Thanks rory. Very pertinent questions. What attracts me to Ella is our shared interests (writing, music, general creativity, politics, community-building, cooking, exploring the outdoors), her hilarious and loving nature, and also how she's different from me in ways that are complementary and/or that I can learn from (e.g. coming from a staunch atheistic background; being slow-paced and considered in her actions; having a straight-up, uncomplicated sex drive; cultivating a simple social life of a few, close friends and a good relationship with her parents.)
These attractions of course don't mean that a close romantic relationship is right for us right now, especially with the long distance factor. On reflection, I've really got too much I'd like to prioritise above making this work (harsh, but true). I'm going to write to her and suggest we be intimate correspondents / pen pals for the next wee while. It'll be a good, proper letter and if I'm understanding her well enough, it'll be as much a relief to her as it will be to me.
Fuck, I'm hard work eh. Sometimes I realise how serious a person I come across as. Oh wellz
Other news from across the ecosystem:
- Ocean had his first sleepover at Menrva's last week, when her husband was out of town for work. Their DADT arrangement meant that Menrva didn't tell Bert about it in advance, but then she felt odd when txting him through the night and the next morning (given Ocean was still there) so she eventually said something about watching a movie with Ocean til the wee hours, and him staying over "because it got too late". This wasn't the exact truth, as the sleepover had been planned weeks in advance (as soon as they knew Bert would be away), but I suppose it was her way of making a compromise between Bert's desire to know nothing and her desire to check in honestly.
Ah, seriously... I find DADT so confusing! Apparently Bert keeps repeating that he really doesn't want to know any details. Menrva (understandably) wants to share some things with him (esp when it comes to clarifying boundaries I imagine), and Ocean is fairly mellow in the middle, respecting Bert while caring for Menrva. If you take someone's DADT at face value (that they are really
ok as long as you keep the lid on it) it's not that problematic. It takes a lot of care and trust, though, I imagine. I wish them well, while thinking to myself "surely it would be easier if you talked about things?"
It's really none of my business, as not my direct relationship, but I do find it odd and a tad incomprehensible. I guess it's because I don't feel the desire for a DADT, in fact, I think it would frustrate me to no end. But Ocean's relaxed about it, which is all that matters. Grotto and I, however, are both befuddled re: their paper-thin veneer of monogamy, and occasionally wanna punch a hole in it. Luckily it's not our shit to deal with
- I mentioned to Grotto recently that a lot of his friends treat me as his
girlfriend and behave as if we were an isolated couple. While they mostly know about Ocean, he seems not to be conceptually included as part of what works in our relationship (if that makes sense) e.g. doesn't get invited to some things even when he's friends with some of the people going (cos now I'm there as Grotto's partner). This mostly grates in situations when, if Grotto wasn't here, Ocean and I may have been invited as a couple in our own right.
I don't think it's malicious or thoughtless. It's possibly simply that people are quite used to dealing with couples, but not with poly dynamics. Having a netful of mutual friends makes navigating this stuff trickier than usual. Anyway, Grotto said that he'd be more considerate of inviting Ocean to things so it's more obvious that we're comfortable socialising together.
Well. Yesterday, one of Grotto's work colleagues was throwing a dinner party with Grotto (they were having a cook-off) and Grotto asked if it was okay if Ocean could come as well as me. That was really sweet of him, and I loved being there with them both. I realised this is an important aspect for me, to feel less disparate between different social circles.
- Finally, babies! We've had the discussion on and off. Not trying for kids yet but it's something on the horizon in the next 2-5 years. What's new is my own clarity around the situation, and sounding this off to both Ocean and Grotto. In the right environment, if we were all ready, I would be open to having kids with either Ocean or Grotto. For practical reasons, it would be better to try with Ocean first, esp as the two of us have more confidence about being compatible in day-to-day domestic situations, and have a stronger web of family support (not essential, but will make things so much easier!)
I asked Grotto, if things end up going that way, whether he could see this as a parental role for all three of us. I.e. if Ocean and I had a child, if he could be a dad more than an uncle. Cos then, if we all feel that works out, we may feel more ready to approach trying for a kid the two of us (Grotto and me). He liked the sound of that (yay).
I know things with children are notoriously unplannable, and even if you try for children, this may not happen. Also, I'm not 100% sure I want to have children at all. I'm sometimes into it, and sometimes put off by the brutal reality
I suspect I'll want to, though, I can feel the cluckiness building, and also my thoughts winding that way... so I'm just preparing for it, in case that's what we all want to do.
Ooooh a PS. Not sure if I mentioned this in my blog before (and, really, my narrative is so scatty I wouldn't expect anyone to be following even if I had, anyway!) A few months ago, I asked Grotto if he'd marry me. Not sure how it will work, obviously, and I don't mean any kind of traditional marriage, it was more the sentiment of life commitment. He said yes. Anything public is a long way off yet (years, I imagine!) but my desire for growing old with him is something settled in my heart. This is no longer any more of an experiment than my relationship with Ocean. It's working, we're good, and I want to cultivate this in my life, for the long haul.