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  #171  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
That's actually pretty standard, whereas the level of control that you're saying C's gf takes over him seems really creepy and unhealthy
I totally agree with you about the unhealthiness, and Alec did actually point that out to C yesterday (that's what got them talking), and C himself admitted that the relationship and the power dynamic is uneven. The whole thing makes me feel really sad and uneasy. Then again, there isn't really much we can do, he doesn't even live around here and if he wants to stay, well. I don't even know him that well, to be able to affect the things in any way... I hope that he will gather the will and strength to get himself out of that. I don't think C is big on reading, but I think it's a good idea for me to talk with Alec, and see if he's got any thoughts. He agrees with me that the situation is bad, but I don't think they have much talked about it with C before yesterday.

I didn't mean to underplay C's situation in my last post, I don't know if it comes off that way since I went on to write about my own relationships. It's just that after an abusive childhood, healthy relationships still years later don't feel like something I can take for granted (even as I actually have healthy boundaries nowadays).
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  #172  
Old 03-18-2012, 04:54 PM
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There are some immediate emotional rewards that a symbiotic/co-dependent relationship offers, and those can be lucrative particularly in NRE or if one is (unconsciously) scared of independence whether it's fear of failure or fear of abandonment. But that kind of a dynamic is often just frighteningly unhealthy (depending on the extent to which the couple comes before the individual).
Agreed! For me, the most difficult part of cultivating independence in a relationship is

a) to be able to separate my emotions from my partner's emotions (just because they feel sad/angry/frustrated/whatever, doesn't mean I have to feel those same things. I can be supportive without sharing their emotions)

and

b) to be able to separate my actions and motives from my partner's (if I don't feel like having sex after a big fight, my partner wanting sex after the fight doesn't mean they are inconsiderate and weren't affected in any way - they might feel the need to connect emotionally that way).
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  #173  
Old 03-19-2012, 04:58 PM
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I didn't mean to underplay C's situation in my last post, I don't know if it comes off that way since I went on to write about my own relationships. It's just that after an abusive childhood, healthy relationships still years later don't feel like something I can take for granted (even as I actually have healthy boundaries nowadays).
No no, you're good. You didn't come off poorly and it's not your job to save anyone regardless, I just wanted to say something.
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  #174  
Old 03-25-2012, 10:56 PM
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Annabel thank you. I always love your input.

BlackUnicorn good insights! I'd say I have a bit of trouble with that same thing you wrote about in the part a. I read your post and did some thinking around that. There are actually some patterns like that with Alec, which I feel have their basis in some way we've learned to be with each other. Your comment made me think about that more, and I'm glad about that. I actually came to a conclusion that I will make it my aim to become more aware of that automatic process that sometimes happens where I adopt his feelings for myself, and try to change that. I think it will take some time, but I believe gradual change is realistic.

----

I only recently got familiar with the introvert/extrovert concept, through this article in the Guardian. I am not sure how neatly all people can be put into those categories (and this is a comment I need to make since there are so many of those neat binary categories through which people organise their world view into which I don't fit). However, I did get lots and lots of food for thought.

I am an introvert if anybody is. And this relates to many poly things (as well as to other things in life). Most notably to my energy levels and being a hinge. The whole need for own time and space and things. It has been a while since I made a decision that I want to accept my limitations in terms of often not being able to do what I would want to do (or what I expect of myself or what I feel others want from me or whatever). There is regularly a complete lack of energy. Social situations in particular are ones that wear me down a lot. Those with lots of people I don't know especially, but I also need quite a bit of time alone, without even the people I am most comfortable with like partners or close friends. This has been very hard to accept for me. Just last time when Mya was here it was the case that I broke down crying from exhaustion on the last evening even though her visit had been very relaxed and comfortable.

When I run out of energy I feel low in general, but I can also feel like I am not good enough. It has felt like I can't accept that part in myself. I can only function when I view myself as I am at my best. That means I really like myself 95% of the time. But it also means that the times when I just can't feel that much worse. I think that if I could just accept the periods of lower energy as a part of myself, I would still like myself a lot, and they wouldn't be such a threat.

I feel that the concept of introvert may give me some pretty good tools towards that. I have already started the thought process before, when I noticed the cycle of really high and really low levels of energy. Then, I thought that, on one hand, it feels awful at the lowest points but, on the other, I wouldn't want to give up the times of high energy when I feel so alive. If it was more stable, both would be gone.

This is sort of related to that. On one hand, I have a hard time with the fact that I don't simply have the energy for many things I would want to do at times, whether it's an event at the University, or having hot sex with my partner. But on the other, there's lot more things that are related to being an introvert and some of them are some I really appreciate about myself. I don't know how much I'm keeping to the content of the concept even (since I don't actually know much about it) but it was just sort of a starting point for lots of thoughts. And I see connections now that I didn't before.

