The Courage of My Own Convictions

by Sarah on June 10, 2014

When you believe a thing that is very different from what most of the world believes, it can be hard to hold on to that belief. And this feels especially true when that belief is so big that it becomes an identity. There seem to be only two good options: silence or flag-bearing.

I started this blog because I wanted to be the flag bearer (or one of them) and find others who had similar ideas and beliefs about relationships.

I wanted to stop being invisible and start showing up.

I wanted to not be ashamed of my experiences but rather use them as a jumping off point to change how people think about relationships, hopefully for the better. Or at least to improve the conversation. Or, hell, to have the conversation rather than letting the world go on assuming that everyone wants to be in a monogamous relationship.

But I’ve struggled to do this well. As I’ve gone through some personal challenges, it has been easy to ignore my thoughts on this topic, to tell myself that I am the crazy one, and to believe that I truly am alone.

As they say, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” and I was close to joining ’em.

(And by joining them, I mostly mean, staying silent about what I believe, not like running out and getting married.)

And then I got to spend a week in community with some of the most amazing people I know, talking about how to change the world and getting really positive responses to my thoughts around relationships. I shouldn’t be surprised; this isn’t actually a new phenomenon. In fact, I’ve had more positive responses to this blog in its short life than anything else I’ve ever written combined. And yet, last week was exactly the reminder I needed to get back on the proverbial horse.

Self-doubt and depression are tricky bastards, and they tend to obscure what’s actually real and true.

It’s easy to forget the support I’ve received and to think nobody cares about this stuff. It’s easy to think everyone is blissfully coupled and I’m just “missing out” on something, despite the many times I’ve discovered how skewed and unrealistic that perspective is. And it’s easy to forget even if everyone doesn’t immediately become a relationship anarchist, I can still be making a difference in the world.

What’s real and true for me is that I care passionately about interrogating societal ideals and individual beliefs about relationships, love, romance, sex, connection and community. And I want to talk about it.

So, hey, I’m back. And I’m going to try to push myself to be more authentic and transparent than ever before, because I’m never going to have the kind of conversations I’m excited about if I am unwilling to put my ideas out there first.

Furthermore, I’m actively working on rewriting much of the site copy because I’ve realized that Livin’ Singly isn’t actually about relationship status. It’s not just a site for single people; it’s a site for anyone who is interested in asking questions and thinking critically about things which are too often taken for granted.

Reading this site doesn’t mean you have to become a relationship anarchist or participate in any kind of non-traditional relationship structure now or ever. Maybe it just means that you’re willing to accept that monogamy isn’t the only choice and it’s not for everyone. Hell, if more people were just on that page, I think the world would be a much happier and healthier place.

So, if you like what you read, let me know. If something I write makes you go, “hmmm…”, let me know. If you absolutely hate everything I have to say… this might not be the blog for you. But if you’re willing to try to see another viewpoint and want to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue about some really really big topics, welcome.

Thanks for (re)joining me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Wm. Josiah Erikson August 11, 2014 at 11:51 pm

“Relationship anarchist”. AWESOME. I like that. Maybe I’ll start using it 🙂

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Sarah August 18, 2014 at 12:00 am

Oh hey, thanks for the comment. I love the phrase “relationship anarchist” too. Here was the first article I read which used it, which I think sums it up pretty well for me: http://log.andie.se/ Would love to hear your thoughts on it some time.

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