I feel that many of my posts link to similar thought processes; I'm circling around boundaries and fairness and needs and wants and all that. I have come to one conclusion: I need to spend more time thinking about what it is that I want
. It seems that consideration for others comes easily for me, what doesn't come easily is recognising my own wants and needs.
So, earlier I wrote that I need to let go of concentrating on fairness in my role as a hinge (in my role as a leg I don't). I have revisited this idea afterwards in my head, and I stand by it. I want to build relationships on the basis of what everybody genuinely wants in those relationships. I trust my partners to communicate to me what they want, and so far there haven't been problems in that department. But I really need to do work on my end of the deal. Since I have identified that it often doesn't come naturally to me to focus on my own wants, I need to do that purposefully.
When I think about it, there are some concrete things I do want in my relationships (and in life, but generally it is easier for me to identify those wants than it is in relationships). I was thinking of making lists. Some of these can very well change in the future, and I don't expect them to be in any way exhaustive.
What I need in partnerships in general:
- love; caring about and liking each other
- autonomy; space and support for leading happy and fulfilling lives outside of the relationship
- support in hardship
What I want in my relationship with Mya:
- I want to share everyday life and have our own routines: right now I feel good about this aspect since we usually skype every other day for several hours
- Regular physical contact (ideally more than we can now we're in a LDR): hugs, cuddles, kisses and sex
- About sex: I'd like to be able to have more, obviously, but I also wish to explore things together, and keep up the level of communication about it that we have established from the start
- Philosophical/analytical conversations
What I want in my relationship with Alec
- I want to continue sharing everyday life and again have our own routines: e.g. I want to keep in place for most days our habits of eating together watching dvds (dinner and/or evening snack; doesn't have to be every meal)
- Again, regular cuddles, hugs, kisses and sex
- I want to have space for of physical contact and non-verbal communication we have. I like to have many (even brief) moments of time alone together, but much of it isn't necessarily uncomfortable for other people (and not sexual in nature) and we can do some of it if the people are close enough and we feel comfortable, like if Alec's family is present. I'd like it if in time our poly-family was in that kind of comfortable place (but I will not try to force it, it'll come if it does).
- About sex: here communication often doesn't come naturally, since we had so many years of not talking much about sex. But I have started our heavy talks and made a commitment in my head to keep them up, since that's essential for our sex life to work (which, in turn, is essential for our partnership to work). My sexual preferences when having sex with a male have turned out to be really fluid, so expressing them needs to be done a lot. We have started to forge a broader common ground through communicating and exploring
, and I want to keep that up.
About the sharing of everyday life, which is on the top in my relationship both with Mya and Alec (not that those lists are in any order of priority). I think routines is what makes everyday life for me, and that's why they're important. It's important to me that I have already established routines with Mya via skyping and messaging, and obviously we visit each other. I look forward to us being closer to each other, but I don't want to fall into that trap of thinking some people seem to have around LDRs that the "real relationship life" starts when we're closer. This is our real life, and our real relationship, every moment that goes by, and I want to live it in the present.
About sex (yes, I do like talking about it
): my sexuality has been through changes, and probably keeps on changing. At times I've felt like there is too little common ground for me and Alec to be able to make it work. But (in addition to having done lots of work and thinking and communication) there have been lots of positive effects poly has brought to my sex-life as a whole. There are such differences in gender-dynamics, but also in power-dynamics, in my sexual relations with both of my partners, and that has made a huge difference. I feel more balanced when I can express different sides of myself. And I have gotten some needs (or strong wants) met, of which some I likely couldn't have identified very clearly. But others I had identified and concluded not easy to meet when in relationship with Alec: most obvious one being having a woman as a regular sex partner. Before meeting Mya I didn't consider poly-relationship as a real possibility, and even in an open relationship possibilities for sexual encounters with women didn't come up very often (likely since I only feel attraction after I form a connection with somebody, so don't have sex with strangers); certainly not comparable to having a relationship with a woman. The gender-thing is not the only one, but my point is that I am overall more satisfied. And I feel that I can enjoy the dynamic that comes naturally for me and Alec when I also have a relationship with a different kind of dynamic. That is, I don't need to try fit all aspects of my sexuality into sex with Alec if he is no longer my only regular sex partner.
Wow, is there stuff. I won't make a list, but since I totally support the concept of also being one's own primary, I'll add that there are some things I definitely need in my relationship with myself: own time, own space, and meaningful things to do (at the moment I consider studying to be exactly what I want to do, in the future I'd like more studying or interesting work). And Internet.