Search This Blog

Saturday, September 04, 2004


I'm visiting a friend of mine, seeing other friends while I'm visiting her. So I'm thinking about possessiveness and who gets to see me and who doesn't, because my time is not open ended right now.

In the course of a relationship I have noticed there is always inherent ongoing question of whose needs come first and who must wait - and for how long - do they get exactly what they want or do they get a diluted version? In the long run for the relationship to continue, both people have to be happy about how it works out.

It seems that I won't put up with a partner/friend who limits or "fields" who else I can have as a friend - or even determine or limit how often/when I want to see that friend. But that's been my opinion for myself for some time because I have so many different friends.

I find when I'm with someone else means I'm willing to follow them around - if only to see how they do what they do. I'm pretty patient at waiting and able to amuse myself, so it's only somewhere down the road that it occurs to me that I'm waiting too much for the other person to allow me to do what I want to do. I don't know if people can avoid negotiating what they are going to do next together.

I notice how negotiation of how much time is required for notice of desires ("how could you change your mind now?") can be used as an excuse to not grant desires. Desires happen when they do and they must be accommodated for both people in a relationship. Changing my behavior to accommodate someone else's possessiveness of my time (or the wasting of it by interpreting my patience as a disappeared need) seems to be too much of a compromise on my part.

I wonder if it's a dynamic that seems to encourage that someone to make more demands on me, while my needs/desires must wait. I can speak up, but I think that voicing something once or twice should remind them that my needs exist. After that I seem to have the urge to go off on my own to satisfy myself, because dealing with satisfying them and myself at the same or alternate times is not happening.

I think withdrawing support in helping someone fulfill their desires when you could participate in something else should mean you bear the brunt of leaving yourself out and not make them "pay." Many people believe that their choices are your fault because they took your wishes into account! There's many reasons not to be a wet blanket on your partner's/friend's fun, least of all trust. But I think it's a little like revenge to have someone blame you for something awful happened when the two of you chose to go into an experience together than neither of you could forsee. Now, if I claimed I could forsee the future, then...

I've had friends that my former partners didn't enjoy and visa versa - but we didn't limit our time with them or our support of getting to see them, even when it involved significant travel costs and time spent away from extensive responsibilities. It made us happy to continue (and make new) friendships because it gave us new stimulation to think & talk about. In a way we trusted the urge to expand into the world to be a positive thing.

I'm not so sure why this topic of possessiveness seems to "get me going." But it definitely hits a nerve in me when I am somehow involved, I seem to rebel toward "freedom" at any cost, after a certain self-determined waiting period. What do other people here think or do about it when someone else close to them tries to limit their contact with others?