Between facebook, twitter, and tattoos, a relationship is either public or it doesn’t exist. Sex is either meaningless or committed. Everything that happens has to be going somewhere. Is it really human nature to label and box all these relationships, or is society fucking up my game with its oppressive binary relationship statuses?
Perhaps you have, in the recent past, had an intense, intimate, friendly, semi-cordial relationship with another cute/hot/pretty/(insert aesthetic adjective here) person and are now wondering what it could possibly mean.
Hopefully it means that your life is about to get a lot more exciting, filled with lots of adorable chemical reactions that hopefully don’t leave you with any complicated by products. There’s no need to worry; hang out with this new girl, go to a concert, make breakfast, cuddle. You don’t have to give in to external pressures of labeling yourselves. You can enjoy yourselves without being monogamous.
On an even more casual note, you know that girl in your English class that you make eye contact with a few times every class? That is a real interaction. Eye contact is just as palpable as physical chemistry. Neither of these interactions may be on facebook or monogamous (you probably make eye contact with more than just one person ever), but that nevertheless does not suggest that they are any less real than your roommate and your boyfriend who have been together for six months. I mean, if the only ‘real’ interactions we had with people were serious relationships and we were otherwise alone, we would probably all be friendless, emotionally distraught hermits.
What are you, really? Lines can be a lot fuzzier than they are for straight people. These are confusing times, and thus I have compiled some possible relationship (or friendship) types for all of you autostraddling lovers and friendlers.
Friendship: Filled with platonic cuddling, honesty, and wonderful adventures. Friends are supportive, not judgmental, and are the best advice givers. Friendships can remain unchanged across long distances and time. I can go weeks without talking to my best friends from home, but when I do, it is as though we saw each other yesterday, picking up exactly where we left off. These friendships will last a life time, that is unless you fall in love with them because, well, then it just gets complicated. (see autostraddle dot com’s April Fools Day article on love confessions to best friends and on crushes)
Ambiguous friendship with a straight girl: SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE’S MISSING. No, but seriously, I mean, I was straight before I met my first girlfriend.
Classroom crush: You’re sitting in the back row; she’s sitting in the row to your right, just a few seats forward. Her hair absorbs the sunlight from the window above her. She turns to make eye contact with you–oh wait, what was I saying? Right. Well, hopefully she’s queer and doesn’t have a 6’7” tall boyfriend.
Friends with benefits: A relationship that qualifies as a friendship, along with some late night lovin’. FWB often develop after drinking a lot of tequila. Besides, who doesn’t love hooking up without consequences?
Open relationship: Through my own experience and friends’ experiences here’s what I have learned: open relationships are much like monogamous relationships in that both people deeply care for each other, maybe even love (scary, right?). However, this does not imply the demise of sexual attraction to other people. Thus, both interested parties are granted the freedom to pursue alternative, noncommittal, non-significant intimate relationships with other people. There are certain conditions to the open relationship, which based on the people involved, can allow it either to survive, or falter. The rules are simple (or so they seem).
Type I open relationship: The type I open relationship denotes that if/when one member gets down and dirty with someone else, they come clean about it. If you promise to be open (pun intended) with each other, then there is no need to worry when your lover says when she is “up studying late.” Honesty is the best policy. Or just leave the worrying to after your lover tells you that she slept with your roommate. Jk.
Type II open relationship: Both people agree that they are allowed to hook up with other people; however, neither wants to hear about it. Nevertheless, you should probably avoid seeing any of your partner’s friends naked. People talk. After all ignorance is bliss right? Right?
Polyamory: Having both intimate, emotional, open, and consensual interactions with multiple people. Polyamory includes the idea that, jealousy does not have to exist. (for a more in-depth discussion, check out autostraddle dot com’s ‘Polyamory 101’). Jealousy is hard to deal with. As much as I would like to pretend that I’ve never experienced it or never will it can be a pernicious destroyer of both relationships and friendships. But that is only if you let it.
Monogamous relationships: I don’t think I can go here until I’m older/mature/experienced/mentally stable.
Long distance: It better be fucking worth it.
Here I made you a chart, this should help:
No matter the type of relationship or friendship you find yourself in (or not in), communication is key. As long as you’re both on equal, honest terms, you’re better than 99.9999999% percent of others’ relationships. This list is by no means comprehensive; please leave comments about the unique relationships that you’ve encountered!