As the year draws to a close here at The Heatley Cliff, one cannot help but reflect on good times shared and memories made.
Of course I think about the highs and lows – the Whos and Whats and Oh Gods! I have a wonderful, loving family that have been around for them all. But I think it’s only my Non-Sexual Life Partner, Sher, that gets how I not only rank these events, but knows exactly where I put them in my mental lock box.
I think the thing that surprised Sher and I the most when we began podcasting was not the barrage of fanmail raving about how clever we are (more than 10 less than 20) but the dozens of emails we’ve received where our cyber pals share stories about their own NSLPs. Sure, I mean, I have plenty of friends. I have great friends that I have known since childhood and many , many acquaintances. But just as there is only one love of my life, when it comes to NSLPs, there is only Sher.
What makes a non-sexual life partner? Well, the first thing is that THEY ARE NON-SEXUAL. I’m not into women in that way, but even if I was, it wouldn’t be Sher (not that you aren’t really pretty). I don’t know about you, but man or woman, there are certain things that I don’t want to share with the person I am intimate with on that level. Like, for example the amount of cellulite on my rear when I am sitting a certain way or in a particular bathing suit. The person I am sleeping with doesn’t need to be privvy to the inner workings of my body or how neurotic I am about certain things. Mostly, I cannot talk ABOUT the person I am having sex with TO the person I am having sex with. This is why it always amuses me when the rags say that Oprah and Gayle (perhaps the most famous of all NSLPs out there) are lovers. Really? First of all, you think Oprah would give two hoots and a damn if she really was gay? She’s the most powerful woman on earth with or without anyone’s approval. And two – you think she talks about the same things with Gayle that she does with Stedman? Please.
The NSLP is not the Yin to your Yang. Your Yins and Yangs are equally distributed in the exact same places. For Sher and I, a perfect day begins with shopping at a funky out of the way boutique (maybe in Paris?) and ends with us curled up on the coach drinking tea (or booze) knitting away and watching Downton Abbey or anything with Michael Fassbender in it. We are basically the same person in two bodies which totally works in a NSLP situation – but not so much in an actual Life Partner way. A healthy relationship requires two individuals remaining individuals. Otherwise, one person is bound to get lost in the other and when that happens, invariably the relationship falls apart because the lostee wonders where that person they fell in love with got lost to.
Are you lucky enough to have a NSLP? Is there a Ben to your Matt or a Jennifer to your Courtney? If not, don’t worry. It might take a while to find that singular person who is so much like you that you could talk to them all day long but, because they are so like you, words are often superfluous. Your NSLP just gets it. In case you were wondering, here is what a Non-Sexual Life Partner IS NOT: someone you have to tone down something great for because you are worried they will feel left out. They don’t make you feel guilty because you have been so overwhelmed during the week that you haven’t been in touch, or alternately they don’t care if you call 10 times in one day because you are about a hairs breath away from losing your s*#t. You don’t have to explain to your NSLP why you liked a certain book or film and you certainly wouldn’t have to lie and say you liked something when you didn’t so as not to feel like a moron. Most likely, they felt the exact same way about it. You don’t ever have to do anything with your Non Sexual Life Partner, you don’t need to make plans. Whether it be just sitting around the house, baking a gourmet meal, fly fishing or ironing, you love the same things and somehow, they are just there.
So if you are lucky enough to have a NSLP, make sure to let them know during this holiday season how much you appreciate them. Because even though you are obviously both on the same page, every relationship in one’s life needs to be acknowledged and even if only occasionally, remarked upon. Once found, a Non-Sexual Life Partner would be incredibly hard to lose. So find a way to say how much they mean to you in a way that only they would get.
Listen to our podcast here, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Heatley Cliff.