Funny how thinking about one thing leads to another. I originally was reminded of the above story because of reading through the "Poly Breakups" thread. I've never had a "poly breakup"- what happened with Z is the closest I feel I've come. And then reading elsewhere about the idea that poly is better because "if one of them leaves me, it won't hurt so much" prompted me to actually write it down. Frankly, I think that idea of poly breakups not hurting so much is bullshit. I can see where breaking up with a partner you don't live with and/or don't have kids with could be logistically easier, but less hurtful?? Yes, I had MC and friends to help me when Z basically "dumped" me, but in some ways it was harder because there were so many people who didn't and couldn't know about the extent of our friendship and therefore couldn't understand why I was so crushed. It was the same when someone else I considered a best friend acquiesced to what I wanted- adding a physical aspect to the friendship we had- but didn't tell me about his reservations until later. I could almost call that a poly relationship, because I WAS in love with him, but it lasted less than a week, and then he decided he couldn't because I was married, and it was just too WEIRD! If he had told me ahead of time that yes, he wanted to give it a try but wasn't sure how he'd feel about it, I'd have known not to jump in with both feet thinking I was getting my version of perfect.
But anyway (see how one thing leads to another?!?), going back over that part of my life reminded me of just how many times I've followed the pattern of "Start flirting with someone after they've gone through a traumatic break-up, be a supportive friend AND have some physical fun, and then have them stop talking to me once they're in a better place or feel back on track and start dating someone else." Not every time, or course, but more than half. In some cases I really don't mind. If being with me was good for them at that time and they're happy now, awesome. But in others, like when I thought I was a close friend beyond or outside of the physical relationship, it really bothers me to know that I could be cast aside so easily.
I can count on one hand the number of people I've stayed friends with after our physical relationship stopped. I think most of it is just due to awkwardness. I can understand not knowing how to be friends with someone without the physical component once you've had it. But no matter how understandable it is, it still, at times, makes me feel like I have nothing to offer but my body. Which I KNOW is complete and utter bullshit. I have SO much more to offer than that. But I've definitely gotten more cautious as I've gotten older and as my semi-open relationship with MC has grown and changed and I've gotten more experience. It is so much easier now for me to recognize my deal-breakers early and walk away.
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack