The Black Umbrella Society




Relationships are an important part of our lives that can make us happy, but also sad, sometimes even with the same person, on the very same day. Triggers play many factors, such as changes in our society, access to modern technology, longer life span among others. What will relationships look like in the near future? And how do these relationship models fit in with our own personal needs for growth and expansion of our lives? How can we be happier with the people who surround us and the traditional values that we have been imposed upon? Are we even made for monogamy, is there only one soul mate for us out there?

With the Meet-up »The Black Umbrella Society«, Mark Turrell, supported by Pia Poppenreiter, opens a hotly discussed discussion round each month. The discussion will focus on scientific discoveries, statistics, personal experiences and various relationship models that can work.

I was participating and in this article I report on ideologies, revelations and projects that continue to take a whole new direction to confront the typical traditional generational constructs with the conservative image of functioning relationships as we know them, given that half of marriages today end up divorced and the cheat rate is estimated at 25%.


A vague idea becomes reality:

In yesterday’s round of Meet-Ups: »Why pick one? Let’s investigate poly and other approaches«, Pia made the participants reflect with her new castle project.

Imagine that: A castle and over 3 generations are housed in it. All the typical moral concepts remain shut out. How do you explain to the children that adults shape their relationships the way they do?

A question that paused the group for a brief moment and yet does not represent an unknown concept if you imagine all the communal constellations from the past and present. There have always been and still are isolated individuals who oppose the system in order to build a life according to their personal ideas. A residential community in which people live together in a binding manner and choose their partners freely. Do children who experience a stable community under one roof not grow up healthier? Whether there is a traditional set of roles between mother and father or not. After all, the separation of parents is one of the most formative experiences in the life of a child.


New concepts for truthfulness in relationships:

Society is indicative of the way relationships as couples function and traditional marriage is alive and well in many countries. But what happens when we become more open, honest and think about whether people should really only get along as pairs and have special experiences that have more dimensions, both physical and psychological? Uncertainties in our society shape our thinking from an early age. One can already derive an emotional responsibility from all the movies that give form to our childhood and youth. Cheating is forbidden, it is about honest and open communication, but what if the fear towards your partner is so big that there is no room for honest revelations any longer? Because we have gained the consciousness from our past that sex should only take place within the partnership and actually only serves to preserve the species anyway? Then dishonesty begins and ends with secretly living out sexual desires.


Many deviant relationship concepts make a permanent constellation possible outside the average scheme, that is a fact. The concept of »friends with benefits«, for example, is more and more established in our modern society. Friendships are maintained, friendships gain value in comparison to classical relationships. »Partners in Crime«, a title with which many people can identify themselves better and simply elude traditional models.


The term »Love« is overrated and frightening at the same time. But to accept love as true in different friendly constellations defuses the whole situation. So why should we only be able to experience happiness in a typical set of roles, as we have been forced to experience it? Doesn’t that take away our freedom to love sincerely eventually?


A complex topic, which leaves many questions open and has to be considered individually, in my opinion. Given this complexity, the »Black Umbrella Society« events will probably never end and always provide new food for thought. By the way, the next meeting will take place on November 22nd 2018 and will deal with the topic: »relationship rules«, for all those who want to establish some freedom in their monogamous relationship and general rules that can lead to a more exciting and happier partnership.

For my part, I will always move somewhere in between. I am not conservative enough for the conservatives and not wild enough for the wild. I believe in sincere, multi-layered love that crosses boundaries, that brings fulfillment and enriches life with people we grant access to our hearts. I don’t believe in an everyday life that can only be spent in one bedroom, because at the end the core of our being has to focus on autonomy and the individual note gains value only when we can withdraw, create space that is meant for us alone. I hope for a future in which people are ready to allow their vulnerable sides to blossom, not to transfer their disappointments to the next potential partner and remain brave to risk more.