Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Girls~

An interesting thing happened when I wasn’t paying attention.

I started getting butterflies in my stomach over a girl.  Or three.

Girl One:  My sweet long distance friend who has always made me a little giddy, from the first time I read her writing, and eventually was able to spend time with in person.  (That sounds a little stalkerish when I put it like that, but it’s been a fantastic friendship.)  Special Man and I are heading to Seattle for a real mini-vacation next week, and I can’t wait to see her and talk and laugh and actually be in each other’s personal space…and the thought of getting to cuddle and smooch and see where that may lead, makes me smile every single day.

Girl Two:  A sparkly girl who took me by surprise and I found myself daydreaming about what it might be like to date a girl.  How it might feel to be romantically and emotionaly invloved with a woman. Then an interesting thing happened…She and Special Man Friend started to chat and she and her partner and SMF and CC did a few things together, and now tonight, he’s out on a date with my sparkly little girl crush.  I was mad for a few minutes.  Okay, I was mad for a few days.  I felt like he had stolen her or something.  I’m not mad any more, and I feel kind of silly about it, but I’m not daydreaming about her anymore.

Girl Three:  This is more complicated.  She and her partner are fun, friendly and just downright nice.  She is smart and honest and I just want to kiss her face off. He is funny and fun and thinks I’m pretty. I have had some frank and awkward conversations with each of them individually, trying to sort through their wants, and their agreements and boundaries with each other. I don’t.want to play by any rules that I wasn’t part of creating.  I’m not a unicorn. I also don’t want to get vested and then get hurt.  Even as I say that, I  realize that there is no guarantee, no matter who I date or become attached to. And,  I’m already vested.  I really like both of them.

Yet, I am starting to date two individuals who are partnered.  And it’s completely new and scary.  It’s scary for me, and it’s added a layer of uncertainty with Special Man Friend.  I think he’s happy when I am happy, I really do.  But he is nervous, I believe.

I am too.


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~The 200~

Our Poly Network continues to grow.  We planned a night out to celebrate our 200th member, and by the time the night rolled around we were at 240.  In Boise.  It’s what I’ve wanted for such a long time.  Community is such an amazing resource.

CC and Special Man Friend were in Texas for a funeral on the day of our celebration, and it just happened to be SMF’s birthday as well.  It was a fun night, though I did miss him.  I felt comfortable and I felt happy.  I connected with friends, and I met some new faces.  I kissed a girl in the restroom.  I kissed another girl on the balcony.  I was consensually groped by a friend, very sweetly.  I gave a friend a ride home, and fooled around a little with him too.

SMF worries that I have more fun when he isn’t around, because I’m being stifled by him.  At least this is what I think he is saying.  Honestly I think that when we are together, we are TOGETHER, and it’s everyone else who is stifled.  People were more flirty and more forward, which really doesn’t happen when I’m holding Special Man’s hand, as we are often together in the poly community.  It seems so obvious, but I really hadn’t thought about it like that before.  It was fun to be on my own.

I think that makes him feel bad, but I also know that he knows what that feels like, to enjoy the lightness and excitement of new people or connections, because we’ve talked about exactly that before.  I think I’ve got an internal push and pull going…I almost feel as if I should apologize for having a good time withough him, when he had to be at a funeral on his birthday because his wife’s uncle passed away.

I know this is an emotional impulse.  We both know that being open to others, and choosing our experiences, is important and valuable to us.

I still struggle with feelings of posession.

 


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~Hearts~

We ate steak, at 4:15 in the afternoon, two days before Valentine’s Day. When you’re polyamorous, you have to be flexible; creative.  It only bothers me on Christmas, this holiday flexibility, but even then, not as much as in the beginning of my experience with polyamory.  I gave him a stack of books, individually wrapped, chosen on a late afternoon trip to the bookstore.  I wandered the aisles, running my hand along the spines, pausing on the shelves that held stories about things that he loved.  I chose a book about puppies.  A novel with a deep sea fishing theme.  A coffee table book that showcased Idaho, a compilation of cult movie classics.  A hardbound book all about wind and weather, with beautiful pictures and scientific explanations.

