Are you a monogamous person with intimacy issues or poly? With Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com and Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Reid: Do you ever feel like you'll never fall in love, that you might be broken?
Cathy: That's a really scary feeling.
Reid: We had a question, some of you awesome folks and you're writing awesome questions, we want to encourage you. Can you summarize the question because it went into a great detail and it was awesome but we'll keep it short.
Cathy: So this-
Reid: This is Cathy Vartuli from The Intimacy Dojo, by the way.
Cathy: Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com. This gentleman has written and he said that he's single, he's been dating monogamously, he's been in monogamous relationship and after the one year mark the relationships keep failing and he's not sure if he's monogamous, so he might be dating outside the species but it's also wondering if maybe, he just doesn't have the capacity to be deeply in love so they could stay committed to one person.
Reid: Oh yeah, get ready folks. I'm going to break this down.
Cathy: All right.
Reid: This is my take on this. Did I cut you off?
Reid: In the way that you summarized it, which I think was accurate to what was written in there, there is the assumption that if a relationship falls apart, we must not have been in love. If I was really in love then we would stay together forever, that's a huge fallacy, by the way. That's a great romantic novel and Jane Austen made a fortune on that kind of stuff writing those books.
Cathy: I don't know if she was actually rich.
Reid: You know what I mean, she's famous now but she's dead. She's a famous dead writer. The idea that if you love somebody you would never break up, just understand that that's a cultural thing, we have that woven into our culture, it's not real. If you stay together forever, ideally it's because you like the relationship that you're in and it's a good fit for both of you and then we're into what I talk about dating your species territory.
Not knowing exactly what's going on for him or why their relationships fall apart, I think giving yourself some grace that it's okay not to stay together and what are you really looking for in a relationship and what are they really looking for in a relationship and if what they want is monogamy and that's not what you want then you shouldn't be dating monogamous people, even if their amazing.
Monogamy and non-monogamy living together in harmony is a tough one to pull off and it's really dependent on the people. It can be done but it's not what I would advocate as a strategy so we're back to dating your species again. What are your thoughts?
Cathy: I absolutely agree with what you said, and I think giving yourself a break, taking the pressure off of being broken can help you look at it more clearly and I think that most people have fears of intimacy. It's just the natural part, it's scary, it's like jumping in the deep end of the pool and you don't know if there's piranhas or seals there, others to play with, we're never really sure what's going to happen.
I think it's always useful to explore it. Find a therapist or coach, maybe. If you've had three relationships and you're this concerned, maybe explore, what are my fears around getting deeper and being more committed with someone and that can be true whether you're looking to be a monogamous or polygamous relationship, there can still be that fear of intimacy.
Reid: That other thing that was in the question was you know, he was meeting these really wonderful women that would be great mothers of his children or great mothers. I'm just wondering not knowing the situation. If you're breaking up because they want to be having children soon and you don't, that's a very valid reason to not stay together. Again, somebody wants to have kids and you don't want to have kids.
Cathy: Or it might not be quite ... It may be too soon or-
Reid: Yeah, that's kind of the thing. That's sort of a valid reason not to stay together, it doesn't mean that you don't love each other, it's like, wow, these piece right now, given on what our lives are about and what we want, this piece doesn't fit, this isn't congruent and we need to not be together.
I think that's fine and I don't think you should be ashamed about it and you're not broken. You're not broken if you're not ready to have kids. You're not broken if you want to have kids and you pick somebody who doesn't want to have kids. Just start having really frank conversations about your wants, needs and desires and what's realistic and I think it's perfectly fine to break up with somebody. Even if you have a great relationship it's okay to break up over some really important things that are not good fits.