Beware - this may be a little rant-y and possibly quite long...
I just got back from my parents' house and on the drive I was listening to the radio. I have no idea why the White Menace is on Alice now (oh the CBS conglomerate), but I listened to some radio show with him and some girl (Emily?) and they were discussing relationships. Up for discussion was a book about relationships, therapy, and probably other things that I missed. They talked about how society expects that you will find that one person who will be your partner and how you will be monogamous with that person and if you're not, you're a failure. They brought up points about how that's too much pressure on two people and if there is an opportunity for one person in the relationship to explore other "options" they should since monogamy is ultimately an unrealistic expectation. They also talked about how all relationships are valuable, even if they didn't last a lifetime. (Disclaimer...I did not listen to the whole show, nor did I hear the name of the book. I am only expressing my opinion based on what I did hear for the 15 minutes I listened to the show.)
My two cents...ok, more like my two dollars and thirty-two cents...told you it might be long...
I truly believe that we are meant to find that one person who (ready for the cheese?) complements us in every way. They are not filling all needs nor should you expect them to. They fill your heart, they are your support when you need it, and they make up a piece of you that you may not have realized was empty.
I believe in monogamy and in marriage. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but cheating is, in my opinion, the worst thing you can do to someone (well, I guess besides stabbing them in the eye with a spork.) If you don't feel that you can stay monogamous, break off your relationship pronto. If you feel like your heart just isn't in it anymore, move on, and let your partner do the same. You will come across people in life that you are attracted to, some moreso than others, but if you respect the one you're with, you'll never act on those feelings. Your relationship with your significant other should be your priority and you should be willing to go the distance to stay together, even if you are distracted by a PYT here and there. I do not feel that these "options" should be explored because you could find a better fit out there. If you seriously thought that there may be someone better for you out there, why'd you get married in the first place? If you're willing, even in the slightest, to take action on feelings of lust or even feelings of attraction that are based on friendship, why would you get married and commit yourself to that one person? If you are a person of integrity, you will never treat someone that way whom you claim to love. The radio show went on about how even though people take vows and commit to that one person they love, they should be open to the possibility of meeting someone else who could have a positive impact on them. My question would be, why couldn't a person have a positive impact on you without you acting on sexual impulses? Why couldn't there be someone who comes into your life and changes you for the better by being your friend? When did it become ok to cheat, lie, and act so selfishly as to "do whatever you want because you want to and it's your life?" When did people stop taking responsibility for their actions and how they affect others? When did respect, dignity, and virtue go by the wayside?
I believe that all of my relationships were valuable. Did they last? No. In hindsight, am I glad they didn't? Oh yes. I learned from all of them - I learned about myself, about what I want out of a relationship, and what I don't want. I learned how to take rejection, how to deal with a bad breakup, how to deal with important life changes, how to accept someone for who they are, how to love with reckless abandon, how to recognize (some) red flags, how to recognize who people really are, how to get over exes who have treated me badly, how to move on, and how to avoid people with selfish characteristics in the future. Love is blind in some respects, but my eyes are wide open these days. Do I regret any of those relationships? Maybe, though even as I write that I know that I can't have regrets. If things didn't pan out the way they did, then I'd be married with kids to someone I didn't love and who treated me poorly. I know there's someone out there for me, I just have to figure out where they are and move there.
I know it's a random post, late on a Sunday night, but that radio show got me thinkin'. I had to get it "on paper."