It felt good, to know someone that well.  It didn’t feel boring, or old.  It felt comfortable and stable.  I had tickets to a showing of “Say Anything” at The Egyptian on that night, the night that wasn’t Valentine’s Day.  I planned ahead, I wanted to do something fun.

I didn’t print the tickets soon enough, technology kind of screwed me.  We missed the movie.

We ended up having an intense conversation about our functioning parameters as a poly contellation…about comfort levels, and discretion.  Special Man asked me if I wanted things to be different.

I said yes.

We are more compartmentalized than I would ideally like to be.  It’s just what we developed into over the years.  Early on, there were many struggles, things between CC and myself that I never expected we could come back from.  We have a comfortable relationship now, which still feels a little…polite.  We are both cautious with each other, and I feel an underlying tentativeness when we are all three together.  While it is not distressing, it is there. Still, there is an comfortable ease that is not unfriendly.

Do I wish it was different?  Yes.  And that was hard for SMF to hear, and understand.

Polyamory is hard.  That doesn’t mean it’s not also good. I think he gets that.  I hope he gets that.

Later that night, we stopped by a bar where our local poly group was getting together for karaoke.  Montana was there alone, and as I watched Special Man Friend talking with her, I realized that this compartmentalization has been the norm so long that I haven’t had enough exposure to seeing him at ease and enjoying another partner.   I felt a little awkward and out of place.

Which really only proved my point.  To myself.

 

 

 

 


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~Atlanta~

I did it.

I flew to Atlanta, presented two classes at Atlanta Poly Weekend, and flew home.  I did not get lost, I did not miss any flights.  I navigated an entire three days of high level social interaction, on my own.  I knew a handful of people, and that made a huge difference.  My friend Amul was very much my saving grace, and I hope he knows it.  He picked me up from the airport, and delivered me to the conference hotel, even though he had plans that night with other friends.  He graciously extended an open invitation to me to join them, but I needed to prepare for my classes, and some alone time in a hotel room sounded perfect.

I forgot a few important things, first, my camera, which was disappointing because I love doing portraits, and a poly con would be an awesome place for some divine people shots.  And the second thing I forgot, was my hair product.  Now, don’t laugh. A curly haired girl in Atlanta with no hair product… I almost cried!  But I learned a wonderful thing.

Nobody cares.  I had a great time, and my curly hair did too…

I met a new friend, who was interesting and funny, and ended up talking me through using the public transportation system in Atlanta to get myself to the airport for my return flight.  It seems silly, I mean I function in my every day life as a competent single woman, with all sorts of responsibilities and things I’m in charge of, but I was amazingly overwhelmed in Atlanta.  I’m truly a small town girl, and I didn’t even realize it until I wasn’t in the small town for a few days.

I led an amazing discussion on polyamory and mental health.  It was so very well received, and I am positive I got as much out of it as I put into it.  Such wonderful and self aware people and the discussion was just fantastic.

My cute new friend attended my solo poly discussion and stood out as very well spoken and thoughtful in his contributions to the conversation.  He sent me a text a few days ago, saying he was looking forward to reading my blog write up about the weekend…  He needs a name, so I’m naming him Texas.  Not particularly original, but it suits him.

I wish I had a hot and heavy encounter in an elevator to write about, but the truth is I fell asleep on his shoulder my last night in Atlanta, in the middle of a story he was telling me, and he gathered me and my things up and walked me back to the room I was sharing with Amul. I’m shy and he’s younger than me, and he’s very pretty.  The next day he made sure I made it onto the MARTA so I could make my flight home, and I found myself wishing I had another day to hang out and hear the rest of his story.

I have two potential dating partners here, not counting Special Man Friend, but I’m stuck or something.  I feel a little whiny and worn out, like a three year old who needs a nap.  “But I don’t wanna get to know new people.  I don’t WANNA date.”

Except that I really do want additional connections, and dating and newness, and everything that goes along with it, is the process.  I see SMF, and how energized he gets with new potential connections, and honestly I’m envious of the enjoyment he gets out of that great unknown.  Where he gets excited, I get a stomach ache.

