CAMPUS MAGAZINE: Why put all your Eggs in one Basket?
Date posted: October 1, 2007
Many a time have I written about relationships; our feminine mazes that confuse men and the masculine traps that capture our hearts. This is still by far the most difficult article I have ever written. I am about to advocate something that I have never believed in. Actually, I am on the verge of stabbing a deeply rooted belief in our multi-layered culture. The same girl that, given a chance, would have poisoned every man or woman who accepted getting into an open relationship – that very same girl – is about to cross out monogamous relationships and validate having multiple partners. To save face, I will refer to monogamy as "vertical relationships", and "horizontal relationships" are to be synonymous with polygamy – I am still having psychological barriers with the word!
Let me start by defining the two terms. Vertical relationships mean that you are in a relationship with one person whom you get to know, understand, appreciate, and love by time. This is a type of relationships that involves a lot of trust, dependability, possessiveness, and depth. If you are in a vertical relationship, you invest deeply and seriously in the relationship and in the partner – you put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If that basket falls, your losses are countless. "Your eggs" in horizontal relationships are randomly distributed in several baskets; you do not place all your bets on one horse and your investments are diversified to secure you from bankruptcy. Horizontal relationships are neither fake nor superficial; they are just not deep enough to cause serious damage should someone try to pull your tooth out.
Like my multiple careers, I began juggling multiple partners. I have always complained of the scarcity of good men, yet I found myself attracted to four men at the same time. They have nothing in common but me. I have grown to like them as individuals and to appreciate what each one brings into my life. The intensity that used to ruin my previous vertical relationships is now working in favor of my horizontal relationships. To the four, I am never too available, too focused, too critical, or too demanding simply because what one man lacks the other fulfills and I feel loved and cared for all the time. Moreover, when one man slouches, instead of reprimanding him, as I used to, I would just give more room for the other three to fill in the void that was left behind – and there is room for more.
But before you go ahead and embark on one of those awesome horizontal relationships, you need to know the pros, the cons, and the rules. I have spent enough time analyzing my new experience and I will gladly share with you my findings. Uphill, you will never need to depend on the presence or absence of one person in your life. You will never feel lonely, bored, hurt, insulted, or cheated, and you will never have to spend another weekend alone. You will always have a date, and worst case scenario, you will always have an email, a text message, or a phone call to put a smile on your face. You will never look like a famished Somali kid in front of an open buffet. Basically, you will be happy! Downhill, if you are not the organized type, you will suffer stress, overlapping schedules, exhaustion, and the wear and tear of your mind trying to cope with the constant change. If you are the melancholic type, you will long for the intimacy the builds up in vertical relationships. If you are the committed type, this will not work for you!
But if you want this to work, you must abide by the rules. Honesty is the first and foremost of all the rules; never lie about, or hide from, the fact that you are having multiple partners. Do as you would be done by – you are still an ethical person who does not step allover people in the name of horizontal relationships. Do not promise exclusivity when that is not the case. The second rule is an extension of the first rule; do not claim to enjoy horizontal relationships hoping to entrap a vertical partner. This strategy is doomed to backfire.
The backbone of this type of relationships is to truly, genuinely, and sincerely like your partners – all of them. This is not as easy as it sounds. Most of the time, people who are used to vertical relationships would like one partner and line up the others to fill in his shoes in case of absence or misconduct. This strategy is fatal; being with people you do not like, or with people you like half heartedly, will push you back forcibly into the arms of the one partner you like – and we all know how being clingy is inversely proportionate with being loved. Horizontal relationships are a great illustration of how the sum of the parts could be bigger than the whole; each one of your partners alone would make a wrong partner, but together their weaknesses seem to vanish with the sense of perfection they bring into your life.
I have always pleaded for equality, and it is only fair to remind you that you are free to come and go as you please and so are your partners. Every now and then you will feel a tingling sense of jealousy towards one of your partners but it is never as suffocating or as painful as the jealousy you feel towards your sole partner in vertical relationships. Were there a "flirting nerve" in our body, then this is the type of jealousy that triggers it. Horizontal relationships are, so far, liberating, fulfilling, pleasant, and they add a different flavor to each day. I broke the curse …. My men never lasted more than a month … my four men made it past the first month and some of them made it to two months … I am still experimenting with horizontal relationships and, as always, should I hit a brick wall, I will come back and spill my guts out … until then … I will fly high.