Watching a stupid daytime TV show the other day while eating lunch I heard a man say (paraphrased) "Because my wife cheats on her diet, I can cheat on my wife with other women".
Forgetting about what he said, it did get me to thinking about some things. I've known people in relationships where when one person cheats the other person feels they then have a 'freebie' owed to them. In other words, they can then cheat as well to make things equal. Interesting concept but not one with which I agree. Two wrongs don't make a right. Right?
But more than that is the idea of leading by example. If your kid spills milk you don't turn around and knock over your cup of coffee to teach him/her a lesson do you? Nope, you have them clean up the mess. You show them how to hold a cup properly. To not overfill the cup. Things like that. Leading by example. I like that one. And that's how I try to live my relationships.
Now, that is an example using cheating. It could apply to poly or mono or other relationship types. But what I'm using it for here is a bridge to a somewhat related concept I've seen in some poly relationships. The idea of equality.
The idea of equality as I've seen it implemented both consciously and sub-consciously is as follows: My SO has an SO so I should have an SO. Or, my SO is dating someone so I NEED to be dating someone too. Gosh, I better go find someone quick and make things even!
Why does it need to be even? I'm happy for my loves if they find another love who makes them happy. If at the time I don't have another partner do I wish I did? Very probably. It isn't jealousy, or a need for equality. It is simply knowing the joy they are feeling and wanting to have that same joy for myself. But I'm not going to rush out and grab the first warm body I can find just to 'make it even'.
So what do you think? When your SO has an OSO and you don't, do you feel the need to 'make things even'? What about the opposite? In other words, if you have an OSO and your SO doesn't do you feel guilty or the need to help them find someone?