A bit of a life story, out of place.
In Word - this post is 5 pages long. So feel free to ignore it, since it's just a long background; more or less a journey of discovery - and even at this length, I feel it's just the cliff notes.
I've always felt something off about myself when it comes to romantic relationships. I had my first crush and kiss all the way back in kindergarten - I was the youngest of 4 boys so "maturity" tended to trickle down I guess; they were kissing girls, so I was kissing girls. But regardless the reason I started so young I'll never forget one thing; I was head over heels in puppy love with Leanne... and Jackie. Jackie was my first kiss, and I always wanted to lie next to Leanne for nap/story time. I remember I had a birthday party with all of my friends and both girls went, and even back then, at that young, there was a sense of my liking both of them being wrong. Not from adults, they just thought it was cute, but kids my own age. Eventually the two girls themselves, actually teamed up and sort of bullied me into needing to choose. A weird thing when I think back to it - because I work for a school system now, and kid's that age don't give me the impression they're able to re-enact an episode of high school or middle school drama as well as we did when we were young.
During first grade, there was Jessica, and Katelyn... and Jess, and Nicole. Now I know what you're thinking, and I more or less agree; I was young. Everyone has tons of crushes when they're growing up. But I remember talking to my mom about my crushes, and how I asked katelyn to be my girlfriend and she said no because everyone knew about my crush on Jessica; and how later I had given Jessica a shiny plastic ring with a purple heart on it, and she threw it back in my face because I had asked katelyn to be my girlfriend. My mother said something to the effect of; "Girl's aren't like gold stars, Jason. They're not something you just collect" - Relatively sound advice, actually.
Jess and Nicole where two girl's that sat across from me on the bus ride home. I would talk to them every day; I told jokes, made them laugh, and even sang to them all of the time (disney songs). They were my best friends for four years, as they were on my bus between 1st and 4th grade, and man did I have the biggest crush on both of them. They both liked me back too. Nicole was the more outgoing of the two, and I've always been attracted to outgoing personalities... So in my monogamist's mindset - between the two of them I'd "choose" her... Yet they were best friends, and through whatever discussions of their own, they decided that Jess would "get" me... Because Nicole tried to pair us up often.
I'd like to add in at this time that my bestest friend in the world was a boy named Eric. I met him in first grade and we were virtually inseparable between 1st and 4th grade. Come 4th grade, we were all in the same class together. Eric and I finally had the same class as Jess and Nicole. To keep this already long story brief, the four of us all hung out all the time - Eric fell for Nicole, Nicole liked us both, Jess still wanted me, and I liked both of the girls, with a bit of a preference for Nicole. So Eric tells me he is going to ask Nicole to be his girlfriend, and I am upset by this - he too says I should date Jess... Now this situation could have been handled differently... but we were all kids, and bred on monogamy - So I did the only sensible thing a boy could think of at that time and just asked Nicole out first.
She said no - but then said yes... aaaaand then said no. She was my girlfriend for a day. Eric decided he hated me, and Jess didn't want to speak to me anymore because I "chose" Nicole over her... and Nicole? well she broke up with me because she didn't want to be responsible for killing my friendship with Eric, we also didn't speak as much because her best friend now hated me and she felt bad that she said yes even though Jess wanted me. So basically, in 4th grade I lost my 3 greatest and longest lasting friends because at the time, each and all of us were convinced that the only way we could express our crushes - is if we picked one out of the other 3. A notion that is made ridiculous by the fact that at THAT age, "dating" amounts to being friends with the added bonus of hand-holding and kissing. The dynamic among us would not have changed at all if we could've "dated" freely - we all hung out every day anyway!
In 5th grade I believe I had my first run in with "actual" love. Whatever that even means. Love is love to anyone who believes they feel it, regardless of age. Which brings us to Katelyn (#2)... and Brittany. Katelyn was a new girl I sat on my bus with, and both her and Brittany were in my classes. They were both best friends. I was completely enamored with Katelyn's brain - we had some of the best conversations, and we shared such a charming sense of humor together, she was my "quiet, intellectual" friend - some days on the bus we'd just sit across from each other staring into the other's eyes.
Brittany, on the other hand... she was loud, cute, and quirky. Just a tiny ball of fun - I just had so much fun with her and was much more physically drawn to her than Katelyn. Again - to keep this long story as short as I can; In the end I felt the need to choose. In the end I chose Brittany... Which resulted in a great relationship, but a very hurt Katelyn. I pretty much ruined their friendship, and then later down the road... I broke up with Brittany because - wait for it - I was in love with Katelyn. Naturally, Brittany was shattered, and Naturally, Katelyn told me the 5th grade equivalent of "go fuck yourself" - So once again, 3 people who were all good friends were left broken apart.
