helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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stability of relationships

The past few times I've been to see them, I have been actively poly at my medical practioners. Their reaction has varied from amused to bemused: I'm not sure any of them have ever met someone in an openly non-monogamous relationship before. But now they ask about both my partners and how the relationships are going (these things are important to emotional and mental health), even if they are puzzled by a situation where I live with my boyfriend all the time and my girlfriend comes to stay occasionally, sometimes with her husband as well.

I was thinking (in the back of my mind while I was working) that it's very pleasing that most of the people around me are in fairly stable, long-term relationships. Richard & I have been together for 5+ years, as have Alexa & Rowan and inquis & barty. hatter & bfo have been together for 3? 4? years, and meeping and Peter (who still doesn't have a livejournal) have been together for about that time as well. We're all a bunch of old married couples, except that none of us actually are married. Oh, I think bfo might want to get married sometime, but (as far as I know) most of the rest of us are happy just to drift along together. Richard & I have talked about getting married, or at least having a commitment ceremony several times, but every time we've come to the conclusion that we don't need to: "it ain't broke, so why fix it?".

This kind of stability: the same people being around and getting on with them has been very important to me over the past few years. Knowing where people are and knowing who they're with (be it partners or flatmates - most of my single friends have lived with the same group of flatmates for at least 2 years!) provides a certain kind of settledness to my life. It's not a clique, because new people do join it (witness the aforementioned Alexa and Rowan, who I only met in February this year), but the people who come in seem to share some kind of values with the rest of us. The person out of the lot of us who could be most described as a drama queen would be me! and that's only because I've had so many crises of mental health.

It's interesting to step back and look at it from a distance: I've known for a while that I don't ever want to move unless I can take all my friends with me. Not all my friends are physically near me, and some of the ones who are physically near me I still don't see all that often because we have different time-consuming interests, but I know where everyone is if I ever need them - that's the thing that counts. Various of Richard & my relatives have been trying to get us to move out of London for years, saying we'll never be able to afford to buy somewhere here (etc), other cities have stuff going on (etc), it's not like London's the only place with a culture (etc). But much as the two of us love London: cut us and we bleed Londoner blood, at least half the reason we are settled here is that it's where our people are. Home is where your family are. And my family are not the people I'm genetically related to, but the ones in my heart.

Why fix what ain't broke, indeed? Why try to get us to uproot ourselves halfway across the country, to a new place that isn't home and never will be? Yes, this is a bee in my bonnet. Does it show?
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