SEPTEMBER | 2018 | LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS
MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS
We’ve observed different types of relationships up close and from afar and are clear about the kinds of relationships that we envy, are afraid of and those we want to avoid at all costs. We exist in a time where we’re seeing more and more of our kind of love being displayed throughout media -- especially social media. While some of us coo and double tap our seals of approval as the evidence of love dominate our social media feeds, others roll their eyes in disgust as they realize that some of these relationships can be more of a hot mess than a hot yes. This month we’re talking a look at three of the most stereotypically common types of relationships and giving you some suggestions on how you can spot them.
THE POWER COUPLE
No, we’re not talking about Ghost and Tasha from the hit TV series, Power or even Ricky and Damon from FX’s Pose. We’re talking about the real life example of Jamal and Octavius Terry-Sims. Married in 2014, these two Beauxs have launched and maintained successful careers. Jamal is a highly sought after dancer and choreographer who recently lent his talent to giving direction in the documentary When the Beat Drops. Octavius, a well respected designer whose OBA Crosswrite label has been worn by the likes of Queen Latifah, Chris Brown and Sean Kingston, serves as the co-founder of Groom Official.
You can easily spot the power couple as they will be the ones doing their best to make sure that they and their partner are living their lives. Sure, there might have been times when either felt unhappy and insecure in their past relationships, but together they bring out the best in one another. Power couples believe in one another and endlessly work to support each other’s endeavors. They don’t mind sharing the spotlight or allowing the other to shine independently, and most importantly they strive to keep their relationship as drama free as possible. The power couple doesn’t always have a public relationship, but you always know when they do because they’re always doing something instagrammable.
Their relationships stand the test of time because they know how to communicate with each other and aren’t afraid to make sacrifices for one another as well. Part of their success can be attributed to the fact that they see each other as best friends, which goes back to the drama free part. Power couples don't limit themselves as much as they overcome limiting beliefs to achieve success. They take risks in life and love and play as hard as they work. The power couple looks forward and evolves as often as they need to and never stop learning about themselves individually.
THE OPEN RELATIONSHIP
Let’s be honest here - you know someone in an open relationship, don’t you? Yeah, a lot of us do. An open relationship is a spit in the face to the notion that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Sidebar, what’s the purpose of having cake if you can’t eat it? Anyway, the open relationship is an interesting situation because it doesn’t require monogamy, gives both partners room to be honest about their pursuits and hell, lets call a thing a thing- it adds a little (or a lot) of spice to their sex life.
There are a lot of risks people take when they travel down this road- they might encounter a partner that's more sexually advanced than their “main” partner or worse, they might develop feelings that present a threat to their primary partner. We're not here to wax and wane about the endless possibilities of things that could go wrong (or right) in an open relationship, but we can tell you how to spot one.
You can spot an open relationship when you notice that one or both parties involved openly expresses an interest in enhancing the bone. Enhancing the bone is probably how two tops or two bottoms in a relationship stay together because they can always make room for a pitch verse pitch hitter. How do you know? Because you're at Tyson's birthday party and Robert and Joseph--two bottoms who've been together since they met at Kevin's Christmas party in 2016-- have just propositioned you to be their optional third. They explain the rules and regulations to you over a drink and, well, we're going to just leave the three of you alone to decide what you're going to do because it's really none of our business. Just make sure you know the rules.
Another way to spot an open relationship is to identify a couple looking to embark upon a new sexual relationship while not wanting to replace the emotional bond they have with one another. These types of relationships tend to be purely sexual in nature and in the event that two people "in love" aren't getting along, a few nights of mind blowing sex with a third (fourth, or fifth) isn't going to magically solve their problems.
Will Chamberlain was responsible for 23, 924 rebounds in his career and while we’re not a hundred percent certain that you’ve don’t half that, we’re sure that you or someone you know has rebounded at least once. It's not uncommon for people to rebound after their relationship ends because nobody wants to be alone and rebound relationships help to keep the lonelies away.
Turning our focus towards a new Beaux keeps us from having to think about what it is that's been lost. These types of relationships keep us in stasis because no matter how many back flips our rebound does, we’re still waiting on the text, or email from the Beaux of relationships past. We haven’t changed his ringtone because it will serve as confirmation that he’s looking for us as much as we’re looking for him. Let that phone play his ringtone and watch how close we come to breaking our neck trying to answer it while simultaneously attempting to sound like we couldn’t care less that he called. Meanwhile, our new Beaux...er….rebound, doesn’t have our full attention.
Real love is about growth, but we'll never get there if we spend too much time on the rebound. We can't meet someone new and expect them to sit idly by as we wax nostalgic about our former Beaux just like we can't assume that we should be married by date number four. Being on the rebound is us dating someone who is the total opposite of our former Beaux, its breaking up and showing interest in the first person who bats an eye in our direction- its not giving ourselves time to recover from a previous relationship.
Someone somewhere once said that there are different strokes for different folks. We won't all attain power couple status just like we won't all express interest in being involved in a relationship with paper thin boundaries or somewhere doing a duet with Teena Marie talking about how we're out on a limb so bad that we're rebounding left and right. We all have our specific wants and needs when it comes to the kinds of relationships we desire and can't always determine how we'll react in the event that they end. What's important is that we do so with as much class, dignity and knowledge as possible and that we always conduct ourselves as gentlemen.