Of course there are varied levels of expectations, certainty and commitment between different relationships at different times. Even so, I'm not really into referring to relationships in hierarchical terms (primary, secondary) because some important things feel equivalent for me. We all have equal respect, are equally autonomous agents and our feelings are equally valued (i.e. no one has veto power). We work together to make sure everyone is cared for. But beyond this realm of care & respect, equivalence isn't possible, and isn't really the point anyway.
That said: I've sometimes found it hard to separate my sense of non-hierarchy on the one hand, with my sense that it's important to 'keep it real' and see each relationship for what it is. Right now I am more "sure" of Sage than Carob, in terms of being compatible as "life partners". I am not too bothered by it, because I think becoming more certain of these things sometimes just needs time. I also don't think "life partnership" is the goal, or the measure of success of a relationship. And yet, it is something that's been on my mind recently.
With Sage, I know we are compatible all the way. I want to live with him longtime, and I've really been missing him since he's moved to another country. (He's been gone since July; we've seen each other a few times but it's been pretty bleh to be apart.) We share the same basic values. I not only respect and admire him, but I aspire to be like him in many ways. I love how he is considerate to other people's needs, and treads gently on this earth. We inspire each other to be better people.
With Carob, I have similar feelings of admiration and inspiration. He definitely challenges me to be a better person in a lot of ways. But... I'm not sure that we share a connection all the way (?) It's hard to express, and it's certainly sounding like a hierarchy, huh?
I don't know, it's something like a fundamental moral/aesthetic, maybe even cultural, connection that I have with Sage; and I'm unsure whether I have the same kind of connection with C. I'm keen to find out... I trust Carob entirely, I love him deeply and want to share my life with him, and on the level we're at right now, things are great and I have no complaints. But before I feel sure of making serious 'life plans' with him, intertwining our futures more intimately, I'd want to feel that bedrock... Obviously not identical to what I feel with Sage, but some solid ground. Without this, I think we can't go much further than where we are now: close friends and lovers, but more like visitors in each other's houses.
I'm writing this in a bit of a sideways mood. C has been staying over for the last couple of days but he's been kind of in his own space. I'm happy he's comfortable to do his own thing, but I feel strangely separate from him all day, though it's lovely to cuddle in bed together at night.
Don't get me wrong. We share common interests and passions apart from sex (ha!), and from time to time have worked on projects together... but when we have done this (worked on something together), it's usually been me initiating it or driving it. This is making me wonder if I'm pushing things. Maybe he's just not that into the same stuff as I am, or is more interested in different things...
If so, well, that's cool but I'd like to know because the kind of relationship I want from a life partner is someone who I can team up with whole-heartedly to enrich not only our own lives, but the community around us (as much as we can). Carob and I have been together long enough that we seem to be drifting into assumptions that we're compatible as life partners... He's been feeling some tension around this e.g. Sage being married to me is already there as my "official" partner. In my opinion the issue isn't "how do we accommodate the three of us in the same metaphysical relationship space?" but rather "is this where I want to go with C?" 'Cos I don't think Carob and I have to go there just because it's where Sage and I went.
Ah. Trying to parse which bits are related to overall poly dynamics, and which bits are just how things are between C & me, and which bits are just my funny head space right now.
(I thought I'd blog on this even just to articulate this better to myself. I've talked with C about some of this before, but not in particular about how I've been feeling this weekend. Will definitely chat with him if I feel I need to!)
Last edited by fuchka; 12-04-2011 at 06:05 AM.