Unconventional Relationships


I’ve, personally, never had an unconventional relationship last. But? They were also exactly what I needed at the time, for where I was at.

3-somes, 4-somes, More-somes…

The same, tbh, can be said for conventional relationships. Whether 1:1 in the West, or polygynous in the East.

But there’s an extra “oomph” to be said for the unexpected.

Whether I’m the long term third for a married couple, or wholly third/polyamory, or polyamory, or ‘traditional’ for whatever region I happen to be in.

In retrospect? It seems like trauma broke my expectations/needs in a partnership and became very fluid / based on persons rather than norms.

I’m wondering if that’s just a me-thing (fair)… or a life thing.
I'm polyamorous, so my perspectives may be off. I simply don't "get" monogamy. To me cheating isn't about physical actions, it is about lying and deception. Because if you are open (and safe) about who you want to f*ck I don't have a problem with it. I don't need reassurance. I believe that no loves or relationships are ever alike (so why be jealous that they may love someone else? My only issue at that point is, do you still love me? Do we still have a relationship worth working on as well? Then sure, go ham.) And that love is not a finite resource, that one is capable of loving infinitely.
I am not in a relationship anymore (and no plans to be), but I was in a very committed and loving D/s relationship with a man for about six years. I absolutely needed it at the time--my Dom was the most gentle, caring person I've every known, and I grew so much as a person during our time together. Would I do it again? No. I could never be submissive to another again. That's what he gave me. :-)
Hm, am interested in that one too. My longest-lasting relationship was pretty much not Western at all. Like, there are huge swathes of Orthodox Jewish people in the West but to classify that relationship as traditionally Western would be... uhhh, a stretch, I think. Especially because when it was happening with me (these were kind of things that we adopted, not because of pressures on us in our community -> our community is way, way too small for that, we just had similar values.)

But I'd classify it as non-Western. Just because it was.... not... understood... by Western people. I had to explain a shit ton of stuff to people all the time. People definitely judged me and thought I was like, "less of a feminist" or whatever. (..... >_> nothing to see here.) I definitely found it appealing in a lot of ways because there was a lot of structure there (sometimes I almost wonder if maybe that's one of the reasons people seek out BDSM, but don't quote me on that).

We weren't kink-adjacent (no sex before marriage 👌 the RULES say YOU CAN'T TOUCH ME! someone wanna knock me on the head with a clue bat why I frummed out so hard, anyone? Bueller?) but the structure was very useful, you knew what you were supposed to be doing at all times, you had a certain job or role, etc. There's a lot of similar structure in BDSM relationships (some of them) where I think if you stripped out the sexual component, those more "rigid-style" like... and it doesn't purely come down to gender roles either, though it's mostly separated along those lines.

Like in Judaism it's almost arbitrary, what men and women are responsible for. Like I was responsible for Shabbat, the whole ass thing, which is the holiest day of the week! Like only I was supposed to do the candles and do all the shit, and D was responsible for like, doing tefillin. Like it's completely random (to an outsider). Having set tasks and delineations makes it easy, no fighting, you know what you're expected to do all the time, and you're brought together based on a logical preposition instead of an emotional one.

(Wow, so random that this was my first voluntary relationship! Snerk.)

Anyway these days my life obviously does not look like that but there are parts of me that are closer to that than others. I'm just vibin'. You know how it is.
I have never had a relationship, only abuse as a child and high risk sex. I don't think I will ever pursue a relationship that is sexually intimate and is exclusive. It's a level of complicated I am not willing to make room for. That's true for people without the added stress of PTSD, relationships are hard work. Not saying it isn't worth it or doable, but I have things higher on the priority list.
So from Weemie's example, I'm getting that Eastern relationships value predetermined gender responsibilities, while Western relationships are more individualistic. Makes sense in that Eastern cultures often eschew individualism; the default unit is a family, not a person.
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This is a really stupid question, but what's the difference between Western and Eastern traditional relationships?
Sorry! That was my very very tired brain trying to keep it simple, and doin the opposite.

What I usually split the world roughly into West & East (hence my oops above, because in this instance “west” relationship norms are 1:1), relationship norms follow wide swaths globally (the eastern side of the globe has something like 6 major variations, or 7 if we include the polyandry in Tibet). So what I posted actually made no sense whatsoever.

Fixed above, although I’m tempted to just delete the poll option altogether, and move this to ‘Relationships’.

ETA… Yep! That’s what I’m going to do. Thanks for bearing with me. Today needs more caffeine.