Fast forward, a few grades and a few more girlfriends later, and 10th grade is coming to a close. I haven't had a girlfriend since 8th. In the process of trying to court a girl named Bailey, I become very close with her good friend Kathy... In time and over the summer, we completely fell in love. To this day, she exists as one of the greatest loves of my life. Her mind is one of the most amazing that I've had the pleasure of knowing even remotely. We shared all sorts of intimate feelings and thoughts, we philosophized together... and amusingly, most of this mini relationship took place at a distance. Via phone, AIM (remember aol?), and even letters.
However, come 11th grade - things became awkward. I think we were both so terrified of each other, we didn't really know how to act when we were around each other in person. What's amusing is... 10 year's later... We still don't really know how to act around each other. Nobody knew about "us" - except Sasha; Kathy's best friend. Kat had told Sasha a lot about me, and she and I quickly became friends. I liked her a lot, and every day would look forward to getting a hug from her after school, and then walking home together, because apparently we'd sort of been neighbor's for most of my life... and now we both walk home instead of take the bus. Sasha had a boyfriend for the first few month's of school, and eventually they broke up. Jay was a class act, and did so in a note - and I was there was Sasha read it. The girl was in hysterical tears and held her as she cried. It was during and after this moment that I cared for her tremendously, and as I held her I realized how much being close to her physically just felt natural. In short time after that, we began to get close and closer, and eventually started dating. She was fun.
Naturally, Kathy was destroyed... and Sasha was lampooned by the social group for her alleged betrayal. But we couldn't control our emotions. I had completely fallen for Sasha - she and Kathy were very similar, but also nothing alike. I've always had a thing for the more outgoing girls, and Sasha was louder and more provocative than Kathy... Yet Kathy was awkward and insecure... we BOTH were when we were together. I just felt more comfortable with Sasha.
So their friendship was incredibly strained for the rest of high school... and I went on to date Sasha until I was twenty-three. However, we were off and on a few times... and I recall a few of the break ups had to do with Kathy... or at least the idea of Kathy - me questioning myself; do I really love Sasha if I still feel so overwhelmingly strong for Kathy? am I cheating Sasha? Kathy and I had continued to exchange relatively intimate correspondence for almost the entirety of my relationship with Sasha. We were very much each other's "One that got away".
Another dynamic that existed - I couldn't function around both of them at the same time... primarily because I couldn't hide the fact that I was madly in love with Kathy... and Sasha, being the romantic she was at the time - could never handle that fact. So I'd pretty much turn into stone when the three of us ever hung out.
I tried to tackle the truth of the situations dozen's of times, but it always resulted in my candy-coating it, or taking things back, or rephrasing the argument... because Sasha just couldn't process me have feelings for Kathy. Oddly enough, during the last (and arguably the best) 6 month's of our relationship, I convinced her to open the relationship... Kathy had long been doing her own thing at this point, and I never actually dated another girl during this time - something that I view now as a failed opportunity to have an actual testing ground when it came to open relationships.
Instead, when she had finally announced that she had another boy she was dating, I used that as an opportunity to break up with her. Not because of the guy - in fact I figured the guy would be able to help her through the break up. Instead, I just told her everything about Kathy, and we pretty much haven't spoken since. Kathy and I still remain close-but-awkward friends, my feelings finally subsiding for her about a year ago.
Switching gears for a second... Another thing that I thought was my issue for the longest time, before I reached the conclusion that it may just be monogamy in general that was my problem - I've ALWAYS been a relationship person. I can't just 'date' someone... it's actually HARD for me to not just upgrade to girlfriend status because idk, to me... when I feel how I feel - that's it. I begin to behave the way those feelings make me want to behave. Kissing, sex, openness, intimacy, honesty... All of those things take no time at all for me to develop when I just "click" with someone.
Also, Sex has always been a big thing for me too - I suppose to could call me demisexual (which is actually a new term for me) - but I can't just "fuck" something. It's actually not fun to me. I never enjoy it. However, if I FEEL something for someone, then sex is awesome.
However, a problem I had during my relationship with Sasha, which persisted for a while afterword, was this resentment of not having any fashion of a dating life. If Sasha and I had "lived happily ever after" - I would've resented that I'd never dated. In fact, that's precisely the premise that was in place for the opening of our relationship... it wasn't based on a philosophical belief or biological inclination toward non-monogamy... It was based on the fact that neither of us had much of a "dating life", and even if we were to end up together... we should get that part of our lives out of are system. With that understanding, we could still date while doing that.
Continuing back to story-time. I eventually met Lacey... one of the best thing's that has ever happened to me in terms of my relationship growth. She was an experiment in absolute honest with a partner - I told her everything. Much to her dismay, sometimes, I told her everything. Inside of the first month she knew all about Sasha, and all about Kathy - even though Kathy and I were still in the same social circles at the time. So Lacey handled that she would be in the same room as "the girl of my dreams" at any given night quite nicely. Lacey was a breath of fresh air.
