Relationship States

30 Apr

I was sitting here watching the Science Channel and reading an e-book by Ian Douglas (“Semper Mars”) and, for some reason, I started thinking about relationships, like, how many relationship states there are.  I thought about it for a moment or two, and came up with these:

  1. Single
  2. Dating
  3. Engaged
  4. Shacking up/Cohabitation
  5. Married/Civil Union
  6. Open relationships/Swinging
  7. Polyamory
  8. Polyandry
  9. Polygyny

My initial thought, after jotting these down, was, “Wow, that many…”  Then I thought, “Okay, so now that you went through all of that to write them down, what about them?”  Good question, huh?  When we think about relationships, we almost always think of them in terms of monogamy – one man, one woman.

Even when dating, a state where people are considered to be free agents and, thus, able to date more than one person, most people don’t find dating more than one person at a time an easy thing to do and even when they can, well, sometimes it’s frowned upon because of the rules of monogamy as well as a sort of unspoken “rule” that dating is the first step in having a relationship, although, to fuck up something Freud said, if a cigar is just a cigar, then a date is just a date and there’s nothing else to it other than two people going out with each other for one night and that’s that.

States six through nine get away from the monogamy model for relationships and, because they do, are really frowned upon.  Doesn’t mean they can’t be done because they are; whether they’re successful or not, well, that’s something else but what I noticed about states six through nine is that if they don’t work, it’s because people still carry the rules of monogamy with them.

I think my subconscious got to thinking about this because in another Ian Douglas book I finished reading yesterday afternoon, it made several references to monogamy and polyamory and, in the book, being a “monogie” was not only old school but not the preferred way to live and/or do the nasty for recreational purposes and those people ID’d as being “monogies” had to deal with a lot of shit about their choice to live in an outmoded relationship state.

There are good and bad things about these nine relationship states and it’s not the purpose of this blog to praise one more than any other but it did get me to wondering that if monogamy fell by the wayside, well, what’s left?  And, yup, in order to determine what’s left, one must identify what’s up with this to begin with.

Nine states.  Five of them deeply rooted in monogamy, four of them not, and all of them capable of interacting with each other.  Yeah, sounds extreme and all that but, yeah, they can even though you’d think they’re not supposed to.

Okay, so, humans are social animals in that we need to interact with each other for various and obvious reasons – everyone should know these things and, yep, relationship states are part of that interaction.  You can either be by yourself or be with someone and, sure, more than one someone despite what the rules of society mandate.  I am not, at this point, trying to qualify or quantify this stuff – I’m really stating the obvious here… because a lot of us tend to overlook that which is obvious.

I know, from talking to many people over the years, that people do wonder if monogamy is the only way to have a relationship and, no, clearly, it isn’t but the other things are difficult for people to embrace because “one man, one woman” literally gets pounded into us as the only way to have a relationship.  Attempts at those other ways fail more often than not because, again, the rules of monogamy are dragged along into the mix, which is why I say, when talking about these things, that in order to do them, you have to unlearn everything you’ve learned about having a relationship.

Not everyone can do that and because of the failure rate, not everyone is willing to do this, either… but the question remains – what else is there other than one man, one woman?  Is it a good thing?  Bad?  I’ve seen blogs on WordPress that question whether monogamy can survive as a solitary state when, due to economic downturns, the more people you have working at an issue, the better the chances of success are.

What I find interesting is that monogamy, as well as the other non-traditional states, are seen as aberrational behavior; those who firmly believe that monogamy is the only way to live say that not being monogamous in a relationship is the aberration; those who favor anything other than monogamy says, well, monogamy sucks.  Both sides of this issue have their good points as well as their not-so-good ones and, again, this isn’t an attempt to qualify or quantify either side – just pointing out that they do exist.

Sometimes I think this is a thing of what you believe versus what you know when it comes to this.  Fellow blogger John likes to point out the high divorce rate in this country – and it’s the highest rate in the world, just like there are a lot of reasons why this is; in other blogs, you can read how the authors feel about cheating and the ever-present question as to why people cheat and how those who do are seen as greedy and a lot of other things that would get one’s mouth washed out with Lava soap.

If you’re an observer of such things, you see this, see what people are saying about this and, well, if the non-monogamous states are deemed as being not doable, monogamy doesn’t seem to be faring all that well either on the whole.  If you choose to dispute this, I’ll point you back to the fact that we do have the highest divorce rate on the planet and this states, quite clearly, there’s trouble in Monogamy City and of differing kinds.

