(Rather than trying to fit them to stereotypical expectations.)
I was privileged to explore an intimate connection with an unusually authentic and pioneeringly courageous Tantra teacher way back in my early days of Tantra studies. As best I can remember her take, here are some concepts she shared that made a huge positive impact on my life:
"People tend to set out about relating backwards. By projecting all manner of pre-packaged ideas about what a 'relationship' is supposed to look like. Rather than exploring the mystery of intimacy to see what is trying to reveal itself."
Real 'Relationship' (she said, and I have found is the case in my life experience) is about engaging curiously with a person to see what is organically wanting to emerge, and how long different aspects naturally need in order to become known. Instead, we have been conditioned at a deep unconscious level to apply a whole pile of expectations right off the bat. Even with ideas that might be reasonable, we tend to throw them into the mix too much and too soon.
The sad thing is that doing this is so commonplace that most people don't even realise that what they are doing isn't natural. They think it's perfectly reasonable to crush the organic expression of the other person, or at least to conspire with them in crushing it themselves.
Clarifying what a relationship is, and where it is going, needs to happen AS the unique connection starts to reveal itself over time. In fact, in response to (and in partnership with) what is revealing itself. The same with any relationship agreements. Don't stifle a new connection by throwing them in the mix too soon. Wait to see which ones are useful, helpful and empowering.
The biggest mistake people make is in not even realising that they are crushing the magical essence of their connection by imposing bland cultural stereotypes on top of it. Many types of relationship can be perfectly fine, healthy, magical and dynamic, including monogamy. But give them the chance to come fully alive on their own terms - rather than pre-packaging and suffocating them as they try to birth themselves.
[Arven: Aug 2016]