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Telecaster68

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

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Serran

I honestly don't even know what "most important" means.

Haha I think it means whatever someone wants it to mean. :D Since it would be a personal definition.

How about this... my partners are my favorite people.

Either is fine. As long as you don't think everyone has to follow that (which, I don't think you do :D )

Can I say my bird is my favorite person?

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Skullery Maid

OMG my dog is absolutely my favorite person. After myself, obviously :D

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Snao van der Cone

I honestly don't even know what "most important" means.

How about this... my partners are my favorite people.

OMG my dog is absolutely my favorite person. After myself, obviously :D

But where does Snow Cone fall on your list?

Where does Snow Cone fall on everyone's list? That's where there's a huge gap in the logic of partners being your most important person. Where do I come into this picture?

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Guest

But where does Snow Cone fall on your list?

Where does Snow Cone fall on everyone's list? That's where there's a huge gap in the logic of partners being your most important person. Where do I come into this picture?

Somewhere near the upper end of mine, but sorry, not in the all-time top ten. :D :P :cake:

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Hermit Advocate

The prioritizing of partners over everyone else is complete bullshit to me. Going to rant a little here. My sister met her BF 4 years ago, approximately 6 months into the relationship she started withdrawing from family and friends to spend even more time with him. Then they decided to move out of state. Okay, they're adults, they can do that. But, they took this move as an opportunity to cut everyone else out of their live. It was an instantaneous cut off. It's like she dropped off the face of the earth in terms of communication. When she had told us that she was going to come and visit she called back a few days later to say that she wasn't coming because her bf couldn't get work off and I quote "I just don't want to spend a solid day away from him." I am not joking, she actually said this to my mother as I was listening. She literally can not stand to be away from him for 24 hours. She refuses to finish her degree when she only need 10 more credits because it embarrasses her bf that he did so poorly in school he barley graduated and she doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Rant over.

Sorry about that. My point is, that the idea of putting one person above everyone else to the point where anyone else is considered to be worth no more attention than a stranger you pass by in the street is not okay. I can understand the need to prioritize children or people who need constant care due to an illness or even old age. But making your entire self-universe revolve around a single person is just not okay. Again, sorry for the rant.

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Float On

snow cone is at the top of my list :rolleyes:

(what list)

but tbh... I actually have had to learn this past year not to place me at the bottom of my list without realizing.

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Sally

Where does Snow Cone fall on everyone's list? That's where there's a huge gap in the logic of partners being your most important person. Where do I come into this picture

Well, with nearly 9,000 posts, you were no doubt someone else before you were Snow Cone, but lately as Snow Cone, your posts have shot you way near the top of my list.

Seriously, though (although I was serious), I don't think there are any "shoulds" in what relationship you feel is most important to you. What you feel is what you feel; certainly no one else can tell you how to feel.

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Telecaster68
But making your entire self-universe revolve around a single person is just not okay.

Absolutely, as I pretty much said in an earlier post. I guess another way to put it would that though day to day your life stays broadly the same, but your relationship is the centre of gravity. It makes no sense to drop friends etc. - who wants to be with someone who can't sustain friendships and has no outside life to bring to the relationship. By definition, your partner had a non-relationship life before you met, and means to an extent, they're no longer quite the person you chose to be with anyhow.

But there are things where your partner's needs and wishes should outrank others - I'm thinking of things like:

- I'd be bothered if they always chose to go on holiday with friends/family instead of me. Sometimes, fine, but mostly, that's 'us' time, to share things we want to do, and be with each other. Never wanting that means basically, they prefer other people

- Persistently going with other people's advice on big decisions (home decor, money, career) when it contradicts mine. I don't mean not blindly following my wishes, I mean clearly minimising my contribution to things that'll affect us both

- choosing not to make a big geographical move with their partner because they prefer to stay with friends (as opposed to say, ill parents or kids' education).

Obviously people are free to make those choices, but I'd take them as bad omens for the relationship in general as they indicate a deeper incompatibility. It's not a battle about control, it's more about valuing what the other person brings to your life.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

But making your entire self-universe revolve around a single person is just not okay.

I think if both people in the relationship want that and are happy with it, then it's absolutely okay.

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Telecaster68

On one level, yes, of course. But I have doubts about how sustainable that would be.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

On one level, yes, of course. But I have doubts about how sustainable that would be.

Just depends on the people involved and how much importance they place on relationships with other people? I put my kids first as that's my obligation of course, but no one else other than that obligation comes before the person I love. And the kids aren't a ''desire'' or something I ''need'' ..It's my job to care for them and put them first, no matter what.