For one, I really liked the way they put it in the article: "the introvert is simply overstimulated". That is what it is; when I need to be alone, or when I am tired after a social event. Overstimulation. And while it sometimes feels like I am doing nothing productive on a day, there is actually often loads of processing going on. Not all learning, for example, is wholly conscious. So, I need a lot of time, but directly connected is the fact that I can understand very complicated things well. I need to process a lot, but when I do I can find extraordinary solutions and make productive changes. Sometimes those things take all my energy but then, in time, the energy is back and I can put it into something else wholly since I'll have often made serious progress with the previous thing.

Today I actually started to wonder about one thing Mya and I talked about just yesterday, and whether that could be connected somehow as well. We talked about the connection between feelings and reasoning, and came to a conclusion that we work in slightly different ways. I may have a feeling, and then go through a thought process about it, and if I come to a conclusion that the underlying assumptions or causes of the feeling are irrational or untrue, it may be that the feeling hardly ever reoccurs after that. This doesn't always work so straightforwardly, but it has worked that way for example in case of jealousy. Years ago I used to be jealous of my best friend's new friends until I one day thought about it, and came to the conclusion that even if she meets people who she likes as much as me, or even more, that still doesn't mean that she values me any less as a friend. And after thinking that through I have experienced only very little jealousy, whether in friendships or partnerships. Somehow, because people often imagine others experience things as they do, I have simply thought that's how it basically works with everybody else, too. But apparently it doesn't always work that way. Mya said that she may go through a similar process, which leads her to decide that she won't act on the feeling, but the feeling can still remain there as it was before.

This was just an interesting noticed difference. I don't know if I went off a tangent on the introvercy thing, just came to think of that and wondered if it might be somehow connected. Anyway, enough analysis for tonight either way.
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  #175  
Old 03-28-2012, 10:13 AM
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Me and rory have had some amazing conversations during the last few weeks. We've come to realise so much about each other and ourselves, how we work and what concepts we're using to talk about certain things. It's been totally intense and useful and interesting. That is something I would never want to give up, so I really hope rory stays in my life forever.

Yesterday I talked to the guy I mentioned earlier, the one I'm kinda interested in. Let's call him Bob. After the about 3-4 hours long conversation we had, I think I just developed a crush on him. Very tiny one and I still don't want to date him, but I do recognize the feeling. It's funny. We've known each other for a few years now but we've never really had a long one-on-one conversation. It's always been either in a group or just short conversations one-on-one. I really enjoyed our conversation. He's funny and smart and I think we understand each other well. I haven't had a crush on a man in years. I'm leaning more toward women in my bisexuality so that's why this doesn't happen much nowadays.

That got me and rory talking about what kind of relationships we would be ready for in addition to our current ones. I'm quite polysaturated at the moment as in I don't want a third committed/serious relationship. I just don't have the time or the energy and I also don't want to reduce the time I spend with my current partners. I would be open to a FWB though, or something like that. I'm not sure what can develop out of me and Bob because I'm not sure what his situation is right now or what he even thinks about me. But I think he could make a nice FWB if that were to happen.
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  #176  
Old 03-30-2012, 08:09 PM
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I've been totally loving our conversations, as well. <3 I've also liked that we've had such compatible schedules that we've been able to talk really often. It feels like being closer.

I went to a really amazing event one night, we had a great time. Also, it's been a lovely weather around here lately, so we've taken some long walks and talked about stuff and relaxed together. Our financial and work situations are not good or secure, and likely won't be in the near future either. That's a part of living where we are. The stress gets to us both at times. But it's good to get out and focus on the things we enjoy here. To aim to be satisfied with the good sides of the current situation, and avoid worrying about tomorrow.
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  #177  
Old 04-05-2012, 03:57 PM
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My sweet, lovely, amazing rory! <3 Tomorrow is our first anniversary and she sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to my door. Oh my god, I was so surprised! I'm almost crying here, this was such a beautiful gesture. And I thought our upcoming vacation to Paris was the romantic part of this anniversary.

I also loved how JJ reacted when I got the flowers. He was smiling and just looked utterly happy for me, which he also said.

My darlings. <3
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  #178  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:49 PM
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^I enjoyed planning that, so glad you're happy <3

I feel a push to write, since I really do want to update about the everyday life, since that is what I most enjoy in life. Even more than analysing everything to death, believe it or not. I just don't know what to write.

