Why do/did you want a romantic relationship? [Mainly disc, maybe a dash of adv]

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Post by the littlest viking on Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:18 am

Maybe, but I'm not talking blackout or anything but a couple of beers on the back porch after dinner.. I'm just a lightweight

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Post by Autumnflame on Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:05 pm

For me, emotional intimacy and companionship are the main reasons I want a romantic relationship. Sex I can have outside of that, I don't want kids, and while a second income is probably really helpful and nice for things like vacations, I'm fortunate enough that I can support myself quite comfortably and still do nice things. But the kind of physical and emotional comfort that comes with a romantic relationship is something I can't really get anywhere else. (And apparently I'm huuuuge into touch. I didn't realize just how bottomless a well I am for touch until my current SO.) A FWB arrangement doesn't have the fairly constant presence of a significant other nor the emotional support of one, and I tend to have more acquaintances than friends I would confide in or call up and immediately suggest plans or just hang out doing our own thing in parallel. While lots of things are nice solo, often they're nicer with someone there to enjoy it with.

There was some comment on Reddit about the four types of "mates" one might be inclined to seek (apparently linked to the Keirsey personality stuff). I'm definitely a soulmate >= playmate > helpmate >= mindmate, though not so much with the drama or fiery passions - I just want that deep emotional connection. Less stormy oceanside, more deep, placid lake.
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:25 pm

I'm not sure I do want a romantic relationship, at least at the moment... I'd like a sexual one (or several) with good room for personal connection, good conversation, laughing together, and ideally enjoying some non-sexual sensory experiences together, like cooking or going for walks. Although a lot of that would probably lead to some romantic feelings in the end...

And when the time comes that I do want a relationship (or several), I want those things to be in there as well. Especially the enjoying things together, enjoying one another. I get this strong, crushlike admiration for people sometimes, something about their personality, expressivity, strength, there's a beauty about it... and I want to be near people like that and be able to express it, but I might have some work to do not to idealize people too much, not let the person they actually are take second place to the beauty I want to percieve.

When it comes to emotional support, I'll have even more work to do. In the kind of relationship I dream about, I'll be able to give comfort and support to the person, but only when my support is wanted. I won't be afraid to give, and I won't be afraid to ask, or receive, or acknowledge it when I do receive... at the present, I'm afraid of all of that. So afraid I'm not quite sure what it will look like... except that there's some warm, soft feeling involved, the feeling that we can relax in each other's presence, commit to the futile struggle against entropy together.

Writing this, I discover I know more than I thought about the relationships I eventually seek, which is good, because I've definitely been in them for the wrong reasons/not understood my own reasons in the past.
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Post by waxingjaney on Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:37 pm

Autumnflame wrote:There was some comment on Reddit about the four types of "mates" one might be inclined to seek (apparently linked to the Keirsey personality stuff).

Now that's an interesting way to categorize things. Cribbing a bit:


A help mate is a partner who shares common goals and vision for the future, and who assists you in...
A soul mate is a partner who connects with you on a deeply intimate, emotional level.
A mind mate is a partner who connects with you on an intellectual level.
A play mate is a partner with whom you share fun.

Help mate: guardian
Play mate: artisan
Mind mate: rational
Soul mate: idealist

My priorities would be mind mate, play mate, then soul and help well behind the others. An artisanal rationalist sounds sweet as fuck, and they might be pretty good at that, too.
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Post by Werel on Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:08 pm

Huh. For me, mind and soul are pretty well tied for first, with play in second, and help pretty far behind. I'm not very practical, I guess. Razz But it also seems like play and help mates are... well, perhaps more attainable through non-romantic friendship than, e.g. soul mates? Or do y'all feel like mind mates and soul mates could equally well be found in platonic companionship?

Caffeinated wrote:I like the security of knowing I have the absolute number one spot in someone's heart, and the happiness of holding that person in the number one spot in my heart.

Such a nice way to put it! I guess that would fall under "soul mate"?
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Post by Caffeinated on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:15 pm

Werel wrote:Huh. For me, mind and soul are pretty well tied for first, with play in second, and help pretty far behind. I'm not very practical, I guess. Razz But it also seems like play and help mates are... well, perhaps more attainable through non-romantic friendship than, e.g. soul mates? Or do y'all feel like mind mates and soul mates could equally well be found in platonic companionship?

Caffeinated wrote:I like the security of knowing I have the absolute number one spot in someone's heart, and the happiness of holding that person in the number one spot in my heart.

Such a nice way to put it! I guess that would fall under "soul mate"?

