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  #1  
Old 02-09-2012, 08:19 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Default Theory, Practice

Well, I've been poly-in-theory for nearly a year. My wife first raised the possibility last March and, after a week of reading and further talking, it just seemed right and good to us to remain committed to one another and to not be exclusive in that commitment.

I've done a lot of thinking, and talking, and posting to online forums since then. I understand the idea of polyamory, and of ethical non-monogamy, pretty well. More than that, it makes so much sense to me, in the broader moral framework I bring to bear on the world, that I can no longer imagine how I could have been unreflectively monogamous for so long.

After all that thinking and talking and making sense of things, it comes down to this: I have a date tonight.

I really like her, and I look forward to seeing what kind of relationship we might have.

Heck, I just look forward to seeing her in a few hours.

I'm wonder-struck, like a child, and it's good.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:07 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
After all that thinking and talking and making sense of things, it comes down to this: I have a date tonight.

I really like her, and I look forward to seeing what kind of relationship we might have.

Heck, I just look forward to seeing her in a few hours.

I'm wonder-struck, like a child, and it's good.
You go, hon! That's great. How excited you must be. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:20 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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I'm still wonder-struck.

The story of how I met her - call her G - is not entirely free of irony. As I've posted elsewhere on the forum, I've had a love-hate, approach-avoidance relationship with OKCupid. I've gone through two different accounts on the site: started one, then deleted it; started another, then deleted it.

I decided a dating site is not really the best place to meet people; the set-up and the expectations of the whole thing seem off, somehow. I made a lot of noise about this on the forum a few weeks ago, and annoyed a few people with it.

Well, damn me for a fool, but I met G on OKCupid, and my exchange with her was the one thing I held on to when I deleted my second account.

Now, in my own defense, I was drawn to her, in part, because her profile was so direct and honest, and she began it with the disclaimer that her life is very full, and she's not really interested in a new romantic relationship. She was there out of curiosity, nothing more.

I wrote to her with no expectation of anything at all.

Really.

Well, we've been corresponding by email for a couple of months now, and I guess we both liked what we were reading. She comes across as intelligent and thoughtful . . . which is all but irresistible to me! She's also been poly (and openly bi/queer) for a while, and understands things about relationships that, for me, are still matters of conjecture.

We met for coffee a couple of weeks ago, and the spark was struck. We met for lunch last week . . . and talked for three hours. Fortunately, her work schedule that day was relaxed enough that there weren't repercussions back at the office. It was a non-teaching day for me, and I made up for lost time over the weekend.

We immediately set up our date for last night. She drove to my house, and we walked to a nearby sushi restaurant. We were seated in the back room, which we had pretty much to ourselves for the evening, ate sushi . . . and talked for three hours.

Then we walked around for a while in the unaccustomed cold (real winter weather, in Georgia!), then came back to my house for a cup of tea and more talk. My wife and daughters were caught up watching something in the other room, so we had some privacy.

I'm usually open about the fact that my besetting vice is cowardice, especially when it comes to making myself vulnerable, letting someone else see my deepest feelings and failings. I tend to use words as a defense, talking away from my discomfort, changing the subject . . . and I'm very, very good at generating words.

(Surprised?)

In the past, when I've found myself wanting to tell someone or show someone how I feel about them, it seemed to me I was standing on a precipice, or on the edge of a too-cold swimming pool. I would want to jump in, but I would be afraid of what might happen next, afraid of the irrevocability of it.

Once I jump, I can't unjump.

I would resolve to jump in, be ready to jump in, then hesitate, and think again, and wait, then resolve again . . . and end up standing there, contemplating the edge.

Back in college, I let potential relationships slip away, because I would not take that fearful leap. There are some I still regret, to this day.

I've taken the leap a few times, often with much talk. When I was dating the woman who is now my wife, it took me about an hour to explain what I meant when I said I was in love with her.

(I know, I know.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, sitting and talking with G last night, I jumped . . .

and it wasn't such a terrible precipice after all, because she was right there with me, meeting affection with affection.

And so we launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas.

We're both inclined to let our relationship develop slowly. The thing is to spend time together, so we can come to understand and trust one another.

Did we hold hands? Did we kiss? Was there a warm and prolonged good-night hug?

I'm not the kind that tells.

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"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:02 PM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Glad to hear things are going well! I like the way you write and look forward to reading more.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:19 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Just wanted to say congrats on what sounds like a lovely first foray.
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2012, 04:02 AM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Default Reverse Jealousy!

I was talking to my wife this weekend.

Wait, I suppose I should give her a nickname. How about Vix? (Short for DanceVixen, a user name she once had on another site.)

Anyway, I was talking to Vix this weekend, and she told me to stop being so anxious about the effect my new relationship is having on her. Really, my anxiety about it, my checking in with Vix all the time to make sure she's all right, was getting annoying, and even a little creepy.

That's the word Vix used: "creepy".

I realized I was experiencing a kind of reverse jealousy, as though, by developing a relationship in which Vix does not have any direct involvement, I was stealing something from Vix.

