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  #21  
Old 12-25-2012, 01:11 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Thanks Rory! Brian was pretty late, which made me nervous, but Adam is used to people being flaky and cuts them MUCH more slack than I do - when he got there it was easy and relaxed I think, I beat them soundly in 2/3 games, and although I don't know if there will ever be a close "lets play video games one on one" relationship between them, it seems like more board game group things are likely. Phew!

Gives me a good reason to put any further excuses to over think and worry to rest until the holidays are over
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:19 PM
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I have some stuff going on in my head, I don't particularly think that rambling about it will help me come to any conclusions, but maybe I'll get lucky. I may have rambled about a bit of this before.

Chemistry... Kissing....

I have the "problem" that I don't often find myself instantly attracted to people, even at my most socially active when I met lots of new people, it never averaged more than once a year. Also every third one tends to be a gay male... lets just say I don't expect that to suddenly change where I find myself attracted to people left and right Over the last 9 or so years it's only happened with two men and two women. Only one of these was in a situation where it was meeting somebody who was poly and led to a date. I resisted going up to the guy in the grocery store with long flaming red hair who looked like a fucking Viking to tell him that I thought he was cute, yes that's my husband over there, and would you like my number? Man I wish I was an extrovert.

I've figured out that I look for different things when kissing men vs women. With women I like a slow sensual energy. Presumably because I haven't ended up involved sexually with a female yet, I prefer the idea of a slower path, as opposed to immediately being carried away with lust and wanting to get naked. As at this rate I'm getting the feeling it's unlikely I'll end up dating women that's more just a fact I'm filing away.

Men on the other hand, I'd really prefer that kissing is passionate/exciting/compatible right off the bat (at least after the first date that involves kissing where it's all nervous making) even if I wasn't "attracted at first sight". Having both immediate chemistry AND compatible kissing right away hasn't happened for 20 years though. Besides a cuddle party where I am pretty sure I kissed some guys but only remember the girls... I've only kissed 6 guys since non monogamy entered the picture, and I'd categorize those experiences from anywhere from "the worst kisses anybody in the entire world probably ever suffered through", to "eh", to "nice, I guess." I've also experienced sexual compatibility with people I didn't feel kissing compatibility with, so I know that they don't have to go hand in hand, but I'd like to avoid having sex with people I'm not really excited about.

I really _fucking love_ kissing my partners, but it wasn't immediate. Still no clue how I ended up dating Adam when I had no intention for more than friendship, and poor Brian, I remember on our third date pretty much saying "Ok, kiss me with everything you got" and I figured if that didn't spark something deep in my loins, I probably shouldn't go out with him again. It didn't, but I kept going out with him, thank goodness because at some point we worked that out it seems. I can't imagine how wacko that must've seemed, good thing he's tolerant. The fact that both relationships I'm in are with people I wasn't sure about for awhile makes me wary to make snap judgments about chemistry at all.

Adam was chuckling at me because he said I'm approaching this scientifically

The factors that I'm trying to figure out how to apply to figure out if I'm compatible with people I meet (cause I find it probable that one more relationship is all I can fit into my time) are
1. friendship potential
2. chemistry (initial)
3. sexual compatibility/sexual chemistry, and how to/if I should consider that at all if the first two aren't present.
4. commute time ...but dead serious

Wow am I over thinking this or what? It's just that I reactivated my OKC profile so I'd like to be clear about the subject. I think I want some magic answer to the question "How many times should I go on a date with a perfectly nice person when it's not clear if it will end being a good match in the long run?" I suppose I imagine it's different if somebody seems to be a potential friend, and truth is I probably should answer my own question with - once. If they are perfectly nice but I don't sense we'd make good friends, once is enough. Most of my good friends I have hit it off with immediately now that I think about it. I also think I just answered one of my other musings - " I'd like to avoid having sex with people I'm not really excited about." But I'm torn because I think I'm open to see if I could enjoy a FWB where the friendship is the most important part of the relationship, which would probably work out better if I didn't want to get naked within 5 minutes of seeing them. Sigh.
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:51 PM
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Sometimes (especially on the Fetlife poly forums) I see a lot of pressure for people to embrace total autonomy, and suggestions that you're "less than" if you make requests of or agreements with your partners that stifles 100% freedom. The theory being if you just trust that your partner wont be an asshole, that should be enough.

