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  #191  
Old 04-20-2012, 05:48 PM
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So yesterday was great! I had sex with Bob. I'm really happy about that and I've been totally giddy today, both JJ and rory (via skype) have teased me about it.

So, me and Bob went to a bar together and talked about all sorts of things, including our open relationships. He's quite new to that so he was asking me questions about how we've handled some things and how is JJ taking everything. I was as open and honest as I could. Then we flirted and danced. We live in a small town so we were quite cautious, not everybody knows me and Bob are in open relationships. We stayed in the bar until it closed and after that we went to his place. There we danced a bit more, kissed and one thing lead to another. It was really nice! Today we've been texting a bit and we both think we'd like to do that again some day. So we are friends with maybe some occasional benefits in the future.

I was a little nervous about JJ's reaction because this is the first time I've slept with another man since we opened our relationship. He has said that it might feel somewhat worse than me sleeping with a woman (which he says doesn't feel bad at all), but he can't know for sure until it happens. But it was a piece of cake for him! Actually, in the morning when I told him what had happened, his first response was "Yey!". He said that he's just happy for me, because I had told him that I wanted to do this and now I did, so what's not to like. He said he surprised himself by not feeling anything negative. That's so great! And rory was also really cool about it, but that I wasn't really worried about because she's always so cool about these kinds of things. I have such awesome cool partners!
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  #192  
Old 04-20-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mya View Post
...I'm interested in Bob but I don't know if anything will happen...
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So yesterday was great! I had sex with Bob.
You go girl! That's what I call progress! LOL
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  #193  
Old 04-22-2012, 04:08 PM
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You go girl! That's what I call progress! LOL
I'd say so!

I spent another night with Bob yesterday. I really like the connection we have. It's so relaxed and natural. I feel so comfortable around him. He's awesome. I have to say I really really like my life right now.
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  #194  
Old 04-22-2012, 07:18 PM
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Today I've been processing a lot. I've been thinking about a thing that rory has written about and I've talked about with her: feelings, attachment and expectations.


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I want to write about love and attachment and expectations.

I've been processing those a lot since starting poly and even before that. I've reached a point lately where it feels quite easy for me to love without linking much expectation into it. It feels like loving without expectation is the most suitable approach for me towards relationships. In no way do I do that perfectly, but it is becoming easier.

To clarify what I'm talking about, I'll give you an example. A few years back I had sex with a friend of mine whom I liked a lot. It was a one time thing, but our friendship kept on deepening after that. I would have been open to having sex again, but my friend was not; and that made me feel somewhat sad and a bit rejected, but at no point did I let that affect our friendship. I have then made my peace with the fact that our relationship won't have that sexual side, and I no longer feel sad about that.

Now, I know that text talks about sex, but there is more to the picture. Had the feelings been mutual, I think I would have wanted a relationship (and the poly discussion with Alec would have come some years earlier). But they weren't, and when I talk about making peace with that, I also talk about letting go of attachment to an outcome. My feelings for my friend have not gone away, but they don't demand reciprocity. I do like to know that I am liked and cared for, but I do think our feelings are on different levels. I am fine with that, and allow our relationship be what it is.

Another instance where I've thought about these things is my friendship with Ally (who Mya mentioned in an earlier post). I have begun to realise that my desire to have sex with a person comes from a connection. It doesn't have to be deep enough that I would class it love, but qualitatively it is no different. I need to like and care for the person to want to have sex with them. Liking and caring for a person are also the components that love consists of, for me. So these things can confuse me a bit sometimes. Anyway, I wasn't going to go into the definition of love again. So where was I?

Yes, connection. Lately, I've felt like I would like to deepen my connection with Ally. It's not a pressing need, but I feel like it would be nice to become closer than we are now. Also, I've felt like I would be open to having sex with her, if the situation came up, and she was open to it. I've discussed the possibility quite a lot with Mya, and talking about it with her has helped me to figure out where I stand with it. She feels that if she was in my position, she would definitely not want to actually have sex because of the risks: the emotions may deepen into love, and thus it would hurt that there can't be a partnership (which there can't be between me and Ally for many reasons, the most obvious of which have to do with geography and neither of us having the practical or emotional availability for an additional relationship at least any time soon). I can understand her point of view, since that's really what culture tells us will inevitably happen if emotions are involved: that if you can't be in a relationship with a person you love, it will cause you unreasonable amounts of hurt. And I think that's how it works for some people. But I don't think that's inevitable for everybody.