Unrelated but equally awesome - She was also Bi-sexual... she LOVES women. I ended up having my first threesome because of her, and this eventually exposed me to another point of growth in my relationships. Our threesome was with a girl named Marissa, at first, it was simply her and Lacey interacting together while I had sex with Lacey - Marissa and I didn't do much more than make-out. Eventually, more threesome's would pop up from time to time... Almost anytime Marissa was going to go out with our social group, Lacey and I talked about the possibility (but it didn't always happen). Through honest communication we tackled the fact that I wanted to be able to have sex with Marissa during our threesome, even though Lacey was made uncomfortable by it a little. Eventually, that happened, and the world didn't implode! Lacey didn't hate me, nor Marissa - Marissa wasn't feeling used... basically, everything was fine.
It became obvious that Marissa was in love with Lacey. To this day I'm not sure how Lacey truly felt about her, because I did eventually experience some jealousy... Lacey and I are both cocky, and we compete... so she'd occasionally quip that Marissa wouldn't sleep with me without her. So had a bit of jealousy, which she'd comfort by saying that her relationship with marissa was just sexual. So I don't know the truth of that - but it doesn't matter. What matters is that I essentially found myself with a girlfriend who had sort of a lover, and the three of us would participate together. We'd go out from time to time just the three of us, and even though it was this odd dynamic of Marissa loving Lacey, Lacey loving me, Me loving Lacey.... and all of us loving having sex together. It seemed more or less balanced, and fair... and often times Marissa would be pursuing a boyfriend of her own - with varying degrees of success... Lacey and I would support her choices some time, and tell her she could do better others - we were all like regular friends, who loved each other in different ways.
Which brings me to the odd situation I ended up in with Lacey. I broke up with her a year and a half before our relationship "officially" ended. We still lived together, still had our occasional mini-relationship with Marissa... everything was normal. However, a dramatic event had occurred, and I simply used it as an opportunity to try and downgrade the status of our relationship, which worked. In time, Lacey found herself on Okcupid - she really wanted to try and find a girlfriend. She had had one in the past, and after dating Marissa in some sense, and while already having me... she felt she'd just like to have a girlfriend.
So this is what lead ME to okcupid. I created a profile and tried to date too... and my situation with Lacey began to erode. She couldn't handle me dating. Even after several month's had passed, and she had begun to date other men via okcupid (or otherwise), if I so much as talked or texted a girl, she'd get all bent of shape. She didn't limit me directly, mind you - because she knew the terms, especially as she was embracing them herself.... But she didn't create an environment that encouraged me to date at all.
She finally moved out and started seeing this guy named Scott. She and I were still pretty serious while her relationship was growing, and eventually she told me she couldn't date both of us and ended it with me. I was supportive of the decision, however - with out going into detail, she did end up handling it poorly which has since strained our relationship. During her time dating while being with me, and her growing relationship with Scott - I discovered her to be a less than honest and open person... despite myself doing nothing but constantly encourage honesty and openness, and even encouraging her pursuit of other men.
I had decided I was tired of relationships - and I had also decided that I was still sick of being programmed to be a relationship person... I just wanted to date. So I developed a weird and quirky system where I would hit on pretty much any girl I found attractive or interesting. This lead to a lot of duds, and a quite a bit of unsatisfying sex. But I didn't really care - I've spent almost the last decade of my life having only 2 serious relationships... in both of those relationships all I wanted was nothing more than to love openly and honestly... and both times I feel like I was able to come close, but not close enough. I had decided to tell anyone interested that I wasn't looking for a relationship - which translated into me being a whore, I guess.
But what is funny is that I still can't help but give off that relationship vibe I guess - I was faced with a weird paradox; Girl's that were just looking to fuck, thought I was looking for something more - Girl's that were looking for more, thought I was just looking to fuck. So I fell into a very dissatisfied rut where I couldn't get ANY intimacy because nobody could tell what side of the fence I was on it seemed. My own fault, most definitely.
Which finally, at long last, brings me to my current relationship. Kim. Bright, beautiful, amazing Kim. One of the many girl's hit on one night at the bar. She was cute, so I took my shot to see where it hit. It missed. She was going through a rough break up at the time with her boyfriend of 7 years and the father of her child. However, fast forward a month, and she's out and about again. I'm a big flirt - I can certainly take no for an answer... but I just speak flirtatiously all the time anyway. On this occasion, she actually responded quite well. We ended up back at her place watching scary movies - and then had the most middle-school esq make out session that I'd ever had as an adult... or even a middle-schooler. The next day we got breakfast, I maintained my flirty ways - she started to show signs of regret... and a day later called off our next (first) date.
