I'm looking for an objective, non-judgmental take on the situation I'm currently in and if it's a good thing or a bad thing. This community struck me as a good place to come.
My best friend and I are quite close. We talk to each other daily, we're physically affectionate, we tend to be each others' support and sounding boards, and we've been sleeping with one another monogamously for several years (the "monogamous" part was upon my request because I'm paranoid about STI exposure). I'm 21 and my mother recently had the "I don't want you to be old and alone with 25 cats" conversation with me, and I came to the conclusion that I haven't been seeking out partners because all of the companionship, intimacy, and unconditional acceptance I'd look for in a partner is something that I already get from my best friend. I'm quite low-maintenance and he has his own life to prevent him from crowding me, we're able to talk about sex maturely, jealousy is an automatic deal-breaker for me and he's the least possessive person I've met, we respect each other, and our relationship stems from a very solid friendship.
We've talked occasionally about "officially" becoming a couple, but we're both busy students with grad school aspirations and he views a relationship as something that demands more time and attention than he has at his disposal. Understandable. However, he's also not thrilled with the idea of me finding a boyfriend either -- when it came up he jokingly asked if I could become polyamorous so we could keep our situation as is. Most of our friends/family have come to view us as a couple regardless. Neither of us have dated or expressed interest in someone else in years.
I guess I'm only thinking about this because graduation is coming up for both of us, which of course brings changes. I'm quite content with the relationship we have going -- it's healthier than many of the dating relationships I see around me -- but I can't help but wonder: should I be taking advantage of these changes to start dating again? Is this friendship unhealthy/unnatural/creepy/insert other synonyms here? Scarleteen talks about relationship models, but I'm not sure where a title-free relationship like this fits on the spectrum. Should I insist on finding someone who can call a spade a spade and is willing to be part of a "real" couple? Is it okay to leave things alone since I'm currently happy? It's difficult to know if our situation is healthy when it's the only friendship of its kind that I've heard of. Any thoughts or input would be wonderful.
Posts: 5 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Nov 2010
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It certainly sounds like you two are extremely mature and excellent communicators, with lots of respect and care for each other. These are always really awesome things to have in any relationship, including friendships. Congrats on being two very excellent partners!
From what I can tell, there's absolutely no reason to think that your relationship is unhealthy; as I said, you guys have some really awesome things happening, and thus it's actually sounding like a really healthy relationship. You both feel able and actively do talk about what you want out of the relationship, what you do and don't feel okay with, and neither of you seem to be pressuring or feeling pressured to do anything/be a part of anything you don't want. This is all big stuff, and you're right, even people in the more accepted monogamous "boyfriend/girlfriend" relationships aren't getting this right.
I think you shouldn't be worried about what other people are saying about you getting old and living alone with 25 cats (and hey, what's wrong with cats anyway ); you say you're happy, and that's what matters. You ask if you should be looking for someone who wants to be part of a "real" couple -- well, is that what you want? Or are you totally fine with the relationship you have here? Sounds like the latter is what's going on, so I don't see why you should change a relationship that's still working well for you And totally, if you want to in the future, polyamory is absolutely a legitimate option for you guys to consider. Or maybe you'll eventually want a more "official" monogamous relationship later on. Who knows! But there's no need to change a totally fantastic relationship you're happy with just 'cause other people are trying to pressure you!
Good luck, and keep being the awesome partner and friend that you are
Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008
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I have something similar going on with a really close friends. We're not monogamous though. This summer we tried changing it to something more official but it didn't work out at all. We almost stopped talking for a few weeks.
Now we're almost back to normal again though
If you're happy the way it is I see no reason to change your relationship cos other people who are not part of have opinions.
Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007
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