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  #351  
Old 01-25-2012, 08:18 AM
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Much appreciated
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  #352  
Old 01-25-2012, 09:15 AM
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got it to work the 3rd time. Wendigo and I really enjoyed it and shared some of the pics with Runic Wolf; who was playing video games with Yoda at the time.
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  #353  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:08 AM
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Two nights ago, Gia and I were hanging out and we got to talking about the idea of "settling down" with a partner in the context of me fretting over my relationship with Davis. I said that I didn't want to do that if I wasn't sure it was right, that maybe it'd be better to stay open to what else might come along. She said that she thought that if someone new came into my life looking to settle down I'd run a mile. In so many words, she said that if I were a commitment-minded person I would have gotten into and stayed in a LTR by now.

It bothered me that she thought this of me. I don't really like it when people assume that they know things about me in general, rather than starting by asking, and this in particular didn't feel right. It bugged me to think that she might pass over opportunities to seek out a deeper level of commitment with me out of a perception that I'm just not like that.

I wrote her this email in response. I almost didn't send it, but then I thought "No, I held off on telling Eric I loved him, and I held off on discussing the concept of family, because I didn't want to push things, but correcting a misconception is not the same as pushing, she can draw from it what she wants."

So I hit send. And now I'm going to be quietly freaking out until I hear something back. Fun. :/

* * *

On my bike ride home today I found myself thinking about commitment. What does it mean to me, am I seeking it, have I sought it in the past, am I open to it at all? These thoughts were triggered in part by your comment that you thought I would run if someone wanted to settle down, so I thought you might be interested. This is also just an important topic for me to try to sort out at this time in my life.

What I eventually came to is this. I don't think I'm what one would call commitment-phobic, I'm just not commitment-focused. This has waxed and waned over time, of course, but is a theme in my life to date.

We all have our ideas about ourselves, but what really reveals us is our actions. So I looked at my past to get some clues about my attitudes and behaviors around commitment.

I noted first that I've never dreamed of a wedding or kids or a "settled" life. It's hard for me to even picture it. But then, that's in keeping with my attitude towards life generally in that I've also never dreamed of any alternate arrangements... rather, it seems kind of absurd to me to try to map out my life in advance. I've never had a five year plan, I went into college with no clue what I'd end up majoring in, I've been happy to see what comes and make decisions as I go along. There have been times when I've derided the idea of marriage for myself, but in reality I've been neutral towards it for the majority of my life. Maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't, neither state is preferable as long as I'm vibrant and happy.

So, with little to go on in my attitudes, I look at my choices. What have I committed to, or not committed to.

In terms of jobs, I've done a bunch of different things but when it's been right I've stayed. My first "real" job outta college, at [redacted], I had (with various titles) for 5 years. Not out of inertia, but because it was right, until it kind of disastrously wasn't. It was hard to leave, but I also had no fear of it. I feel very self-sufficient and confident in my ability to get by, and maybe that makes it easier to not need commitment. In my current job, I could see myself staying until retirement but I wouldn't be devastated by any means if I ended up trying something new in a year instead.

My love life has actually progressed very similarly. A great deal of variety, some striking serious stretches, no particular fear grounding me in place nor anxiety and restlessness forcing me onwards, just... taking what I find as it comes. My first relationship, at age 13, lasted a year and a half... a lifetime at that age. He suggested getting engaged and I scoffed because 1) we were 14, and 2) there were some obvious incompatibilities (he didn't like to read). I moved on and had a number of relationships throughout high school, none of which were ready/right for the long term. Then there was Ziggy who broke my heart like a dick. He thought he was setting me free, thought I was too young to be serious with him, when really that was exactly what I wanted. Gods forbid he talk to me about it then, nope, he just left all stoic like. Dick.

Less than a year later there was Davis and he and I moved in together quickly, within months of being officially together. It didn't scare me to do so because I knew I wanted to give it a go with him. We had three years of partnered life together before I had to end it so that we could both regain our emotional health and sanity. And to try again with Ziggy of course, for the little good that did.

And then there's been you. Two+ years now, second longest stretch thus far. Is it easier because we *can't* "settle down" in the way a mono couple might, less scary? I don't know. But it's taken commitment to get this far, I do know that. When I was looking for a new job I thought "this is it, I'm going to try to go to [redacted place name]" and I did apply for one thing, but then you and Eric started trying to get pregnant in earnest and I knew that, actually, I wasn't going anywhere, and stopped looking. I may never have said it in this way aloud but at that point I committed to you, for as long as we could both make it work. I knew that I wanted to be there with you through this, to see what we could be. It was hard at times during the pregnancy and shortly afterwards... as much as it was often lovely and amazing, it was sometimes also scary and very hard (it's gotten significantly easier since, and it's never been less than totally worth it, don't doubt), but I told myself "self, suck it up, stick it out" and I never really wavered because I knew the choice I'd made and I believed in it.

If that's not commitment, what is? A handfasting ceremony? If things were in something resembling a groove, and if I hadn't told you I wouldn't be looking for us to do a bunch of growing together during this crazy time, hell, maybe I'd start thinking about that. Since I'm not a romantic in the sense that Eric describes it, I don't. [Note: Eric disparagingly describes "romantics" as people who act on unrealistic ideas and expectations.] Moving in together? It wouldn't work for either of us to move in to the other's space right now, for many reasons, but if it did make sense at some point and I thought Eric was amenable, I'd consider it. I don't need any of these things, of course -- I've found I'm able to appreciate my relationships for what they are and not try to force them into a different mold... part innate and part learned, I think -- but I also don't want you to misunderstand and think that I don't seek them because they go against my grain in some way. Not at all.

Then there's Davis again, round 2. I am, admittedly, afraid of the idea of us moving in with each other, blending our lives, doing the primary thing. But when I think it through it's not that I'm afraid of the intended structure and thus am wary of the relationship, it's that I have serious concerns about the relationship itself and thus see moving to that structure as a dangerous idea. When things are going well I can think about moving in together, even think about things like marriage, and feel nothing but pleased at the thought. I decorate our imaginary house in my head. But the idea of doing it if we're ultimately going to be wrong for each other is just nauseating in contrast, because I'd end up feeling awful and trapped and then I'd have to leave and I know from experience how much of yourself you leave behind when you leave something like that.

Kids are the one bit that most people would probably include in an overview of commitment and settling down that I haven't touched on. It seems pointless to think much on the subject unless I have a settled partnership in my life in which a child could conceivably thrive, or unless I get overwhelmed by some heretofore unfelt desire to reproduce. As for Bee, well, he's not my child, durr, but that doesn't mean I couldn't commit to being in his life... except that, ultimately, my connection to him can only be as strong as my connection to you and your husband (it doesn't bear thinking on to try to determine if/how I'd stay in his life if we broke up), so for now I concern myself with how we're doing and take the chance to connect with him as a wonderful side benefit.

So, yeah. Commitment. Not focused, not phobic, happy to drift along without it when that's the space my life is in, happy to embrace it when it's right, hella opposed when it's not right. From a practical point, if nothing else, I see its value, the value of the family it creates, the support and stability. The fact that I haven't yet found the right person to tie myself to lastingly who also wanted to tie his or herself to me does not I think, mean much, nor do my occasional bouts of thinking that I need to be free and try a million different things before I die above any other potential life concerns or goals... its easy to think that sort of thing when there's no reason for you to be anything other than free, quite another when you have something you care about more than the notion of freedom. Case in point, a year ago I might have said that being free to sleep with whomever I chose was of great importance to me, but I was content enough to relinquish that freedom at Davis's request when we moved into relationship mode this summer.

Maybe you've seen different things in me? I'd be curious to have your perspective. I hope this wasn't too heavy, and thanks for listening, so to speak.
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  #354  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:12 AM
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I hope the email wasn't just a huge mess of of over-sharing. I slipped some stuff in there that made it clear I'd be open to more than she and I share now, stuff I haven't said explicitly before, and I'm worried that it'll make her feel overloaded.

Still, I'm not sorry I sent it. Let's say that it *was* a little too much, too intense, whatever... if she can't handle me being a little too serious occasionally then our relationship isn't very sturdy anyway, is it? Everyone deserves the right to be a little crazy now and then, especially the people who are normally reliably sane (this is something she likes to compliment me on from time to time, my reasonableness and sanity, presumably in contrast to her ex-gf).

Scared, scared of her reaction. I wrote Ziggy a long, nothing-held-back letter right before our second try at a relationship went really south, so it feels like a foolhardy thing to do. I could have just used this as a writing exercise, a way to get my thoughts in order so that I could share them with her in smaller chunks in conversation. In conversation, you can guage how the other person is reacting and decide whether to say more or less based on that. Instead, I chose to bare it all at once. I just try to keep reminding myself that at 2+ years it's OK to get intense, it's got to be ok.
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  #355  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:27 AM
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In other news.

*

Gia is interested in sleeping with our old college friend Zed and actually came onto him very directly recently. He responded positively, but hasn't followed up with her since. I'm in a weird place about it. I very much support the idea of her sleeping with him. He would be only her third ever sexual partner, she deserves the experience. I don't feel jealous or freaked out the way I did when I thought she might sleep with Liza. I don't know if that's because Zed is male, or because I know Zed's not going to have a threesome with her and Eric, or what.

I do know that if she and Zed sleep together before she and I have slept together again, I'll probably be hurt. Maybe I should have just said that. Maybe I will say that. I didn't at the time because I don't want her to feel like sex with me is an obligation she has to fulfill. I know she wants that with me, I know she's seeking time for it, and she doesn't *owe* me her body.

If Zed is what she wants, hell, maybe it'll help kick her sex drive further into gear during this post-pregnancy period and make it all the more likely that she'll be ready to hook up with me. Maybe it's easier to think about sex purely for fun versus sex with all of this meaning and waiting behind it. I don't know.

I had plenty of sex with other people during the last year, Harry, Eddie, Davis, and she never once said a thing... how the hell can I tell her she *shouldn't* have sex with anyone? But it's different, of course, because I've been waiting for her. I *do* feel like she owes something to me, to our relationship. But god, obligation is the least sexy thing ever, I feel like I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I tried to demand that she put off Zed until she and I had managed to hook up.

I think maybe I should say something. But shouldn't it be obvious that this could be hurtful??? I don't normally expect my partners to be mind readers, but surely this is an obvious one...

I don't even know if I really would be hurt. Maybe I just feel like I should be. It doesn't feel visceral at this point, more intellectual. I don't know for sure how I'd react if/when it happened, though.

*

The gym membership has been great. Davis and I were out of sync at first, going on different days, but we managed to get there on the same night last night. He guided me through some sets on the weight machines, then we did a half hour of cardio on elliptical machines next to each other. I enjoyed it a lot.

Davis left before I did and went over to Jay's, telling me I was more than welcome to join them. It's been heart-warming to me that revealing my crush on Jay to Davis has in no way made Davis be weird about us hanging out. I came over when I was done with the hot tub and sauna, my hair still wet, my button down shirt exposing my collarbones, no bra on underneath (the one I'd been wearing was all sweaty and I'd forgotten to bring a fresh one). I sat and read one of Bonnie's books of poetry while the two of them played a strategy game. It was peaceful. When I inquired about beer, Jay jumped up and fetched me one. He knows I know where the fridge is and I was actually much closer to it than he was. Adorable.

When they were done with their strategy game, the three of us played a few rounds of a quick, fun spatial-awareness game. We chatted and laughed a lot the whole way through, familiar, happy. I laugh so much when I'm with people I like.