If I were to have sex with Ally, it is likely that my feelings would deepen. I would probably feel closer and more connected to her. However, that wouldn't change anything respective to our circumstances, so even if that did cause me to desire a relationship with her, it wouldn't be possible. I don't deny there isn't a slight chance that it would hurt not being able to become more. But I highly doubt it would be in any way unbearable. That's just how life is, you can't always get everything you want. I can live with whatever feelings there are, and they don't dictate my actions.
Now, I've completely changed my mind about this statement that I once said:

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She feels that if she was in my position, she would definitely not want to actually have sex because of the risks: the emotions may deepen into love, and thus it would hurt that there can't be a partnership
I'm amazed how calm I am now when thinking about the possibility/risk of falling in love with Bob. I've made a complete turnaround because right now I feel it's totally possible to have feelings, even love, for someone and not expect much from that person. To just enjoy the situation, the feeling and the connection without expecting or hoping for a relationship. Me and Bob can't have a relationship. I don't have time/energy for a third partner, I don't think he wants to have more relationships than the one he's in now, and besides, in a few months we're going to live very very far away from each other (he's moving abroad as well, to a totally different direction than me). To top it off, I'm not even sure we would be that compatible, but this one I'm not really sure about yet, since I'm still getting to know him better. Anyway, although I'll never say never, it seems very unlikely that we would become a couple. And that is perfectly fine. I'm really coming to terms with that thought and I love it! I feel like I'm making some progress in non-attachment, which I absolutely crave for. One step at a time.
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  #195  
Old 04-22-2012, 09:40 PM
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I'm amazed how calm I am now when thinking about the possibility/risk of falling in love with Bob. I've made a complete turnaround because right now I feel it's totally possible to have feelings, even love, for someone and not expect much from that person. To just enjoy the situation, the feeling and the connection without expecting or hoping for a relationship. Me and Bob can't have a relationship. I don't have time/energy for a third partner, I don't think he wants to have more relationships than the one he's in now, and besides, in a few months we're going to live very very far away from each other (he's moving abroad as well, to a totally different direction than me). To top it off, I'm not even sure we would be that compatible, but this one I'm not really sure about yet, since I'm still getting to know him better. Anyway, although I'll never say never, it seems very unlikely that we would become a couple. And that is perfectly fine. I'm really coming to terms with that thought and I love it! I feel like I'm making some progress in non-attachment, which I absolutely crave for. One step at a time.
Sorry to keep chiming in, but I love this.

Non-attachment in loving is so important, I think. I am learning more about this every day. I think it's important not to let ourselves get sucked into having unrealistic hopes and expectations about the people we love (though I do have some fantasies I occasionally indulge in ). Being unattached keeps my feet on the ground. I like that.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 04:22 AM.
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  #196  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:52 AM
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No need to apologize, nycindie. I love your chiming in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your situation sounds really nice. Although I don't love Bob, I don't know how my feelings might change if we keep doing what we're doing. But now that I've gotten to the bottom of how I want to handle this, I know I don't have to worry too much about my feelings. They are what they are and they might deepen but I don't want to be careful about that. I just want to keep my expectations to minimum when it comes to Bob (and some other things too, but that will take more work). Right now I feel like I can do this without getting hurt. Who knows, I may end up heartbroken, but I just really don't think that'll happen.
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  #197  
Old 04-23-2012, 12:27 PM
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It has certainly been interesting for me as well. This is a new experience for me, a partner having a new interest. While I have been non-monogamous for the past four years, Alec hasn't had any activity with others during that time, and neither has Mya since we've been together (besides JJ but he was already there in a different way).

To a very large extent I am feeling good. I totally enjoy compersion. I feel happy that Mya is happy, and I feel glad about the comfort and enjoyment she is getting with Bob.

There is a tiny feeling of strangeness, though. It doesn't take away from my wholehearted endorsement or their relationship, whatever is included in it. It's not really discomfort, more like a bit of restlessness.

Since I always like over-analysing stuff, that is what I will proceed to do. I just don't want it to cloud the fact that I am feeling mostly happy and calm. I think the feeling of strangeness comes from a few places.

