I Don’t Want to Be in a Couple

Recently, I’ve read a bit about ‘couple privilege’, specifically in the context of polyamory, but it definitely exists in society at large too.

This has set off a lightbulb in my head.

I don’t want to be in a couple.

I don’t completely reject the relationship escalator, but I want to be able to hop on an off at will, skip the steps I am not interested in, and be able to stay at a step as long as I want, or even go backwards.

I always known that I wasn’t interested in marriage, but my interest in joining any kind of couple has always been, at the very most, mild. And right now, I would strongly prefer never to be in a couple.

That isn’t to say I don’t want close, intimate relationships – I definitely do! – but I don’t to have one primary partner. While I’ll always prioritize some relationships over others, I want some fluidity in how those priorities evolve, and I feel entering the ‘couple’ mold would interfere with that.

But I think what rankles me most about being in a ‘couple’ is that I want to be perceived as a complete person on my own, not seen as completing/being completed by ‘my other half’. I am okay with being perceived as a part of a group, such as a club, or my family, etc.

This is why, in my ideal family structure, I would have two intimate partners, not just one. Maybe I’m lucky to be on the ace spectrum – I think I am more likely to form satisfying non-coupled close intimate relationships in the ace community than in society at large.

The big snag I see ahead is parenting. I am interested in, eventually, having a biological child, and I want to have a personal relationship with my biological co-parent. Yet having a biological child together is one of the most couple-ish things people can do, at least according to society at large. My parents are perceived as a couple primarily because they raised a child together (if they were not co-parents, they would seem much less like a couple). I don’t want to be in a ‘couple’ with my co-parent. Yet it seems that between having a child with a stranger (via sperm donation, for example), and forming a ‘couple’ with the co-parent, society does not offer much intermediate space. This is why sometimes I think it might be best to co-parent with a queer man in a primary relationship with someone who cannot get pregnant (most likely another queer man) – since he would already be in a couple, he wouldn’t want to get in a couple with me, and since a) they would be queer and b) his partner is not capable of being pregnant, I think it would be much easier to engineer a set of relationships which would be satisfying to all parties.

*sigh* This is complicated.


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3 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Be in a Couple

  1. “But I think what rankles me most about being in a ‘couple’ is that I want to be perceived as a complete person on my own, not seen as completing/being completed by ‘my other half’. I am okay with being perceived as a part of a group, such as a club, or my family, etc.”

    I relate to this very much and recently tried to explain the same thing to my best friend, about why I don’t ever see myself in any kind of marriage or long term bond like that in a romantic way. He said it was because I want to cling to independence, but it’s not about that. It’s about wanting my individuality and not wanting to be a part of an ‘us’ or a dual thing.

    • Yeah, it’s not about independence for me (it’s much more accurate to describe myself as interdependent than independent). Come to think of it, at least in American culture, I think coupledom is actually tied to independence, and that rejecting coupledom makes it easier to embrace interdependence (at least from my perspective).

  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Relationship Anarchy | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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