Fast forward another 2 months and she's out again - I'm ignoring her this time for a few reasons, but she persists quite a bit. Eventually liquor loosens me up enough to stop being a prick and I indulge her. We have an amazing chemistry together, and I don't even mean physically. We spent the night together again, and this time had sex. After that we began to see a lot of each other... and things started to go into overdrive as often is the case with myself so I tried to xcersice restraint.
For the first month, we tipped toed around the subject of being girlfriend and boyfriend - mostly she'd make a slight suggestion of some sort, and I'd brush it off. Eventually she asked me out - and I actually said no. However this is where my weakness came into play - my no didn't sit well at all. I enjoyed what we had but considered the label irrelevant. I took her argument of "We're already boyfriend and girlfriend anyway, so why not have the title?" and turned it against her asking, "exactly, why HAVE it?"... We debated and debated for an entire day... and eventually my weakness of wanting to have and keep her, and fear of her not continuing to see me in some capacity, made me say yes. We agreed to monogamy.
Within the next month we had an interesting night where she made out with one of her girl friends... this resulted in my arguing my case that I should be able to kiss my friends as well - since the majority of them are girls. So basically our stance shifted to "anything but sex" with the opposite sex. By the end of our first month of being official (2nd month of dating), I was confronted full force by her jealousy when I went out one night to see a friend I hadn't seen in several months - a female friend that I have no romantic or sexual past with, mind you. Kim showed up, expecting to hang out with me I guess... and was infuriated to see me spending most of my time with this friend, and "following her around like a puppy" - the resulting conflict caused me to break up with her. Citing that I'm not her property, and that I can do whatever I want with whom ever I want in whatever capacity. I have almost a zero tolerance policy for jealousy in my relationships... which is difficult I know, but 95% of the time, I never get jealous... and the ending of my relationship with Lacey exposed me to so much unfair and irrational jealousy (on her part) that I can't tolerate it. I'm a free and independent person. I want to be able to act as such.
Yet, much like my relationship with Lacey - upon the "break up", I chose to continue to act as normal, and within a day, it became clear to Kim (and everyone else) that nothing had really changed. So in the next month we continued to date... and once again as it was with Sasha and Lacey toward their ends, amusingly, it is the alleged monogamous female that explores the openness of our relationship - yet my attempts are met with jealousy and ferocious attack. The hypocrisy is such that I can't even comprehend. If you are monogamous, and want nothing more than to be monogamous with your partner... yet they express a desire for openness, why then would your first course of action upon opening the relationship, be to PURSUE that openness?
Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with my partner having other partners... but when it is seemingly a battle with these monogamous people, when they constantly profess their complete disagreement with my philosophies... how then can you run off and go on a date the first night after the arrangement is made? How then can you makeout with another man in front of me? Yet if I so much as hint at the possibility of interest - I am scorned? It is the most hurtful experience I've gone through in my relationships with women, and it has happened to me twice, technically three times... all within the three most serious relationships I've ever had.
Eventually, I succumb to some of my own jealousy's with Kim, and she refrains from her flirtations with other men. Even further, our relationship had seen a bit of strain in our "open month", so I decided to close it once again - and was pretty vocal about the fact that it may likely end due to the fact that I don't believe in monogamous relationships.
Having said all that, the next 6 months of our relationship, bringing us to now - have been fantastic. She is an amazing girlfriend; quite possibly the best I've had in any capacity. She's a wonderful partner, and she brings out great things in me. One of possibly only 2 or 3 flaws is her jealousy - and obviously that is the biggest one. She's gotten significantly better with that issue though, because I think my willingness to break up and reinforce my stance on relationships and the importance of not being jealous made it clear that's what I need in order to function healthily. So for example, she's fine with my female friends.
However, despite everything being, essentially, perfect... I feel the call of non-monogamy tearing at me. I don't even have any potential other interests... I'm not even the type who desires to just have open sex with people because sex is fun... Yet, here I am in my perfect relationship feeling trapped, like I can't be myself. I feel one day, I'm going to meet someone and fall in love... and I'm going to tell Kim, and our relationship will end. But I often find myself daydreaming of a time in my life where I can be in love with someone; with Kim, and then fall in love again... and have Kim be happy. I daydream of having a home filled with people I love - with Kim, her daughter, whatever mystery woman may await me - and any of the people that they love too.
But I've never even felt close to that dream. Even through talking and negotiating with my past relationships, each gain - minor or significant - feels like another piece in a house of cards, where all it takes is for someone to breath the wrong way for everything to fall apart.
For my first real post in a poly forum - I was going to seek advice on how to deal with handling my desire for multiple relationships while dating someone who is mono. I've done a lot of reading on this and other forums, and a lot about that topic specifically. But when it came time to type my first post, I had two different one's forming. Or one huge one... I felt the need to just ramble on about my life, how so many different times I bumped into situations that conflict with my philosophical beliefs, or biological need... before I even knew what a philosophical belief or biological need was...
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