brooksmoses: (Brooks and Suzanne)
[personal profile] brooksmoses
The word "family", in the sense of "chosen family" (which may or may not include one's "blood family"), can mean a lot of different things to different people. Likewise, especially in the poly world but even in the world of standard-appearing monogamous relationships, "partner" (in the relationship sense, not the business sense) can mean a remarkable lot of things.

As a result of some recent miscommunications, I'm chewing over what these mean to me, and I'm feeling very curious: What do these words mean to you, if and when you use them for your relationships? Do they have implications about what sorts of things you can rely on someone for, or what they can rely on you for? Are there expectations of willingness to perform emotional labor, or physical labor, or provide resources? (In exceptional circumstances? As a normal pattern?) Are there expectations of where the relationship fits in daily life? Of there being particular emotions that tend to come from the relationship?

Date: 2016-04-06 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wild-irises.livejournal.com
"Partner" is descriptive rather than valuative for me. I have a long-term partner, and we are very connected, but the areas in which I rely on him or can be confident that he will be what I hope for are limited (significant, but limited).

"Family" for me is more about what I will do for someone than about what they will do for me. Everyone is different about how and what they can give, want to give, are prepared to give. I know someone is family when I reflexively or automatically go out of my way for them, when that moment of "is this right or is it misusing myself" is missing, and I jump right into what is needed. The way that "family" is commutative is much less about what my family will do for me than how important we are to each other, how the connection matters to both of us and missing each other or being delighted to be with each other feels equal.

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