Party of One | It's Not About the Sex
The relationship escalator theory explains that when we start a relationship, So I've been part of this solo poly community for a few months. A Guest Blogger –I'm Solo Poly and Life Is Good! Most people look on their periods of singlehood as temporary, often accidental, and to be ended as quickly as possible Your relationship with yourself is a lifelong commitment. would mean monogamy and jumping onto the relationship escalator. A big part of my journey in Solo Polyamory has been in seeking out that community and looking for ways to meet that need outside of an escalator relationship.
Lots of people — probably people you know! But generally, it works something like this: Having expectations, or making explicit agreements, for sexual and romantic exclusivity — and also ending other intimate relationships, if any.
Once this step is reached, any further step including simply remaining in the relationship can be considered an implied commitment toward intentions of a shared future.
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- Riding the Relationship Escalator
Adapting the rhythms of your life to accommodate each other on an ongoing basis. Discussing, or planning for, a long-term shared future as a monogamous couple. Expectations of mutual accountability for whereabouts and behavior.
Moving in together, sharing a home and finances, getting engaged to be married or equivalent. May happen before, during or after commitment.
Getting married legally if possible and having children not mandatory, but strongly socially venerated. Buying a home, having and raising children.
The Relationship Escalator is so popular for a good reason: Escalator relationships can be terrific! Sure, unconventional relationships also can be wonderful — but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Escalator approach to relationships.
It does work well for many, many people. Just, contrary to Disney, the Escalator is not the only game in town. What can off-the-Escalator relationships look like? Polyamorous people who are open to having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with all-around knowledge and consent.
People whose core life focus is their work, studies, art, children, etc. Swingers who consensually engage in recreational sex beyond their primary partnership.
Long-distance relationships, or where one or more partners are deployed military, incarcerated, or otherwise physically unavailable for long periods — these partners often have implicit or explicit allowances for additional relationships. The Relationship Escalator is strictly a one-way trip.
What's the deal with Relationship Escalators? : polyamory
Your only valid options are to keep moving forward or to break up and start over with a new partner. Consequently our society suffers from a dearth of models to transition or conclude relationships well. Breakups are almost always horrible and wrenching for the partners involved as well as their families, friends, and communities.
The Relationship Escalator holds considerable power. Most of us automatically adopt it as a roadmap for defining our personal goals for relationships and lifestyle, choosing partners, evaluating our relationships, and judging the relationships of others.
Rather, most of us subconsciously buy into the social premise that the Escalator is not really a matter of choice or preference, but a natural and even supernatural force of its own; a mix of physics and magic. Our society reflexively trivializes, ignores, or vilifies other choices or preferences for conducting intimate relationships.
Getting to the top of the Escalator socially validates you as an adult and as a person worthy of love and respect.
Not succeeding in getting there, voluntarily stepping off — or worse, not wanting to ride at all — marks you as immature, defective, damaged, selfish, untrustworthy and possibly even dangerous. The Relationship Escalator may be one-way, but it relies on circular logic.
That call is almost entirely outcome-dependent: What if one or both of you ends up desperately unhappy, lonely, unfulfilled, or even endangered or disenfranchised by your marriage? Doing so demonstrates allegiance to the default social order, which reassures other people by not leading them to question their own relationship choices.
A Guest Blogger –I’m Solo Poly and Life Is Good!
It also allows you and your mate to retain social couple privilege and usually avoid significant personal upheaval and material sacrifice.
The Escalator is only wide enough for two people at a time. Indeed, this option is so threatening that even though same-sex couples now can ride the Escalator all the way to the top at least, in the U.
Ostensible monogamy is far more common than actual monogamy.
Secretly connecting with additional sexual or intimate partners is a long-acknowledged and in some cultures, moderately accepted aspect of life on the Escalator. Cheating reinforces, and thus honors, the escalator hierarchy.Poly Dating Mono
Secret additional partners are assumed to be shameful. Occasional high-profile scandals and outrage concerning unfaithful public figures serves mainly to consolidate the power of the escalator — but this has virtually no impact on the practice of cheating.
Cheating also is an Escalator-friendly option to end a relationship, since it often provides a new relationship ready to escape into.
Riding the relationship escalator (or not) | SoloPoly
This reduces the risk that you might have to shoulder the stigma of being a completely unpartnered adult. It attempts to reconcile Escalator mythology with human nature. It often works at least for a whilebut it sets everyone up to behave badly, shirk responsibility, and treat each other shabbily.
At each step of the Escalator, the people involved are making conscious and subconscious choices.
Each of us is responsible for the types of relationships we have.