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MeeraReed 05-03-2011 02:20 AM

I think maybe I'm poly...
 
Hi everyone,

I've been reading on this forum for about eight months now, and I joined officially two months ago but haven't had time to introduce myself until now.

I still don't really have time--I'm in grad school, work as a freelance writer, teach writing, and also have a weekend job at a museum. Plus I'm involved with theater, have lots of nerdy/geeky interests, and a dog who demands constant exercise.

I'm procrastinating about a graduate project right now!

I'm 29 (almost 30! big party this summer!). I'm female and straight. I live in the Northeast of the U.S.

My situation...well, I guess there's a long version, which I will post under "New to Polyamory" (eventually), where I can discuss my specific issues & get advice.

The short version is: I've been slowly figuring out that I don't believe in monogamy (for myself, I mean--whatever other people do is none of my business). I'm not really sure yet what form of non-monogamy would be right for me. I'm trying to figure that out.

I'm not dating anyone at all right now. I don't want to start dating again until I figure out how to describe myself and what I want.

I'm recovering from the most devastating experience of my life, which resulted in me having a 6-month emotional collapse/depression last year (2010). Basically, I had a completely failed attempt at non-monogamy, and lost my best friend in the world (my ex-boyfriend, with whom I was attempting to have a non-monogamous relationship of some sort). Anyway, this story goes in the "long version," which I'll post later elsewhere.

I've been struggling to find a support network of sympathetic peers. (The mutual friends I shared with my ex all stopped speaking to me, even though they don't know anything about the situation).

I'm on a journey of trying to figure out if the label "poly" fits me. More on that later, too.

I've read up on poly stuff, joined some poly groups, met some poly people, and am liking what I've learned so far.

As for what I want in terms of dating/relationships...well, I want to be independent and continue to live alone. I don't want kids. Most of my energy goes into my writing, and I like it that way.

I've never felt like "coupledom" was quite right for me. I want to explore my sexuality. I don't want to be with just one man forever. I'm not particularly interested in falling in love, but my sexual partners are always good friends.

That kind of sounds like I want to stay single and just date around...which is why I'm hesitating about the label "poly."

But I don't feel like this is a phase, I feel like this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. And I want to be responsible, honest, mature, compassionate and open about what I'm doing, whether it's "dating around" or having one primary partner while exploring more casual relationships on the side, or having three or four secondary-type partners but no primary.

And most of all, I want friends that I can talk to about this!

I just feel sort of lost.

nycindie 05-03-2011 07:58 PM

Hi and welcome!

I am also a "solo poly" woman. And straight. I chose to explore poly after my husband announced he wanted a divorce after more than ten years, and moved out shortly thereafter. It was devastating, and I'm still trying to heal from that pain and grief. When I was ready to start dating again, I knew I wanted to try poly and this online community has been extremely helpful. Right now I would say I am still just a single woman dating, but I am learning so much about myself, with this new (for me) perspective on relationships.

I also want to remain independent and not cohabit with anyone nor be a part of any kind of triad or tribe. I like the idea of having three or four boyfriends. I also have no desire to have children or be part of a household with children. I have been childfree by choice my entire adult life.

Anyway, a while back, I started a thread for Solo Polyfolk. Feel free to contribute your ideas of what would work for you. Here's the link:

Solo poly people - what's your ideal?

Ivy 05-05-2011 01:55 AM

Just saying hi, and...

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
I'm in grad school, work as a freelance writer, teach writing, and also have a weekend job at a museum. Plus I'm involved with theater, have lots of nerdy/geeky interests, and a dog who demands constant exercise.

...I envy you. Also, we have this in common:

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
I've been struggling to find a support network of sympathetic peers. (The mutual friends I shared with my ex all stopped speaking to me, even though they don't know anything about the situation).

And this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
And most of all, I want friends that I can talk to about this!

And definitely this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
I just feel sort of lost.

I'm probably short on answers, but you have my sympathy!

MrFarFromRight 05-05-2011 11:58 PM

Hi Meera and welcome!
I told myself that I was going to get off this computer and GO TO BED!!! (It's almost 2am here in Europe and I have things to do tomorrow - and am starting off on a 1700km hitch-hike back home the day after.) But then I saw this thread and just had to jump in.

Just a quick comment which will put this thread in my subscription list and then it really is bed.

You sound like you're independent, intelligent, with your feet on the ground, and in love with yourself. [Some people use that last attribute as a criticism, but not me.] You don't need a relationship to fill some aching hole... or make you whole. I admire that. You'll be hearing from me... (yawn, stretch, rub eyes...)

MeeraReed 05-08-2011 04:31 PM

Thanks for your replies & support, everyone.

Especially nycindie--I had read your posts/personal story months ago, and your perspective / journey / approach to polyamory really resonated with me.

(Before I found your story, I was thinking, "I'm not quite sure that any of these experiences sound quite like mine or what I want for myself...")

So, thank you!

MeeraReed 09-05-2011 04:14 PM

Just a quick update: I'm still new to polyamory and still trying to figure everything out.

I'm going to try to post on here more often, as I like the forum (and it seems like a great way to avoid doing my graduate work!)

I'm identifying as non-monogamous rather than poly, as it's a more general term and being in love is not particularly important to me.

I like being single, although I'd like to have some type of non-exclusive relationship someday.

I turned 30 recently and am trying to begin a decade of dating the way I've always felt I wanted to date. I guess my view of dating has always been non-traditional, although I didn't realize it until last year.

River 09-05-2011 04:27 PM

Welcome aboard!

Perhaps this thread is not the appropriate place to address my questions, but here they are, anyway. If you'd like to address them, perhaps you'll prefer to do so in another thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
I've never felt like "coupledom" was quite right for me. I want to explore my sexuality. I don't want to be with just one man forever. I'm not particularly interested in falling in love, but my sexual partners are always good friends.