I need a nap.   


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~Proven~

I like having relationships.  I like connection, and intimacy, and comfortably “fitting” with another person in some way.  This includes my children, my work friends, my sisters, not just romantic relationships.

On my OkCupid profile, which really should be rewritten at some point, I say that I “hate” first dates.  This is probably an understatement.  I also say that I’d just like to be teleported into Date Three, and that would be just fine, thank you very much.  Unfortunately, nobody has found a way to do that for me yet.  Both the Hippie and the Reporter kind of dance around me, saying hello, making small talk, confusing the hell out of me.  I told my sweet friend Amy this week, that I’m not in any mood to spoon feed Reporter my awesomeness.

I was sort of kidding.  But mostly not.

I’m too old for this.  I want sincere, honest, open people who know what they want.  I don’t want to make small talk forever! Tell me what you want.  You want a casual twice a month lunch and afternoon sex date?  Let’s negotiate.  You want a lust filled, mad love affair?  Let’s talk.  You want to explore a deep emotional connection?  Tell me more.  Do you want a chat buddy?  Meh.

I’m a busy, busy girl…


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~Early~

It’s six in the morning.

I can’t sleep.  Special Man Friend is asleep upstairs, in my bed.  I feel so far away from him, but I can’t tell him that.  He’s got his own demons, and he’s holding them very close to the vest.  (What an interesting phrase that is…)

I don’t know what to do or say.  I want to make him talk.  He’s told me in the past, that when he gets like this, which isn’t very often, that he just needs me to be okay on my own, and not take it personally that he’s shut me out.

I hate it.

My mind goes everywhere. I know that he is spread so thin, that something is going to have to go, soon.  I’m afraid it’s going to be his emotional well-being.  My deepest fear is that it’s going to be me.

I’m not perfect.  But I work really hard to be a good partner.

Mrs. A read my whole blog.  It didn’t go over well.

How do I write and continue to grow in my poly if I’m gagged?  This has been my place for self expression.   I don’t have anyone to talk to, except SMF and CC, and there’s issues with being completely open with each of them, because of their relationship to each other.  I’ve gotten the feeling lately that I’ve over shared with CC, and that puts her in a strange position.  We both have issues surrounding Mrs. A, but peeling away the layers of that situation is proving to be difficult.  Yes. I would have some processing and adjusting to do with any new girl he started to get close to.  That’s the nature of this kind of relationship configuration.

But I have some real and valid concerns.  Even if they are only valid to me.

Special Man goes back and forth.  He says he respects how I feel, but then I feel that he is impatient and has different expectations.

I have this sick feeling that he just thinks I’m doing bad poly.

But he would be wrong about that.

I told Mrs. A that she should not read my blog if it was going to bother her.  I suppose I should tell Special Man Friend the same thing.  He and I need to talk, about a lot of things.  But he’s asleep and I’m awake.  And I don’t know how far away from me he will be when he wakes.

This has been a challenging week.  At the beginning of the week, we both said we needed to have a relationship maintenance talk as soon as we could.  Between work, and scheduling, last night is the first opportunity we have had to be together, and he was not ready to talk.  I can’t go another week.

I was so looking forward to Valentine’s Day this year. I think I want a do-over.


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~Another~

I’m going out on a First Date on Saturday.

Maybe.

I get the distinct impression that this guy expects (anticipates?) first date sex. He seems nice.  He’s smart (I think), sort of funny (hard to say), super enthusiastic (like a lab puppy that I’m not quite sure I have the energy for).

He’s older, educated, used to be a reporter.  The Reporter found me on OkCupid; there’s been chatting, not much else.  He doesn’t even have my number.

I was also propositioned by two men today, and called a sarcastic bitch by another.  All on the lovely internet.

I’m too shy for this. Wait. No, I’m an introvert. That sounds much cooler.

Last night I had a quick dinner with Special Man at Whole Foods.  He invited CC along, after her dinner date canceled on her.  It was good, comfortable, easy.  We’ve earned it.  I sat there, very grateful in that moment.  We made plans for two weeks out for games and tacos with kids and family.

