i don’t “sign up” for anything but memberships

I didn’t sign up for you to never change

I didn’t sign up for you to be bisexual or poly or mono or 


I didn’t sign up for you to be who you are

– a poem by the kitty

“I didn’t sign up for this!” 

I hate this phrase.  That’s very likely true.  Unless you’re a fan of 50 Shades of Grey and that’s how you do relationships.  Three month contracts, no guarantee of renewal.  Or something similar.  I’ve never actually known of a real life contract, although supposedly my one friend had one with her dom.  But I never actually asked her about it.  After which it led to the blowup of my existing polyamorous community…more trouble than I knew what to do with…

I shortly discovered the kinky community, for what it’s worth. And, somehow, contracts were not so big a deal there. None of the people I met really used them, or, if they did, they understood that it was more of a guideline than a legal contract.

Because that’s not how this works.  That’s not how any of this works.  

50 Shades is a fantasy.  Most kinksters I’ve met and spoken with agree on that point. You are free to disagree. Everyone will have differing opinions, of course.  This is the reality I have always observed, however.  Contracts in kinky life don’t work any more consistently than contracts in vanilla life work (see Exhibit A:  Every messy divorce fight that results from a failed marital contract, yeah, contracts sometimes work, but they are certainly no guarantee)*

Relationships are based on trust.  Contracts are based on an inherent lack of trust; if I do not sign the contract, I have no faith in the terms being carried out.  Business wise?  That is good business.  I want solid, specific expectations on delivery and compensation.  Fuzzy, gray lines rarely turn out harmonious when conducting business transactions.  Trying to contractualize feelings, on the other hand, is a little harder.

My relationships aren’t subscriptions and they aren’t a formalized inherent distrust of each other. 

“Signing up” for a relationship, for me, is just agreeing to be in one.  I do like having some kind of formal relationship talk, because otherwise, I find I just slip into relationships.  Without even realizing it. That’s great when we’re naturally on the same page, but that doesn’t always happen.  And then there’s conflict.

But relationships are less an “agreement” and a “contract” when I’ve found them most pleasant and harmonious. And, hey pleasant harmony might not be for you, so by all means feel free to ignore my advice if you prefer fighting and conflict. Instead of an “agreement,” my relationships are a “series of negotiations and renegotiations.”

What does that mean?

Let me be very clear and, hopefully, simple. I want to talk to you about what you want.  I want that to be allowed to be flexible and changing, as we change and grow.  Sometimes the person changes with me.  Sometimes they change apart from me.  Relationships, for me, are fluid, evolving entities.  

If you change, YOU are your first priority. If I wish to be with you, it is my responsibility to adjust to match you, move on, do as I please– but it is not on me to somehow get you to change your mind about who you are/what you want/what you do in order for you to be good enough for me. Or, worse, on you to change any of the above so that I feel you properly considered ME as your most important person. Because whatever you should do should take ME into account first (blech).

Sometimes I might like how you “change” (or at least change from my perception). Sometimes I might hate it. Regardless, I will never get mad at you for being you. Because you never promised me to always be the same, and if you wanted to make that promise, I wouldn’t let you. Well, I wouldn’t date you, anyway.

So, no, I didn’t “sign up” for you to be polyamorous or monogamous or bisexual or anything else.

She didn’t “sign up” for a life with children with you.  It’s true she said she wanted them…but then she changed her mind. He didn’t “sign up” for the two of you to be together for a certain duration of time.  Although he told you he wanted it to be forever.

True, it is doubtful I’ll even embark on a journey with you, if I don’t find you respectful, open minded, creative, etc, but I will tell you at the start that the only thing I want to sign up for is an adventure together.  The rest?  We’ll figure out along the way, or we won’t, and it’ll fall apart quickly or slowly.  Whatever the case may be. 

Because few things are forever and even less have any guarantee. Not that it matters. Because, again, nothing is forever.

So, if you want children with someone? Don’t press them for an answer, but find out if they are the type that love and cherish children. Do you see evidence that they want to be a mother, a father? Or do you only see her own mother, pressing her to be a mother, too? Do you only see him envisioning passing on his genes, with no consideration of actually spending time with his kids?

Watch him. Does he play with his nieces and nephews? Or does he brush them off, like annoying little insects? When you ask if he wants to be a dad, do his eyes light up? Do they focus, softly but intently on you? Or is he distracted and brushing you off with, “Of course I do.”

It’s easy to get a subscription agreement. A simple click. A simple yes. Gaining loyalty is another matter.

If you decide you don’t want [insert important life thing] after all, that is your prerogative.  If you decide you want to be monogamous, or you want to alter your life from polyamory to strictly swinging?  Well, I believe that mono/poly relationships are very sustainable, although not something that would usually work for my circumstances.  I’d support your new direction. 

That is your life.  You didn’t lie to me (I hope!), but things are different now.  If you change, you change.  That’s life, for me.  I expect you to change.  I want you to change.  I’d hate for you to stay static for your entire hundred something years of life.

Who you are isn’t about me.  It’s about you.  It’s what attracted me to you, yes.  Ultimately, it’s your choice, because it’s your mind and body.  What you do with it is what you need for you.  I never want you to compromise on your basic self.  Not for me.  

Sometimes this will mean our relationship ends.

That is sad, but that is very much life. Or at the very least it changes, perhaps to the point where it barely feels like it exists.  I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope I will stay a part of your journey.  But if you don’t?  Well, that sucks but you didn’t “sign up” to be with me forever. 

I wish you the best, as you journey on without me.  Or I wish us the best as we travel down the same path.  Either way, I’ll be happy for you. I can’t promise you forever, but I can promise you this.

Oh, eventually, yes, if I want some kind of security and understanding in a relationship, I’ll have to provide commitment.  I just don’t want it to be the same kind of “commitment” as I have with Netflix.

…please share your stories of how your relationships evolved!

*I may dive into this idea at a later date.

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