True Love Doesn’t Mean It’s Easier (expanding on and clarifying what I meant yesterday)

2 min read

So this is what I get for burying the lede and being imprecise in my post yesterday. So let me break down a few things.

First, the thesis – again, horribly buried – was this: Even if you have a “true love” relationship, it needs as much work and effort as any other… and probably more. 

That takeaway got buried and lost by a lot of people who read the post.

Second: There was a strong monogamist bias in the way I wrote the post and my phrasing. I used the term “true love” and “the one”, when really I should have just said “true love” as reflecting a particular quality of love, just as there’s a qualitative difference between “crush” and “love” and “lust”.

I suspect that quality of love is a rare thing indeed.  Could you have two people who fit that category in your life at the same time? Sure. Poly folks, do not despair. No slight or implication was intended.

But this is where it gets tricky – and also reflects back on the actual thesis I had yesterday. Having that kind of love does not guarantee that it’s a good relationship, or the only kind you can or should have.

It can be a good relationship. But it isn’t automatic, at all. See Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for a wonderful example.

And that gets to my third thing, which was another bias in my writing: The way I wrote it was more than vaguely hierarchical, and that was crap. As I was reminded, there’s lots of different kinds of love, and a relationship doesn’t have to be “true love” to be worthwhile. You shouldn’t reject other kinds of love simply because they’re different.

That’s actually one of the great things about polyamory and other kinds of “designer relationships”. You get to decide what relationships you have, what intensity they are emotionally, and can have really meaningful relationships with all sorts of people at all sorts of intensities. Monogamous folks are stuck in the “all-or-nothing” kind of scenario (which is why the “Settl” app parody from SNL is so terrifying and funny).

I’m tempted to just blame the limitations of English, but really, the language I used yesterday was based out of my current experiences and some biases that crept into a quickly written post.

And, of course, it doesn’t matter at all if they don’t love you back.

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