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

Hermit Advocate

It is unhealthy when you don't get any outside interaction because you refuse to interact with more than one person. Can you imagine only spending time with one individual for the rest of your life? And by this I mean not having any social life outside of this relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

No, what I'm saying is that breakups are much worse, not to say likely to lead to suicide attempts, if you give your partner such a high level of priority that you emotionally depend exclusively on them, which is the situation Anthracite was referring to.

But nobody's saying people should be emotionally dependent, just have one person who's more important to them than any other. That's not the same thing.

I feel like it's healthier and nicer to have a multitude of people who are all equally important in your life instead of just one who you obsess over.

Nor it is obsessing. And you still have other people in your life, and different types of relationship. But most people need at least one person they're really, really close to, and there isn't the time (or in my case the emotional energy) for it to be more than one.

It is unhealthy when you don't get any outside interaction because you refuse to interact with more than one person. Can you imagine only spending time with one individual for the rest of your life? And by this I mean not having any social life outside of this relationship.

Yes it would be, but nobody's suggesting that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skullery Maid

Eh. Paul and Linda McCartney didn't spend more than 24 hours apart during their entire marriage except when he was in jail. They were happy as clams and he managed after her death.

You’ll be amazed to find out that Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, stayed only 10 days apart in a 29-year marriage! Why? Paul spent ten days in a Japanese jail cell when he was busted for marijuana possession However, they never spent any other night apart, usually living quietly in a West Sussex farmhouse, in Scotland. Moreover, Linda always accompanied him on his tours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Float On

It is unhealthy when you don't get any outside interaction because you refuse to interact with more than one person. Can you imagine only spending time with one individual for the rest of your life? And by this I mean not having any social life outside of this relationship.

I can imagine it and while I understand that it's usually unhealthy I doubt it's always unhealthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snao van der Cone

I think almost all of us have had the experience ourselves, or at least heard about it, of someone getting intensely into a relationship at the sacrifice of their friends. That absolutely happens, but it's more about the individuals who do that being predisposed towards extreme all-in behaviour. Most people are more stable in how they can maintain friendships and family relationships while also devoted to a partner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

A lot of couples do the obsessive thing at the beginning of relationships, the intense period, and then surface after a few weeks and largely return to their previous life. I guess if you've never experienced that period, you wouldn't naturally see how it was a temporary thing, just one of the stages of a relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross
I havent personally but I have seen cases of people who start obsessed and remain obsessed with the other person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

What percentage of couples would you say they are?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross
I dont have any stats on them unfortunately. Last case I saw, the relationship of the couple lasted for 3 years or so and during the time, after the guy had been "supporting" his love with money because that part I did see, the other person ended the relationship. The most ludicrous thing was that the guy was warned about the shady M.O of the other person and all he said was that he was madly in love and noone else could posibly understand him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jade Cross

I do know of a case at work where the daughter of one of the coworkers had just gone through a break up with the same guy for like the 4th time(she was 19 at the time if memory serves me right) and the mother, distraught for her daughter was asking for advice about it because the kid was in a depressed state over it(I guess she wasnt able to help her daughter in an effective way).

When she asked me, my response was to tell her daughter to tell the guy to fuck off and go find a new one. As soon as I said that, everyone stared at me like I had just spoken some unholy word and one of the guys even told me that I was just a cold heartless bastard for having had suggested that. *shrugs*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hermit Advocate

A lot of couples do the obsessive thing at the beginning of relationships, the intense period, and then surface after a few weeks and largely return to their previous life. I guess if you've never experienced that period, you wouldn't naturally see how it was a temporary thing, just one of the stages of a relationship.

What about the people who never leave this stage? I have never experienced this so I genuinely do not know how it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarfeather

No, what I'm saying is that breakups are much worse, not to say likely to lead to suicide attempts, if you give your partner such a high level of priority that you emotionally depend exclusively on them, which is the situation Anthracite was referring to. If you emotionally depend exclusively on one person for your wellbeing, this is going to end very badly sooner or later.

I'm not sure I have any steadfast reasons, I just can't reconcile how having one person being so utterly central to your life as not being unhealthily dependent. I know for most people it's not (or nothing would ever get done) but I just can't 'get' that. Maybe it's because I fear being abandoned by my best mates if they get a partner; they mean so much to me I'd be heartbroken. I feel like it's healthier and nicer to have a multitude of people who are all equally important in your life instead of just one who you obsess over.