Wow, this passage really struck me, because it's so opposite to myself. (I'm not saying it is bad, just different.)

Being in love is such an exhilarating ecstasy / bliss for me that I have a difficult time understanding not wanting to be in love. And regular sexual contact with someone, for me, means we're at least somewhat in love, and going deeper.

I can't help wondering what "falling in love" means to you--how you understand it. And what, ultimately, distinguishes "good friends" with whom you're sharing sex from persons with whom you're also sharing love / "falling in love"?

Do you worry or fear that in "falling in love" you will necessarily lose your independence? Your freedom? Time to write?

friday 09-05-2011 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 100806)
I'm going to try to post on here more often, as I like the forum (and it seems like a great way to avoid doing my graduate work!)

Just wanted to say hi and say that I'm with you on this part. I'm the opposite of single being a mom who is part of a committed "v", but between working full time, graduate school (last semester of my Master's), my son, husband, and partner all needed my time sometimes it gets crazy. Unfortunately when my son was born almost 5 years ago I had to give up doing theatre, but I used to be a tech in my 20's. Not sure where I found the time to start the relationships I'm in but reading/writing about them is another bit of time consumption so this forum might end up being a weekend/holiday after all my papers are done kind of thing!

MeeraReed 09-08-2011 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by River (Post 100807)
Welcome aboard!

Perhaps this thread is not the appropriate place to address my questions, but here they are, anyway. If you'd like to address them, perhaps you'll prefer to do so in another thread.



Wow, this passage really struck me, because it's so opposite to myself. (I'm not saying it is bad, just different.)

Being in love is such an exhilarating ecstasy / bliss for me that I have a difficult time understanding not wanting to be in love. And regular sexual contact with someone, for me, means we're at least somewhat in love, and going deeper.

I can't help wondering what "falling in love" means to you--how you understand it. And what, ultimately, distinguishes "good friends" with whom you're sharing sex from persons with whom you're also sharing love / "falling in love"?

Do you worry or fear that in "falling in love" you will necessarily lose your independence? Your freedom? Time to write?

Thanks for your reply, River. I'm glad you asked these questions, as I don't know the answers myself, and it's something I want to discuss!

My problem is that I really don't know what "falling in love" means for me. I used to think it meant "the desire to be monogamous with one person forever." Therefore, it seemed like something I didn't want to experience, something that went against my nature.

I know a number of people--including my own mother (before I was born!), a few friends, and a couple men I have dated--who spent long periods of time "dating around," having sexual relations with various people (whom they considered friends and were honest with) and not committing to anyone. Then they "fell in love" with someone and dropped everyone else except the person they were in love with, and committed for life to their love.

(For my mother, that's the story of how she met my father, and for one of the men I dated, that's the story of how he dropped me--although he did it very kindly and apologetically).

I guess my perspective is that I just don't get it. I can't imagine that I would want to drop my other lovers just because of "falling in love." But, as I no longer have any lovers, I'm sort of floundering to readjust my philosophy. Now I have no idea what I believe about love!

It's possible that my exploration of polyamory will allow me to open myself up to love, if it's in the context of non-monogamy.

A more specific answer is, the one time I was in love, I didn't particularly like it and I didn't feel like myself. It's not really a good example, though, because I had fallen in love with my first boyfriend only AFTER the relationship was over, sort of realizing too late that I did return his intense feelings. I wasn't sure at first that we wouldn't get back together--and I felt all that bliss and exhilaration, all the love-songs-on-the-radio-finally-making-sense feeling. Except I wasn't actually WITH the object of my affections--it was all sort of imaginary, and I ended up getting very, very hurt.

Then I convinced myself that he was my one true love, my lost love, and I spent a long time avoiding dating because I couldn't imagine that I wanted anyone else. Eventually I realized that my real problem was that I wasn't in tune with my strong sexual feelings, and I'd been using the excuse of an imaginary love to keep those feelings bottled up.

A single incident of casual sex totally cured me of my childish infatuation, and revolutionized how I thought about sex and love and myself.

And this may sound sort of silly, but the only other time I've felt that "in love" exhilaration was when I recovered from a deep depression and started at a new college. I kind of felt like I was in love with myself. I finally felt like I had BECOME myself. And it was pretty awesome! I still feel like my relationship with myself is the most important relationship I have (and in a good way, not a sad way).

As far as romantic relationships with others, I have a pretty messed-up track record. But I honestly have only felt frustrated and lonely while having a boyfriend--never when I am solitary.

I'm not sure what exactly I feel like I would lose if I "fall in love." My independence, certainly--I have plans to do a lot of traveling over the next decade, and I also have no wish to mix my finances/household living with anyone. And definitely, I worry about losing my time to write.

But part of the problem is I have seen so many people "fall in love" and end up in terrible, unhealthy, controlling relationships.

I also think our culture is too love-focused. We are told that something is missing from our lives if we are not in love. That's simply not true.

Kealoha 09-08-2011 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 79669)
Hi everyone,

I've been struggling to find a support network of sympathetic peers...

...And most of all, I want friends that I can talk to about this!

These are exactly the reasons I'm here. My situation may be different, but it's still nice to have a place where you know someone will understand where you are coming from. Most people I have met are very traditional, so when I am having problems or just need someone to talk to...I feel pretty limited. I admire that you are choosing to discover who you are and what you feel in terms of what you want with both life in general and in a relationship, before you bring someone else into it! I may not have much in the way of experience with being in the poly community or really with many things...but I've been told I'm a pretty good listener...and fairly easy going...so if you ever just need to vent or have someone listen, feel free to contact me. :D


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