Love without limits

We seem to live in a culture which is fixated on rules.  Happiness is x, family is y, wealth is this, love is that.  Rules are just fine, I have no problem with them.  But what about when they don't quite relate to the concept they are supposed to be explaining?

Love and relationships seem to be particularly susceptible to these misguided ideals.  It's almost as if we think the more rules we wrap love in, the more controllable it is, the more easily we can possess it.

So we create a series of increasingly elaborate hoops for ourselves and our partners to jump through in order to prove that love is there.  Like we are trying to catch ourselves out, trying to prove the absence of love.  Rules and rituals for special occasions, social events, physical contact.  None of these rules are inherently wrong, most of the things they demand of us are part of many healthy loving relationships.  But in isolation, the presence of each one does not equal love, nor does their absence equal the loss of love.

So why, when we can happily accept flexibility in certain rules, are we so inflexible in others?

Like fidelity.

Sex does not equal love.  One-night stands and the sex industry exists, regardless of what we may think of it.  Sexual fidelity does not equal love.  We all know that, we have all seen loveless yet faithful marriages.  So why then must love equal sexual fidelity?

Forcing such a rule limits the value of sex.  I am not about to start discussing the merits of particular relationship choices, mainly because I think it is incredibly difficult to espouse one relationship style without denying others.  For those who wish to expand the cultural norm of monogamous relationships, promoting polygamy to the point of denying the value of mongamy seems quite counter-intuitive.

So yes, fidelity may limit the value of sex.  That is sad. 

But what is heart-breaking is that fidelity may limit love.  Regardless of whether you want to sleep with 1 or 1000 people or whether you are faithful or not.  Positioning fidelity as the core component of love limits what love can be.

Because love is not sex.  Love is not fidelity.  Love is love, why must it be anything else in order to exist?

This theory may feel logically acceptable, but yet we are still so quick to deny love when fidelity is absent.  

I struggle to align my rationality with my encultured emotional response.  I want an open relationship, I want to learn to love without limits.  And yet... I feel jealousy at the slightest suggestion of sharing those I do not even love.  

This culture runs through my veins and binds my hands in more ways and with more strength than I like to admit. 

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