No, Mono, I'm not poly for sure. I've known for quite a while now that I'm comfortable loving a woman who has other lovers but that it makes me feel disloyal and sneaky to have more than one lover myself. So I'm poly-friendly but I have no personal drive to love many.
Which is a partial answer to Derby's excellent question too, I guess. I've gone on several dates with women other than L in an effort to find friends, and at one time I thought maybe I'd find a lover. But when it came down to it I always felt wrong.
Something else: L and I have always known that we're lifestyle-incompatible. Even if she was single we could never live together, and I wouldn't be on her list of eligible males. But J and I are great: we both like to sleep in the dirt, throw together nutritious stuff and eat it without any thought for cuisine or style; we are hikers by inclination and outdoor people by nature. What made me curious about her in the first place is that she's the only woman I ever met who goes camping alone. And who puts cayenne pepper in her coffee. We match.
So, monogamy once the NRE wears off? The best chance of it I've ever had in my life, that's all! My life is 54 years, incidentally, and J's my age, so cumulatively we have over a century of life experience. During our four days of living together I felt like a happy twelve-year-old with her (exploring a lookout on top of Dutchman Peak) but also like a liberated adult male in the company of an aware and forthright adult female.
But, I rave.
My fantasy: sitting down to dinner with L and her husband D and introducing J to them, and letting her see why I care for those people, why I was L's lover and why I want to remain emotionally close to her. I think that's possible from J's side; I don't know if L will be able to accept meeting her or not. L is pretty upset at the moment. Maybe someday.
I guess my role right now will be to take whatever emotional punches L needs to throw and not punch back. Cohen again: "And if you want to strike me down in anger, here I stand." Sure hope we come out the other side better friends than we went in -- that would be something to strive for with L.
Thanks yet again for your wisdom -- you guys are great.