The reason that doesn't work for me is if a metamour comes over on a hot summer day and drinks my last two diet cokes and Adam doesn't go get more or tell me I should pick up some more on the way home, and I get home looking forward to drinking a tasty cold beverage, and open the fridge to find it empty... I consider that to be inconsiderate asshole behavior, and he would have just thought he was a good host. That sort of thing CAN end up being a big issue (I'm not exactly the most easygoing person, I get pissy when his friends come drink all my diet coke so I can see it being a problem if his girlfriends did too, which means I've clearly stated that if he doesn't make sure i don't run out of soda, he's going to have one grumpy partner.). People think differently, and I think specific agreements about behavior can be good when they aren't too lopsided or about double standards, especially when people have radically different viewpoints and life experience and want to be on the same page. Accomplishing it of course is easier when all involved parties want their poly to look the same.

Both he and I have made some concessions which mean we get more overlap in our comfort levels, but also miss out on some freedom to act as we please. Due to 40 years bachelorhood and the tendency to see everything in shades of grey, he struggles more with B&W agreements (remembering them, applying them). Due to being very literal, I struggle with his regular re-interpretation of agreements because he's convinced that this person or situation is an exception to them. These differences are present in other aspects of our life too, not just around poly.

Priorities are minimizing having big surprises or drama, and because we live together, centered on keeping our day to day interactions running smoothly. Some of them reflect my desire to comfortably share lots of info about what's going on in my life and have it shared back (not personal stuff - where dinner was had, jokes we're told, hobbies shared between metamours, movies recommended by a partner). I like hearing the same back, because even if I don't spend time with a metamour, hearing little bits about their personalities or lives makes me feel like there's a vicarious friendship, and encourages me to support the other relationship.

I like to revisit my agreements with Adam every six months or so to see if anything has changed and if we are still on the same page. They are none of your business, but since sometimes people find it useful or interesting to see what other people do, here they are.


Non negotiable Agreements

Follow the agreed upon safe sex agreements in ours and others relationships. Actively discuss safe sex practices, last STI tests, results and risk factors before becoming sexually involved.

No drug use or kink related activities with new partners without checking in first to see if there are any concerns so we can discuss them before and not after the fact.


Agreements (generally negotiable/not dealbreakers if they happen)

Let each other know if we are going to writing with somebody new if we are in the room at the same time, otherwise mention new interests (from OKC or "real life") sooner than later.

Check with each other before making a specific time/day for first & second dates so we don't schedule something when there are already plans/tentative plans. New people seem more stressful when there's a schedule fuck up around it.

Give each other a heads up before we tell other people we are in love with them or want to have sex with them for the first time.

If the person is local, have at least a passing "hi how you doing? interaction between metamours before a relationship becomes sexual.

Scheduling 2 dates a week with somebody is fine, if we want to see someone more often, bring it up proactively to discuss if we are keeping up our end of the chores/housework/attention to any other existing relationship before committing more time elsewhere.

Schedule 2 days a week to spend together, with one a set date night.


Preferences (that lead to discussion before pursuing anything contrary)

I prefer Adam doesn't date his coworkers, I prefer neither of us date people that are single parents with primary custody, we both prefer we both only date people who have experience being in open or poly relationships, both of us prefer not to get involved with people who are swingers/engage in regular casual sex unless we are clear their safe sex guidelines seem to be strict enough to mitigate most risks of STIs



It doesn't look too copiously long now that I see it in print.
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  #24  
Old 02-14-2013, 09:43 PM
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Ah Valentines day.

Yesterday was my regular date night with Brian, and I stayed over (pretty uncommon for various reasons) and had a lovely evening. Tonight is low key stuff with Adam, we're saving "stupid romantic date" stuff for our regular date night tomorrow. Overall I am feeling really happy and content relationship wise though there's a few things going wrong in other aspects of life. Mainly a combination of SIL suddenly announcing she's having a destination wedding somewhere expensive this year that's going to hit our credit card hard & a very important work commitment on Adam's part that conflicts with the date of my far away best friend's (kinda ex) wedding date mean I had to RSVP no to the latter wedding today. He is a wonderful friend but one who isn't particularly understanding. I'm kind of upset about it, I don't like the attitude that I owe it to him or I'm not a good friend, extra grumpy since he didn't come to our wedding (leftover feelings of love/jealousy). Well enough of that, I just talked myself out of my awesome mood!

