Love Architecture

Applying the Lessons of Polyamory, Relationship Anarchy and True Friendship to Every Relationship

David W Bradford
May 16 · 7 min read
Photo by Crew on Unsplash

  1. You need to be adaptable in your relationships. Things will change in your life, and your partners will also have changes that dramatically affect them. They will need to pull back sometimes, and other times will will be more available to you. This ebb and flow is part of life, and accepting that a completely platonic friend now may become much more, and consequently that a passionate love may need to focus on others or themselves and return to just friends is sometimes necessary. This is not a loss if you still keep that person in your life. By being adaptable, you can move through these changes and not let your core relationship falter. You can love someone, even if you can’t have every possible aspect of a relationship, so long as you keep them in your life.
  2. Approach all relationships in the same way. The idea of friendship dating is something to embrace, but to actually approach time spent with any relationship the same is very beneficial. Just because you’re not sleeping with someone doesn’t mean you cancel plans on them for someone with whom you are. If you do your best to be attentive, and intentional, in you time spent together you’ll build stronger relationships regardless. Dress up for them, do acts of service, and make sure you are offering of yourself equally, without an agenda other than their happiness and your own.
  3. Compatibility must include shared needs and expectations as well as chemistry. Just because someone is stirring feelings deep inside you, if you both want completely different things, it’s going to be difficult. It’s very easy to fall for the bad boy or girl, that’s basic simian physiology in our DNA, but ignoring the fact that you are no good for each other, other than in the sheets, it’s going to not build into a strong healthy relationship.
  4. There is no “relationship escalator” but a relationship path. The question, “where are we going here?” is a question that should be left out. This isn’t about love, marriage, picket-fenced houses and baby carriages, necessarily, but about growing together and with one another. There is nothing wrong with having goals, but those belong to you, not always your prospective partners. A relationship in motion ismoving forward. Dragging someone where they aren’t ready to go yet will almost never be healthy. If you move together, you will reach mutually desired goals, and so much more.
  5. Trust their intentions. People have bad days, say the wrong thing, and can seem distant. How many times has an ill-timed break in messages received from someone made you question everything in an insecurity crisis. You are responsible for your own feelings and need to own them. There is a strong chance that someone unable to be there for you may have needs of their own they are struggling with. They may not have the energy to give to you. Unless they say otherwise, there really is no reason to doubt their intentions, and it may be time to tell your own brain to shut up for a while.
  6. Relationships are experiences not transactions. Giving isn’t always going to be completely balanced. I am successful in my career, and others may be less so. I’m not going to ledger all the times I bought dinner, nor would I expect them to do the same. I seek and expect reciprocity in my relationships, but I understand people give according to their needs. I give so I can share experiences, not so I can get from others. As a result, I do find balance in that.
  7. Be the model of the person you want in your life. In my experiences I discovered one simple thing, you can’t receive in your life what you are unwilling to give. I approach my relationships by being the person I would hope to find in my life. I am a giver, because I love giving to those I love. I do my best to be attentive, caring and compassionate to the people I care about. I want to share with them my experiences, so I focus on them when they relate their own to me, in kind. I interact with them in a way I’d like for them to interact with me. Call it programming reality, or even just the golden rule, but like does attract like.
  8. Never close doors completely. Sometimes things go wrong between people. I chose never to hate even those that have hurt me, as they can change and so can I. The opposite of love is not hate, but apathy, and I have no room in my heart for either. I’ve had relationships that hurt me deeply, often obliviously, and I had removed them from my life for a period of time. Later on I reached out to them. Sometimes they return to my life, sometimes not. I will love them with a certain distance to rebuild trust, but I will always love them. With very little exception, I would welcome anyone I loved back into my life if it could be done in a healthy way for both of us.

David W Bradford

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