Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory

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Today I met SMF for lunch.

He told me he needed space and distance to decide what he needs and wants.

Ironically, I almost told him the same thing about a month ago.  That I needed space and distance.  I wrote a long email discussing some of the hurts of our relationship that I still carried.

I chose not to send the email at the time.  The act of writing it was amazingly therapeutic, and I didn’t need to share those things with him then, and I wasn’t ready to force any distance between us.  I wrote myself a permission slip to chill the fuck out until December first, and then reevaluate.

So there it is.

We have had plans for Thanksgiving evening at my house for games and pie with our families, and that is still happening.  I feel weird and uncomfortable, but it is what it is.  I feel exposed and vulnerable.  I feel sad for our respective hurts.  I feel stupid and naive and tired.

I did send him the email I wrote a month ago after we said goodbye this afternoon.  I needed to release those things.  I needed him to know my point of view.

A few hours after our lunch, I met Benjamin for dinner.  It was good to see him, he is so kind and sweet, and he says I am pretty and that he loves how expressive my face is.

He also referred to me in passing as his girlfriend.  It’s…interesting to be transitioning out of one relationship, and transitioning into another relationship at the same time.  Each relationship affects me, and today I did struggle a little with Benjamin, because I was pretty caught up internally with SMF.  I’m not sure how exactly to compartmentalize.  But I think I need to figure that out.

I still don’t know what will happen with Special Man Friend. He will always be special to me, but for now we are disengaging.

And it hurts.





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I’m seeing someone new.  He’s sweet, kind, affectionate.  He’s cooked for me, confided in me, asked to see me every day.

I’m cautious.  Nervous.

I’m trying to go at my own pace, even though it means I have to tell him I can’t see him every day, and it feels awkward.  We’ve only had a few dates, and while I am enjoying him, it also is kind of scary.  My heart is healing, but it’s still tender, like a bruise in the last stages of yellow and pale green.

I’m naming him Benjamin.  It’a nod to his age, which is younger then mine, enough so that I get to feel like Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.  Which bothers me less than I thought it would, as I get to know him and the kind of person he is.

He says he doesn’t identify as poly, though he has had positive experiences with non-monogamy, and is fully aware that I am. He is not currently partnered or involved with anyone else.  I met him last year when I was involved with caring for someone in his family, and I ran into him again recently and he immediately told me he had been drawn to me then, but the timing wasn’t right.

It’s sweet.  I’m exploring.



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“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity…The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gifts From The Sea

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When I broke things off with Special Man friend, I had no plans past that day; that week.  I gave up.  I walked away from the most important chosen relationship of my adult life, for several reasons, which I have been trying to make sense of, and peace with for several months.

I had no plans to be sitting in a coffee shop with him three months later, though I am happy that we are trying to remain connected.  Our split did not happen because of lack of love.  I don’t know what is going to happen, and to be honest, that makes me crazy.  We remain important to each other in a not quite platonic way, but we are not romantically involved, though we still hold hands, which is very soothing and comfortable.

I miss him. He is here, but we are trying to redefine our relationship and sometimes it feels kind of awkward and uncomfortable.  He says he hasn’t gone away, and doesn’t want me to go away.

I am single and solo.  I have not felt ready to truly pursue other connections, though I have been on several dates. This breakup triggered unresolved grief from my exhusband’s suicide, so that has been added into the pot of things I need to deal with.  I’ve started going to a “survivors of suicide loss” group, and it’s helping.  Just walking into the room the first night was huge.

I am doing well.  I feel glimmers of myself getting brighter.  I have been working through a major depressive disorder, and realizing that it has likely been with me for many years.  It doesn’t account for all the things that went wrong with SMF, but I am convinced that it was a major contributing factor, even if that just means that my foundation of “being” in the world and relating to people has been flawed and even shut down for a long, long time.  My exhusband of 16 years battled mental illnes…and I held everything together.  I realize now that I have been cycling through periods of major depression since my teens, but you don’t know what you don’t know. There was always a reason to be stressed and tired: small children, a volitile husband, working the nightshift.  Teenagers.  Being the sole parent and breadwinner.

I could always rationalize how I was feeling, and I assumed that was just part of being a grownup.

It makes me sad and mad that I lost so many years feeling bad.

So here I am.  Figuring it out.  Reaching out for support. Trying to own my shit, because I hurt a lot of people, and shut a lot of people out.  My sweet friend Amy told me a couple of months ago that I needed to let people love me.  And that she had been waiting for me to come back for a long time.

I am flooded with emotions almost every day, and it almost feels like I am having to feel the emotions and feelings of the last twenty five years…every single one of them.

Some days it’s terrifying.  And still, I have to do it, feel it, and try somehow to release it.

It feels risky to be sitting here with SMF.  To be vulnerable in being honest and trying to heal ourselves, and our relationship, whatever it looks like.  We may end up being best platonic friends until we die.  We may end up deciding together that it’s time for our paths to diverge completely.  We may decide to revisit and continue a romantic attachment.

I cannot predict.  One day I think I know which direction we are going, and 24 hours later I am equally convinced of something completely different.  SMF says to be open and present, and free of expectations.

And that just makes me crazy.