One of my favorite genres to read is science fiction and I often marvel at how the authors of such works see the future, especially where relationships are concerned.  Depending on what you’re reading, monogamy continues to exist; marriages are done as contracted agreements that can be renewed or not; there are marriage contracts involving multiple partners, polyandry, polygyny, and just “plain” polyamory.

In some works, sex is seen not only as a necessity for the perpetuation of the species but as a form of “no strings” recreation and marital status doesn’t play into it (yeah, right)… but even in these imagined futures, everything from being single to polygyny has its good points and bad points.  Granted, it’s all a figment of the author’s imagination… or, in this context, could science fiction become science fact and, yeah, that does happen whether you care to believe it or not?

Ah, man… this is such a complicated topic of discussion!  There are pros and cons for each of the nine states I’ve identified and, well, in any of them, your result will sure as hell vary and, uh-huh, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the relationship state that works for you and whoever’s in the relationship with you.


Posted by on 30 April 2012 in Life, Living and Loving


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28 responses to “Relationship States

  1. marriagecoach1

    30 April 2012 at 18:11

    Having said all that there are tons of countries where monogamy works quite well. We also have the highest sexual assault rate on the planet. It is this cowboy mentality instead of peaceful conflict resolution that exists in our country.
    All the other open relationship styles are subject to venereal diseases as well as Aids. I still reject those styles as emotionally deficient and stilted. Kind of like that male dog going around and sniffing females crotches to see if she is ready to mate


    • kdaddy23

      30 April 2012 at 19:03

      Didn’t say it didn’t work any more than I said any other the other things work: They exist and, of course, one’s agreement or disagreement is up to their beliefs, perception, etc. – or, your opinion is so noted, sir, not that it surprises anyone.

      There are those who feel, believe, whatever, that monogamy is emotionally deficient, stifling, and stilted (and a few other choice adjectives); again, what one believes is entirely up to them… which doesn’t change the fact that these states do exist, for better or for worse, does it?


      • redwinenroses

        6 May 2012 at 23:57

        I always tried the monogamy with every past love..and it never worked because most all of them ended up cheating on me when I said no to swinging/open lifestyle…I kind of think that ‘safer’ sex with other people is probably a good thing for most couples because at least then the woman gets hers too…Just sayin’…But this, too, is for a blog….


    • redwinenroses

      6 May 2012 at 23:58

      Please explain to us how monogamy ‘works quite well’ because in my personal relationship it has not worked AT ALL…..


      • kdaddy23

        7 May 2012 at 00:17

        Explaining it is easy – for many people, monogamy works and it does because they have their collective shit together, are on the same page with each other, support each other – the whole nine yards. That it doesn’t work for so many people is also rather obvious – and the reasons why it doesn’t work are legion – even I don’t have the time it would take to write down every single reason why monogamy doesn’t work for people.

        Having said all of that, the “powers that be” still make monogamy the only relationship state that’s “valid” other than being single and despite the fact that it really doesn’t take a whole lot to fuck up a monogamous relationship; to that end, they like to invoke, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” The problem here – and I kinda suspect that it’s always been a problem – is that there’s the person you want to be with… as opposed to the person you can be with. A lot of people are unhappy being monogamous because it’s likely they’re with the person they can be with – they’ve settled – so when it comes to the relationship, they’re not going to put a whole lot of themselves into it. If the relationship fails – and they usually do – then it’s back to square one as the only option for having a relationship.

        All I’m saying that being monogamous ain’t the only choice, not that there are many people who can pull off any of the others and they fail because they bring monogamous rules to a setting where monogamy cannot work.

        Does monogamy work? Sure it does; does it work for everyone? Fuck no, it doesn’t…


      • redwinenroses

        9 May 2012 at 14:20

        Rob, I was being a bit sarcastic on this reply. I know why it works for some but not for others. And I do realize that people can and often will have a change of heart as to what they need & want.


      • marriagecoach1

        7 May 2012 at 09:04

        Hey Redwine
        Which part of OTHER COUNTRIES did you not get? It is our fucked up country where it does not work well.


      • redwinenroses

        9 May 2012 at 14:24

        I got what you said but it also applies to Americans living in the good ole USA. Monogamy is pushed as the be all and end all of relationship statuses. A person is either single or they are expected to be in a monogamous marriage, all else is frowned upon for various reasons. I do understand those reasons quite clearly. My comment was simply asking you how people in other countries have it ‘work quite well’ so maybe some of us so-called ‘fucked up’ Americans can understand how so? No need to be rude about it.


