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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Horizontal Relationships – Updates and Q&A

It has been almost two weeks since I wrote about my experience with horizontal relationships. I promised to be honest with my updates and here I am again. Natural selection and Darwinism played their role in filtering my eggs. I have to admit that I was so sad to lose three of my guys; yes, I lost three in one week!
The first guy was too pushy and all our conversations started with and ended in WH-Questions; where are you? Why don’t you answer my calls? What are you doing? Who are you with?
The second and the third are only good for desperate girls who have nothing better, or no one better, to invest in. They were both nice to flirt with but it started and ended with nothing but high school games – so futile and so unproductive.

I still like the fourth but I am missing the fun and excitement of putting my eggs in more than one basket. I feel that I am sliding slowly in a vertical relationship simply because I do not like anyone else at the moment.

What is a vertical relationship?
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. Vertical relationships do not have a depth limit to them ... so if you stay a day and you dig a meter then when you are there for a week it is another few meters ... and so on ... as long as you are investing then it is vertical how far, how long, how deep, do not change the vertical aspect.

What are horizontal relationships?
“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.

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. There is a continuous elimination process ... sort of a survival for the fittest process. If one of them becomes a burden or too much work he is expelled and replaced when I happen to like someone else. The value of the relationship is directly proportional to what the partner brings into your life. It is the ideal antidote for taking someone for granted; you snooze ... you loose.

What is the difference between horizontal relationships and open relationships?
In an open relationship, you are in a relationship with one main partner but you allow yourself to play with others. In horizontal relationships your one and only commitment is to yourself; what you feel like doing and who you feel like being with.

What is the difference between horizontal relationships and friends with benefits?
Friends with benefits are basically friendships that got comfortable enough to allow physical episodes. Horizontal relationships involve all the dating aspects. It is not a friendship.

What is the difference between horizontal relations and casual dates?
Casual dates have zero depth. You do not want, or care, to know your partner. You just want to spend some good time. In horizontal relations you genuinely care. You are sincere.

Can my horizontal partner be married?
No - It makes you his mistress not his partner.

Can my horizontal partner be dating someone else?
If he/she does not know, then no - It makes it an affair not a relationship.

Can my horizontal partner keep me in the dark?
No - you turn from a partner to a dark nasty ugly disgusting secret.

What are the advantages of having horizontal relationships?

* Emotional Independence - You will never need to depend on the presence or absence of one person in your life.
* Fulfillment - You will never feel lonely, bored, hurt, insulted, or cheated, and you will never have to spend another weekend alone.
* Attention - 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.
* Balance - 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.
* Content - 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.
* Horizontal relationships are, so far, liberating, fulfilling, pleasant, and they add a different flavor to each day.
What are the disadvantages of horizontal relationships?

* 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!
* If you are looking for marriage and kids, this will not work for you too!
* Confusion and mixed up emotions is very likely to happen.
* Subconsciously comparing your partners is always a threat.
* Becoming too self-involved and too self-centered is a natural outcome.
* Being called a slut by people who cannot understand what you are saying.
What are 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.
* Do not claim to enjoy horizontal relationships hoping to entrap a vertical partner. This strategy is doomed to backfire.
* You have 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.
* 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.

Do you get jealous in horizontal relationships?
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.

Jealousy happens for two reasons: 1) you are insecure, or 2) you have higher expectations that what your partner could fulfill.
In this type of relationship, you are not insecure and you have zero expectations ... so the only jealousy that you feel is when you see that person showing interest in someone else ... when that happens, it just makes you more competitive and territorial in a positive way - you will try to be a better person instead of turning his life into a living hell.
“As time passes and u check your investment u will find minimum return corresponding to the minimum effort, time”
False! As time passes the weak eggs perish and you are only left with the strong assets. Plus who said anything about minimum effort and minimum time? Horizontal relationships are neither fake nor superficial; they just help you get what you want without pressuring people to give what they are not capable of.

“With time this wont be acceptable, with time we will all long for intimacy to fill the void inside us.”
False! If you are so dependent on intimacy then you are not equipped for horizontal relations. Check the definitions above to know where you are and what you are getting yourself into.

“Horizontal relationships are like takeaway food; it stops your hunger but u can not remember its taste.”
False! One night stands are take away food ... but this is so so different ... you dine in ... but you do not dine in one restaurant all the time.

“It’s like poker, you bet too high, you either win big or become flat broke (Vertical relationship) On the other hand, if you bet low; or fairly moderate, you won’t loose that much but if you do win (definition needed), that’s your “kick” which is sadly; momentarily. (Horizontal relationship)”
If winning = marriage then you will lose. If winning = commitment then you will suffer. If winning = anything but being happy now and who the hell cares about tomorrow then you will win and a momentarily high is your aim after all.

“Don't you think that one day, horizontal relationships, would ever make you feel lonely deep inside, even with the presence of the 4 guys?”
On the contrary; loneliness comes from being with people you do not care about or from people who do not care about you. In vertical relationships, you can be the loneliest person ever because your partner has no interest in you, or in what you do. In horizontal relations (please read the rules again) you are with people you DO like. Loneliness happens when you are empty from the inside ... and you are empty from the inside when you do not relate to your partner/s. In this relationship ... I like them all and there are touch points with each one.

Could we apply that for getting married to four?
No. This is a dating model not a marriage or family model.