Everything is well in the poly front. I had my one year anniversary with Mya go by, and just after it my 8-year-anniversary with Alec. So, we've now been poly for a year. It's been all very smooth and comfortable for many months, which I am obviously very happy about. I feel like poly has become quite a natural part of my life. Even more, I feel like Mya has become a part of my life. There's just no question about it, we are in this to stay, and I love that.
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  #179  
Old 04-12-2012, 09:25 AM
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Okay, now me and JJ finally have some plans for the near future. It's all been a bit unsure because he didn't know what was going to happen with his job. He got a continuation to his contract until the end of the year and he wants to take it. I want to move to Wonderland and work there. So I'm moving in a few months (I still have plans in my home country, but when I've done everything, I can go) and he is moving there in December. Go me, again I'm putting myself in a situation where I have two long distance relationships. It's like last summer all over again! When I'm in Wonderland, rory is going to be much closer (still in a different city though) and we can see each other at least couple times a month and it's way cheaper. Me and JJ are probably going to see each other about once in two months before he moves to Wonderland. But all that is ok. A part of me is actually looking forward to living alone for a while.

I've been feeling a bit restless for some time now. Like I would want to have more freedom and independence. I know I already have much more freedom than most people in (especially monogamous) relationships, but I'd like to have more. This thought is a bit abstract as in I don't really know what concrete things to ask for. For this need I think the living alone part suits well. Living alone is certainly not the way I would like to live forever but now, in this situation, it gives me some space to think more about myself.

If I think about the future and the living arrangements when rory and Alec move to Dream City as well, I still feel like the best solution for me would be all of us living together. I know, it's probably not going to happen. But in my ideal world all four of us would think of each other as something between family and roommates. We would all have our own rooms/spaces where we could be alone, too. But we would be more involved in each other's lives than roommates usually are. I think that kind of situation would in a way make me feel more independent than living just with JJ, because a) I'd have my own room, b) I wouldn't be the only one to keep my partner company, so I could come and go with less pressure to stay at home more, c) it would be less couple-centric than me living with JJ and rory living with Alec in different apartments, and d) it would be easier for any of us to have an outside lover (whether a one night stand or a more serious relationship) because we'd have our own rooms. I love the idea of a hippie-like commune with free love and all that! One can dream, right?
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  #180  
Old 04-12-2012, 10:46 AM
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Dream away, girl!

I don't wish to take your fun away, but I do want to comment on the points you made. To a, I do manage to have my own space even in a two-people setting, there's no reason you couldn't. Obviously, Dream City is an expensive place to live in, so financial considerations might do the difference, i.e., it might be somewhat easier for 4 people to manage a house with 4 bedrooms+living room (though that might be a challenge, too), than for 2 people to manage two bedrooms (yet, one-bedroom might be enough for two to have private space, as it is for me and Alec currently). To b, I don't think that would be necessarily so. I don't know if I would be much help with that, being an introvert. Besides, JJ's needs for your company are one thing, and his needs for company in general are another.

C is kinda sorta true if you wish to look at it that way. But d I don't completely agree with again. If we had two apartments between the four of us, it would be easier I think for the guys at least to have others (if they wish to) since I figure it would work fine for you or me to go and visit each other and the one having a date could have their flat to themselves. Besides, I'm not sure I see everybody being comfortable with having sex loudly if there are other people in the same apartment, whether it's two of us or somebody with another person. If there are four people living together, there's rarely going to be privacy for loud sex no matter who wants to have it; more likely to happen with two flats available.

No objections to being a hippie, though!

For me, the concept of all four of us living together feels attractive in a way. Proximity to both of my partners would be totally cool, I would love the practicality. Also, I would be doing poly better, right? (Just kidding with that! )

However, for me there's more to the other side. I am an introvert and cannot help to feel quite a bit of anxiety at the thought of sharing a home with three other people, no matter how comfortable I am with them. At times I feel like living with one partner is too much, but that works because I have my own space, and do actually spend a lot of time home alone. I have had flexible schedules for a long time which allows me to do that, and I need it. That would be seriously harder living with more people.

I feel like a total buzzkill always coming up with reasons why co-habitation would not work. I also have a suspicion that because I always come off so against it Mya will feel like I don't want to live with her, which is completely not true. Also, my own need for space is something I still sometimes feel anxious to express (fear of not being enough), even though I have made the decision to not let my fear stop me from speaking, and I am working towards getting completely comfortable with it. However, I feel like I need to express it any time Mya brings up co-habitation, because I don't enjoy upholding wants that are unrealistic. Thus, I don't enjoy reveling too much in how great it would be if I could live with her, because in the practical circumstances I don't think that will happen any time soon. I know she approaches wants differently, so maybe I should just shut up and not be a total downer?
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