I could happily go forever having one person as my one and only with no need for or desire to interact on personal levels with other people. Obviously that's not exactly the norm, but for me personally, I just don't desire or need personal interaction with other people regardless. When I'm in love with someone, they become my universe and they are all that matters to me. Sure I do still have my ''independence'', I don't live for them or only do things they want to do (that's a bit different).. I still write and draw and listen to audiobooks and game etc (solitary activities I can do alone at home, unless they want to join too!!) but that person is still my life and my whole world. They are who is on my mind when I wake and when I fall asleep, who I take into consideration whenever I make any decision. When I'm in love, that person is just another part of me.

I understand some people don't think that's healthy, but if two people are naturally solitary anyway, I don't see what difference it makes if they fall in love and become each others world? And if they are naturally solitary yet have a best friend in each other, I don't see why it's so hard to imagine they could remain together long-term. Also, even for people who aren't that solitary, if they're best friends and love each other etc, I don't see what's so wrong with them putting each other first in their lives? If each is the most important person in the world to the other (being their best friend, lover, intimate companion etc) I just don't personally see what's so wrong with that, or why their love/relationship would be any more or less likely to be sustained than if they were people who spread their emotions and time out among other people.

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Tarfeather

We're all unique, with different mental mechanisms and desires. I don't really have a problem with whatever type of configuration someone prefers, just as long as they're happy with it. The fact that it wouldn't work out for one person has little bearing on what it means for another.

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Telecaster68

Yeah, each to their own. I guess.

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AthenaFay

This for me has always been the kind of thing where I feel like I am supposed to say no, that my partner is not the most important person in my life, and yet they always have been.

I feel like I'm supposed to say that I am the most important person in my life, (as has been the overarching advice from the many confidence pep talks I've been on the other end of for most of my life), or my family and friends are more important, but the truth is they never have been.

This just feels natural to me, but it's also felt more natural to me to actually prioritize my partner over myself, (and I guess there's a pretty big difference between someone being the most important person in your life, and actually prioritizing them over your own self) which whilst that's my response, it doesn't feel like one that should be commended or encouraged.

I guess I do have a limit on this though, which is why I ended my relationship with my asexual partner because my needs weren't getting met.

In my own life experience, I've met more people who tell other people (me) that your partner should not be the most important person in your life, but the actual reality of just life seems to be that most people probably actually do.

When I fall in love with someone, that's it, that person is my life. My whole life. And from there, I don't really "grow out" of that attitude in the relationship. And I want that person to be my whole life. If I had a pound for every time for someone told me that that isn't right, I would be rich, but that doesn't change the fact that this actually feels deeply natural and ingrained to me. This is a way of being which has endured heartbreaks and the knowledge that no one is perfect, and yet it is still there. I think I might possibly always be this way for as long as I fall in love. I still know the risks of being this way, but I don't think it will go away.

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Tarfeather

What do you do when you fall in love with someone and the feeling is one-sided?

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AthenaFay

What do you do when you fall in love with someone and the feeling is one-sided?

Well I guess that's already happened with my aromantic asexual ex partner, (and when I realized the extent of the one-sidedness, we mutually decided it wasn't right, and went our separate ways).

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axl_gnr

My parents will always be the 'priority'. And I dont mean that in a rude way. They raised me, they nourished me, I love them to the core. They will always be my heart and soul.

And I will only have a partner that is equally as loving to me as I am to my parents. But my heart and soul will always be my parents.

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Philip027

I disagree that partners should be the most important. Are there SOME places where their opinion/feelings matter more than other peoples? Sure. You tend to live together, so housing and such they matter more than a person you don't live with, since the other person isn't having to live in the place. But, that's kinda the same with any person - in certain aspects of life, the other person has more say than another person in your life.

How my joint credit card I have with my mom is used? Up to me and her. How my joint bank account with my spouse and me was used? Was up to me and him. How I take vacations? Up to me. If it includes someone else, they get a say as well. Etc, etc.

But, if my partner was the most important then I would choose them over anyone else in my life, period. They'd matter the most. If it was between them and someone else I loved, I would choose them and cut the other person out. And I will never cut out anyone just cause a partner says so, I will never side with a partner just cause they are a partner, even if I agree with another person more. Because people I love are equally important to me. I just happen to share different parts of my life with different people. And the person you live with, whether that be a family member, room mate or romantic partner, tends to get the most joint decisions since you live together.

