Note: This is a meta post about posts I’ll be making in the future.

We’re all familiar with the story arc of a typical relationship — AS SEEN ON TV. Boy starts out alone. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl court each other. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married. Boy and girl live happily ever after.

(Note: substitute whatever genders you want up there, I’m not trying to be heteronormative… just playing the odds for the most part)

That leaves out most relationships one has in the real world.

Starting simply, you have the relationship you have with yourself. We all have it (except some folks that need some meds, but I’m leaving that, conveniently, off the table).

What about the various ways you can interact with another person besides love?

Here’s a rough idea of what I’m thinking of — feel free to add on since this very much a work in progress.

  • Attraction
  • Chemistry
  • Background
  • Love
  • Commitment
  • Sexual activity
  • Caring
  • Trust
  • Longevity / Tenure
  • Dependance
  • Control
  • Legal
  • Time constraints

Each of these is an independent (mostly) axis. What I’m defining is a n-dimentioned volume, not the simple one-dimentional love axis from the typical story at the top.

Things happen all over the place. You can having swinging which is very sexual without much of anything else. You can have a companionate marriage where you have most except the sex. (But, what if you’re already friends first? Or something else?)

That’s the thing. Between any two people you have a relationship. Sometimes it’s just zeros all down the line… but even between friends — that’s a relationship too, isn’t it?

Or how about a friends-with-benefits?

Or a secondary in a poly relationship?

Or a parent / child.

Or an employer / employee.

Or any other ways that people can interact.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought over the past week. When I say “I’m poly” it’s casting a very wide net over relationship types. Not just that, but since none of this is very well defined it’s subject to interpretation and misinterpretation. That can lead to hurt feelings or worse.

But anyway, this is step one in terms of processing my ideas about what relationships are and trying better to quantify what they are.