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  #291  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:00 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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The other thing I realised is actually more about me. I like getting to know new people, flirting and the excitement of wondering whether they like me and whether this is going somewhere or not. I'm sure I'm not the only one but yeah, I like that unfamiliar territory where you don't know anything yet but there is potential for something. These kinds of situations happen all the time and 90 % of them don't go anywhere beyond flirting. But they're fun and I enjoy them. And this is also why I enjoy being in an open relationship. It's not so much about the actual sex with other people than the freedom. I absolutely love the feeling that anything could turn into something (sex, a relationship or something else) if both of us wanted it.
this! yes! It's what I always try to tell friends when I try to explain about what's so great about being in an open relationship. It's about the possibillities, the opportunities, the freedom. It doesn't even matter that most of these connections don't go beyond the flirting stage.
Thanks for articulating it.
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the guys: Ren - husband; Curlz - bf of 2 years, Brig - bf of 7 months; Knight - non-sexual bf; MrBrown - it's complicated
Ren's girls: Lou - gf of 2 years, Liz - very new gf

Last edited by Cleo; 11-16-2012 at 02:04 PM.
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  #292  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:08 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Thank you Jane, NyCindie, and fuchka for your responses. I really appreciate them! I don't feel like thinking about that lack of energy stuff too much right now, but I want to write about one realisation I had.

I notice that it is sometimes hard to express my needs not really because I fear my partner's reaction, but because when I am in that bad place, I feel any reaction is difficult to take. Seeing the disappointment is horrible. But to have my partner say "it's okay, it's no big deal, I still love you" feels like something so undeserved. Even though, rationally, I think that is the coolest response to give, in that moment where I lack all perspective, I feel like the worst person on the earth, and getting sympathy makes me feel even more selfish. I know that is completely untrue, and I see that myself at any other time, but when I am emotional enough...

So, I talked with Mya and we came up with one idea. We agreed that if/when I next feel like I need to cancel plans, I will text her and she will, at that time, only reply "ok.". Somehow, that feels selfish, because I definitely want her to be able to express it if she feels disappointed or anything else. But, the aim is to separate the "expressing need" and the "receiving reaction" parts from each other. That will (hopefully) make it somewhat easier for me to communicate when I am in that place of low energy; because it's really in everybody's interest that I recharge when I need to. And then I am totally open to talking about it later if either of us wants to.
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  #293  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:18 PM
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Mya is coming to visit me and Alec. Fun! It's becoming maybe something of a by-monthly thing, and I like that. I so much enjoy that, being in the same city, all group time is 100% optional. That has a huge psychological effect on me, because it rids me of any responsibility I feel about everybody having fun (not that it is anyway, but emotionally it's not always so simple). I also totally enjoy the fact that my partners like each other and seem to want to hang out with each other sometimes. That is totally cool!

I got a good idea today. It's been bugging me that even though we are now in Dream City, where there is insane amounts of cool stuff to do and see, me and Alec never seem to get around to doing something together. It's the combination of lazy, my insane schedule, and serious lack of money (oh, btw, Alec FINALLY got to start his job last week! I have maybe never felt quite as relieved... Well, maybe when we got this apartment and didn't go homeless.. This fall has been stressful. Hopefully getting much better from now on! ). Totally understandable reasons, particularly the last two. However, there is a problem with this. When we don't take some time to reconnect, we tend to get along worse and also not communicate as well.

So, today we agreed to have a monthly date! We also agreed that we will take turns to plan something. I am really happy about both ideas. The dynamic in our relationship is that I am generally the one to organise things. This works for us, but it is work. And I don't want doing something together to be more work for me, so I would feel resentful if I was the only one to make the effort to plan something to do. However, with taking turns it feels completely different. I love love love to plan surprise stuff for somebody, it's the coolest. It is also really cool when somebody plans stuff for me, and it shows me they care. So, fun and not work at all!

We also agreed that some money (in dollars around 50) can be spent on the date despite the shitty financial situation. If not all of that allowance is used, even better. But at the moment we are not really prioritising maintenance of our relationship enough. So even though time and money are limited, some need to be set aside for this. $50 and a weekend day once a month cannot be too much. We set up dates in our calendars: Alec will plan our date next weekend, and I am planning the following one in January. Yay!

