Steve pavlina: inspired relationships

Lately I’ve been using a different model for thinking about human relationships, and it’s working out really well. It may seem a bit unusual though.

As I considered different relationship models like monogamy, serial monogamy, polyamory, and more, I soon realized that what I really wanted to experience wasn’t a good match for any existing labels that I knew of. I wouldn’t want to apply any of those old labels to myself because none of them make sense to me. They all seem too narrow and limiting.

In 2009 I wrote a post about Label-free Relationships. This mindset of trying to avoid labeling my connections with other people was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t quite enough.

What helped me adopt a different perspective was my stepped-up exploration of subjective reality within the past year. I pondered that if life is a dream, then what does it mean to have relationships with other people (dream characters)? In a dream we’re all inherently connected anyway. It may still make sense to classify relationships with your fellow dream characters based on how you relate to them, but labeling isn’t the real issue here.

The bigger issue is how you relate to the dream itself — to life. Clearly there’s a broader and more significant relationship here than your individual connections with other dream characters. Those low-level connections are still important, but focusing on them too much seems limiting.

I began to explore this idea of stepping back from managing my connections at the dream character level, particularly with respect to conscious growth. Instead of thinking about my relationships with people X, Y, and Z, and pondering how those individual relationships might continue to grow and evolve, I began paying more attention to my general relationship with life itself.

I started to wonder that if we’re all connected, then maybe focusing on individual relationships is too granular.

Suppose you’re in a relationship with a woman, but instead of relating to her as a complete person, you focus most of your attention on your relationship with her breasts. Sure you might enjoy such a relationship for a while, but eventually you’re going to have this woman poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just my boobs, ya know!” And that’s a fairly gentle reaction. She might of course start yelling at you to take a break from her bossom.

Consider this as an analogy for life itself.

Suppose that when you focus too much of your attention on your relationship with just one person, life eventually starts poking you and saying, “Um… hello… there’s more to me than just this one dream character, ya know!” And again, that’s a gentle reaction. Life could just as easily yell at you when your focus is too limiting, such as by giving you the experience of having to deal with lying, cheating, etc. This isn’t a punishment. It’s a wake up call to help you see there’s more to life and to relationships than you previously realized.

Now this makes for an interesting theory, but what of the application?

Well, I’m a dive-in-and-try-it sort of figment, so I decided to give this a try to see what it actually feels like. I can’t say I’m that far along with it yet, but I’ve been testing this for at least a month now, and I’m really falling in love with it.

Instead of putting so much attention on my individual relationships, I’m paying more attention to my relationship with life itself. Actually I wouldn’t say I’m quite that high up yet.