Happiness Blog September 2, 2019

Something I have always found interesting is the variety of ways we can come together in friendship and intimate relationships. This means that fidelity and loyalty have many meanings as well. Most people assume that their definitions of fidelity and loyalty are the standard definition when, in reality, there is no standard definition, just as there is no standard way to couple. There are what I consider to be popular fictions about what the standard is. There are also a great many assumptions about what fidelity and loyalty means on social media. This is the most interesting to me because we cannot control what other people do, only how we react to what they do. We cannot control who likes our posts or who does or does not send us direct messages.

Many people struggle to understand or define what fidelity and loyalty mean in the age of social media. I can share that I and my husband had to redefine out fidelity boundaries when social media hit the scene and we became active. This is something we did after a time of contemplation. I needed to search and ask myself, “what do I truly care about?” and “How do I define cheating or being unfaithful?” These answers are deeply personal and should not be a matter of what we are “supposed to” consider cheating or how we are “supposed to” expect our spouse to act on social media. This is about what truly makes us feel safe or unsafe in the relationship. This also goes for friendships and people in plural relationships.

We should consider what we want the boundaries to be regardless of whether our relationship is monogamous, open, or polyamorous. In all relationships, boundaries signify that the relationships are healthy. This goes for friendships, business, and intimate relationships. All good relationships have a dynamic that results in all parties feeling respected, validated, and valued. The positive feelings of respect and validation come from the relationship staying in line with boundaries about communication, frequency of seeing each other, and guidelines about what activities are appropriate in the relationship. Feeling valued is the effort the other people are willing to make in learning and following your boundaries. Before any of this can happen, you need to know your own boundaries.

Posted on 03 Sep 2019 06:44

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