Concept Creep, Or “You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.”

a lego figure of Inigo Montoya, a character from The Princess Bride
Image by Caleb Wagoner / CC BY

Concept creep has to be one of my biggest pet peeves.

What’s concept creep? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. Concept creep occurs when a concept that originally meant something very specific later comes to encompass a much broader set of unrelated, or only loosely related, phenomena.

Psychology has been particularly plagued by concept creep.  » Read more

Continue Reading

I’ve Made a Conscious Decision Not to Prize the Squeaky Wheel Over the One With Quieter Problems

a photograph of large involved clockwork with many exposed wheels and gears
Image by Piano Piano! / CC BY

Folks who are in emotional crumple zones are the ones others worry the least about upsetting or hurting. Not because they don’t have feelings. And not because they don’t get hurt easily.

Indeed, many folks in the crumple zone are actually quite sensitive — to their own emotions and to the ones of those around them.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Polyamory Helped Me Ditch Codependence and Find Healthy Interdependence

a closeup photo of a rusted chain link joined to two other rusted chain links
Image by Chris Dart / CC BY

Codependence is an overused term implying that normal partner interdependence is somehow dysfunctional.

The concept and terminology came out of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement; the addicted were seen as trapped in a web of dependency with others (their enablers, or codependents) who made excuses for and assisted the addicts in avoiding the consequences of their addiction,  » Read more

Continue Reading

I’m Married to Him, But I’m Not His Primary

a person dressed in black walking down a brick sidewalk towards a brick building. The ground looks wet. It appears to have just rained. Their umbrella has primary colors on it (red, blue, and yellow).
Image by bazzadarambler / CC BY

Fellow poly Clevelander Ferrett Steinmetz recently published a post called “I’m Married to Her, but I’m Not Her Primary.” What renders him secondary, Ferrett writes in this post, is his wife’s commitment to her children from a previous marriage and how she (understandably) prioritizes that role over their relationship.

It’s a nice piece,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Meaningless

Here are four terms that are used in such conflicting ways as to greatly limit their usefulness:

  • High maintenance
  • Co-dependent
  • Bullying
  • Enabling

Through reviewing the available research and interfacing professionally with specialists in these realms, I’ve noticed there is very little consensus on their actual meaning and proper application to people and behaviors.  » Read more

Continue Reading

Inner Voice, Selfishness

I need to write about this because one day I’ll have worked everything out and be so far beyond my current troubles that I’ll forget how I got past this point.

I can hazard a guess, but I don’t know for sure exactly when or why everything changed. Somehow somewhere along the line I stopped listening to my emotions,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Fan Letter to a Total Stranger

Post-It Note

I’m writing to you to thank you for the Post-It tucked inside the front cover of the copy of Women Who Love Too Much I bought secondhand with the list of other “Suggested Reading” you left for the next person who’d read it. Thank you for your insights, the notes you jotted in the margins,  » Read more

Continue Reading

Goodbye, White Knight

In February of 2010, I’m walking through the streets of Bangor late at night in 4-inch patent leather heels with a handsome man holding my hand, steadying me. He’s a friend I’ve made out with a few times. We’ve both had a fair amount of drink, left the party to take a walk for the privacy,  » Read more

Continue Reading