Davis and I went back to my place, curled up around each other and slept. Warm and good. On Saturday we're going to go out for a Fancy Lunch.
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  #356  
Old 02-03-2012, 06:36 AM
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One last post. I'm glad people have enjoyed the tumblr!! It's been very fun, adding to it.
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  #357  
Old 02-03-2012, 07:40 AM
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Good to see you around.

I think it's such a good thing you sent that email. I do know how scary it is, to let out all you think and feel in writing. That's often something I need to do, and yet when you know/fear your partner's reaction isn't going to be good... It can sometimes be intense (particularly waiting for answer) but then again, it's all stuff they should know anyway. And you're right, if you can't do heavy after two years.. You're right, it's going to be all right.

Then about this
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I think maybe I should say something. But shouldn't it be obvious that this could be hurtful??? I don't normally expect my partners to be mind readers, but surely this is an obvious one...

I don't even know if I really would be hurt. Maybe I just feel like I should be. It doesn't feel visceral at this point, more intellectual. I don't know for sure how I'd react if/when it happened, though.
Isn't that strange... That you say that she should guess you'd be hurt, and then say that you're not sure you actually would be hurt. Maybe you wouldn't? It might be because he's a guy, but if that's the case, is it a bad thing? Or that might lessen the hurt. What if you are hurt, what do you think will happen? You may well need to tell her then, and don't you think she'll feel a bit betrayed that you didn't speak in advance and tell her that it is a risk she is taking? Not because that should prevent her, just for information.
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  #358  
Old 02-03-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Good to see you around.
Thanks! I've been spending less time on the board lately, which has been good for me -- I was on way too often for a while, getting distracted at work -- but I'm so glad this place is here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
I think it's such a good thing you sent that email ... You're right, it's going to be all right.
I appreciate the positive reinforcement, it's really helpful right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Isn't that strange... That you say that she should guess you'd be hurt, and then say that you're not sure you actually would be hurt. Maybe you wouldn't? It might be because he's a guy, but if that's the case, is it a bad thing? Or that might lessen the hurt. What if you are hurt, what do you think will happen? You may well need to tell her then, and don't you think she'll feel a bit betrayed that you didn't speak in advance and tell her that it is a risk she is taking? Not because that should prevent her, just for information.
Good points and questions. No, there's nothing wrong with it being easier for me to handle her being with a guy. If I'm hurt... I don't think anything would happen per se, but in theory it could make me feel less close to her.

I think that, if I continue to think this is a possibility, I'll do just what you suggested and let her know that I don't know how I'll feel but that it could be unpleasant.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:34 AM
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Yeah, I need to take a break from discussion boards every so often as well, otherwise addiction, so I totally get it. But then, I'm selfish so happy to see people around anyway.

Hope that Gia will let you out of your misery by replying soon.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I do know that if she and Zed sleep together before she and I have slept together again, I'll probably be hurt. Maybe I should have just said that. Maybe I will say that. I didn't at the time because I don't want her to feel like sex with me is an obligation she has to fulfill. I know she wants that with me, I know she's seeking time for it, and she doesn't *owe* me her body.
I think that is certainly understandable, since it has been such a long time and you've been investing in the relationship and yet still waiting for the chance to be with her again. I know if I were in your shoes, I would feel like, well, the first available opportunity should be given to me. However, if she does get it on with this other guy before she does with you, it may not necessarily be anything personal or about you. Is it possible that she might just crave male energy for a new sexual encounter? I don't presume to know how attractions work for a bisexual or pansexual person, but I can imagine that someone might just want a certain kind of sex and seek out a partner whom they believe will provide that. So, I think the best you can do is to try not to personalize any of the choices she makes about what she wants for herself... although it might be hard not to, since you want to be what she wants. But I also don't think it's going too far to let Gia know how much you've been longing to be with her again. You've been so careful about not saying that too much. I don't think you need to walk on eggshells around her forever. Hopefully, she wouldn't interpret that as pressure.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-03-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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