is it lazy to not have a primary partner?

I’ve seen this come up time and time again. Especially related to how soooo many folks in polyamorous relationships don’t want to commit, are just looking to have fun, don’t want a “serious” relationship..and I keep hearing this word…


I thought I’d drop it here, for posterity’s sake. And to engage a bit of playful discussion.

There is a specific form of “laziness” that exists within relationships of all styles:

Failing to have a primary relationship.

Which makes me wonder,

Is it lazy to not have a primary partner?

People who don’t have (or want, because really it shouldn’t matter why they don’t have one, they just don’t) primary relationships are labeled as “lazy,” “irresponsible,” “unable to commit,” “lonely,” “sad,” etc.

Sure, some will support and even encourage people that want to keep themselves as their sole primary partner (after all, you could argue that everyone has a primary partner; it’s just sometimes themselves). Yet many freely judge and deride those who fail to find that partner who stays by your side. Someone who supports, loves, lives with you, etc, etc. It’s far more common to see negative social media comments than positive regarding a lack of desire for a primary partner (husband, main partner, etc.)

In monogamist culture, these are the social pariahs. Undesirables. Spinsters (yes, women are still more stigmatized when it comes to this, rather than being seen as desirable bachelor(ettes).

In non monogamist culture, these are the players. Mindlessly toying with other’s bodies and emotions, with no concern for their plaything’s well being.

But let’s break it down, shall we?

Many of my friends do not have a current primary partner (I happen to have one, and it’s certainly a lot of work, but does it make me a harder worker than my friends without?). They have to do everything themselves. They have no partner on a daily basis to share their burdens. Share the basic costs of living. Plus the ones we really villainize that are casually dating several people have to balance and maintain schedules for MULTIPLE people, instead of just the one (or two, but you know, acceptably limited number).

So how lazy is to not have that primary support? Oh, maybe they are lazy in their efforts to find a partner. But that only means they have to do more work in their lives. That hardly seems “lazy.”

And, shocking idea, what if they are happy?

Life is work. Living it alone is work. Living with someone is work. If being “alone,” makes one happiest, whose business is that to judge? I do not agree that laziness is defined by your partnerships, nor your desire for said partnerships. You can be horribly lazy in a primary relationship (see many marriages), and you can be lazy on your own.

If having casual relationships works for someone, why not let them? Perhaps it is only our own insecurities that make us lash out at people who live perfectly good lives that don’t include a live in partner (or otherwise similarly involved/attached partner). If we are unhappy, we may project that unhappiness on another.

Or maybe we could simply mind our own business and let people be happy on their own terms rather than ours?

Who knows?

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