In other news, about jealousy. Firstly, it was interesting to notice that last time when Mya visited Home Country and met Bob, I had zero jealous feelings around that. It hasn't been bad before, either, but I did have some jealousy when Mya and Bob lived in the same town and I was in a LDR with her.

Secondly, there's been talk about Mya possibly dating some. She can write more about that, but basically I notice that she is, if not really seeking another relationship, more open to possibilities. I am happy to notice that I feel mostly relaxed about it all. Even if changes may be coming, I feel surprisingly calm. I guess I feel like I'm getting everything I could possibly want and need in our relationship. And I trust that Mya values our relationship and that she will make decisions that take it into account.

The only thing I've been slightly nervous about is the potential of her living with somebody else. I've had some very mild passing jealous feelings, too, which have actually been kinda funny. As in "how can Mya move in with somebody else when I was with her first??". Hahah But it's of course not what I actually think, and I would be fine with her finding a partner she wanted to live with. The only thing I am actually nervous about is how that might possibly affect our relationship: if we could see each other/ have sex as freely as now. Anyway, I do accept that it is possible that in some situation or with some person, she might want to trade some of the freedom away for the potential gains of live in partnership. But it comes down to the same thing as with the dating, I trust her to make decisions that take our relationship into account, and I am sure we would be able to find solutions to mitigate the impact. Also, I don't expect this to be an issue for the near future, so we will cross that bridge if/when we get there.
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  #294  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 AM
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Mya laughed at my description of by-monthly thing. A number of reasons. Apparently it's bimonthly. And, apparently there is a controversy whether it means twice a month or every two months. I meant the latter. Also, seemingly two visits is not yet a big enough sample to draw that conclusion. Anyway, I don't think the fact I wrote so obligates us to anything.

It was nice to have her visit. I made good food with feta and pineapple and mushrooms, and we played a board game.

Btw, if I were to live with more people, board games would be an excellent reason to do so. Mya and I talked about three-person-cohabitation last week. Not really in "planning this for us" kind of way, more in "theoretically, what could it look like and what do we think about it in general".

I think I am processing. Less because it needs to be decided now, more because I am contemplating what living together with a partner or several partners means to me. At one point, I rejected the assumption that it has to mean something specific, namely the culturally normative implications. However, now I am also thinking that just because I reject those meanings on the basis of "that's just how it is", doesn't mean some of them couldn't coincide with how I also feel myself. Also, there could be other meanings I give to living together.

Anyway, one thing I do notice is that I feel moving in together as some kind of commitment in itself. This is to one direction only. That is, for me a person can be just as committed to a non-domestic partnership (and I feel I am). Cohabiting is not committing to relationship, it is committing to a specific living arrangement. Now, commitment for me does not necessary mean for life. I mean if something works and lasts a lifetime, cool. But I consider commitment to be for the time being. I do feel, though, that living together, ideally, is not something I would enter lightly or exit lightly, either.

I also really value the potentially increased financial safety which comes from an extent of pooling resources. Of course that is not always given (e.g. at the moment it is crucial both I and Alec are working continuously to cover our basic expences). Still, in many situations living together can be an additional safety net.

However, that comes with the possibility that sometimes that safety net may actually be needed. Having to support somebody can create strain even in a loving partnership. So what about metamourships? I would imagine less incentive and more strain. Maybe that could work if there was the knowledge that the support would/will go also to the other direction. But what about different ways of spending money? If somebody has savings, so when suddenly unemployed can support themself, but somebody else relies on the safet net provided by the others? Or, could it be that everybody saves a certain amount each month, so that a communal safety net is provided?

Anyway, interesting stuff to think about.
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  #295  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:55 PM
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Mya Mya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleo View Post
this! yes! It's what I always try to tell friends when I try to explain about what's so great about being in an open relationship. It's about the possibillities, the opportunities, the freedom. It doesn't even matter that most of these connections don't go beyond the flirting stage.
Thanks for articulating it.
Thanks Cleo. It's nice to know there are others like me!

