Thoughts on being in a relationship when you’re a TCK

By Angharad


Relationships, feel hard to trust.

At least for me they do.

Not all relationships.

Casual ones usually serve a purpose and then are done or always remain casual but intimate long term /deep /committed /loving /supportive/ fun /adventurous ones have never been something that I’ve felt like I’m good with, therefore I haven’t trusted them. And If they are coated in sex and romance I definitely have messed it up.

I’m in the process right now of deciding to be with a person for a long time. She’s wonderful and patient. Loving and kind. She’s been in her own process and sees mine. She supports it. And its fucking scary as shit. I also have other humans that I am dating, sleeping with, being in love with, and sharing time with. I practice ethical non-monogamy.

I have never, and will never, just take what is expected and run with it. Breaking something down and understanding how I want things to be is what works for me. So, naturally, I do that with relationships. So…

The idea of daily longevity is new.

See I have longevity with some people, my eldest friends that I’ve known since infancy but we’ve never lived in the same place, my nuclear and extended family, college friends, and random smatterings of childhood friends.

But I can pick and choose what parts they know – I can choose to distance the intimate and vulnerable parts of me. And I’m really good at learning what makes people feel seen, charmed, and connected to. I’ve met many people. 10 significant moves in my 30 years of life and daily connections in small ways. Moving let me work beautifully on that skill. I’m really good at the first part of relationships, I know how to get people to like me. I know what parts of me to let shine to get people to want to spend time with me. I am genuinely myself, just not all of me all the time to everybody- definitely not initially.

I’ve learnt to be kind, charismatic, charming, and enthusiastic when meeting people- this often results in people believing that we have a close intimate relationship and me feeling like I am holding so much space for other people. I often can get people to show me their depth without sharing much of mine.

When I was younger I rarely was home- I love my family, a lot. We were tight as a young family, our love is deep. It has to be when you are the only constant in each other’s lives and I wanted to be out with my friends, doing, being, experiencing. I socialized and did things a lot. Home was where I rested, ate, and had my big feelings.

This is true now. I hibernate when I am home. I spent time alone. I sit. I cry. I smoke. I write. I bathe. I have big feelings. I also spend a lot more time at home now than when I was younger, probably because I’m the only one there.

My relationship with myself as increasingly grown to be the most important one I have. I’ve found that when I place myself in primary focus my other relationships are stronger. I charm easier, delve deeper, connected more, and sustain longer.

That trust in relationship, I’m learning, is formed from trust in the self. From knowing the self. From staying planted in the self and interacting from what you need. All relationships have to stem from the self. The primary relationship. You as the focus. The one that can be the hardest to access and to be fully committed to at all times.

This is how I learn to trust other relationships, I trust myself first.

Author: thethirdculturekidproject

Founded by 2 TCKs, the TCK Project aims to bring together TCKs and share our stories. " Many losses are often not acknowledged even by their own parents, and the main problem is unspoken, unrecognized, shunted aside." Through our story sharing, we want to speak of this main problem and cope together. If you're in Singapore, email us!

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