Many thoughts in the past 24 hours about types of poly and open relationship styles.
One of my partners, A, is an open relationship that comes with many rules. We are going to have a sit down with the print out so I can see them all.
Here is what I know so far...
Veto ( has been wielded regularly and indiscriminately in the past )
One date per week
No sleeping with people who are cheating.
Dates not to last more than 14 hours.
No gifts, giving or receiving.
No communication with secondaries when with primary. (usually Thurs-Mon)
No kissing or holding hands in public.
No acknowledging secondaries if seen out while with primary.
Where I am with these...
Veto..really uncomfortable with this. Has been used frequently by the primary as opposed to negotiating the problems.
One date per week...Really frustrating it would be nice to take the odd trip together.( have broken this rule but not on consecutive nights)
No sleeping with cheaters: Very fair
Dates not to last more than 14 hours. He seems fairly strict on this, but we have gone a little over a few times.
No gifts, giving or receiving: We are both acts of love type people, he bought a wall mount and hanged my tv for me. I paid him for it but he did the work. Sigh
No anal. Errm, maybe we have broken this rule.
No communication with secondaries when with primary. (usually Thurs-Mon): He will reply if I ask about scheduling or some such but no chat, no phone
No sexting The odd naughty text but certainly not a full on session.
No kissing or holding hands in public. I am not into PDA so no problem.
No acknowledging secondaries if seen out while with primary I was getting my nails done when he walked in with primary. I had the most uncomfortable 30 mins sitting right next to her. I was not aware of the rule when this happened and had no idea why I was given the "shush, it's a secret". Usually they would leave a place if a secondary is there to avoid introductions but he didn't see me till they sat down.
He got his scooter fixed last week. We got me a helmet and went for a drive along the coast, had a nice dinner, band was playing and we danced on the beach and had a lovely time. Out of the blue.."This would invoke a veto."
What? Why? What are we doing? Response "I am having too much fun with you."
Why do I put up with this...I am an activity slut and love going out to do things. Bar one or 2 occasions, every date has been out and about, sailing, skating, driving, massage, ice hockey game.
Much weighing up to do.
Linguistics and semantics.
Having lived in a few different countries I have picked up a rather mixed vocabulary and range of idioms.
One noticeable difference is how people describe relationships, it even varies from region to region and city to city within a country.
I enjoy learning new words, poly is full of them, and regularly think about how they apply to me.
A is fond of the word "date". I am his "date" when he introduces me to people. We go out on "dates".
I don't think I have ever used the word "date". In the beginning I "meet" someone, if we like each other and progress we are "seeing" each other, I might use the phrase "going out with" in the sense of " I have been going out with A for 6 months" but that would also imply boyfriend/girlfriend ( to me). To say " I have been with...Joe for 1 year" would imply a serious bf/gf S.O. type relationship.
A says we have a "date", I say we are meeting.
I would say I am "seeing" my guys. Definitely not "dating".
So then how do I describe what we are to each other? ( and yes, I do love me a label)
So many different terms in common use..FB, FWB, Play partner, Spouse, gf/bf, Master/slave, Dom/Sub, sweetie, lover, SO, OSO, Partner, domestic partner, friend, confidante, primary, secondary, tertiary. I am sure I have missed a few.
First and foremost they are both my friends. When introducing them to my friends, family or colleagues, they are my friends.
In my head, C is my friend, lover, play partner, master, question answerer, emotional support, sharer of similar childhoods and travel experiences, big on communication.
A is my friend, lover, BDSM partner, master, offer to fix it without being asked person, hang out with the kids friend, open to doing all kinds of activities and also suggest many things to do partner.
The joy of poly...I get to enjoy them both!
I got to see the list ( 2 pages) last night and we went through it from the point of view of what rules have been broken and what are likely to get broken and which ones are hard and fast.
We did not get into what I agreed with and didn't agree with.
Not all of the rules apply to the "dates", but those that were, were aimed at limiting and restricting and development of an emotional connection.
Examples: Dates are not friends.
If strong feeling develop for dates then the relationship must end, if the date develops feelings then the relationship must end.
No remaining friends after the date has been vetoed.
Cannot introduce date to friends or family.
Dates have no say in the rules.
I think it is fair to say that the dates are to be treated like fuck buddies.
Rather than say anything then and there I have taken some time to process.
I come back to, "actions speak louder than words".
Has A treated my in anyway that makes me feel like a FB? No, I really don't think so. And that is the bottom line for me. It is fair to say we are both very fond of each other, lots of NRE to wallow in. Lots of great sex.
Can I live with these rules and the other ones? I think so. The only major annoyance is the veto and lack of extended time.
Otherwise, does this relationship work with what I want? Yes, nothing is perfect and the pros currently far outweigh the cons.
I am not looking for a primary type relationship, which is why I started seeing him and C in the first place. We can all care and enjoy but not have unrealistic expectations of white picket-fenced futures.