Some days I wonder if I should just be happy with what I have. Just be fucking happy.


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~Flight~

Wendover, Nevada.

Oh my goodness: A thirty eight minute flight on a plane which was filled with excited and chatty senior citizens.  Special Man Friend found a dirt cheap weekend package, and apparently it’s very popular with the over 65 crowd.  It’s been a good giggle. (I know I’m no spring chicken.  But come on!  I’ve got fifteen years until I’m even sixty!)

We are here until tomorrow.  It’s been good for me I think.  Mostly the sleep.  SMF played poker last night, and I slept from 8:30 on.

Wait.  Maybe I am ready to be part of the Senior’s Fun Tour.  Darn.

SMF saw Mrs. A several times in the last week.  It was hard for me.  I hate that it’s hard for me.  I am trying to be gentle with myself. I have been able to relax more about his weekly date with her.  But midway through his third time seeing her in a week, I just had reached some kind of critical mass.  It doesn’t matter how secure I am in the fact that he loves me.  It doesn’t matter how reassuring he is.  It doesn’t matter how many self-love techniques I use, or poly books I read.

I am a poly girl, with a mono- minded heart. I work hard to be happy.  I am loved, and I know that SMF will be there for me, whatever I need.  But man, it’s hard sometimes. I  am not sure how to navigate this specific issue. In three and a half years with him, I haven’t ever had to deal with him having three dates with someone else in a single week.  It sounds silly when I type it out, but it is not silly. I am a good person with real feelings.  I have to forgive myself for struggling, because the last thing I need is to be mad at myself for having feelings.

So do I suck it up and deal?  Do I ask him to slow down a little for my sanity?  Do I just wait and see if it happens again?  I think this week may have been a fluke, but I was completely blindsided by the intensity of my discomfort.  CC is out of town, and there has been so much going on the last few weeks, that date nights have been moved around and his time with Mrs. A has been inconsistent.  I tell myself that he has consistently been there for me, and I am not losing time with him.

But there’s still part of me that is uncomfortable.  I think I’m afraid.  Afraid that he doesn’t have room for all three of us, and that I will get the proverbial boot. Afraid that she is cuter, funner (funner is totally a word), thinner, newer, smiley-er, easier, simpler, sexier… happier.     And who wouldn’t want to be around someone who was happy.

Things have been really heavy lately.  Special Man has not once, batted an eye about taking on what he can in an effort to support me, and to support my kids. He is my best friend, and my biggest supporter. The bulk of my life falls on me, and he knows that.  But when he steals me away for a cup of coffee, or lets me cry while he holds me, or takes the kids to the library he gives me the chance to breathe.  The chance to regroup.  The chance to find some peace again.  He honors his commitment to me.

That’s what my logic tells me.  I wish my little emotional heart would listen to my amazingly logical brain.  Damn heart.

I’m sitting on the fringes of a noisy, smokey casino, with a very bad cup of coffee, while he upstairs in our room, stealing a nap for an hour.  (The biggest shock to my system on this little trip has been the smoke filled casinos. In Idaho, you can’t smoke in public places unless you’re in a designated smoking area, so this level of second hand smoke is making me nuts!)

Tomorrow we head home.  I feel good.  I had a doctor’s appointment a few days ago (a follow up for my cancer history)  and she found a few things in my bloodwork that we are hopeful will be able to be corrected with changes in medication and , supplements and I’m making a six week recovery plan to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of the last few months.

I feel positive.  I’m looking forward.


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~Distance~

I was talking to a nice man on OKCupid, who lives in Washington.  I asked a few questions.  You see, not only do I not want to waste my time with an impossible or potentially difficult connection, I also do not want to waste HIS time.

I’m considerate like that.

We are a high-ish match. 91%. He was polite, respectful, conversational, interesting. The distance, while challenging, was not a dealbreaker for me, for the right connection.

Me:  So tell me about your open relationship… You don’t mention it in your profile, but it’s in your relationship status.

