First, I loved this piece. In addition, I felt seen and understood, I saw and understood better, it was truly incredible.

I do want to push back on Claims and what you say about non-attachment. I think we are all interdependent, and therefore feeling attached to one another as providers of our needs is normal and natural and unavoidable. Attachment in and of itself isn’t a problem — unhealthy levels of attachment, such as complete dependency on one person for too many needs at all times, is an unhealthy level. Eating spinach is good for you, but not if it’s all you eat for every meal. Everything can be good for you. I think everyone has particular levels of attachment in particular ways that are healthy for them.

Second, on Claims. Hearing a statement like that from a partner doesn’t make me feel like something nonconsensual has happened, though I completely understand why for others, it would. If I’m really digging on someone, hearing a claim like that makes me feel safe. It makes me feel like there is commitment there I can depend on, and that this person wants to be in my life going forward. For you, it sounds like, these things made you feel not safe, because they felt like they were erasing your sense of agency. Maybe “feeling unsafe” or “feeling like you don’t have agency” would make more sense?

I like that you called them “Claims” and not “Promises” or “Commitments,” because I think we both agree that commitment to being in someone’s life and working through hardship together can be very, very healthy.

This is a long response, and I’ve spent more time picking apart what I disagreed with than validating what I loved about it, which was the vast majority and truly all of it, even the parts I didn’t quite sync up with, I just worked through them. I’m chuckling because I guess that means what I have for this article is love. In the immortal words of Donald Trump Jr., “I love it!”

God, this is Anna. Writing for a world where many worlds fit.