Don't take any of that as a 'I hate romantics', I don't, I just can't wrap my head round it.

Nobody said anything about ditching all your friends for your partner. But if you had nobody close before you met your partner, and then with your partner you have only this one person who's close, what's wrong with that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran

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.

There is emotion as well as logic involved. My ex at the time I was dating the one that considered his mom most important, which I had no issue with, had been raised by her for 20 years. Lived with her for 20 years. She'd be his support until she died. No question. There is not a good guarantee on most any other relationship in his life that they'd be there for him 100% until then. He felt emotionally safe with her, that he'd never feel with anyone else. For him, it was very emotion based, but also logical. Of course relationships aren't a guarantee, no one knows if they'll be forever. If it ever came down to her or me, I know he'd have chosen her. I didn't mind at all. I didn't need to be his #1. He moved away from home with me, but that was for college as well as for me. And the distance didn't change the fact I still wasn't more important.

Whatever works for different people. As long as they are happy. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rising Sun

But if you had nobody close before you met your partner, and then with your partner you have only this one person who's close, what's wrong with that?

Unless if you're truly asocial, very high risk of suicide attempt, and also very high risk of being exposed to manipulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

But if you had nobody close before you met your partner, and then with your partner you have only this one person who's close, what's wrong with that?

Unless if you're truly asocial, very high risk of suicide attempt, and also very high risk of being exposed to manipulation.

Not to minimise the issue, but very, very few break ups lead to suicide attempts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111
But the problem is that its usually potrayed that way.

Only on AVEN.

My best friend, who I've known for 20 years, is getting married next month. I've spent immense amounts of time with him over the years and we're very close. Since he's been with his fiancee, we've seen less of each other, and less than when he was in a series of less serious relationships over the years. But it hasn't crossed my mind that I've been rejected in some way. He's just in a relationship that's all. It's not an issue.

I guess it's hard to grasp romantic/sexual thinking if you're aromantic and asexual.

I am romantic (very romantic, in fact; I fall hard and fast when I'm in love) and I do not get this line of thinking. To me, it isn't a matter of being dependent, but of being possessive, where I draw the line. To me, if I said that I valued my partner over all other intimate relationships I have, then that would feel too much like A: putting my partner on a pedestal, B: not giving the other important people in my life enough credit, and C: create an environment in which I could easily see myself looking at my partner's friends and family, and growling at them "My partner, not yours. Hands off!" style, and vice versa. When I was in the closet, and still trying to force myself in the mono-heteronormative box, I acted incredibly jealous and possessive of my then-partner, getting into a tiff with our mutual friends for even the possibility that he may have had eyes for someone who, by my irrational thinking, was mine, and I hers. This way of thinking and acting was not doing anyone any favors, and once I looked at it another way: "I wouldn't like it if anyone I dated was possessive of me, so why should I act that way towards them?", I grew less and less possessive of the people around me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

I agree, sexually, one person can control the other by, say, not wanting sex. The other person doesn't get to have sex then, and short of leaving, it's beyond their control (I've argued this many times and it's a point most asexuals just don't seem to grasp).

The exclusivity doesn't apply outside sex though. People can still do what they want and their partner be the most important person in their life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111

The exclusivity doesn't apply outside sex though. People can still do what they want and their partner be the most important person in their life.

I've talked to plenty of mono folks, and they say otherwise. They do not like it if their partners get "too flirty" or "spend too much time with [insert other person/people here]", feeling it is a threat to their relationship if their partners become too emotionally intimate with other people. To me, that way of thinking is very possessive and controlling, and not romantic at all. As I said earlier in the thread, the epitome of romance to me is knowing that my partner(s) feel no obligation to be with me, could leave at any time if they wanted, but choose to spend their time with me, because they enjoy my company, and I theirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

But if you had nobody close before you met your partner, and then with your partner you have only this one person who's close, what's wrong with that?

Unless if you're truly asocial, very high risk of suicide attempt, and also very high risk of being exposed to manipulation.

