First, a little bit of background.
I've been practicing poly constantly for about 5 years or so. Part of the consequences of the dating network I am a part of is that it is difficult for my primary partner to meet my physical needs(which I discussed them with a therapist and was told that these needs were entirely modest and reasonable. I can be more explicit via edit if that is appropriate but I don't want to be offensive).
After some negotiation on my primary partner's part we decided it would be ok for me to have another partner that I dated on my own(as my primary is very close to "poly-saturated" and doesn't have time to add someone else that her and I dated together).
Since we came to that arrangement three years ago I have tried to date. It hasn't quite been a wild success. I have been able to find dates occasionally but, without exception, they don't work out well. The reason for this varies depending on the person. The woman wanted to have sex much faster than either myself or my primary were comfortable with(like a matter of days). I couldn't connect to the woman or she me(usually because the woman was an atheist and I've found out that I can't date atheists). Either I did something lame or the woman did(it's about an even split) and it didn't work out.
I think that what happened was a combination of the fact that I am not developed enough(physically, mentally, or spiritually) and/or the women that I tried to date weren't the women for me(or I the guy for them).
So instead of trying over and over again to find another partner, I've decided to try to expend my energies into things that I can actually control to a much greater extent.
First of all, physical.
I'm going to the gym 3x a week, one of those times is with a physical trainer. My ultimate fitness goal is to be able to be in good enough shape to climb the Matterhorn via *this trip*
Now, part of having that as my fitness goal is that weather might not cooperate with me and I might not be able to make the climb once I get there. That's ok. As long as I am able to do the training and get to the point where IF the weather cooperates, I will be in good enough condition to make the climb I will count that as having reached my fitness goal.
Second, spiritual. Meditation at least twice daily. Hopefully three times. Daily study of the sutras and commentaries on the sutras. I also will be attending at least one teaching every season and hopefully one meditation retreat on top of that.
Third, mental. I'm not sure how I'm going to accomodate this one yet. Maybe learn calculus or do research to get published in the Mythopoetic Society journal. Suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.
Forth, social. In order to keep from becoming a complete hermit(like has happened in the past) I will be going to at least one poly social event per month(most likely a munch or something). As my guideline here I'm using Pepper's essay on nonmongamy for men.
Those four things are something that I have a much stronger degree of control over and can(for the most part) achieve. I also think that eventually that they will increase the likelihood that I will be able to find another partner(understanding, of course, that it isn't a certainty).
Anyhow, thank you for you for reading. If this sounds whiny, I apologize.
Those are some really great ideas!
That's also exactly what I mean by "making yourself happy" ... i.e. only trying to control things that are in your power to control.
I think you'll find that once you start taking care of yourself, the universe will take care of the rest of the details.
You asked for suggestions to increase your mental abilities. If it's within your financial and scheduling means, I would suggest taking a University or College course. Any course, anything that interests you. Calculus would obviously be a good challenge, but if you're not interested in calculus then it will be very tedious, difficult, and hard to find motivation.
Reading is also a good way to stimulate your brain, especially non-fiction.
I'm a big fan of logic puzzles. You can get those magazines full of them, and do one or two a day. Crosswords and Sudoku also challenge your mind, but they're not for everyone.
It was because I was(and am) pretty sick and tired of flinging myself against the dating wall.
I did some hard thinking about it and I realized something. The idea of climbing, in order, a 6288 ft mountain known for erratic weather(Mount Washinton), a 13,775 ft mountain that requires special training(Grand Teton) and a 14,692 ft mountain that people have died climbing(Matterhorn) over the span of 3-5 years is(in my opinion) a reasonable goal that I am quite confident I can achieve, even though I have asthma. However, the idea of being able to find and date an OSO, THAT seems about as realistic as inventing a flying car in my closet over Memorial Day weekend. This tells me that finding an OSO should not be a priority(it just isn't my time). If the universe sees fit to prove me wrong, I am open to that and it would be wonderful. But in the mean time it won't be a priority.
It's been a rough week. I'm going to a festival in two weeks and another one during the 4th of July and planning for that is taking a lot of my time.
My gym visit on Tuesday was a bit too intense(my legs are still feeling burny as I type this), but hopefully it should be ok by tomorrow when I go back to work out(although I'll be concentrating on my arms and back).
Meditation is going. The thing about meditation I've found is that doesn't really seem to be practical to say that a meditation session is "good" or "bad". You just have to do it every day.
In a few weeks I'll have my monthly poly social thing. I usually enjoy attending them although I usually spend more time talking and less time listening than I would prefer.
Aaand another update
It's another Tuesday and another gym visit.
I was able to go with my SO on Sunday which was awesome. She has fibromyalgia and I am always very impressed when she goes to the gym with me.
I leave Friday morning to go to a festival which should be fun. I'm a little worried because I am also looking for a new place to live.
In a nutshell, the place I have been living is very difficult. Dealing with pit bulls, loud roomates waking me up in the middle of the night, screaming arguments(not with me, but with other people), the absolute lack of privacy, and so forth.
I've got several leads to a new place and have given my roomates a move out date of July 1. I was thinking of getting another place with roommates but I can't handle another six months like this last six.