Firstly, it's just the new experience of partner having a new sexual(/potentially romantic) interest. I feel fine with that, it's simply new. It's something concrete, a potential change for her in her life. I have spent so much time thinking about how I might feel when this happens, and me and Mya have spent time talking about Bob. Yet, it's almost surprising to finally have the experience. It's not bad at all.

Secondly, there's a bit of ego. After all, I was the new and shiny with Mya just a while ago. And now I'm no longer quite as new (while still perhaps a bit shiny). Oh noes. There's somebody else she's experiencing new things with. And I do want that. I completely wish good, enjoyable experiences for her whether with me or not. It was just some ego stroking to be the only new and shiny for a while.

Thirdly, there's a tiny bit of envy. Bob is there close to Mya and I'm here, and I have to wait for my hot sex with her. This feeling is a familiar one, though, since the sex with Bob is simply a reminder that I'd like to have sex with Mya but can't right now. In an LDR, that feeling happens from time to time, whether there are specific reminders or not.

New is sometimes a bit strange, but that will pass. Ego stroking is something I can certainly live without. And I have made peace with our distance a long time ago, so that's no biggie. And it is fun to see Mya all happy and gloaty (and get to tease her a bit).
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  #198  
Old 04-23-2012, 01:45 PM
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I was also going to write about another thing. I love, and couldn't function in another way, how me and Alec live together. We are two independent persons, with our own, quite separate lives in separate spaces, but we do come together daily for some time together. If not agreed otherwise, we eat together, while watching something relaxing from a dvd, and sleep together. And we do shopping together. Now, that may sound boring to some, but I really enjoy our routines. And I enjoy the autonomy of my own time and space. That is, we have hardly any expectations from each other time-wise even if we are both home.

However, as is maybe a common phenomenon for many who live together with a partner, when you can have quality time together almost any time, it may have the effect that you don't take the time in the right now. It tends to happen to us at times. What I mean by quality time is time where you have the energy and concentration to be completely present for each other.

I notice it first from feeling disconnected. Disconnect isn't anything dangerous, but I'd rather stay connected when it's possible to do so. The connection is, after all, one of the things I most value in a relationship, I like to enjoy that. Also, it takes some effort to reconnect, and for me it is a bit contradictory process with Alec. I don't really feel like being intimate sexually before I feel the connection again, but it is sometimes hard for us to get there without that (because that is how he best connects, and I do tend to feel a lot closer after sex, too).

Anyway, I talked with Alec about the quality time thing. He agrees that it sometimes happens that we are both so deep in our separate activities that we forget to make quality time together. It's nobody's fault, it simply happens. And it will happen again, which is alright, but for now both of us are paying a bit of attention to that. We had a really nice time together on the weekend, then, so right now no troubles with the connection thing.
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  #199  
Old 04-24-2012, 08:48 AM
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There is a way of thought which can be seen in many people who write about poly. It has to do with "working on one's own shit" or "growing as a person"; it often comes up with regards to jealousy. Partly, it resonates with me strongly, but I do take issue with the extent to which it is sometimes taken to.

I have a strong personal commitment to growing as a person. I rarely think of it in those terms, though. Sometimes it comes from willingness, and sometimes it can border on obsession, but I do analyse stuff (no kidding? - analysing the analysing). We all gather a unique set of baggage in life. I find mine easier to deal with by analysing it, finding causes for my emotional responses and reactions to emotions. For me it is quite often (though not always) the case if I find causes for my (negative) emotions that are in conflict with my core values/reasoning, the emotions become irrelevant and soon disappear altogether. For example, I've felt jealousy before, but once I thought about it and came to the conclusion that even if the person finds somebody they like as much or even more than me, it doesn't in any way devalue what we have together. After that jealous feelings have been irrelevant to me, and they have also been rare and mild. This is not, I have found, how it works for everybody. For me, the processing produces an instant reward, so no wonder I do it constantly.

My life becomes easier with processing, but some people may well feel differently about it. Tiresome, useless, endless, frustrating. I completely accept that. Now, if a person has baggage that causes them to act in very hurtful ways, that is something they have a responsibility to not inflict upon others; i.e. work through it or not be in relationships. But baggage isn't always that extreme. Sometimes it's just little quirks, tiny things that are easy for partners to accommodate, if they wish to do so (they may not and that is a valid choice as it is not their responsibility - if they don't then both have choices to make).

I try to word what I'm getting at, but as simple as I feel it to be, it seems complex when I try to explain it. It is about boundaries though.

