So this post on Actuaria’s blog inspired me to dust off something I’d started writing a long while ago and see where it went.
I’ve been thinking about the kinds of relationships that people have; and I can see four distinct kinds.
Firstly there are friends. These are the people you’d want to go over and talk to at a party. You have something in common and enjoy sharing it.
Then there are partners (boyfriend/girlfriend). These are the people you’d take to the party. There’s a level of emotional and practical commitment, expectations on both sides.
Then there are lovers. These are the people you’d have sex with after the party (or during it; it depends on the party). I think this involves more than just kissing, and some level of continuation. One night stands are not a relationship after all.
Then there are confidantes. These are the people you can tell about having sex at the party! These are the people you can trust with anything, who will listen and accept you for who you are.
In the past relationships have generally seemed to grow gradually from friend to partner to lover to confidante. I think I’m happiest with that last stage when someone is both lover and confidante. It is very rewarding in lots of ways. At this point though they usually dump you (perhaps telling them about the sex at the party was a bad idea)!
My relationship with Perrin was quite different. We went from friends to confidantes to lovers to partners. I guess it says something about someone when you can really trust them so early on.
Over the past few months I’ve been privileged to explore some other relationships, which also don’t necessarily follow the standard pattern. I can certainly see places in my life for people who fit into any of the above categories in various combinations and I value them all.
I’ve come to realise though, what is most important to me, is the confidante, someone I can be honest and open with, and who is comfortable being open and honest with me. There is no greater treasure than that.