WAGuy:  A little while ago, my wife and I decided we were comfortable pursuing other relationships. We have both dated and found that so far we are comfortable with it. I know some people are not OK with it, so totally understand if you are not.

Me:  How long is a little while ago?

WAGuy:  Probably about 12 or 14 months now. We had been both thinking of it for a while, but were afraid to bring it up

Me:  Ok, and can I ask, what kinds of rules, if any, you two have between yourselves? Like what exactly is your ideal “open” situation?

WAGuy:  Hmm. Not so much rules, I guess, more of a set of agreements or understandings.
No hiding or lying.
We can share as much or as little as one asks, but if they ask, they can’t get upset at the answer. If that makes any sense.
If you learn something new, you have to come home and share. (this is the best part).
People we meet have to be aware of the situation, and that to the extent we are open, we don’t share it with those outside our group. IE -Discretion.

Me: I’m just curious to know how you see yourself. Polyamorous? Open? Swingers?

WAGuy:  Probably more open, with a leaning toward poly. I think our ideal situation would be another person, or couple, who we would both be into. Not really swinging, as to us that implies randomness, as opposed to building multiple relationships that are external our existing one.

We talked a little longer, but really, I had already decided.  No thanks.  Factor in the long distance, the brand new to poly, the absolute discretion, the desire for a common partner to be into”, even the idea that “if you learn something new you have to come home and share…”

Me:   I’m going to bed now.


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~Date~

I had a date.

A FIRST date, no less.  Now, maybe this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really was.  I think I have first date stage fright.

It doesn’t matter if I know my date previously or not, though I will say that blind dates are particularly painful.  Especially if it’s someone I’ve met through OkCupid.  Anyway, this guy did, in fact, find me on OKC.

I’m very, ummm…, selective (fine, picky).

I don’t have the time or energy or desire for lots of dates.  Or people.  Or anxiety.

So when The Hippie (hey, he proclaimed himself a hippie, so who am I to argue with such an easy nickname) and I hit it off via messaging, I thought, Ok.  Let’s do it.  At the very least, I have a new friend.  (Because I genuinely do like him.)  But then you get the big D word in there (DATE, you perv), and I get all weird.

Except I wasn’t really weird.

It was fine.  Pleasant.  Easy.  Chemistry?  I’m not sure.  (Man, I sure hope he doesn’t read this, I don’t think he even knows I blog…) I didn’t find myself watching his mouth and wanting to know how it felt on me.  I don’t think I noticed his hands or his fingers, and wondered what his touch felt like.

Okay, so no white hot chemistry.  Damn.

He walked me to my car.  He kissed me a little. It was good.  I may see him again.

May.

Turns out he also has seen Mrs. A a few times. And I don’t know what the future holds for them, but I don’t really want to be involved with someone whose partners overlap to that degree.  And honestly, I asked him if he had gone out with CC as well, since there’s such a small poly community here. (He hadn’t.) This doesn’t have as much to do with my discomfort with Mrs. A specifically, as it does my unease with the sometimes “too close for comfort”, everyone knowing everything, poly network.

Tonight SMF is out on a first date of his own.  And I’m not jealous.  Not really.  A little distracted, when I realized that it was 9:30 and he was three hours into his date, and what on earth were they doing for three hours and was he having a good time, and was she amazing and beautiful and sexy, and I bet they didn’t just have a fight and say sad and scary things to each other like we did, and she probably thinks he’s awesome, because he IS awesome, and I should have just let him wear the dirty socks because then if they went bowling, she would be unimpressed but NOOOOO, I had to tell him to wear clean socks because girls notice those kinds of things.

And now it’s 10:26 and he said he’d be home by 10:30, or would text me if it went later, and I’m watching the clock  and wishing that I wasn’t.

But I’m not jealous.

I’m uncomfortable.  I know he loves me.  And I know he loves CC.  And eventually, at some point, he will probably love someone else as well.  

I hope I find more love too.

(Epilogue: I got a text at 10:41 and I really wish that 11 minutes didn’t make me nervous. It must have been an awesome date. )