Right now I'm just trying to keep all of the balls up in the air and try not to be too snippy with the people around me.
Ok, this is honestly funny.
So the festival.
First, I realized that(unlike many people) I do not like "porn-like" public displays of affection(PDAs). Hand holding is ok. Hugging, kissing, sure. Nipple tweaking(complete with anime porn squealing sounds) and naked kissing with fondling? Jealousy, irritation and all around grumpiness on my part. Now that I know this in the future if such things get started, I will leave. Or if they are really insistent about it, I'll either get a spray bottle or some popcorn.
Second, and this is where I think it gets funny. Because of my irritation with somehow ending up in a "Sexy Chicks Room" instead of the festival I was going to, as well as the fact that all of the people I felt chemistry with were not really appropriate, I wasn't trying to flirt with anyone. So, around Saturday night one of my dear friends had a very strong intoxicant that he offered to give to me. I declined but himself, his girlfriend, and a young lady(here called KSG) helped themselves to this very strong intoxicant.
Now when this happened after considering my options, I decided to help the trio out, make sure they had water, and basically play "sober guy". The night passed with a minimum of incident and what seemed like a small amount of interest on the part of KSG increased quite a bit. I chatted with her last night after I got home and was invited by her to go to another festival this fall and next spring. I'm trying very hard not to read too much into it, but for reasons that I'm not quite sure of, it just "feels" like she is interested in a romantic way.
If that is the case and things work out, then I will make sure to make a separate post here stating explicitly that the people who said, "well, when you stop working on dating, dating will happen" were right and I was wrong. :p
Well, another day another dollar.
I'm trying to feel gratitude for what I have. I have a girlfriend, a place to live(that has AC and internet), a job that is ok most days.
I really am doing ok. I just wish it felt like I was doing ok.
I'm feeling really stressed because I'm having to hose down my friends who are going through worse stuff than I am. At one point I was talking down one friend who was having a breakdown because of wedding related stuff, another friend who was dealing with medical issues, and another friend who was dealing with nebulous poly stuff that I only vaguely get all at the same on IM while also trying to work.
I wish that I could help all of them out. I feel really bad for what is going on with them. I wish I could say more than, "I can tell that is very painful for you" , "Is there anything I can do to help"(usually the answer is no), and similar platitudes.
I'm hoping that a gym visit today and going out of town for a few days this weekend will help.
Well, I am making some progress. I am now only hurting 70% to 80% of the time because of working out as opposed to the consistent 90% of the time.
I've changed my work out so that I am spending an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill although it is sometimes hard to get the third weekly session.
The good news is that I have yet to go a week without hitting the gym at least once since late April.
On an emotional note I've been doing better than I was. I have been thinking a lot about relationships. Not in regards to being happy or unhappy about my current relationship(which is going pretty ok) but about relationships for me in general.
I think that maybe I'm not "good enough" to be able to have a secondary.
To elaborate. One of the things I've noticed is that the girls that end up being interested in me usually have very profound challenges in their lives. Either they are mentally ill, have children that they want someone to help raise, are down on their luck financially, or something else. As I have reflected on this, I think that this is because of two reasons. First of all, I think it is because I'm pretty flawed myself. Second, I actually make a concerted effort to be nice to people and help them.
Now the second reason is something that even though I acknowledge, I absolutely refuse to change. Even though it opens me up to a whole lot of emotional hurt, I think that the alternative(being without any desire to help people) is much worse. However, making myself less flawed is something that hopefully will at least mitigate the number of seriously wounded people I come across.
On the social front I went to a local discussion group which was fun. There were a lot of interested monogamous people which made for an interesting mix. I don't want to go into too much detail there for confidentiality reasons, but I can say that I ended up staying out way later than I expected which wasn't a bad thing.
That's it for me. Excelsior!
Things are going pretty ok.
Just got just under a 3% salary raise at work which will take effect Oct 1.
Even though it is getting harder I'm still going to the gym at least twice a week. I'm only hurting 70%-80% of the time, although I found out that I am not doing my pecs and back as much as I should, and I am having problems pushing my abs enough for soreness. I'm looking at increasing the amount of time doing cardio to a 1/2 an hour a day on top off the 3x a week weight training.
I'm finding that working out is producing some personality changes in me. I'm a bit more high strung and agressive than I was previously. I'm also feeling a lot more sexual than I did in the past. I see this as a liability as it makes me a lot more vulerable to crushes than I was previously.
I need to do more spiritual practice and research. I'll start that up again tonight with any luck.
I'm still having to help a lot of people through challenges. One person is going through situational depression, another is going through harsh life circumstances, and a third is dealing with moving. I'm trying my best not to let their depression pull me down and most days I do ok. I hate feeling powerless to help people that I care about.
It's kindof odd but in some small way I feel like I can sympathize with a lot of the mono/poly couples. Even though in my case I'm not mono as much as I got tired of banging my head against the wall, the result is still the same on a practical level. I spend a fair amount of time away from my SO and have to divide my time between a number of people as well as social obligations. It can be lonely and not easy sometimes.
Sometimes I wish that I could have an OSO, even a casual one. Maybe someday.
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