Okay ... two bloggy bloggings to share, one all about poly, and one not one whit poly. Ah, the guilty pleasures of being the OP.
First: I've been asked a time or three lately, what on earth do I (and Brother-Husband) get out of being (one of) the males in a vanilla hetero MFM Vee? Both males get ripped off. The female getteth two male hotties (we are so hot); each male hottie getteth only half a female hottie (she's smoken').
Sometime in 2007 or 2008, I said almost exactly that to her. "You have two husbands. I only have half a wife." I said it because she was struggling with the idea of me searching for a new girlfriend or two on the internet. I was really feeling the sting of the time I did not get to spend with her. Well when I put it that way she admitted I had a point, and finally agreed to be okay with it as long as I totally kept her in the loop whenever something romantic might be springing up from the date site earth in my life.
I was glad for this newfound freedom to seek out some extra female attention. And, I tried. I really did. Too much so, in fact, I think.
At first I was just looking at generic dating sites. Oooh that got awful. The best response I could get (when admitting my poly status -- and I always did right away) was, "I'm sorry, but I'm just not interested in that." The worst I got was, "You fleabag! Stop this selfish womanizing and be the man that your woman deserves!" Yuck yuck yuck ... Lucky for me, I then found out about OKCupid and was thus able to greatly upgrade.
Well you know. Still not sayin' much. Probably the best thing that came out of it was a lady in Santa Fe who kindly conversed with me as a platonic friend for several months. She wasn't poly and wasn't looking for romance, even though she was feeling restless in her marriage and I think just wanted someone to talk to. So that was nice.
But beyond that, I just didn't find much interest out there, platonically or romantically. Oh I suppose I didn't give it long enough, though it sure seemed like a long time to me. And maybe my sense of urgency and lack of self-confidence bled through, no matter how many band-aids I plugged it with. Heck, Snowbunny helped to no end, giving suggestions on how to improve my profile and giving honest feedback about the messages I sent out. It got to the point where she admitted she couldn't understand why I wasn't garnering any significant interest.
Oh sure I was able to exchange messages with a few people for a little while, but it always fizzled. Something about getting to know me better convinced these lovely ladies that I wasn't that great of a catch. Or they found something better? Who knows.
And those are the highlights of my online "dating" experience. Now we get to the not-so-hot of experiences. The castigation I received -- yes even on OKC -- for being poly. The fakey ID's being used by "American supermodels" who were actually desperate third-world not-so-supermodels looking for a way into my ID, pocketbook, and person to be thrown into prison in their own land if they could lead me along that far. For those who've missed out on the joy of dating-site con artists, I can testify that they come out of the woodwork like roaches, as plentiful as spammers are (the vast majority of which we don't see because the mods nip them in the bud) on forums like Pcom.
Oh after awhile they became just an annoyance, but the first time or two I encountered them I was unprepared for the experience, totally vulnerable, deeply hurt when I figured out what their real interest was in me, and barely dodged the bullet on the harm they could have really caused me.
And there were the many people who just didn't message me back at all -- and frankly I could see why. You see, my opinions and outlooks seem to be far underage for the generation to which I properly belong. I rarely saw any OKC match with me that was higher than 70% ... and when I did: the higher the match, the younger the lady in question. The few 80-84% matches I discovered belonged to women who were about 18-20 years old. I was like 42 in comparison. What would any such woman say to a message from me except "Ewww!" Shoot, one such lady responded to a few of my messages and even gave me helpful advice on improving my profile as well. But she soon (understandably) lost interest and went away.
Snowbunny registered on OKC too, largely to show me support I think. Out of interest, I checked to see how much of a match she was for me (and trust me guys this was based on a lot of match-machine questions -- over 3000 I think). The verdict: a whopping 65%. At that point I kind of felt like throwing up my hands WRT match percentages!
Well that was all interesting for awhile until the novelty wore off and I just got burned out. I tried PolyMatchMaker too but honestly it
- wasn't that well organized at the time,
- had a little too many rough-playing members for my taste,
- didn't have enough members overall for me to find anyone interested in me, let alone where the feeling was mutual -- and forget about finding anyone local.
And then there was the worst experience that came out of all of this searching. Someone on OKC showed an interest in me, put their best foot forward, pulled the wool over my eyes (I'd met lots of scammers but this woman was good -- had Snowbunny fooled as well as me), and found her way into my very home -- rent free -- cause she was (supposedly) down on her luck. Yeah, things were great (though really not particularly romantic and of course not at all sexual) for about a week, and then the downward curve started to become noticeable, as it got steeper, and steeper. The promise she'd made was that she only needed a place to stay for a month or two, but you can imagine how that played out. In the end the only way to pry myself loose from the immeasurably convoluted life of this harsh, critical, slobbish (seriously you've no idea the disaster her bedroom and bathroom soon became) woman: was to sell the house and move out of town.
So. What did I learn from all this? I'll tell you. I learned that there's tons of women out there, but not all that many who'd love me so much as to put up with my faults, without putting me through the ringer about them; who'd be honest about her intentions toward me; who'd seek to help, support, and honor me rather than take advantage of me; who'd deeply and generously lavish her attentions on me. Would Snowbunny lose interest in messaging me? Hell no! She'd answer every email I sent her til the end of Time, and her answers wouldn't be terse formal blow-off's or copy/pasted form letters either. It had been warmth and friendship and companionship that I'd been longing for. Well duh. I already had it. Long story short: I learned how to count my blessings.
From that time forward, I began to notice something. I was starting to enjoy the "me time" I had when Snowbunny was away doing stuff with Brother-Husband. I liked my personal space, my alternating independent solo nights (up and to bed whenever I pleased, no need to wake up and be self-conscious about whether I was giving a fair and appropriate amount of bodily contact, no worries that I might keep her up if I snored), and I really found myself delving into poly forums like this one (and like Polyamorous Percolations
-- back up and running again guys, yay! yayayayayyyyy!).
Suddenly, being alone didn't feel so lonesome anymore. It's more like Snowbunny and Brother-Husband were respecting my right to privacy. I had a cave I could retreat into. It made me feel more like being social (with both of them), and it made me feel more comfortable in general -- as if I'd discovered my very own niche in the Universe. When I'm alone, I remember how much Snowbunny (and Brother-Husband) love/s me, and it makes me smile.
So for those of you ladies (who are or) who desire to be the hinge in an MFM Vee -- or those of you guys (who are or) who desire to be the hinge in an FMF Vee -- and are feeling selfish about it: Don't. You don't need to. All you need to do is discover the right unique balance for each and every person's needs in the equation. Some folks need more romantic attention; others do fine with less.
Of course this also means that lots of people are intense/attached enough in their romantic relationships that poly won't work for them. That is, having "half a spouse" will starve them emotionally. And maybe in some such cases, it's less painful for all involved to break up instead of trying to force a poly arrangement to work that won't work. But my point is, many MFM and FMF (and FFM, MMF, FFF, and MMM) Vee's do work, and one of the most important reasons why they work is because each person finds that the amount of time/attention they get, balanced with the amount of "me time" for them, is the right formula for them given their life, personality, and circumstances.
And that's all I got to say about that.