      • marriagecoach1

        7 May 2012 at 09:10

        Then you need to make better and more informed choices, like getting a christian guy


      • redwinenroses

        9 May 2012 at 14:27

        And BTW, the fact of whether a guy is Christian or not is only within. As with anyone, saying ‘I am a Christian’ does not make a person a Christian. True faith & belief does. And not all Christian act very Christianly, truth be told. Top that with the fact that ‘none can stand’…because we are all HUMAN and prone to human mistakes and emotions. I would love for everyone to be Christian and live by those positive values but until everyone does, life will hold all it’s little glitches…


  2. marriagecoach1

    30 April 2012 at 19:12

    Nope everyone is entitled to free choice.


  3. cinfulcinnamon

    30 April 2012 at 20:56

    What about Bunk Buddies, or Fuck Buddies, or Friends with Benefits? Is that a state too? And what’s the capitol of those states? LOL


    • kdaddy23

      30 April 2012 at 21:50

      Okay, I should have thought of and added “friends with benefits” at the very least but, then again, that’s just a form of polyamory and even #6 to a larger degree. I would suppose, were I to analyze the nine states, that there are finer points to them all – but I wasn’t trying to go there today.


      • redwinenroses

        6 May 2012 at 23:55

        I like ‘friends with benefits/Fuck Buddies’ quite a lot as a lifestyle…Unfortunately, he [the one who manipulated/lied/pushed me into that lifestyle] doesn’t want ‘ME” to have that unless it is females only….That is for a blog though….It’s coming soon Rob, from A to Z….


  4. redwinenroses

    6 May 2012 at 23:52

    How about, living together as a married couple and telling everyone you’re married when one person of the couple has NO ideas to EVER get married?


    • marriagecoach1

      7 May 2012 at 09:13

      Hey Redwine
      You need to set your boundaries and make them clear BEFORE getting into the relationship


      • redwinenroses

        9 May 2012 at 14:18

        Please do not assume or stereotype. You do not know me or him. For your information, boundaries WERE set before anything became Serious or Long Term, so don’t assume that I went blindly into a relationship. Within the first 3 dates we had both said what we did and did not expect out of a relationship were the dating to become a relationship. Marriage was part of both our agendas at the beginning, according to what he told me many times over…People do at times change their minds as to what they do or do not want or need in a relationship. And why are you so certain he is not a Christian guy? Do you also assume I am not a Christian girl? If so, why?


  5. marriagecoach1

    9 May 2012 at 14:23

    Hey Redwine
    I can’t speak for you but Christianity is evidenced by behavior and attitudes.l His attitudes and behavior say anything but Christian to me.l There are also people who play at being a Christian. The Bible says to treat the woman as the “weaker vessel” and to protect her and to love her as you do yourself. I see no evidence based upon your description of his attitudes and behaviors.


  6. marriagecoach1

    9 May 2012 at 14:29

    Hey Redwine
    I had no intention of being rude and I am sorry if you took that, it was not what I meant. Other countries have a much more civilized attitude about differences.l In our country we have this “cowboy mentality” where we shoot from the lip in an instant counter attack and go for the throat so to speak metaphorically. The biggest thing that I teach my clients and traditional marriage counselors don’t teach is good conflict resolution skills where you attack the problem rather than your partner. This cowboy mentality results in the highest divorce rate on the planet in our country, I would dare to say that as a country we are collectively fucked up wouldn’t you?


  7. marriagecoach1

    9 May 2012 at 14:32

    Hey Redwine
    Your last comment would indicate that you did not read my answer agreeing with you about that and people playing at christianity


  8. marriagecoach1

    18 January 2014 at 14:31

    Hey Rob
    It says that I am still subscribed to your blog but I have not received any new blog posts in months. Are you okay, did you just stop blogging?
    Your old friend John


    • kdaddy23

      18 January 2014 at 14:36

      I know; mine says I’m subscribed to yours and I’ve been seeing your stuff sporadically – and I don’t know why this is happening.


      • marriagecoach1

        18 January 2014 at 14:56

        I tried to subscribe again and all I got was a massive amount of computer code when I hit the subscribe code. I think that it is a problem with wordpress. There is another blog that I subscribe to that has not been getting through either


      • kdaddy23

        18 January 2014 at 15:06

        Time for you to contact tech support…


      • marriagecoach1

        18 January 2014 at 15:18

        and you as well. I sent the book so check your email. If it did not come check your spam file. I have been having problems with this email address mail getting into people’s spam file because the email is assosciated with the blog and its sexual content


  9. marriagecoach1

    18 January 2014 at 14:32

    If you would like to read the final version of my book before it is published, just let me know. It is much improved and I plan on publishing at the end of the month. It is with a book formatter now.


    • kdaddy23

      18 January 2014 at 14:36

      Oh, you KNOW I want to read it – I’ve been patiently waiting for it.



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