Archive for October 17th, 2016

Of Tigers and Feathers – day 53

Reason #5001 of why I love Thene: she asked me the question that I’d been thinking about for the last day or so.

By the way, I think one of these days I need to put together a list of all these reasons I love Thene, with their corresponding non-linear numbering and possible repetition and put it on one card. It would be hysterical.

I’ve reconnected with someone from the past.
Jupiter in Libra, dude, it’s no joke.
And somehow things went straight from “oh hey, we haven’t talked in years, but hi” to “your assignment for today is to put on something silky and send me a picture” in about 800~1000 messages (as calculated on the inestimable Facebook) and in about two days, maybe three.

Therefore, the logical and immediate question is: “Are you still single?”

Good question. I was just wondering that myself. <3 Thene.

What is being single anyway?

According to most surveys I’ve filled out, single is unmarried, regardless of whether or not you have “it’s complicated with ___” attached to your self-perception.

So, yes. I am single.

According to conventional thought processes, of the type where you have The Talk and you hammer out the terms of service, and most likely agree to exclusivity…

Yep, still single.

Then, of course, there’s the thought experiment part of the situation. After all, I didn’t really start counting myself fully single until I’d shifted my mindset from “I am a person with an ex-boyfriend who is mired in bitterness” to “I am a person who once knew X and had a relationship with them but have mostly reclaimed my mental space from this person and they are of interest only so much as backstory rather than a prominent landmark in my life”. Scars rather than gaping wounds, so to speak.

So what constitutes being not single?

I once defined romantic love to Thene as when 50% or more of one’s emotional needs and desires are being fulfilled by this other person, or when one desires this other person to be fulfilling the majority of one’s emotional needs and desires. Emotional labor, so to speak, and important, because often one does not simply wish for a certain thing to be fulfilled, but also has needs as to who fulfills it. A hug from a stranger is all well and good for certain situations, but it’s not going to replace the need to be hugged by a loved one under other circumstances.

We’re still not agreed on this, but that’s a definition that works for me.

If we take that definition and then start thinking about being single or not, or, as I am starting to think of it, how “tethered” one is to another person, or “moored”, then…

I think that I am not single when:

I expect my emotional needs and desires to be met by a specific person, and when those same emotional needs and desires cannot be met by another person with the same degree of fulfillment.
To a certain extent, I also expect that “entitlement” comes into play. Do I not only expect these needs to be met, but in a specific sort of time frame and urgency?
Do I expect to come before hobbies, non-urgent work, and normal events? Or do I expect to be placed in the top five after breathing and normal cardiac/brain function?
Of course, whatever I expect of this person, there would be an understanding of reciprocation as much as I am able, the terms of which to be negotiated as things shift. Should I be a caretaker of a small child or an elder, or they are, then of course priority lists shift.

We can discuss how “fair” it is and how “desirable” it is to have this sort of entitlement later.

But for now, the verdict is: still single.

So.

Day 53. In which pictures are taken and flirty words spoken, but tethering has not occurred.

Possible questions to consider: is there a fear of being tethered? is tethering desired (by both parties)? what does tethering look like in long distance relationships (aka what sort of entitlement is possible/acceptable)? and, perhaps most importantly, if assuming a base state of being serene and content in of myself, what sort of tethering would be ideal for the sort of life I want to live?