Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~(untitled)~

When I write, I generally start with a title.  Often it’s just a single word, chosen carefully to capture the boiled down essence of what I want to put out into the world, on that.

Today I have no title.  No message.  No common theme.

Everything is messy.  Half my life is packed into boxes.  I don’t have a concrete move date yet, I just know it will be by the 24th of June.  I’m excited to move, I’ve been purging material things, and it almost feels like emotional things might be following.

I think I am realizing that I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who has three “Big R” Relationships.  I can’t remember where I heard the phrases “Big R” and “little r” as a way to describe the different levels of entanglement in polyamorous (or other) relationships, but I kind of like the terms.

Special Man Friend has been seeing Montana since last August.  They have quietly moved  into Big R territory.  CC and SMF  are a Big R.  SMF and I are a Big R.

SMF has said that he wishes I wouldn’t compare relationships.  Fair enough.  But I am not happy, and when I look around to see why not, I see that my relationship is not meeting my needs. My wants and expectations are not aligned with what he can give me. With what he chooses to give me.

Ok, so one of the core poly tenets is that if your needs aren’t being met, it’s ok, even desirable to fill those needs somewhere else, whether that comes from another relationship, or from within, and from your relationship with yourself.

I cannot dictate Special Man’s relationships.  I can only choose feels good and right, for me,  within my own dynamic.  I told SMF today that the only thing I can think to do, if I don’t want to be one of three BIG R’s, is to renegotiate my relationship with him to a little r.  

I don’t know what that looks like exactly.

I just know that I want to be happy and, and I want him to be happy too.  I’ve been compromising for so long, that it feels like I’m settling, and this makes me sad because I know this has been a long held fear of his.  I want to be with him.  But not like this.

 

 

 


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~Needs~

Today I asked Special Man Friend not to pursue anything with someone who is really making me uncomfortable.  I went back and forth about it.  Was it a veto?  Was it unreasonable?  Was I just being a big poly baby?

I decided that asking for something was definitely not a veto.  I didn’t demand.  I didn’t mandate.  I didn’t say, “You may not see her.”  I made a request.

I asked.

It was through text, as a good portion of our relationship takes place while we are apart.  This is what I said.

“I am uncomfortable with Madam X right now.  Knock yourself out with Librarian tonight, but please don’t move forward with Madam X right now.  I’m asking.”

Special Man Friend gets some serious Gold Poly Stars tonight.  He wasn’t defensive.  He listened and he said, “I will make a point not to.” He asked me if something had instigated this, and I told him we could talk about it later, and it was done.

“Thank you for listening to me,” I said.  Or texted, rather.

 

I didn’t feel like I was doing bad poly, in fact, I felt like I was doing freaking  AWESOME poly.  I communicated and he responded. I didn’t stew or agonize. I. Just. Asked.

Would I have felt the same, if he had said: No?  And that he wanted to see Madam X regardless of how I felt?  Is it his response that makes me feel like, Hey, this is good poly right here… or is it the fact that I asked for what I wanted without beating myself up about it…?

I feel good tonight.  I feel polycompetent.

Ha.

 


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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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~Jealousy~

Oh, jealousy.

I was driving to pick up Georgia from a friends house this afternoon, and Pandora spit out Natalie Merchant singing Jealousy.

The whole song is comparison and sadness. I really wish I understood jealousy better.  I’ve read the idea that jealousy is a manifestation of fear, or insecurity, or grief.  I want to dissect it. I want to understand it. I want to be over it already. 

There was a day a few months ago, when Special Man was talking about a date he’d had with Montana and how I would have hated it because they talked and talked about congressional law.  He was almost giddy with it.  And I was pleased that he was happy and excited and that she was interesting and different than I was, and in that moment, I wasn’t jealous.

I think I was actually compersive.  And I want more.

I want friends and lovers and partners and I want good mushy feelings and I want more of that content feeling.  It’s a shift for me, but seriously, I want that ideal.  I don’t know if it’s unrealistic to want this as I’ve long held the opinion that compersion is a myth. But I’m different.  Maybe it’s okay to dream big.

I am rambling tonight.  Time for sleep.  But first….

Here’s my three-years-ago take on compersion:

https://polynirvana.com/2013/03/16/compersion-thou-art-a-harsh-mistress/

And Natalie Merchant, my favorite:

 

Goodnight.

 


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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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~Progression~

Montana is great.  She really is.

The other night my two youngest were hanging out in my room before they went to bed, and out of the blue, Georgia says, “Is SMF dating anyone else besides you and CC?”

It’s been four years, and while there have been other partners here and there, none have been involved with my children as another partner of Special Man, besides CC. “Yes. He’s dating Montana. Remember her? She’s been to poly potluck a couple of times.”

“Wait,” Leo said, with his hands up.  He paused, I paused, and I thought ok, here comes a big philosophical question about polyamory…or sex…or feelings…I’m ready… bring it!

He looked at me and said, “I’m not being rude (oh-oh) … but does she have cancer?”

Well that threw me.

“No.. why?”

“Her hair is really, really short.”

“Ah. Well, yes, she keeps her hair very short.  She likes it like that.”

“Oh. ok.”

And that was that.

We moved on to brushing teeth and saying goodnight. It was a complete non-issue.  Polyamory is just something we do.

It was a nice moment.


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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.