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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~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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~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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~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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~Really~

I really don’t get people sometimes.

I spent my morning supporting a family through a patient’s death.  All I can really say, is that as a hospice nurse, my perspective is constantly being refocused.  There are big things happening to people, everywhere, all the time, and we don’t even realize it.  Today someone’s father died.  Someone lost a child, a mother, a friend.  There is so much going on in the world, and most of us get to be oblivious.

After I left this family, I went to Sonic.  I needed to sit in my car and decompress.  I ordered a diet cherry lime-aid and I planned to space out on Facebook for a few minutes before heading to my office to do paperwork.

Well.

I moderate a small local poly discussion group on Facebook, with CC.  We have 80 people or so, and it’s had some slow growth, but it’s been a solid little group.  Yesterday someone posted that she was having her first poly “date” tonight.  She was excited and engaged.  It was adorable.

Today someone posted that her husband was going out with someone “repulsive” and so unattractive that it was gross.  “Gross”!  (I can’t even imagine someone saying this!)   Do you see where this is going? The girl from last night was going out with the husband of the girl who posted today.  I was appalled.

I came late in the conversation, apparently it had gotten heated and very ugly, and while the group rallied, people were upset and defensive, and the thread was deleted, I think by the original poster.

People act like this?  I just don’t get it.  At this point, I want to delete this person from the group…but maybe that’s not the right thing.  From what I understand, yes, she did know that the girl her husband was going out with was in the group, which pretty much makes her post a passive aggressive personal attack, and that makes me sick.

Yes, the excited girl from last night canceled the date, and I don’t blame her.  I certainly wouldn’t want to engage with someone when the potential metamour is either that jealous, insecure, or just plain mean.

The end.