“This is the pattern of relations everyone have after we break up specially after long termed relations; we feel a bit unsecured … u call it horizontal and i call it dilemma :)”
Nop the Dilemma is whether you can handle and fully understand horizontal relationships or not.

Can we turn a horizontal relation into an exclusive one by time?
“Be exclusive” is a voice of someone who cannot compete on the market, hence wants a guarantee ... it is way way gratifying to find a person who wants to be with you and only you out of love not out of a deal.

Are horizontal relationships a form of cheating?
Cheating is about being dishonest and lying. In this scenario the two are ruled out. We just give one another enough space to be.

Men will not welcome a girl in horizontal relations
False! If a man is confident enough he will not mind competition ... I do not mind competition ... I know who I am and I know what I have to offer ... funny enough the men who used to be so laid back taking my presence for granted are now working their asses off to get a bigger part of me! Love has to be earned ... I am waiting
The fool puts his eggs in more than one basket; the wise puts them in one basket and guards them well.
False: Protecting the basket is so consuming and you might end up putting in so much effort protecting worthless eggs ... leave it to natural selection … nature will expire rotten eggs and will nourish and protect good ones.

Will that make you loose/immoral?
No you are very structured, very honest, very moral, and very devoted - to yourself
What happens if I get attached?
Attachment is not part of that deal.What if all your partners ask you for a date in the same time, how will you handle that situation?They would never ask me for a date on the same day ... but let's assume that this day is Valentine's Day ... I will just consult my selfish self and decide who will have the pleasure of my company.

“When you talk about jealousy, and the person becoming more competitive in a so-called "positive" way, you are degrading yourself, and your partners. People will compete - only until they close a sale. If they compete again tomorrow, then that is to close a new sale. If a man or woman has a relation in which they do that type of competition - then they will only invest as much as they need to buy (or sell) today's share of pleasure.”

Those are the words of a person who hates competition and wants Egypt Air to be the national carrier forever regardless of the quality of the service or its competitiveness in the market. There is no such thing as closing a deal nowadays … the new trend is CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and that means you continue to serve and please your current customer because the cost of a new customer is 6 times higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer.

“Relationships - whether you call it horizontal or vertical - are about the other person being there for you - especially, when you have nothing to offer. That's what friendship is - the simplest form of a one-to-one not-otherwise-related relationship. You don’t pay the price for some good company unless you are desperate.”

Desperate is putting up with some silly good-for-nothing person in your life just because you think this is a steady relationship.

“You can think of these men as friends with benefits, but that's as good as it can get. Otherwise, when he picks up the bill for dinner - then that's how much money he invested in return for your company today. Tomorrow is a new sale.”

These words are so far from the truth. Read above the difference between this relationship and horizontal relations. For more insight on: who picks up the check, read my “I am half a woman” article.

"U might not be hurt half as bad as u would otherwise but can u feel half as good?"
It feels better .... remember the rules... you have to really like your partners ... otherwise you will be miserable ... and their presence will make you lonelier than ever.
"Can u stop urself from the inevitable game of favs? finding urself attracted just a tad bit more to someone?"
I do not know how other people function but I do not have a problem favoring one partner over the others ... it is not about them .. it is about me.
"Does that make u feel wholesome or just as u describe it a fragment of what HIS perfect woman should be?"
Believe it or not I am fine with that .. I am not perfect .. I cannot be molded ... I hate pressure.
"it is the ideal antidote for taking someone for granted ... you snooze .. you loose ... You know, you'd make a great sales manager - keep your staff on their tip-toes. Meet your targets, or help yourself to the door! - It works, but you have to pitch in some security to get a loyal employee who won't ditch you at the first next-best offer. As for a relation - there is a level of trust, security, etc. that you have to reach in order to call it a "relation".

Once again we are back to security. People who seek security, stability, stagnation, and a signed contract are not fit for horizontal relations.

If you have a car that you value, you don't dump it when it snoozes - but when a match-stick snoozes, you trash it. How valuable are you to your partners? And how valuable are your partners to you?

Your value is directly proportional to what you bring to the life of your partner; it could be great conversation, fun outings, warmth, no pressure, or anything that you have to offer other than the chains of commitment. The value of the partner is directly proportional to what the partner brings into your life.


Fidodido said...

i love this post . specially the question about relationships and last question and your identify for friendship. i found your answers match with what I'm believe in th these matters :)

Ahmed Effat said...

Thanks for sharing the experience, and thank you for being honest about it.
i'm not pretty much convinced with the Horizontal relationships. but i do like that someone could set some rules and took about it.
the article is useful. and professional.

ياسمين شعيتو said...

Hah, this is so interesting!
My whole life I wanted to be the horizontal relationships type. But I know that my nature is too devotional. Though I sometimes wish so bad that I could be that self-centered and look for what is merely best for me, I still at other times wonder whether I could be lucky for being able to actually experience all the disadvantages of vertical relationships. I mean I do suffer from all those disadvantages you mentioned, but I suppose my nature, the little "me"s inside, they make me believe that I am strong for being able to offer and receive the screwed up emotions and dilemma that commitment brings about. I don't know if things will change with time, since I am too young to be stable, but I am not willing to think of it too much at the moment.
Other than that, this reminds me of "conversations with God" and "the prophet", my favourite two books.