In peculiar twist to all this, A's primary wants to talk to me on the phone. She has never asked to talk to any of the "dates" before. I agreed. Looks like we will talk next week.
Things are going fairly well.
A and C are going to meet next week. We are having a 3some, fingers crossed.
A hasn't had one before, neither have I, C has experienced a number so is going to take the lead in the beginning.
Lots of excited IMing going on. Expectations, want to try activities, basic ground rules, we are all in agreement at this point.
C made a rather cute comment... He has usually been invited to MFMs as the second M, and has never had to "share his girlfriend" with another man before. Apparently it is "different" with FMF and FFM combinations, OPP, I think.
A little possessiveness, a little bit "we", sweet.
I think the phone conversation with S will about how separated from my ex I am. We are not divorced yet, it ground to a stop few months ago as I had to focus on other divorce related legal issues. I need these settled before we go back to the actual dissolution part.
She wants to see a married but separated man, A is not convinced they are separated and wants to talk to the wife.
S is surprised to I agreed to talk to her at all. Maybe she won't even call, it is not something I am particularly stressing over. Hopefully, she will get the answers she is looking for and turn the veto gun in another direction.
C and I have planned a day together. It will involve a day off work for both of us. I am really looking forward to it.
We are going to play a little tennis, he is good and quite competitive. I hope to distract him by wearing a cute white dress. I haven't worn it yet as I can't quite work out where to put the balls and I can't bring myself to buy one of those belt/clippy things. I usually play in a pair of work out pants that have voluminous pockets.
After I get thrashed, we will hit the adult shop and pick out a collar. I am slowly building my collection of restraint and BDSM gear. And yes, there is a little more to buying the collar than just building the collection.
A has a quite extensive collection and is extremely particular about it. We spent a fun Sunday afternoon putting together his custom ordered spanking bench and St Andrew's cross. Just like IKEA, tab A into slot B. Then we really put tab A into slot B.
A is going to bring some of his gear on 3some day and let C watch. This will be interesting, Master and Sir in the same room and the same time.
Chatting with C a while ago about primary and secondary relationships. "Am I your primary?", he asked. "No," I replied, "A primary to me is someone you call when you need a ride to and from hospital." Of course there are many other definitions but to me that was one of the core ones. I have no family over here and rely heavily on friends to help out with such things.
Fast forward to Monday, playing tennis, running backwards for an overhead shot...down I go, ankle underneath me. It swelled up like a balloon straight away.
C got to be my primary, he took me to the ER, got a wheelchair, held my hand, joked with the nurses, took me home, popped to the shops and made lunch. He asked if he could be my primary now. He remembered the previous conversation. I said he could. We both understand that it is not what anyone else would call a primary relationship; we don't share finances, raise kids or share a home, but I appreciated him wanting to be important and to be considered a special person and if having that label makes him feel so, then I am happy to make him happy.
A big change since the last post.
C wants to go on a "hiatus".
We had the 3some on Wednesday, I could tell C wasn't that into it, I asked if he wanted to stop and he said no. After we finished came the phone call, he is confused, doesn't know what he wants, didn't like the BDSM ( which he asked to see) , didn't like me being called a sub, didn't like that A has 3 other subs ( play partners only). He says he isn't jealous and seeing me with another man wasn't an issue.
He is the one that pushed and pushed for this. Be careful what you wish for...you might just get it.
My initial reaction was to try and fix it instantly, stop seeing A, no more BDSM play, get an updated STD test, which I have booked for 2 weeks anyway as a matter of routine, give him whatever he wants to feel comfortable again.
Saner heads have suggested that I just step back and give him time and not try to "fix it". I am showing the same behavior that I had with N 2 weeks ago, the knee jerk, " What can I do to make things right?" I don't like seeing people uncomfortable and try to change my behavior to make things better, rather than let them work through their feelings and let them ask for what they need.
His ego has been bruised for whatever reasons and either he comes to terms with that by himself or he doesn't.
I am very sad that he feels the need to pull away and it will be challenging not to reach out. He says he wants to remain in contact through the hiatus. I am on the fence about this. On one hand I want to be supportive and positive and on the hand if he needs time then he should really take it.
Here is the last communication from last night.
C: As I was saying. I would like to put everything on a hiatus if that's okay with you. Great if you are done then let me know and I will fully understand. That's where my head is at right now. I'm sorry. I would like to stay in contact but I understand if you don't want to do that either, I will understand.
ME: I respect your need to time clear your head. My thoughts...
The mfm did not go as hoped, so either we accept that and move on in good faith, or you cannot deal with the fallout and want to end it.
I enjoy spending time with you and playing with you, I hope we can continue with that. The ball is in your court.
I am not sure, what do y'all think?
"I love you and miss you in my life, but I'm polyamorous" (explanation/description/s go/es here) "and I would love to see more of you, but there are a couple of other people I'm very close to and I won't sacrifice my other relationships or my autonomy for an exclusive one with you or anyone else."
