FIRST: i want to say "thank you" to everybody who posts anywhere in this forum. i've been reading threads all over for a couple of months now, and it's helped me to see that the Human Spectrum is way bigger than i thought - which is really relieving in some ways.
have been reading on asexuality as much as poly lately....i think i can be asexual for weeks (maybe months) at a time, while being emotionally poly and wanting to cuddle up with two or three at a time....
so i hung out with j (the ex) last sunday. we met at our Jimmy's Egg and went back to his place after. he rode my new motorcycle, then we sat out on the back drive/porch and had beers and talked.
i asked him if he'd ever considered open relationships. his reply was basically that being with someone he wants to be with makes him feel special, and if his partner is with him one night and another person the next night, he feels way less special - sorta like one face of many...part of a harem? i understand. i knew he felt that way, and i knew that his intimate relationships are a big part of his self-confidence. (can't say mine aren't...but i swing back & forth, from being confident in my own company to being confident in identifying with a certain group or individual...if that makes any sense.)
as i understand, he's always had lower-than-average self-esteem, and he sometimes overcompensates for that by coming across as arrogant. these are my words and my opinion, but sometimes he wears a self-righteous attitude to armor and disguise his feelings of vulnerability and inferiority.
he's never looked in the mirror and seen himself as attractive, handsome, beautiful (i've always seen him as all these things, much moreso when he's happy and loving), and he's often said that our being together made him feel those things about himself - which is both good and not, i suppose.
he said sunday, "i know you're not sure what you want, and i understand you're feeling your way around right now and you don't want to hurt anybody while you're doing that. i'm not sure exactly what your circumstances are right now, and i don't think i want to...." i wondered how much i should say at that point: lay it all out for him anyway, in order to fulfill my sense of responsibility to both/all of us (me, him, Z)? or leave it where it is, and just answer questions as they're asked, or bring up specific topics as i feel the need to?
we talked about some other things, things i hadn't been able to communicate with him about when we were together, or two years ago when we were splitting up (oh, the hell of that fallout...) we decided to start all over. we're both happy where we are, with our lives, our lives & careers are on good tracks, and we each feel like (in his words) we'd be fine without the other in our lives, for the rest of our lives, but we'd be better with the other's presence - it would make the whole living experience richer, for whatever length of time it lasts as a friendship or anything else.
then we spent three hours on the couch, snuggling some and playing a video game. it was a relieving, happy, reuniting day.
now comes what i see as a problem: even though Z and i have agreed to be bestFWB, we've still spent a lot of time together in the month since, and i know that if/when i start spending more time with J or other people, it's going to sting a little. he may retreat; he may be mad or hurt; he may feel that the fact that not much has changed since the discussion meant that i didn't really want things to be the way i said i did. i know i can't do anything about how he feels except be open to and there for him.... but the fear that i'll alienate him (or fear of even just the conflict/tension it could put between us) snags at my heart and spirit. it slows me acting upon what i want, sometimes stops me altogether.
i was riding high off the feelings of freedom and joy that came when we had our talk a month or so ago, and just knowing that i had the space and "permission" to move in any direction i wanted made me float off the ground. i also felt very grateful and attached (wtf?!) to Z for being the kind of man who could hear me out, understand, and agree to let things be this way. it's like i severed a tie that ached to be cut, and now i'm leaning back toward the ball i was chained to, the freedom making me giddy and seeing him through rose-colored glasses for several weeks afterward.
now that i'm attempting to repair some connections that were severely damaged, as well as to form new ones, the experiences and feelings of expansion are often very satisfying, but i feel too like i'm leaving him behind some....
i know he would be mono and very committed to me if i chose to be the same. he is that way anyway. ("i'm pretty much a one-woman man and happy that way.") which is fine, and we aired all this a while back, but guilt has long been a big hangup for me, and i find myself choosing inertia over initiation sometimes, just so i won't hurt him ("or anyone else")....and subsequently feeling unfulfilled, stagnant, resentful, and sometimes careless as a result.
sometimes i feel like lovefromgirl said in one of her posts: "i could just be extra! and cute! you could both (all) love me if you wanted!" i wouldn't mind curling up on the rug in the living room and being petted, catlike. i could totally play house for two, three, or several, for days at a time, but not ALL the time or every day. i love serving and making people feel really good. it makes me glow.
i could be your personal bartender, masseuse, dishwasher, homemaker/keeper, court composer, part-time lover, good friend, riding partner (horses, motorcycles, other things) - and i could be his and his and hers as well - and keep my own home, having as much time to myself and giving you plenty of time with other people you like and love - and be perfectly happy with my life!
better take a breath....
mostly my issue right now is how to overcome the inertia that stems from not wanting to hurt people.... i have not been a good communicator in the past, and i still have the tendency to keep my feelings to myself if i think it will influence someone i love to move in the opposite direction of me. is that an abandonment issue? i dunno.
am realizing i'm still quite a baby. =/