PolyAnna Musings: Radar Love
It is no secret that I dislike vehemently the idea of hierarchical ordering of relationships. Do those words sometimes flow off my tongue— grrr… yes. I still don’t like it. There isn’t anything else. There just isn’t. At least not now.
This time last year, we had a post about this very topic. At the time, I floated the idea to Lucar that perhaps we could think about our relationships as a solar system or a web. This idea did not gain a huge amount of traction.
Last month, I attended a short class taught by MasterSoNSo, on the topic of Solo Polyamory. (I have thoughts on that too, but I am saving those for a different post.) Towards the end of the class, we discussed the idea of how we can talk about our relationships, minus the hierarchical language.
His idea is that of a radar. Naturally this image can get really geeked out and sic-fi in a hurry — but think about it, it is perfect. Just as I think my solar system idea has merits too. Staying with the radar idea, everything is relational. People/relationships are either moving closer together or further part. For a variety of reasons. Could be you are growing apart, someone has moved, someone else has moved closer. Relationships are dynamic and contrary to what popular culture would have you believe, most of us maintain enough relationships to stress out the average air traffic controller– even those of us who do not identify as poly. Dynamic relationships require dynamic metaphors.
I often tell people — my primary relationship is with my kids. Who would I drop absolutely everything for, without a second thought? Geographically speaking my kids are right on top of me on my radar. That will change.That is changing. My oldest is already exploring and getting a taste of solo travels outside of the nest.
Next layer would be my husband, parter and BFF. They are extremely close. That said, those relationships are dynamic and ever changing also. My girl crush, for me that relationship or possible relationship has drifted and changed course more than a few times.
I also liked the way a radar puts you– the individual at the center. This is so true. I am ever more convinced that to have healthy and successful relationships with others, the relationship we have with ourselves must be rock solid.
A radar also allows for the inclusion of job, parents, siblings, friends, business partners and so many people. Once upon a time, before kids, I was married to my career. It came first, always. All of these relationships impact each other in many, many dynamic ways. I also think this way of thinking about relationships allows for the inclusion of so many relationships and there is no judgement, if someone drifts off the screen and who knows, they might drift back.
Non-mogomany and specifically polyamory makes us, perhaps even demands that we look at relationships differently. We need to– I think– to be truly successful leave the trappings of monogamy behind. In polyamory– all relationships hold significance. We allow those relationships to be what they are. I think it is high time we adopt language that truly reflects that our relationships are not ordinal, but rather dynamic, interconnected and always changing.