---

I've totally enjoyed mine and rory's discussions about cohabitation. It's been interesting. At the moment I really enjoy living with roommates but I suspect I might want to live with a partner in the future. I don't know for sure though.

I recently created a profile on a dating site. I haven't done online dating in a decade so this is soooo weird. I had forgotten what it's like. Among other things superficiality, rejection and boring/creepy people. I very very rarely hit on anyone in real life so I also don't have to experience rejection very much. It's not like anyone has said anything rude to me on the dating site, but ignoring my message feels quite bad, too. Something about online dating bugs me a lot. It's like online shopping, but with people. I don't know how to descibe what I'm looking for because I'm open to so many different things. I've also noticed that maybe it's not such a good idea to bring up the fact that I like feminine men. It's apparently something that is very rare to admit, so if I put that as a "requirement", many people wouldn't respond because that's not how they would define themselves. For example there was this one guy who is a 99% match and to me sounds kinda feminine in the way that I define it. But in the question section he had answered that he considers himself masculine (options were feminine, androgyne and masculine). So that's also something that annoys me: people use words differently so basically you can get a wrong idea about someone, whereas if you met them in real life and that subject came up, you could just ask for clarification. Okay, rant over. Let's see if this online dating is for me or not. So far not liking it much.

I've been to a few different poly meet-ups and have really enjoyed them! In the last one I met this really nice bi guy and now I regret not asking him for his number or something. Hopefully he'll come to the next meet-up and I'll be brave enough to do something.
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  #296  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:26 PM
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I have a date coming up! It's the 99% match that I mentioned. Looking forward to it.
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  #297  
Old 11-27-2012, 11:39 PM
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Reflections, thoughts. Coupledom, as it seems to be understood and practiced by many.

I often have conflicted feelings about reading a solo poly blog over here: http://solopoly.net/

On one hand, I totally support the aims of the blog (e.g. awareness and deconstruction of couple priviledge) and I think it is very important; and, there's a lot of good stuff. I feel that since I do have one non-domestic and one domestic partner, I am happy to get perspective on what kinds of things it is easy to disregard that are important from other perspective.

On the other hand, there are things that limit the usefulness for me. Besides the use of primary/non-primary distinction that I reject, I keep running into these cultural assumptions of coupledom that just baffle me. Or, simultaneously don't and do. I guess I'm in a bubble where I lead autonomous relationships, and have people close to me who also lead autonomous relationship. So I sometimes almost forget how intertwined, coupley, the cultural model of romantic relationship is.

But, for example, this kind of advice "8. Invite non-primary partners into negotiations and decisions that affect them." feels just non-applicable (even if I filter out the primary connotations thing and read it in terms of who I live with etc.). I find it difficult to even articulate why it doesn't resonate. I make my own decisions. Obviously, I talk with people they affect. Is that the invite, talking to people? And obviously, the people affected are free to tell me their opinions and ask for anything they would like to be done differently, and obviously I will consider these things (and may or may not do them). And then we'll talk some more about it. Is that the negotiation part?

There's some weird cultural couple unity that does things like makes decisions. That somehow makes a communal decision by couple AB something different to a decision made by both A and B. That somehow takes away the agency of both A and B in merging them to AB. That somehow makes the responsibility for choices invisible.

Something in this cultural coupledom stuff is completely twisted.
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  #298  
Old 11-29-2012, 11:51 PM
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The date went well, but I'm not sure if there were any sparks. I think he was goodlooking, intelligent and nice, but I didn't feel like he was that into me. Well, we'll see. We didn't say anything about meeting again, so I'm not expecting much.

I've been thinking about the good old primary/secondary thing. This time from the perspective of a person who is maybe some day starting another relationship. I have to deal with the fact that many people seem to use hierarchy and I can't necessarily escape that. There's this girl I've been messaging with. We're planning on meeting at some point. She mentioned that she's in a primary relationship and they're both happy with that arrangement. That's obviously fine, but I think I'd like to know her definition of primary. I don't really want to feel like a secondary in the sense that the primary always comes first, whatever my needs are. But then I don't want to be anyone's primary either in the sense that I would make all the desicions with that person and be all one entity with them. If everyone thought this like rory I wouldn't have to think about this at all.

