@Cat: "poly" wasn't a term in my vocabulary then, but i had deep feelings for a couple of other people besides J while we were together, even as i wanted to GO deeper with J. i saw it put into words in AnotherConfused's thread: i wanted a lot more emotional intimacy with him, and he was content enough with things being as they were, which felt to me to be floating on the surface of our relationship together and our individual lives.
also, a BIG one - i needed to learn basic communication skill #1 - TALK. TALK REGARDLESS of what you're afraid might happen. TALK HONESTLY. i tend to clam up when i'm scared of someone's reaction.
(we BOTH needed to learn to do that, but this i'm in charge of MY OWN shit.)
nostalgia kicks me in the ass sometimes. it (and hormones) had the best of me that day.
you're right, it's NOT the best course of action. neither of these guys would be open to that specific possibility. Z is open to my fostering connection with other people, and he's a good listener. i find in him the emotional intimacy i wanted badly with J. he knows me very well, and he's not scared to look deeper or meet me in the places i might be scared or ashamed of myself. and he would be gracious and probably supportive if i chose to go BACK to a monogamous relationship with J - but the latter is something i couldn't keep up for an extended period, knowing myself and J.
i haven't let go of my feelings for J; i'm not sure if i can. so i'll take them with me for now. it's a thorn - both a gift and a curse - but no longer debilitating.
BUT i have Those Days, where i miss him/us/partly illusion SO much. on those days, i need to GET IT OUT OF ME. sometimes i think i need to SCREAM it.
@Gala - yes, everything got quite a bit better once i did.
i went to Z's place yesterday afternoon and told him all about it. *big exhalation* of course he understood and was really gentle with me. no, i didn't say anything like "if i could be with both of you, i would," because a) i can't really see it happening, and b) i'm not sure it needs to be said. but i let out all of my thoughts and emotion over missing J, rehashed some old things in Z's presence, and he let me get it all out AND offered some thoughtful and sympathetic feedback.
thank you both for your honest thoughts. i can see myself making some of the same turns over and again, while expecting the outcome to be different. =/