Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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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.


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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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~Community~

I go back and forth about the poly community.

Let’s backtrack.  There’s not much of a poly community here.  It’s a small-ish, conservative, fairly religious area.  Polyamory is still considered immoral by a lot of people, even if they aren’t religious at all.  I wasn’t out as poly for a long time, and now, though I’m mostly out, it’s a quiet “out”.  My friends and family know my partner is married, and that his wife is actively supportive.  They know I’m non-monogamous.  Sometimes I think it makes a couple of them uncomfortable, but I haven’t had anyone aggressively confront me with negativity, or drop me as a friend (or as a sister, or as a daughter.)

This is why community is so important to me.

I want to be around people who embrace my choices.  Not simply tolerate them.

I don’t consider myself a poly activist, but since I WANT community, I have to go out and pretend to be one.  Except I’m kind of shy.  (Also, sometimes people annoy me and I just want to stay in bed.)  What I really need is a fairy godmother who will conjure me a fully functioning polyamorous community, complete with established events and nice people.

Ugh.

So tonight, I was Googling “polyamory community”, in an attempt to find an article that I could share in my (very small) local super secret Facebook group, about how to build a community.  I want people to get proactive with networking and socializing, so that I can, selfishly, have my dream community.

I didn’t really find an appropriate article.  So I’m writing instead.

Why community is important, by Me.

1)  We get to learn about ourselves, by learning about others.

2)  We get inspired and encouraged by the examples of other people.

3)  We get to see how other styles of relationships work.  (Or don’t work.)

4)  We get to have fun!  We get to socialize, and laugh, and eat, and do things!

5)  We get to create our own social norms, within our groups.

6)  We get to feel accepted.  We get to belong.  We get to love, and be loved.

Community.  I want it.

 

 

 


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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. )


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~Hunt~

Today on the big bad interwebz, I read a brief rant and subsequent discussion about the term “unicorn hunters” and are there really that many out there, and how it seems like there are more people who complain about the unicorn hunters than there are actual unicorn hunters.

Umm, no.

Here are my thoughts, in random and meandering fashion, because, well, that’s what I’m good at, and I might as well stick with what I know.

As a single female, my complaint about unicorn hunters is that they come at you from the following place:

“Hi!  We are looking for Our Unicorn!”  (And usually from the female partner. I’m not sure why.)

Not: “We are individuals in a committed relationship, exploring additional emotionally attached human relationships. We would love to explore a triad with the right person, what are you looking for?”  

Or, better yet (and yes, I’ve seen ads and gotten messages that are almost this blatant):

Hi! We are looking for Our Third!  She will be sexy and fun and equally available to both of us to play with or not play with, but only with the two of us together, because we are a couple and a unit and nothing will ever come between us, so basically there would be US, and there will be you. Because you know, we’ve been together for a long time and we intend to never let anything get between us, even a unicorn, we want fun and sex and this new thing called Polyamory sounds just great!  Oh, and by the by, there are these rules that the two of us made, so that we can feel safe and good with each other, but don’t worry about that yet.  As long as you don’t feel closer to one of us over the other, or text one of us when the other is feeling insecure, then it will be fine. And maybe try not to be TOO cute or TOO sexy, because, jealousy. No matter what, our relationship comes first.  So, you know, wanna be Our Unicorn?     

Is everyone like this?  No.  But there is a reason that it’s a stereotype.

My eye starts to twitch, every time I see the infamous sentence “We are looking for Our Unicorn”.  I’m not sure if it’s the words themselves, or the whole stereotypical attitude that I’ve seen attached to them, over and over and over.  But do yourselves a favor. If you are a Unicorn Hunter, just don’t.  Approach people as individuals, as potential connections, as possible friends.  State what you are looking for, but also, ask what potential partners are looking for.  If you want a casual occasional tryst as a threesome, awesome.  Find someone who is looking for that too.

But here’s the thing.  There are a lot of solo-polyamorists now, (who may be UNICORNS) who are looking for different kinds of relationships.  We want fulfilling, emotional connections.  Don’t say you want one thing, when what you really want is another.  We are each open to different levels of connection, but the bottom line is, we are people.  Not a label.  Calling me a unicorn, is akin to calling me a MILF.  Yeah, yeah, maybe it has it’s place.  But it takes away my personhood.  And when you say, We are looking for Our UNICORN, you are reducing me fill a slot, a slot that you have defined, and any old unicorn will do.