I feel like at the same time I fit and don't fit into all/any poly categories. I'm a solo poly in the sense that I don't live with a partner and I'm not married and I can date whoever I want, but I'm not a solo poly because I am in this serious and committed relationship. I'm in a primary relationship in the sense that rory is my significant other, I share my life with her, plan a future with her, take her into account in my decisions and spend quite a lot of time with her, but I'm not in a primary relationship because we don't always put each other first (there are other things in life besides relationships), I don't live with her and we're not married. I'm in a secondary relationship in the sense that rory is living with and married to someone else, but I'm not in a secondary relationship because I don't come second, I'm considered just as much as Alec, and rory is a big and meaningful part of my life.

You see where it gets confusing? This is definitely not a problem in mine and rory's relationship, but in my attempts to communicate my situation to others, maybe potential partners. I'm open to relationships developing how they will, but then I see all the requirements in people's profiles; some people are looking for a secondary and some singles are looking for a primary to be poly with. I don't want any of that, but maybe it's just the way they use the language and don't really mean it the way I interpret it. I want equal and flexible relationships that have a possibility to grow, is it really that rare? That's what it feels like when looking at dating profiles.
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Last edited by Mya; 11-30-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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  #299  
Old 12-04-2012, 09:52 AM
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I've been to a few different poly meet-ups and have really enjoyed them! In the last one I met this really nice bi guy and now I regret not asking him for his number or something. Hopefully he'll come to the next meet-up and I'll be brave enough to do something.
I saw his profile on a dating site and sent him a message! We exchanged phone numbers and are going to meet up probably next week. I used the term "hang out" instead of "date", so I think we're meeting as friends, which is good. Less pressure. I really like his cheerful presence and funny remarks, he is just fun to be around, so I'm really looking forward to spending some time with him.
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  #300  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:16 AM
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Noticed an interesting interaction today:

me: so when do you want to meet again?
Mya: how about Friday?
me thinking: oh cool actually Friday is good cause I could maybe stay until afternoon or so cause I probably won't have too much to study and also that will leave me still time left to spend most of the weekend at home and also to see Alec who won't be home on Saturday morning anyway and fun to be able to spend a bit more time together
me outloud: yeah, Friday is actually really good
Mya: so maybe you'll not have to leave quite as early in the morning, then

Now here comes the interesting bit. My response to her was something along the lines of: "I'll have to see, I may have to study but probably can stay longer than usual". Which is not untrue, that may happen. But I'm not expecting that to happen, in fact as you can see from above, my own thought just a second ago was how nice it would be to be able to spend some more time together.

It's just, that seems to be some kind of trigger. That if I give a time frame/estimate, or my partner expresses a preference and I don't counter it right away, then I am bound to that. Which will make it then more difficult if I want/need to do something else, because I've already given the impression of a specific thing. That is, it triggers a feeling of being constrained. As being less free to choose what I do with my time. It seems to be somewhat irrelevant that the thing I'm committing to is something I actually would want to do anyway. There's still some psychological change of the free time being slightly less free due to being scheduled.

I find that interesting. (Also, me writing it here should not be read as a sign of this being a big deal, nor as a request to make any changes; I simply like analysing ). Also, I notice a different consequence. The trigger happens and causes me to express the fact that I may not be able to stay long. But in that, the impression she gets is about my busy schedule (true) and not about that I really would like to spend time together (also very true).

Kind of like an unfortunate circle: I feel like I want to spend time with her, she expresses that she wants to spend time with me --> I get anxious about her expecting something of me that I may not be able to do so I emphasise that I'm not promising that time + anxiety about having to feel like my time is accounted for + feel resentful about how she doesn't seem to trust that I, too, want to spend time with her (note - the triggered impression rather than something I consider valid) --> as a result of the trigger, I end up emphasising the non-commitment way over the willingness to see her, which actually could quite well undermine some of the trust she has in me wanting to prioritise spending time with her.

Now, this analysis was about my conversation with Mya this morning, but similar things have come up earlier with Alec. Somehow I just got a hold of some details in a new way this time. Have to process some more, but I feel like there are some valuable things to note.
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