Time management issues are a problem in relationships, but if my partner decides to spend their one weekend off in a month or whatever with someone else, that's their business. As long as I get some time as well, I am fine. My first boyfriend would rather spend his days at his friend's house than with me all the time, but I only got upset really because he'd never even tell me his plans. So, 2am rolls around and he's not home, I didn't know if he was OK or arrested or passed out somewhere or just lost track of time. A simple "Hey, I'll be home late, don't wait up for me" was all I really wanted from him, not for him to spend more of his time with me than with his best friend. Another ex spent two weeks with a friend, told me he couldn't even talk to me while he was there (despite having net and stuff) cause he'd be busy. I didn't get upset with him for it. I don't see romantic partnership as any claim to all their time and attention, beyond what they want to give, if it's not enough then it's an issue we can try to resolve or not. My third ex, I knew his mom was the most important person in his life - I had no wish to compete with that, she was the one that would always be there for him, no matter what he did... romantic relationships are always conditional (poly people couldn't take a shift to mono usually, mono people can't take a shift to poly, cheating, etc always some sort of deal breaker exists), why would I even be upset that the woman who raised him was more important?

And frankly, after being given the choice between a friend and my partner (in a very "it's him or me" sort of way) ... I tried choosing the partner cause that's what society expects and I regretted it. I will from now on never accept someone making me choose who is "more important" - if someone is important to me, they are important. No one gets the role of most important. And they all can either respect that I love them all, or leave me alone, cause getting mad at me for not wanting to choose one or the other is not something I will accept. Thankfully, my friend forgave me trying to conform to society's expectations and it didn't ruin our friendship.

So, I guess you could frame it - different people you love are more important than others in different aspects of your life. I would agree with that. Right now, I live with my mom, so she's the most important when it comes to things like living arrangement decisions and financial decisions. Before that it was my spouse, since we lived together. If I live with anyone else, it will be them, whether they are friend/family/romantic partners. But, overall importance, everyone has their places where they are most important to me.

I honestly don't even know what "most important" means.

How about this... my partners are my favorite people.

What these people said, really.

Personally, my partner certainly does rank high, but if we really had to try to slap an "importance" label on things, my mom will always win on that account, on the basis that I'd have been long dead without her (moreover that, I simply wouldn't have existed without her), and for the majority of my post-teenage life I was only remaining alive for her sake. My partner knows all this, and accepts this as having been part of how I am.

Maybe this doesn't fit the typical mold of how someone's priorities and relationships shake up when they leave the nest and enter a partnership with someone else, but this is just how I am. I make no excuses for myself in this regard.

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Telecaster68

I guess I do have a limit on this though, which is why I ended my relationship with my asexual partner because my needs weren't getting met.

Yeah, I think that's a fair boundary to have.

What do you do when you fall in love with someone and the feeling is one-sided?

That would be called 'unrequited love' mostly.

I must admit I don't quite get the way some people can apply rationality to who's most important, like a kind of pro's and cons list. In my experience, it's something that's felt rather than analysed.

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Jade Cross
Not to sound all Yoda like but emotions cloud your judgement. Rationality is unbiased and can lead you to a conclusion faster and sometimes more accurately.

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Telecaster68

Actually emotions are quicker as they're basically heuristics - mostly saving us the time and effort of having to rethink everything from first principles all the time, but occasionally wrong because they're based on probabilities. EG - fear of snakes. Mostly sound, because snakes can be lethal, but by the time we've checked out what sort, whether they're likely to attack, etc. it's probably too late. So fear makes a nice, quick decision. But sometimes the snake is harmless, and the heuristic is wrong.

But there's something very cold to me, in the logic of 'my mother, because she gave birth to me, and then she supported me in my teens' whereas 'my partner is good company but I'll inevitably meet someone else'. Emotionally, I just want my partner at the centre of my life, and I have no way or desire to justify it rationally.

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Tarfeather

I must admit I don't quite get the way some people can apply rationality to who's most important, like a kind of pro's and cons list. In my experience, it's something that's felt rather than analysed.

Well, it's a feedback loop. Within certain limits, consciously investing more effort into your bond with one person will strengthen your feelings for them.

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Jade Cross

Actually emotions are quicker as they're basically heuristics - mostly saving us the time and effort of having to rethink everything from first principles all the time, but occasionally wrong because they're based on probabilities. EG - fear of snakes. Mostly sound, because snakes can be lethal, but by the time we've checked out what sort, whether they're likely to attack, etc. it's probably too late. So fear makes a nice, quick decision. But sometimes the snake is harmless, and the heuristic is wrong.

But there's something very cold to me, in the logic of 'my mother, because she gave birth to me, and then she supported me in my teens' whereas 'my partner is good company but I'll inevitably meet someone else'. Emotionally, I just want my partner at the centre of my life, and I have no way or desire to justify it rationally.

This is why I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the decision on whos most important lies with the person, not the nature of the relationships.

