When an employee isn’t in the right job an employer can do three things:
- fire them
- compromise on the quality of the job done (and probably the employee’s wellbeing too)
- find the employee a better place in the company, where their qualities and those of the company match and flourish.
You can do the same when a relationship isn’t working:
- break up
- compromise the quality of the relationship
- redesign the relationship so it fits everyone.
The pray two options come from a binary way of looking at relating. It’s either ‘on’ or ‘off’. You’re in a relationship or you are not. And that relationship may be good or bad.
The third option comes from what I call Dynamic Relating. A relationship is a fluid thing that can change as the needs, boundaries and preferences of those involved change – or when they become clear after an initial honeymoon phase in a relationship.
This third option is about having the courage to speak up about those needs and wants, and to, from that place, with everyone involved, see what that relationship can look like.
It may be different from the monogamous norms where one person needs to fulfil all one’s desires. It may be different from the usual romantic relationship.
Why throw away something beautiful if it doesn’t fit the idea of The One? What if there can be Two or Three or a whole village that together meets all your desires for love, intimacy, friendship, belonging, safety, etc? What if you can be part of multiple people’s love pods?
In my personal life, there isn’t a One who is my primary partner and meets all my needs. I do have different people at different places with different labels and different designs of that specific relationship. Some I sleep with. Some I don’t. Some I might in the future. Some I see often. Some I mainly message. Some I never met in person, and others are my family or an ex. It’s a whole pod, with vacancies. It’s nothing like a binary constellation, it’s always changing – and it’s wonderful to me.
Here’s a video of 8 minutes where I talk about my recent experiences with this topic: