I've recently realized that I often feel lonely when some need or want is not being met. And I've been feeling lonely more often.
I had been going over in my head if I should ask Whip to move in. His current living situation is manageable but not fun. He asked me some time ago and I said no, I wasn't ready. Moving in together is a big deal for me. It means commitment, longevity and so on. It's one of my markers of a primary relationship.
I've been thinking a lot about what a primary relationship looks like if it doesn't have the markers of primary-ness that a typical monogamous relationship has - like living together, shared finances, etc.
I don't have any idea what that would look like or feel like.
Anyway, we finally had a chance to talk about living together. Whip basically thought I would not do well living with him. Or anyone really. I kind of agree. I need a lot of alone time and I need quiet. He's kind of a loud guy. Big voice, is rather hard of hearing so cranks the television, radio, etc. But I'm also struggling not to hear 'I don't want to live you.' in that statement. I don't believe that is what he meant - in my head. But I fear that statement he didn't say or imply is what he 'really' meant. Trying not to go round and round on this but not always succeeding. I think I will ask for reassurance on this.
I don't know if I can live with anyone anymore. And I don't know if I like being the kind of person who can't live with anyone. I mostly liked living with Beaker. There were lots of adjustments needed for both of us. Sometimes I needed more truly alone time than I got. Sometimes I felt lonely when she was right there. I don't want that feeling ever again. So while I need quiet and time to myself, I need people too. I want people around. I find myself craving more contact with people. Real contact, not superficial. I've been trying to develop more friendships and nurture the ones I've got. I'm been trying to do all the things I tell other people to try when feeling lonely and sad and alone. More friendships, hobbies, loving my pets, working on my stuff. Check.
But all that stuff doesn't actually end loneliness, not entirely. And unless there's some magical threshold I have not hit, it manages loneliness, but is not a cure.
So I've been lonely. And I fear the reasons behind that loneliness. What if it is the sigh of something major? What if my needs are not being met in my relationship with Whip? What if they never are? Or can't be? I've been lonely in the middle of a loving, committed, faithful, monogamous partnership. So I know monogamy is not 'the' answer and that poly is not necessarily the problem.
I read "The Seven Levels of Intimacy" by Matthew Kelly - recommended by LovingRadiance. (Thanks LR!) I also recommend it. It's written from a Christian perspective but, if you are not Christian, read it anyway. Ignore or just agree to disagree with the parts that assume monogamy and Christianity and think about the rest. Lots of good stuff in there about what intimacy actually is.
In that book, the author encourages readers to figure out what they really want in a great relationship. So I've started doing that work. I don't know where it will take me.
But I realized that I may be repeating a pattern with Whip that I had with Beaker. I knew early on in my relationship with Beaker that her career would come first. I was a close second. I was mostly ok with that. Whip has told me that he has to put developing his career first. Because of the bad economy, he's had a terrible time starting a career. So that is his understandable focus. He's been very upfront about that. I understand his reasons. But I've been realizing I want someone to put me, and us, first. Not a close second.
I don't know what to do with this realization. It's possible things could evolve with Whip in that direction. Or it may stay the way it is now. I know I need to continue talking with him. I keep telling myself to let things flow, to see how things go. I didn't think we would get to this place so relax and keep talking and keep loving.