Okay yeah I get what you're saying. If you don't have anyone you're close to, but aren't ''truly'' asocial, then it's best not to get a partner (ie someone who is your best friend and your lover all rolled into one) ..Because you're so likely to be exposed to manipulation and then kill yourself...

It's like some (okay a lot) of people in threads like this just don't understand what it's like to naturally not be very sociable and not have close bonds with multiple people (and have no issue with that).. Like we must be sick or suffering or something, and therefore it's somehow dangerous or wrong to have one person you are very close to and who is very important to you. But.. it's just different. We shouldn't be told that how we are is wrong and we are highly likely to be manipulated and/or kill ourselves because of it.. just.. what? :o

Some people who attempt suicide after a breakup (which is very rare anyway) DID have close friends and family, as well as there being some who didn't have anyone else close to them. But that's not about your external situation, that's about how you deal with break-ups.

It is unhealthy when you don't get any outside interaction because you refuse to interact with more than one person. Can you imagine only spending time with one individual for the rest of your life? And by this I mean not having any social life outside of this relationship.

Well I refuse to interact with anyone regardless? (I do come on AVEN, but that's the extent of it, and sometimes I'll take very long breaks and am always happier without AVEN in my life so I can just be alone and at peace) ..There's nothing wrong or unhealthy about the way I am, because I am happiest this way. Having another person to share my solitude and lack of desire to socialize with enriches the joy I already experience through solitude. And yes I can imagine only spending time with them for the rest of my life because if they weren't in my life, I'd still be on my own regardless.

I don't have any social life outside of my relationship (when I am in one) because I just don't have a social life, by choice. That's just who I am and how I am happiest. It's not unhealthy unless it makes the person experiencing that miserable.. If they're not miserable in their solitude, then there is nothing wrong with that solitude, or with them wanting to share that with a special someone (ie best friend and lover rolled into one) long-term :o

Just because a lot of people here experience it differently, doesn't mean you (and others) have the right to keep calling our relationships and lifestyles ''unhealthy'' just because it wouldn't work for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

Exclusivity is not any more controlling than any other choice you make with a person. Control is "influencing events" - my mom influenced if we went to see Civil War yesterday. My friend influences what we do this summer. However, we don't call those controlling, because we both agree to these activities. How then, is exclusivity within a romantic relationship controlling, if both people choose it?

But, I don't think putting such importance on a person has to lead to controlling like what you described. Yes, some people can get jealous/scared/controlling like that due to the importance they place on someone. Not all will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

The exclusivity doesn't apply outside sex though. People can still do what they want and their partner be the most important person in their life.

I've talked to plenty of mono folks, and they say otherwise. They do not like it if their partners get "too flirty" or "spend too much time with [insert other person/people here]", feeling it is a threat to their relationship if their partners become too emotionally intimate with other people. To me, that way of thinking is very possessive and controlling, and not romantic at all. As I said earlier in the thread, the epitome of romance to me is knowing that my partner(s) feel no obligation to be with me, could leave at any time if they wanted, but choose to spend their time with me, because they enjoy my company, and I theirs.

That's fine if you personally feel that way, but if two people in a relationship are happiest that way (they enjoy prioritizing each other and actually enjoy the feeling of knowing their partner doesn't want them being flirty with other people and want to be each others ''one and only'') then there is nothing at all wrong with that. If they're both happy and satisfied with that (and would be miserable in a situation like you outlined as your ''ideal'' - I know I would be) then it's not up to others to judge them or condemn their preferred relationship style. Just accept that people are different and what works for you doesn't necessarily work for others at all. That's not just at you, that's aimed at a lot of people in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Evren

I would be prioritizing my partner(s) above other people. I'm not so sure about my Mom, (but that relationship still has some co-dependent territory to work out). However over friends and stuff like that, for sure. The one time I fell in love, I would have put her first before everything, I would have run away with her, I would have dropped everything to go help her (honestly, it's probably I good thing that she moved away, because she was straight, and I would have had trouble mentally breaking up with her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarfeather

But if you had nobody close before you met your partner, and then with your partner you have only this one person who's close, what's wrong with that?

Unless if you're truly asocial, very high risk of suicide attempt, and also very high risk of being exposed to manipulation.

See, I think this is a matter of how you and I view the word "friend", vs how many "normal" people see the word friend. Not everyone needs a partner or friend-on-partner-level in order to socialize. One could easily meet their social needs through acquaintances who are easy to obtain and equally easy to replace. Such people wouldn't be on the same level of importance as a partner, for obvious reasons.

