Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tribal Ties

Did I say I wasn't going to write on the topic of ties here this month?

I lied.

I have had a lot of opportunity these last two years to look at the ties I have in my life. There are my family, to whom I am inexorably tied, world without end, Amen. I wouldn't have it any other way - they truly are THERE for me. And there is my other family, my family by choice. Who are also very THERE for me.

One I have had no issues explaining to anyone. Everyone pretty much understands the concept of family closeness and that you are there for one another and that you put up with the crazy because well, they're FAMILY.

The other, well, that has been far more of a sticky wicket. Especially with dating. You tell someone you are poly and they say they understand it. But then they end up saying things like "Well, if we get serious, it will just be US, right?" or "Oh, we're looking for a third and that's it." or "What do you mean you want to 'keep' the current relationships you have now?" Clearly, these people are just not getting the point. Or, what is probably more the truth of the matter, I am not explaining it well enough. I come to that conclusion because the one variable in all aforementioned conversations that did not change was me.

It's hard to know how to express it though. That I want a "primary" relationship (Gods I despise those damn terms but i am not sure how else to say it.) that will blend and flow into my family of choice, some of whom I am physically involved with as well. It's a difficult concept to grasp, especially because most people assume its about the sex, the physical involvement. And, yeah, that is nice (very nice!) but that's not really the WHOLE point. If I wanted to just fuck people I would. But I want...I want...

and there is where I have stumbled on the words for so long. Until tonight. When I read a post by someone that used the word tribe.

Yes! That is the word! I want my TRIBE. The easy flow and ebb of folks who know and love one another regardless of physical involvement. Some of us are. Some of us aren't. But we're all happy with how things are and if we're not, we're okay with talking about that. We can hang out, play with the kids, watch stupid movies and no one is going to think twice if you feel like cuddling up with someone that isn't your legal spouse - and sometimes just for comfort because that person is really good to cuddle! Tribe with shared laughter and tears.

Yes, Tribe.

Now that I have a word, maybe I can make people understand more. Or not. But at least I can put a word to it.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” \
-Jane Howard


  1. legal spouse shmegal spouse. :-)

  2. Aneyah came up with that word some time back for exactly the same reasons. It seems to describe it best.