Ocean and I are heading off to the city where Lobe lives, tomorrow. The two of us (Ocean and I) are fans of an international band that's playing there, and we got tickets. I recently shared their music with Lobe, and he also likes them, so is coming to the gig with us too.
2nd Jan is Ocean and my wedding anniversary.
We'll be in the city for five nights. Lobe is really excited to see me. We've been talking of it like an occasion of "me visiting", even though it obviously will be different from me visiting by myself!
I'd like to sleep with Lobe every night apart from the 2nd (and maybe one other night) while we're there. Ocean says he's fine with this (in fact, he offered) but I'm still nervous. Ocean's been stressed over work lately and, though we've seen quite a bit of each other, we haven't had a proper date for a while now. I think we're good, but there's no substitute for quality time for settling the nerves.
The original plan was for Ocean (and possibly me and Lobe) to stay with a friend of Ocean's. However, his friend's plans have changed, and they can only put us up for a couple of nights. On top of that, Lobe has to work some of the days we're there, and it seems public transport isn't too great between Ocean's friend's house and Lobe's work.
One fallback option was for Ocean and I to stay at Lobe's place. Only problem is his place is kinda full (his brother and girlfriend are living with him at the moment), so there's only the couch. Not a big deal in itself... but Lobe knows this would also mean a lot of questions
from his family (who don't really know about me, and definitely not about the whole situation.)
Lobe was initially hesitant, not wanting to go there. He said he generally prefers to keep his private life private. But on quick reflection, he said he's okay with anything.
Another fallback option was we find an affordable option for Ocean to stay somewhere nearby Lobe. I think that could also work, although there aren't any cheap places for the 3rd. But there are for the 4th and 5th, which could help ease things.
I spoke with Ocean about it this morning, and he said "I'll go for the couch." He was gearing up for a solid work day, and didn't want to get into a long conversation. I said "I know this is more complex than just you and me going away together for a holiday. Cos from Lobe and my perspective this is also us hoping to spend time together since we're long distance..." "Yup," he said.
I couldn't tell from his face or tone if he was bothered by this dynamic complicating what could have been a simpler holiday time. We were eating breakfast. He was reading the news. I rubbed my toes through his toes, and reminded myself we could talk about this later.
In a post
* over two years ago I wrote:
* if you follow the link, note S = Ocean and C = Grotto
Now and then I still need that almost non-rational reassurance, but it's far less often than before. We actually developed a speed solution for when I need reassurance. It's kind of embarrassing but it works...
When we're over talking and I just need a strong sign from him that things are cool, I flap my arms like a penguin and make this little growl-whine noise, and he pats me on the head and says "pats pats" (like "there there"), then we laugh at ourselves and kiss and we're done!
I had a moment last night that I did the penguin (a side-ways, miniature version, lying next to Ocean in bed!) when I was trying to sort out the accommodational logistics of the holiday, after hearing from Ocean's friend that there'd been a change of plans from their end. Wow, been a long time since I've needed to whip out that one!
It's only now and then that I feel the pressures of being in a 'hinge' position. Maybe it's a constant dynamic, but for me it only manifests in immediate situations where practicalities or expectations have the potential for getting messy. I find it very difficult not to emotionally take on the full responsibility for everything working out. I know I need to relax, and let people speak and negotiate for themselves. But, being in the middle, it's hard to shrug off the sense that you are being looked to
for cues as to how things are going to work. Maybe it's a real thing, maybe it has to be this way.
I do my best. Try not to fret.
What's good is the first night I'm sleeping with Lobe, probably at his place (while Ocean is by himself at his friend's place). Then I will spend the 2nd night (Ocean & my anniversary) with him, probably without Lobe there. Then there's just three more days together at Lobe's place (including concert night, omg, hinge dancing! haha, I really didn't think this through did I?)
Both Lobe and Ocean are really chilled people. Ocean said he will unfortunately most likely have research work to do on holiday anyway (unfinished bizniz). So much of this may be a non-issue.
This is why people are monogamous
Breathe. It's all good.