Personally, I too thought that I had friends who viewed me as important and irreplacable, and who I wouldn't have wanted to place "below" anyone else. Now that I've got an actual friend, my partner, I realize how wrong I was about that. To these people, I mean scarcely anything. They don't need me in their life, and they don't place on me the importance I placed on them. So I'm left with one true friend, my partner, and some other people who can help me fill my social needs, but who I wouldn't consider on the same level as my girlfriend. Not because I inherently view romance as more important, not because I believe in possessiveness or exclusivity, but simply because my partner is being my true friend, where nobody else is. If I found any other person to be my true friend, I would not consider them of lesser importance compared to my partner; However, until such time, I really don't see a reason to consider my situation unhealthy. It's just what happens when you happen to have a single friend.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

I can go a step further and say that "possessiveness" is not necessarily controlling. I consider my partner to be "mine". That doesn't mean I'd take issue with anyone else taking interest in her, or her giving attention to someone else. On the contrary.

It's just, at the end of the day, she's "mine" and I'm "hers", in the sense that a deep bond connects us. This bond is an actual, intrinsic part of our relationship, of "us", so there is no reason to be jealous of others.

You can belong to each other, be a part of each other, and still be free in the sense that you don't need to restrict yourself or try to control the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Float On

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

if one partner says, "hey, lets be exclusive" and the other partner say "yeah, I like that idea" then it isn't at all controlling. it's two people agreeing to a certain social agreement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JAKQ7111

That's you being too possessive though, as you say yourself.

but it's not that far of a leap from "my partner is the most important person in my life" to "my partner is mine alone, and I theirs", and the latter is as possessive as possessive gets.

Well, sexually, that's exactly what monogamy is - exclusivity.

But apart from sex, it is a big leap, because it's the difference between being controlling and not being controlling, and I think that would be very clear to most people.

How is exclusivity not controlling?

if one partner says, "hey, lets be exclusive" and the other partner say "yeah, I like that idea" then it isn't at all controlling. it's two people agreeing to a certain social agreement.

I guess you're both right, there. What is good for one partnership is not necessarily good for others. I guess I have a chip on my shoulder over certain aspects of monogamy because of how much monogamy has been shoved down my throat, and my own discomfort in forcing myself to live up to that standard. I've said that the only time I was ever truly "in the closet" in the sense of knowing who or what I was, and being in denial about it/forcing myself to act a different way than I felt was in terms of being polyamorous. Being ace, genderfluid, and panromantic, I legitimately did not know those things applied to me until I figured them out. Being poly, not so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Float On

you could even consider it this way:

two partners, each individually, feel of their own volition that they'd like to spend a lot of time putting the other's well-being at a high priority. they know this means that they would be making sacrifices, but they want to do it. the thing is... that they aren't sure if they can trust their partner to be appreciative of this sacrifice and non-manipulative... but then, they talk about it, and grow closer to each other, and start to trust each other more than they thought they could trust another human being... and they talk about being exclusive and they agree. and so now, they can trust the other person to make investing in each other worth while. they can trust that while generally they do look out for themselves, that they also are looking out for each other. and in doing this, they can afford to make sacrifices for each other, which feels good to them, and which feels better than if they did it alone.

like for example, gift buygin at christmas. someone might not want to buy an X-Box for themselves, considering it too expensive. but then the other person doesn't find an x-box too expensive to give. and the same is true in reverse, regarding an amp. and so at Christmas time, because the two are in a relationship together, they are enthusiastically willing to spend $250 on each other, where alone they wouldn't see enough merit in it. individually speaking in this relationship, the individual is making a sacrifice that is worth it for them to do, that the trade-off of what they give up ($250) is worth giving up for what they gain (happiness in seeing their partner's dreams come true). that individually, they get more out of spending $250 on their partner then they would if they spent it on themselves. and because they trust the partner, they can trust that making this investment in eachother will not drain them slowly, because their partner is doing the same for them.

in this way, the partners are not controlling anyone - they are willingly giving to each other. but the only way they can be willing to do this, is the trust that a mutually exclusive relationship allows. that without this trust it is not possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...