Not sure about the snakes. If youre knowledgeable about snakes, you will know to identify harmful one from harmless ones and react accordingly. Emotional reactions to every snake are a result of not knowing.

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Telecaster68
This is why I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the decision on whos most important lies with the person, not the nature of the relationships.

Of course it does, and we choose the nature of our relationships with people too, so they're interlinked.

Not sure about the snakes. If youre knowledgeable about snakes, you will know to identify harmful one from harmless ones and react accordingly. Emotional reactions to every snake are a result of not knowing.

Not entirely. http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/10/29/Did-hard-wired-fear-of-snakes-drive-evolution-of-human-vision/93351383089132/

If I dropped a snake on you, would you pause to analyse what type it was, or instinctively throw it off yourself?

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nanogretchen4

I think a functional system of ethics includes rules that you agree are right and will therefore commit to following whether you happen to feel like it in the moment or not. For example, there have to be rules for how you treat people you don't like but are responsible for.

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Jade Cross

This is why I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the decision on whos most important lies with the person, not the nature of the relationships.

Of course it does, and we choose the nature of our relationships with people too, so they're interlinked.

Not sure about the snakes. If youre knowledgeable about snakes, you will know to identify harmful one from harmless ones and react accordingly. Emotional reactions to every snake are a result of not knowing.

Not entirely. http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/10/29/Did-hard-wired-fear-of-snakes-drive-evolution-of-human-vision/93351383089132/

If I dropped a snake on you, would you pause to analyse what type it was, or instinctively throw it off yourself?

Hope its not a heavy one cuz that would just hit me. But if Im used to be being around snakes, and know which ones are harmless, I wont throw it off.

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Kai99

This for me has always been the kind of thing where I feel like I am supposed to say no, that my partner is not the most important person in my life, and yet they always have been.

I feel like I'm supposed to say that I am the most important person in my life, (as has been the overarching advice from the many confidence pep talks I've been on the other end of for most of my life), or my family and friends are more important, but the truth is they never have been.

This just feels natural to me, but it's also felt more natural to me to actually prioritize my partner over myself, (and I guess there's a pretty big difference between someone being the most important person in your life, and actually prioritizing them over your own self) which whilst that's my response, it doesn't feel like one that should be commended or encouraged.

I guess I do have a limit on this though, which is why I ended my relationship with my asexual partner because my needs weren't getting met.

In my own life experience, I've met more people who tell other people (me) that your partner should not be the most important person in your life, but the actual reality of just life seems to be that most people probably actually do.

When I fall in love with someone, that's it, that person is my life. My whole life. And from there, I don't really "grow out" of that attitude in the relationship. And I want that person to be my whole life. If I had a pound for every time for someone told me that that isn't right, I would be rich, but that doesn't change the fact that this actually feels deeply natural and ingrained to me. This is a way of being which has endured heartbreaks and the knowledge that no one is perfect, and yet it is still there. I think I might possibly always be this way for as long as I fall in love. I still know the risks of being this way, but I don't think it will go away.

This is what I aim for. I want a life partner to whom I can go through the ups and downs of daily life. I want someone who will be there when I get home. Someone who I can argue, laugh, and cry with.

I'm not going to be living with my family forever, nor do I want to, so they are important, but in a "they will always be there" kind of way. I'm lucky enough to say I have friends who I truly believe would risk their life for me, as I would for them. No questions about it. They are truly good people, and I love them dearly. With that said, one is in Japan, another is planning on becoming a trucker and be on the road for much of his time, another might be moving to another state with her bf, and my career will probably take me out of state. I love them , but my love for them aren't going to have me going where they go, or vice versa. My experience in life tell me the absolute sad truth. No matter what, friends come and they go. They may be important, but they also have their own seperate lives to focus on, as I have mine. Which is why I want a partner I can share my life with, who will be there when I have to move from state to state, or if that person has to relocate. I want to make housing decisions with, or whether or not we get a dog. Things I wouldn't have to discuss with my friends for obvious reasons.

So yeah, in my opinion, a partner should be the most important in your life. However, most people you date aren't going to be that life partner.

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Telecaster68
But if Im used to be being around snakes, and know which ones are harmless, I wont throw it off.

It's going to bite you before you have a chance to recognise it then.

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Jade Cross

But if Im used to be being around snakes, and know which ones are harmless, I wont throw it off.

It's going to bite you before you have a chance to recognise it then.

Chances are yes, I would get bitten. But that isnt exactly whats being discussed.

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Telecaster68

Well, to retrace our steps.

The reason you got bitten is because you relied on logic and knowledge to make a decision, and that wasn't good enough. An emotional reaction - fear - would saved you from being bitten. That's an example of emotion helping making a better decision, which is where this started.

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