ON OPENING UP AGAIN... AND DOING IT WELL
The excerpt below comes from this thread.
It made me smile because I was once that young, knowing I was something else but not having the vocab or resources to name the Un-nameable. 17, 18, 19 year old...
So I just went about my life living it anyway. Ha.
If my kid winds up feeling polywired I'm totally there for here.
BTDT and this time? Mom's got resources!
Whether Opening Up to More Loves for the first time or Opening Up again after a break up... it's still the same kind of processing. Healing, sorting your own baggage, strengthening, defining what you seek next, going out to seek it and being picky about it.
It was so much easier to be this young in the late teens, early 20's when I was basically a single tending my own 4 buckets. I was a student for the most part, working PT jobs that meant nothing much to me. Stepping stone jobs. I didn't have to care for a big home or larger finances and other than school not a lot was a huge Time Suck.
Boyfriends came and went -- not all of them were lovers. There wasn't a lot vested in there so I didn't mind too much when relationships drifted or had to end. That is what dating is -- the search!
There is more at stake for me in 40s -- I help tend my 4 buckets, my DH's 4 buckets, my kid's 4 buckets. There's big shared stuff -- finances, home, cars, obligations, responsibilities, eldercare, patient issues of my own... I just don't make a move as free as I used to. I've never made a lightly thought move. But now there's just more
riding on it.
Preparing oneself to OPEN UP WELL.
Who wants to Open all crazy with lack of thought and preparation? Not me!
I would love to experience all that again -- to Open Up one more time and get to enjoy the unfolding of a new person in my life and explore it's depths in the context of a long term loving committed relationship. But if I cannot have it the way I want to have it? A GOOD Share? An honest, ethical, meaningful Share? Then I don't want it at all. I already Share a lovely thing with my spouse and my kid and my life is full of sweetness and light.
If there's a Jedi Player out there who gets that, gets me, and wants to Share that kind of world with me -- that's what I'm offering at this particular playground. Serious applicants only, when I put out the "Jedi Player Wanted" shingle.
I'm just not putting it out just yet. DH and I continue to talk and prepare. We may come to find it just isn't the time yet or even wanted by BOTH.
And I'm not flying a new mission without him in my crew 100%. Screw the mission! Because I'm not out to screw him
over. I love him and I love loving him. Because he loves ME. All of me, and he loves loving me.
Who screws something like that over by not thinking and preparing well? It is hard enough to find the first time!
I know they could be out there, but Jedi Players WHO ALSO can get me and love all the weird that is me AND wants the same playground I do? That's another thing than just finding a Jedi Player!
It's fine to be young. Just be slow and cautious. You don't need to attract predators who want to "train" you or like that you are "almost jail bait" -- most poly people are truly kind and ethical but... the nature of the thing attracts some people who are less than ethical. So be cautious ok?
If you really seek deep emotional intimacy with partner(s) -- spend time sorting YOU out first. We all come with baggage. Always. What kind of baggage do you carry? What can be let go of or does not serve you well? How much baggage in your partner(s) can you realistically deal with? Sometimes it is easier just NOT to agree to go there if the load is all kinds of crazy.
You don't get to choose how you feel. It just happens. You can fall in love with whoever. You DO get to choose how you behave in response -- REACT or ACT WITH INTENT. I may fall in love with a serial killer but you know what? I'm gonna choose to stay the hell away from them! (I exaggerate on purpose, but you know what I mean. Some people are better loved from a far distance because they can hurt you in your buckets badly, and then YOU are not being loved. Relationship is two ways, not one sided.)
How do you tend your OWN buckets of mind, body, heart, and soul? Are you as fit as you could be in all your health buckets? Can you offer a new partner the best you that you can be? If you are hurting from your recent break up in mental health, emotional health, physical health, or spiritual health -- take time to heal first and plump those back up. Do not Open Up to a new love just yet.
When you are good in all your buckets? THEN Open Up to the possibility of a New Love or Loves.
Organize your thoughts and feelings so you know what you want and are seeking next. Reality test that to make sure your expectations, wants, needs, and limits are realistic and not crazy ideals. Keep it real.
Think about how to be in "right relationship" to your Future Loves, and how you want them to behave toward you so that they are in right relationship to YOU. You deserve love, respect, dignity because you have worth and value. My own is pretty darn clear -- and I guess I'm getting a reputation around here (lovefromgirl - ha! " )for yammering on and on about wanting to be with Jedi Players only and not wanting to deal in some Muppet show.
I have a kid who is into both and I love both. But in real life I really do not want crazymaking drama from people who can't behave honestly, ethically, and like.... grown ups! So far all my own relationships have been sweetness and light. I think because I've been super picky. Be picky!
When you Open to more than one, you help to tend your OWN buckets, your partner(s) buckets. That's 4, 8, 12, 16... a LOT of buckets and a lot of polymath tiers. Don't take on more than you can hack -- not fair to you or your partner(s).
So learn more about poly in general and spend some time learning about yourself. That will help your dating life stay more on the Jedi path and less on the backstage Mupper Chaos freak show. Muppets are fun to watch on TV, but healthy people do not want to LIVE there in chronic chaos.
Figure out your model and figure out your strong communication skills FIRST. Read this and THINK. Her conclusion advice is excellent:
For you to be happy in open relationships of any kind, you must first know what you want and which model will be most likely to work for you. Secondly, you must be able to articulately communicate what you want to potential partners in an honest and clear way. And last, but certainly not least, it is crucial to pick partners who want the same type of relationship and are comfortable with your chosen model. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills go a long way towards achieving these goals, along with a willingness to negotiate to satisfy everyone's needs. Following these steps will maximize your chances of developing satisfying and successful open relationships.