In excess of eight months this year, PF and I were dating a fantastic woman. We all had a lot in common and shared a lot of great times.
Towards the end of the relationship, though, she wanted more time that I wasn't able to give her because of my commitments to PF and my work. She wanted something more in her life - something that would endure, around more, and be forward-looking to marriage - and that's not something either one of us could offer. Eventually, she did what was good for her.
I really can't blame her. But that's not going to stop me from over-analyzing it with you.
So here's what I think. The problem for secondaries is neutral buoyancy. They exist in a place where there's probably going to be little forward momentum. This is also a place where asking for too much may be perceived as a "cowboy"-maneuver (you know, a chic coming in and roping herself a new man). If you're seeing a secondary having already a primary relationship, you've already made commitments that preclude the secondary from becoming mondo-awesome - more. That commitment's a known fact, and everybody's in agreement to honor that commitment as to avoid strife and confusion.
So that's a trick: how do you maintain the spark in a vacuum?
In my experience with this, I think I have to come down to the "risk of the single secondary". Yep, this is one of my new rules now. And here it is.
Rule 58: Secondaries should always have a primary of their own.
Because they're committed to that, too, and they, too, can only offer neutral buoyancy. They have somebody to keep them warm at night when I'm not around; somebody to look forward with; somebody that can look after them; somebody that helps keep them focused on the future.
Woe to those who violate Rule 58 because it's a treading lightly on water thing. The single secondary may want more. They're not otherwise distracted by another relationship or a job. They're pining away somewhere while they know - in their heart - that they're lonely, yet, all of your needs are being pleasantly fulfilled with your primary. That sucks. Yep. A real sticky wicket.
So Rule 58 will figure prominently in my next ride on the merry-go-round. I'm thinking that it's a good rule of thumb for everybody.
What do you think? Do you think secondaries just get the raw end of the emotional stick? If you're a secondary, how do you deal with neutral buoyancy?