As much I believe in everybody being responsibile for their own shit, I also believe in accepting the person you love as they are. That means with the baggage. This is not the same as putting up with crap, oh no! If the behaviour is something you can't live with it is your responsibility to decide that and not be in that relationship. If it is something you can live with, then live with it without the expectation for the person to change. If they do decide, some day, to work on that shit that is their decision which can be supported.

There are number of valid choices. There is "I am committed to growing as a person, and working through my baggage. I will only be in a relationship with people who have a similar attitude". There is "I am committed to growing as a person, and working through my baggage. I am fine being in a relationship with a person who doesn't share that aim, as long as they don't ask me to accommodate unreasonable things". There is "I just want to live my life and not use my time to endlessly think about why I'm feeling what I feel and doing what I do; I know there may be some things that are messed up but since I am not harming other people with them then I am fine with that".

It is not fine to say "since I process my shit you have to, too"; it is fine to say "I process my shit, and I won't be in a relationship with somebody who doesn't do that".

I feel that sometimes a person with the first attitude projects that onto other people as well (in the form of implicit thought if you don't do this you are lesser poly). I.e. "To be poly you have to be up for endless analysing/processing, and you have to require the same from your partners". I think that if personal growth is your kink, poly is an excellent way to facilitate that. But I don't think you have to have that preference to be poly.

Obviously, no matter what relationship configuration, it is not okay to harm others with own shit (though we are human and it will sometimes happen, but the ethical thing is to take responsibility and work on not doing it again when it does). Being reluctant to process does not mean a free pass on whatever crap you wish to pull. But it is also not a requirement to strive to become the perfect you. It is just fine being happy as you are and finding partners who are compatible.

This is why I cringe at the extreme condemnations of jealousy. It is definitely not okay to act on jealousy in ways that are hurtful to others. But it is okay to, say, want monogamy. It is okay to want polyfidelity. It is okay to be poly and still have some agreements/rules (not ones that are harmful to others, though). Jealousy may sometimes be a sign of insecurity, but not all insecurity needs to be gotten rid of. You may want to work to get rid of it, but if you don't, that is fine a valid choice (as long as, again, it is not harmful to others).

On a more personal note, my partners are different in the way they approach the whole processing thing. Mya is like me in this respect, the both of us enjoy good analysing session like nothing else. Alec is more to the "just living life" side of things. And poly has still worked just fine for us. It is my choice to accept him as he is, with baggage and all. I do resent the implication that I am doing poly wrong () by accommodating some insecurities he has. Just because it is somebody's choice to only be in relationships with people who work to get rid of all their insecurities, it is no less valid to choose otherwise. I do not feel limited or restricted, this is what I want. If I did not want it I would not be with him. If he expected me to accommodate his insecurities, yet were not willing to accommodate mine, I would be out the door so fast. But just because I feel my life to be easier with processing, and thus don't happen to ask him to accommodate my insecurities, does not mean that he has to do things the same way, or that I'm in some way taken advantage of. Just like even if I want another partner and he doesn't, he is not taken advantage of. It's just differences.
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Last edited by rory; 04-24-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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  #200  
Old 04-25-2012, 10:26 AM
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I seem to have developed a guilt issue. Even though I've only been with Bob a couple of times, I'm starting to feel guilty about the fact that I'm having more sex than JJ. That was true even before this, since I've had rory, but somehow that didn't trigger the guilt feeling. Probably because me and rory have always lived in different places and haven't been able to have sex very often anyway. Now that it's possible to have it often with Bob (although I have no idea how often we're going to get together in the future), I feel it. I know it's not logical so I'm trying to process the feeling. I want to enjoy life and JJ isn't saying anything to make me feel guilty. I even asked him if he would like to express a preference to me about something, like how often I'm away or something. He said he doesn't want to do that, he's got no idea what would be the thing that would make him feel bad, if anything, so we'll just have to wait and see if that happens at some point. Even though that sounds great, it also makes me a bit nervous because I don't know if I'm hurting him until I do. Well, such is life I guess.

Me and JJ are having a party in a few days. Bob is invited and he's probably coming. I'm excited about that. JJ and Bob have met before, because I've known Bob a long time, but they haven't really talked much. I hope and very strongly believe that everything's going to go well. Both JJ and Bob are calm, non-dramatic people (that's the only kind I like! ) and they both know what's going on so I have no reason to believe they wouldn't get along.
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