Thanks Smile I think it would fall under soul mate. Also, when ranking the list, soul mate absolutely comes in first for me.
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Post by Guest on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:31 pm

Autumnflame wrote:...There was some comment on Reddit about the four types of "mates" one might be inclined to seek (apparently linked to the Keirsey personality stuff)...

Hm. I think I'd be Mind > Help > Play > Soul.

Although, the gaps between each aren't exactly huge.

Not to mention this seems like something it pays to withhold judgement on until you actually get out there...

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Post by Enail on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:51 pm

Those roles seem really hard to separate out from each other. I think I'd have a hard time working with someone to a mutual future if I really didn't connect with them on an intellectual level; I don't think I could connect deeply on an emotional level with someone I couldn't have fun with, and so forth. It's hard for me to picture a happy long-term relationship that didn't have a good measure of all four of those.
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Post by Autumnflame on Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:14 pm

Oh, absolutely. I don't think I'd be happy in any relationship that fundamentally lacked one of those. But if push comes to shove, if someone felt more like a person I blazed intellectually with than a beloved safe harbor with mutual emotional warmth, I'd be less content than vice-versa.
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:52 pm

Enail wrote:Those roles seem really hard to separate out from each other. I think I'd have a hard time working with someone to a mutual future if I really didn't connect with them on an intellectual level; I don't think I could connect deeply on an emotional level with someone I couldn't have fun with, and so forth. It's hard for me to picture a happy long-term relationship that didn't have a good measure of all four of those.

"Emotions are tricky. You can't really sort out the ones you want from the ones you don't."
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Post by eselle28 on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:14 pm

It sounds like most relationships have at least some blending of roles, though not necessarily all of them. If I think about it in terms of what I could deal with if someone was a little weak, I'd probably say that a mind mate and a play mate are essential to me - I don't think I'd have much patience with a partner who I didn't connect very well with on both those levels. Help mate probably comes after that. I've had partners who were very poor on that level and wouldn't want a relationship like that again, but I could deal with someone who was medium when it came to those things, especially if we didn't live together. The soul mate stuff is nice but I generally view it as the most optional of the bunch for me to be happy.
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Post by Robjection on Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:08 pm

Andrew Corvero wrote:
Enail wrote:Those roles seem really hard to separate out from each other. I think I'd have a hard time working with someone to a mutual future if I really didn't connect with them on an intellectual level; I don't think I could connect deeply on an emotional level with someone I couldn't have fun with, and so forth. It's hard for me to picture a happy long-term relationship that didn't have a good measure of all four of those.

"Emotions are tricky. You can't really sort out the ones you want from the ones you don't."
As true for golems as it is for humans.

So I read that thing about the four different mate types and it reminded me of a similar thing about five love languages. Let me see if I can find it ...

Ah, here we are.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:34 pm

MapWater wrote:
Not to mention this seems like something it pays to withhold judgement on until you actually get out there...
Agreed. If I had to guess I would say soul > mind > play > help, but I am a bit fuzzy on the meaning of "helpmate" in my case because pretty much all of my "goals" or "ambitions" are completely contained by the union of the other sets. It could either be totally irrelevant (because someone who counts as a "soulmate" would be entirely sufficient to "help" with what I want out of life) or tied for most important for the same reason.

Friends are usually playmates and/or mindmates; we do stuff together and we have similar opinions and similar ways of thinking about abstract or scientific concepts when we discuss them. But I don't think I really know anyone in my life who understands or cares very much about understanding my emotional state.
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Post by Guest on Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:24 am

I'd want one in the abstract to help me feel more human, I guess. I think I'd want one for emotional security. It would be nice to be wanted and to want your partner back (equally).

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Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:23 am

Hmm. I actually think more than a little of my confusion about relationship could be pegged on that distinction...

Helpmatery describes the thing I'm terrified of, and I probably have to work a bit on that before I get deeply involved with someone.

Then for the other three... Playmates are what I tell myself I'm looking for at the moment. Slow-burning soulmates are what I fantasize about having. But when I crush on someone, it's almost every time about their mind. (Qualities like intelligence, insight, language skill, artistic ability, aesthetic appreciation.)

So what I'm looking for seems to be different from what I want, what I find seems to be different from them both, and I haven't even got started on turning it about and figuring out who I can be and want to be to others...
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Post by Xexyz on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:12 pm

I think about this a lot.  I'm 36 and have never been in a romantic relationship, but then again I've never really sought one and turned down opportunities I've had to be in one.  

I think ideally it would be for intimacy and sex & affection.

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