What are they, really?

Wikipedia gives a definition that's commonly accepted among those using it, but what do they mean to me?

Not so long ago, I thought I was the kind of person who defined myself in terms of primary and secondary relationships.

I found, though, that it isn't really true.

There's been some discussion about those terms in the Swedish poly community, and it's quite obvious that the thoughts on those terms differ quite a lot from one person to another.

Being in two relationships myself, I've had reason to scrutinise the terms, to try to figure out what they actually mean to me and how they are used around me.

What I've found is mostly that they are way too broad for me to be useful. They may or may not include a concept of hierarchy, of grading different relationships in terms of importance (whatever that means!). If a relationship is built on those terms, it also becomes limited to what those terms and the meaning placed on them have to offer. If the concept of hierarchy is implied, it also means that I've to make sure I keep that hierarchy. That takes some energy I'd rather spend some other way...

What I've also noticed is that when the term "primary" and "secondary" are used, others will either assume a certain form, or will ask what that means in reality.

That doesn't feel like a good ground to build on, doesn't feel like a good starting point. Too many questions, not enough clear definitions.

Looking at how my thoughts and emotions work, I've realised that I'd rather simply look at each relationship and go from there. How is each relationship defined, what are the commitments, what are the bonds? An example that's both a commitment and a bond is that Charlie and I have declared each other as "life partner" or "life companion". All it really means is that we have desire and the full intention to give a life long loving relationship the best shot we can, and that's not so little in itself.

Some might look at the relationships I have with Charlie and with Karin and still label them in terms of primary and secondary based upon what they see. That's fine if they think it fits their definition of those terms. But that's quite different from starting with those terms from the ground up.

So here I am, having freshly realised all of this, redefining myself more accurately, finding a new balance. A better balance for all involved, I hope.

It's a bit scary, it may have consequences I don't like, but still, if this is the way I go, then it is.

This is, by the way, what the this cryptic entry was about

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