mentioned it in an earlier thread, but I could not disagree more with that line of thinking. Don't get me wrong, romantic partners are super important to me, and that's kind of the point of forming those partnerships, but the idea that one person should take precedence over everyone else in your life really does not sit well with me. Though I do experience romantic attraction very intensely, and develop strong attachments to partners rather quickly, I do very much stress the importance of platonic love in my life, as well, and would say that my closest friends rank at least as high (if not higher) on my list of favorite people as any partner of mine. Quite frankly, if a friend of mine, especially one I've been close to for years, starts ditching me in favor of some new love in their life, I would honestly feel pretty betrayed. Not that I expect people to be loyal to me just because, but I'd like to think that my friendship means at least a little bit to the people I trust.

Family is another one that people expect me to prioritize, but I don't, and a lot of that is for the same reasons above. Children, especially, put me off for many reasons, but one in particular that is relevant to this discussion: People say that children automatically take the top priority spot in one's life, even above romantic partners (who are supposed to take #2), and that upsets me. My philosophy on relationships, be they romantic, platonic, or something else entirely, is a simple one. Relationships are solely for the people in the relationship, and not for anyone else Anyone else's approval is just icing on the cake, but ultimately does not matter. That is why I do not worry about what my family, friends, and partners think about each other. It's nice that they do get along, for the most part, but ultimately, it's not as important to me as the relationships I have with them individually. This is also one reason why the thought of having children completely and utterly repulses me. Never mind the other issues I have with children, but the big one here is that by the very nature of their existence, children are dependent on the care of their parents, at least for the first fifteen years or so. That means that any relationship I would have that would bring about children would quickly become about the children, not about me and my partner(s), and that idea disgusts me. Relationships should be completely voluntary, and adding children into the mix adds obligation, and I'm not about that life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

To most people, the two defining characteristics of a 'relationship' relationship is that you put that partner first, and you have sex with them exclusively. Those things don't make them better, just different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

The point to me is that you can't have a neutral position. If you have a partner, you've chosen them, and part of that choice is choosing to not be neutral.

But youre the one who males the choice are you not? Thats whu I mentioned before that from a personal stance, the answer of who you wish to put first comes from you. Its not the nature of the relationship that determines it.

Yes, but to me, one of the defining characteristics of a relationship partner in the sense we're discussing, is that they come first (apart from the parental illness/kids exceptions).

Sure, I'm choosing to define the relationship like that, but I was honestly shocked that this wasn't universally the case. I don't actually see why it's a primary relationship without that characteristic.

Nothing is universal, especially man made ideals. I understand how it can cause confusion to be used to seeing things in a certain matter and then finding out its not the same for everyone. This question is similar to when you mentioned the factors that every relationship had to have to be considered a real relationship,and I asked you to define your marriage by those same standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
Quite frankly, if a friend of mine, especially one I've been close to for years, starts ditching me in favor of some new love in their life, I would honestly feel pretty betrayed.

What about if a romantic partner starting preferring a friend's company to yours? Or their mother got more say than you over the decor of your home?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...