I mean, what an outrageous thing for me to do! How dare I?

Fortunately, the cure for reverse jealously was at hand.

First, Vix assured me she's really happy I've found G, and that she'll let me know if she has any doubt or anxiety or worry along the way.

Knowing Vix, I'm quite certain she'll let me know!

As I've continued developing my relationship with G, I've simply kept Vix up to date on the story of how it has been developing, without apology or defensiveness or anxiety.

Just the facts.

She's persists in being happy for me, and is looking forward to getting to know G, in good time.

The one thing Vix has said she isn't sure of is how she'll react if or when I actually have sex with someone else. I haven't, yet, and it's something Vix and I will have to keep talking about, along the way.

Another part of the cure is in the experience of this new relationship, in which I've surprised myself.

Far from being swept away by blind passion, my growing affection for G is making me more aware of everything: of G, her other relationships, her boundaries, the touch of her hand, the feel of . . .

Wait, where was I?

Oh, yes.

. . . and also more aware of Vix, our daughters, the solidity of the life we've been building together, my own boundaries.

I'm not stealing anything from anybody, though I need to be careful, on my own account, that I keep it that way.

I spent yesterday evening with G, at her apartment. I went over after work and made dinner for her. We talked . . . and didn't talk . . . and talked . . . and didn't talk.

Today, in an exchange of emails, we've carried on the work of clarifying our current boundaries and the pace at which we want to proceed . . . which will be fairly slowly, given the complexity of our lives and of our existing relationships.

I'm happy to find I'm able - as of right now, at least - to keep things in perspective. However urgently I find myself drawn to her, I don't (yet) seem to be losing my head.

(Famous last words?)
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"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 02-15-2012 at 05:46 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2012, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
Did we hold hands? Did we kiss? Was there a warm and prolonged good-night hug?

I'm not the kind that tells.

Awwww...come on- you're completely anonymous, do tell.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Clearing

My foul mood is starting to lift, slowly, slowly.

Things with Vix are still raw, and we have a lot of work to do. The big thing now, aside from just recovering from recent trauma, is that she would like to put back on the table the possibility of her moving to Germany with one or both of the girls next year, mainly to see if she can wean herself from asthma medications that are themselves causing chronic health problems.

The prospect fills me with horror and dread and yet, every time I try to articualte my horror and dread, it's taken as a sign that I'm some sort of insensitive monster, that I don't trust Vix's judgment.

I'm at a loss for what to do about that.

In the near term, though, we're starting to settle back into our partnership at home, though it's very difficult to feel or express a lot of affection just now. Vix has pointed this out to me - flung it at me, really - which has just caused further dismay.

Facing our predicament is like getting kicked in the stomach, again and again. I'm doubled over, gasping for breath, and being berated for not being open and affectionate.

As I said, we have a lot of work to do.

In the mean time, I'll be meeting Nyx for lunch tomorrow.She's been reading this thread, and was concerned I was planning to break up with her.

The funny, stupid thing is that I was convinced she would want to break up with me! I mean, what the hell good am I to her?

She and I need to work through a growing distance between us. In an email exchange with her today, I wondered whether the issue is that each of us is trying too hard to stay out of the other's way, to not cause chaos or disruption or added stress in the other's life. So, we don't ask or expect enough of each other.

We're both trying so hard to be low-maintenance that we're not maintaining anything!

So, she and I have work to do, too.

One thing I don't want to lose sight of as this mood lifts is the sense of responsibity it brought to the fore, the sense of seriousness in doing what needs to be done. But this also applies to the work of tending to the relationships that matter most to me, with Vix and the girls, and with Nyx.

I'm still feeling disoriented; the fog hasn't entirely dispersed, and there may still be darkness ahead.

But I'm trying to right myself, nonetheless.
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"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" - Charles Darwin

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2012, 09:28 PM
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Default More Clearing

Further conversation with Vix.

Thaw in progress.
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"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2012, 05:52 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Default Change of Direction

I had lunch with Nyx just now, and she clearly had more to say than could be said in a restaurant. Talking about her own life, the complication of her various commitments, the continuing struggles of her not-quite-primary partner, she was getting pretty upset.

We came back to my place, so we could talk in private. With some coaxing and reassurance, she told me she couldn't date me any more.

It will take a while for the full impact of that to sink in, but I can't really claim to be surprised. She has for some time been, in her own words, stretched too thin. If I'm being honest with myself, I'd have to say it's a good decision for her.

At that point in the conversation I had assured her that, whatever direction our relationship might take, I would be a friend to her. I care for her very much, and she cares for me . . . it's just that the form of that caring will be different, from now on.

Still, this makes me think further about being poly. I mean, one of the things that worried my most in my relationship with Nyx is that there is a limit to what I can offer her, given my other commitments, which meant there was a limit to what I could, in all fairness, expect of her.

How can any relationship thrive under such limitations? How can people avoid being discontented?

I'm not sure, but I may be just about done here.
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