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Old 03-18-2011, 12:48 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,992
Default Back to the Show ... Needs vs. Wants

Enough of this boring ass shit...the last post…as mundane as I suppose it is, took about 4 months to reedit and post...I guess I haven’t had as much time to write while I’ve been home, which is probably a good thing all around. My wife is still laughing about how much time I’m putting into these posts...but since she was the one who started me on this, she’ll just have to deal with the fact that she married a guy who’ll make her laugh. Pbtbtbtbtbtbtb

I’ve almost lost track of where the chronology was, but I think the next relevant episode would probably be where things started turning around for me...for us.

And I don’t think it’s where I expected it. I see similar expectations around here all the time…and had many of them myself at one point or another. Turning points I could have expected at some point or another:
When my wife gets a gf, she’d finally ‘let me off the leash’ to get a gf too! Tada!
When my wife get’s a bf then she’ll let me off the leash to dip in whatever honey pot I like! Tada!
If I could find someone that didn’t threaten my wife in any way shape or form. Tada!
If I could find someone far far away with not chance that they’d follow me home. Tada!
If I could find a unicorn after all that liked both of us so that she’d have a vested interest too. TADA!

There was no ‘Tada!’ No magical game changing redefining moment. There was just two women who helped me and my wife transition from the theoretical to more practical.

The first, was a girl I never actually dated...and now looks like I never will. I’ll dub her W here, and I met her at a show I was attending with my wife and some of her friends. I got talking to W mostly by accident, but she was friendly, talkative, and perhaps a little flirty. I took a liking to her, and my wife not only noticed, but encouraged me to keep it up, buy W a drink, etc. It’s good having a woman as a winger...they know what all the little codes mean, and I’m as oblivious about female subtleties as a camel would be about sand in it’s toes.
I got W’s number before I left, and went out with her (and my wife and another friend) in her town a couple months later...on something that really wouldn’t be considered a date. But we kept in touch.

So how did all this help anything? I never slept with her, and before I left town for 6 months I hadn’t even kissed her. Near as I could tell she wasn’t poly, but she at least wasn’t repulsed or seemingly put-off by the idea…which was good since my wife was more concerned about scaring her out of our lives completely.

But she was the first one I recall that my wife was not only willing, but quite ready and able to accept as a metamour. The reasons for it are somewhat complex, and a little fuzzy for me since they’re her reasons, not mine, but there was a couple key things. We met in person instead of online (my wife finds the online world a little impersonal for her tastes in this kind of thing, and prefers that people that start in the computer should stay in the damn thing!) And the other part I think was that she saw a connection between us that first night at the show. It probably didn’t hurt that the other ‘activity date’ was a good chance for them to interact a little and establish a kind of friendship that wasn’t about W possibly dating me, since it wasn’t really on the table at that moment.
Whatever the reasons, it was the first time in a long while during the journey through opening, swinging, and poly that there seemed like a real possibility that there could be women out there that I would be able (and inclined to) date, and that my wife would get along with them, and genuinely value them as a potential friend. When I say this it’s not about my’s a comment to compatibility, which can be almost completely out of any individual’s control. W was a glimmer of light that there was an end to the tunnel, and a reassurance that it wasn’t attached to a train whistle.

Spoiler alert, I’m going to skip a year and a half to the present:

I thought there might have been some interest...up to a couple months ago. Alas, she’s on a different path, and as much as I like her, I know what my limitations are. I know I can’t meet her needs in a relationship. It seems she have a new bf as of late, and I’m genuinely happy for that. It takes the pressure off me and what I can’t provide, and I hope that the new bf can. And hopefully she’s still cool with being friends, because she is a remarkable woman that I’d rather have in my life than outside it.

I thought that the lesson learned from this is that not all relationships are meant to be, and one needs to know when to let go, and let things unfold as they need to...without coercion being forced into a particular pre-conceived mold. I really sucked at that early on...hopefully that means I’m learning.

I think now the real moral to this story is that there’s value in learning the difference between wants, and needs. I’ve always been better at that part, but I see a lot of confusion in others. While I maybe could make a case for ‘needing’ other relationships besides my marriage, and W seemed like a good possibility, I ‘wanted’ it to be her, but I didn’t ‘need’ it to be her specifically. I’ll amplify this since I don’t want it to make it sound like anyone is disposable or some kind of chattel to be traded about.

If I enter into a relationship, part of what I need is to be needed. And I have an internal need for my relationships to be a positive aspect in both my life and the other person’s life as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lover, family, or a will not satisfy my needs if it’s negative, or if I’m an easily disposable part of the scenery.

So it’s a double edged sword, in that because W was looking for something in a relationship where I simply could not meet her needs, then she could not meet my needs either. With some people, there may be room for something less serious, possibly termed casual, or at least with a known transient nature,...which would have also been ok with me if that kind of relationship might satisfy some of her needs while she was looking for the longer term solution. Again, it would be contingent it being a positive thing for her. From all indications I had, it wouldn’t.

So because I can’t satisfy her long term needs, and a short term fill-in type thing wouldn’t be positive, I don’t ‘need’ her. That is to say that I don’t need to push myself into her life where I don’t fit. I don’t need to force a relationship that shouldn’t exist to satisfy some overdriven libido or ego of my own. I don’t need to drag her down the poly path kicking and screaming into a relationship that would be doomed from the start just to have her realize the same truth I did months ago, but after lots of tears, heartache, and drama. I don’t need to make her bitter about poly people, resentful of non-monogamy, or to remember me or our time in a negative light, and I don’t need it doubly so if it was due to my own hubris.

I may ‘want’ all I want, but I don’t ‘need’ the shit that comes with confusing needs and wants.

Tune in next time when you’ll hear ImaginaryIllusion say, “Chain me Gently with a FuckSaw!”
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” - Chinese Proverb

-Imaginary Illusion

How did I get here & Where am I going?
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