Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Philosophizing about attraction and fidelity

==Note-I started this post MONTHS ago, and just realized I never published it. It doesn't really have to do with TTC, but rather my thoughts on committed relationships and our behavior==

Today I was thinking about how what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about others is shaped by so many different influences. Society, family, teachers, friends, spouses...they and many others have been just one influence on what we think about life in general and our own purpose and role in it. Some repeatedly, others may have only one encounter with significant impact.

I think I was especially ruminating on the effect television, books and radio may have had on American views of co-ed interaction. It seems that there is little difference between how men and women interact when single or in a relationship. What I mean in particular is whether it is expected/allowed for men and women who are in a relationship to be alone with a member of the opposite sex. And this is looking at heterosexual interactions and leaving out the component of homosexual romantic overtures, which have differences.

It just seems in my opinion that as men or women we are so used to the possibility of a romantic connection that we may be overlooking the basics of a platonic relationship between the sexes. For instance, a woman who is happily married can be attracted to another man while being completely faithful and attracted to her husband.  Think about it. I realize many individuals reading this have realized this long ago, but I also know that many people act or think as if the above statement is a paradox. That it is mutually exclusive for a man or woman to be attracted to their partner AND another person.

I think there is so much jealousy and fear that this small allowance of attraction---to physical, social, character traits--of another person than the one they have committed to be with leads to the slippery slope of adultery. I disagree with this belief. Yes, in some relationships, especially ones that are rocky, this could be a danger. However, if we assume that both partners in the relationship are fully committed and caring for one another---and trusting--this could hold little risk.

In such a partnership, an attraction to another person--whether someone they interact with or a movie star--can be a valuable aid to increase the passion in the current partnership. This must come from the understanding by the person that this attraction is simply that--attraction. And this person also accepts that they can be attracted to more than one person and stay faithful to their commitments.

This is where I think the structure of mingling between the sexes muddles the interpretation of relationship status. For instance, to escape the danger of infidelity, it would be as simple as a person prohibiting themselves to be alone with another member of the opposite sex that there would be potential for a romantic relationship (this would exclude many family members). I know some people scoff at the separation of the sexes as unnecessary when considering "mature" adults. Maturity has little to do with it. It can help, but those who believe that "mature" adults can be alone with members of the opposite sex without being tempted are in denial. They are refusing to accept the possibility of being attracted to another person while in a relationship. Also, they are likely operating from the belief that to be faithful to one person, you can be attracted to ONLY that person. Which denies our fundamental make-up as humans to propagate our species.

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Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA


Motherhood Wanted approved!