The above is from BlackMAgicBlonde's blog. I hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed it.
To say it resonates is an understatement. It was the answer to the N situation and probably the C situation and any people I meet in the future, with a little editing.
On a separate note, I meet up with K last night. As he gently reminded me I "dumped" him twice, but we have stayed in virtually constant contact.
I had some stuff I had promised for his move into his new flat and last night was the night to drop it off.
Of course we got into the what went wrong discussion. I repeated what I said before, about time, going out, me hosting 100% of the time as he has his child 7 nights a week and every weekend. Mine go to their dad's on a fairly regular basis and he still hasn't got an STD test.
He said he had been thinking about all this and wanted to make changes. He would renegotiate with his ex about every weekend or pay for the sitter to go to her house, so we could divide hosting responsibilities and increase time to go out. K was turning into daytime food and fuck buddy and as I told him repeatedly that I wasn't into that. Hence dumping him a first and second time.
He had looked up places to get testing done and would do that in the next week or so.
He said he was over the post separation fucking around and wanted to find one or 2 people who he enjoyed spending time with, have good conversation, create a connection, maintained their own life and wanted one of them to be me. ( sounding a bit solo-poly there K!)
He had been waiting till the move to approach me again.
He also said he also had issues with bringing his dates into the home he shared with his child, he didn't want dating and family to mix. ( This had never been mentioned, jut that his flat was always a no-go) But with the new apartment he wanted things to change. I was his first visitor in the new place. I had never been the other flat in 4 months.
I asked him what he wanted from me and he said nothing different, but try to speak French and appreciate his limericks. My french is awful and so are his limericks. But I can try ;) He is not a native french speaker, his first language is English so the french speaking one is a bit silly, but I am more than happy to let him chat away, my understanding is better than my speaking. These were more teasing requests than serious ones.
So we left it at he would start the negotiations with the ex and see about freeing up the occasional weekend night and get back to me with an update on whether or not try again. The regular text chat continues as normal.
After re-reading C's messages, I see the line, "walk away if you want." twice.
I read this as "please walk away, I don't want to do the breaking up."
There have been 2 phone talks about about the fallout from the MFM before the IM messages about taking a brea, he did the majority of the talking. Now radio silence for 2 days. Most he issues seem to be directed at me, me having fun, A being good for me, him not wanting to hold me back. Look at all the pluses of me breaking up with him!
So I did. I sent him an email. I adore him and I will miss him terribly. Taking a break is the beginning of the end, I said. Let's not drag it out.
I am usually willing to just end things if communication isn't doing the trick. He does not want to communicate. I am aware I am projecting my own behaviour and emotions onto his words, but I can't see him moving past the mfm.
I think his ego took a huge hit, the mfm was always his fantasy, maybe I wasn't supposed to enjoy it, maybe I was supposed to be guilt ridden after. I don't know. I don't believe that. I think it was set up to be good fun for all involved but the reality of my second relationship was too much. All I know is that things were running very smoothly up to that point.
Anyway, I have no regrets about the mfm, but I will not be rushing to do it again anytime soon.
So what I have learned from this relationship? How do I take responsibility for my part in the break-up? I don't know. I can't see what I did wrong. I participated whole-heartedly in something he wanted to do. I went from mfm is something I'd never contemplated to setting it up. All the while he is saying it is fun and something I'd enjoy and when is it going to happen? Did I miss some signs?
So, I do not do "stay friends," though oddly enough I have with K. I know I will not to be able to look at C over a restaurant table without wanting to rip his clothes off and having fabulous, rolling orgasm sex over the table. Wow, but the sex really was the best.
So I put the last year with C into a little box and slide it under the bed for now, until I am ready to take it out and flick through the memories again. Good memories :)
I feel like the Grinch, my heart is two sizes too small. I miss C already, no IM pings all weekend and none this morning. I was possibly a little overly optimistic in imaging I would be over him in 48 hours. I am still holding onto to the hope that the break is really just a break to sort out some things. Are your feet wet? Can you see pyramids? De Nile.
I saw K yesterday, he came for a beach day with his wee one. We didn't talk relationships, rather hard with 3 small kids creating chaos. It appears he is making "an effort". I am not sure I want him to make an effort. I think he is a great person but he is all over the place with the FWBS ( I think they are FBS really) and life in general. He has had his new flat for 2 weeks and still hasn't spent a night there as he can't get moved in. Really? 2 weeks? It is not like he can't afford to hire some help, he just can't get it organized. He didn't have any furniture to move, ordered in new stuff. The quintessential absent minded professor, he has a brilliant mind, but wow he is unorganized. Frequently very late and even forgot one date entirely, rearranged his schedule to fix it, then forgot he was lending his car to someone.
The joy of blogging, there it is in black and white. I can't start up with him again.
Still no IM ping, sigh....
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