On with it...
A couple of years ago, I quit my job and left Singapore to travel alone for a few months. I needed to get away from it all and do some soul searching. Nisha didn't come with me, but we knew we'd see each other again after my travels. Leaving wasn't easy for either of us but she supported me and helped me take that first step. Without her push, I'd probably still be contemplating my journey instead of doing it. And so I left...
We agreed that we didn't need to check in with each other before "meeting" new people while I was away. That would have been difficult, with us not knowing when we'd be reachable. So I left and Nisha stayed and at first we kept in touch daily. But Nisha needed her space, so she eventually asked me to stop contacting her for a while (or at least until I had finished my travels). Even though she supported my decision to leave, she felt lonely and she needed her space and time to deal with the newness of things.
At that time, our poly relationship meant something different to me. To me it meant being in ONLY ONE real relationship and ONLY having casual sex on the side. While I was travelling, I had a one night stand and Nisha started having a fling with someone. She saw this guy for weeks on end and they spent a lot of time together. It was also the first time she was having (one on one) sex with someone else since we'd been dating. They started to get friendly, close, it was more than just sex, it was getting emotional.
That really made me jealous. And uncomfortable. And angry. I suddenly felt alone out there, in a new country surrounded by strangers. Nisha knew that I was hurting but she didn't want to stop what she was doing. She didn't see the need to specially after all the affairs I had during our relationship. I didn't want to ask her to stop either. I didn't want to be a hypocrite who only takes and never gives.
I was very disturbed by the whole thing, even more so because I felt like I had no one to talk to at the time. I was angry at Nisha, I was hurting and I was alone. I couldn't understand how Nisha could do something like this to me.
I finished my travels a month later but didn't return to Singapore, I went back to my home town in India. Nisha visited me for the Christmas holidays and we tried to speak about what happened but I was so hurt and still angry that I couldn't have a proper conversation with her. It always led to a shouting fight and she never seemed sorry for what she did. After the holidays, Nisha returned to Singapore.
A month or two later I met Greta, a friend of a friend who was travelling through my town. My friend asked me if I'd like to show her around and I accepted. We drove to many places and spoke a lot about our different cultures, interests and eventually started flirting and got close. We started to become good friends and I began wanting to sleep with her. The difference between this situation and previous ones is, for the first time in my life I was honest from the start.
I told her that I loved Nisha but I also wanted to enjoy the moment with Greta. I explained to her that I was poly but there was only one girl for me. At first I was scared to speak up, I was worried she'd get angry or feel used. But she listened and instead of trying to trick her into bed, I gave her the choice of leaving if she felt uncomfortable or staying if she wanted to.
She decided to stay. We spent the next few days talking a lot and getting very friendly.
In many ways, Greta helped me with my relationship with Nisha. She helped me realise that there's no need to lie to get laid. That in fact, getting laid was so much better when done honestly. She helped me realise that I could still be in love with Nisha while I felt warm with somebody else. She helped me come out a little more, of a paranoid shell I had built for myself. I was grateful to her.
And all this made me realise the reverse was possible too. I realised that it was possible for Nisha to still love me while seeing someone else. Perhaps her fling could positively influence our relationship too. If it was, I didn't want to stop it. I wasn't angry at her anymore. I wasn't hurt. I finally understood the beauty of it.
The next time Nisha and I met, we spoke to each other without fighting. We weren't jealous, we just wanted each other to be happy. It was wonderful. And again, we got closer than we'd ever been. And it's been beautiful ever since.
And then we messed things up by biting off more than we could chew. We went on vacation to Berlin, a place I always wanted to visit before I met Greta. The place that Greta coincidentally lived in. And we stayed at her place as guests and even went to visit her hometown with her parents the second day after Nisha and Greta met each other for the first time…