5 Reasons Not To Defend Your Relationship Desires

by Emma McGowan

For some reason, relationship status is one of those things that people really seem to think they have a right to an opinion about, when the reality is that the kind of relationship you want is really no one’s business but your own. (And probably your partner’s, if you have one.) These days, there are so many different options that we each can choose what kind of relationship we want in our lives. Into polyamory? Awesome! Only want to ever have sex with one person for your entire life? Do you! Down for no-strings attached sex but squirm at the idea of a partner? Sounds fun!

Seriously, take a minute to think about some of the many, many possible relationship configurations you could possibly want for yourself. You could be part of a polyamorous triad. You could be totally monogamous, married, and never want children. You could be a single parent with multiple children and no interest in dating. You could be a single parent and dating or married and dating and have kids! See what I mean? One of the beautiful things about being alive today is that there are so, so many different options out there for romantic relationships.

But hey, I’ve totally found myself in the position of feeling like I had to defend the I kind of relationship I wanted, especially back when I was dating — and I’ve also found myself on the other end of the judging spectrum. The truth of the matter is, we tend to put a lot of moral weight on romantic relationships and, as a result, it’s easy to look down our noses at other people’s choices. If you think about it, though, what’s to be gained by judging other people’s relationship desires? Once you realize that the answer is “nothing,” you also realize that no one has the right to judge yours either.

With that in mind, here are five reasons that you never have to defend your relationship desires to anyone.

1. It’s None Of Their Business

And yeah, that includes your mom. Whether you're a bisexual person in a heterosexual, monogamous relationship or a heterosexual person in polyamorous relationships, the only people who need to know why are you and your partner(s). Of course, it’s always up to you if you want to share you reasons with other people but the key is that it’s up to you. Don’t let anyone shame you into thinking that you have to justify your desires to them if you’re not romantically involved with them.

2. The Most Important Thing Is That Your Desires Work For You

And the second most important thing is that you’re not hurting anyone else. As long as those to requirements are being met — you’re happy and you’re not making anyone else unhappy — then you don’t have to justify anything.

3. It’s Your Life, Your Choice

Not your sister’s life; not your best friend’s life; not your grandma’s life or your boss’ life. It’s your life, which means you get to choose to live it in your best way possible.

4. They Don’t Affect Anyone Outside Your Relationship(s)

When faced with a disapproving relative, for example, remind yourself that your relationship desires or relationship status have nothing to do with them. The only way your desires affect anyone outside your relationship(s) is if those people are expending brain power judging you for them. That’s their problem, not yours, so brush those shoulders off!

5. There Are So Many Different Types Of Relationships

Even relationships that look super conventional — man and woman married and seemingly monogamous with 2.5 kids — may be way less conventional than they appear once you scratch the surface. Who knows, maybe that white picket fence belongs to a couple of swingers who are really, really into BDSM!

You just don’t know what anyone else’s relationship really looks like, but you do know that the possibilities are infinite. Remember that if you ever start to feel weird about your relationship desires or find yourself backed into a corner, defending yourself again.

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