I started seeing somebody a couple of weeks ago, I'd turned my OKC profile on to copy paste the "about me" crap before shutting it off again, I figured I'd start a new profile in late spring/early summer. Apparently they don't let you turn it off without waiting a week, and several people wrote within a couple days of each other. I ended meeting a couple of them for coffee, and managed to wrap any other conversations up so I could turn the damn profile off again.

I'll probably go on more about this later, after I have a chance to meet his wife and feel comfortable that seeing him is not going to be causing negative ripples. I don't get the impression it will, although I am still a bit nervous as this would be the first time for me to meet an already existing partner before it got past flirting/kissing. Nevertheless before it was a preference for me to meet SO's first, but I've decided it's a must for me now to either meet or correspond in some way before exploring anything.

I feel good about this so far, he has a similar way of doing poly, he says good things about his partners, and he seems very comfortable talking about some of those weird to talk about early on conversations (such as scheduling, limitations, safe sex practices). He was transparent about meeting somebody else at the same time and that it seemed to be working out for him too. I asked about what it meant to start seeing two new people at once on top of his other relationships. He didn't BS but acknowledged the potential pitfalls & was thoughtful about his response. I think we would be friends if there wasn't the potential of dating, and he's fun to talk to.

The potential of me dating somebody else has motivated Adam to want to be more social - his fear has been that if he even meets people he likes that he'll get distracted with new shiny awesome and stop doing the work he's been doing, and stop tending to our relationship/his relationship with himself. I know he is prone to that, and gets one track minded, but I don't get that sense that there's as much of a danger now as there was a year ago.

I've encouraged him to be open to flirtatious friendships if he's not ready to date, and reminded him it IS possible to not start dating somebody the second he meets them. He ended up going to a local poly meetup this week and having fun, he came home very energized and while it wasn't surprising he found attractive people of the fairer sex there, it was surprising that he also had good talks with a couple guys who shared some common interests, who will also be at come upcoming shows/conventions he'll be at too here. Win win!
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  #25  
Old 03-01-2013, 08:13 PM
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It looks like seeing this guy I mentioned meeting, Greg - is lasting past a few dates. We spent some time with Adam, they got along well and liked each other. I met his wife and one of her partners and they are pretty cool people too. I have no idea if any friendships will form but I feel satisfied that there aren't any obvious red flags to worry about, and Greg really seems to be a great communicator so I'm hoping if anything springs up we can work it out proactively.

I like guys for all sorts of reasons, some of them odd but... Greg brought up that he noticed Adam and I seem to have different comfort levels around PDAs than he and his wife do (+1 for noticing we have differing ways to do things) and that while we're comfortable kissing people we date hello and goodbye in front of each other, that they keep it to hugs only and he wanted to be clear on that ahead of time (+1 for being proactive) so I wouldn't be surprised at only getting a hug when we all end up in the same place together. (+1 for bringing it up ahead of time, +1 for looking out for everyone's comfort levels).

I actually would've brought that up before I was around them both at the same time because I'd never want to make anybody uncomfortable and know people do things differently but... seriously, I am surprised at how fucking awesome it is to see somebody actively working to make sure things go smoothly for everybody involved, nobody has ever beat me to the punch on something like that before. Hot.

On another note in a week it's going to be my 2 year anniversary with Brian. It feels so different when you generally only see somebody once a week and don't interact with them much via other means in between, just doesn't "seem" like two years. Things are really good with him and the only problem to date is when I wish the relationship was different, instead of accepting what actually is. That's been my struggle dating somebody so different than I am, but when I can keep it out of my head I am really happy. I'm enjoying spending time with him more as time goes by instead of less, and I think our differences have actually taught me a lot about relationships.

My stress level overall is a bit heightened because I've never had more than two partners before, and while I'm pretty sure the main issue may be scheduling (although Greg's availability does not conflict with my other date nights, yay!) I find myself feeling self conscious about the sheer hedonism of it all. I've felt it is totally acceptable to have two partners but think I've have had an vague feeling that if I had three I'd think I was greedy. I'll be curiously watching what happens in my head after this actually means three sexual partners (I'm a slow mover, what can I say) to see if I actually think that.

Lastly, things with Adam have been going really well. He actually notices more often when I'm hitting on him and has been initiating sex more often, so even though I'd still like to take him to bed almost every day of the week I'm pretty content. Before this behavior was ebbing and flowing, but it seems pretty stable now. I'm considering going to see his counselor at some point, but truthfully I haven't felt conflicted about anything for so long I cant think of anything to talk about right now. I'll probably start when he is dating again, as I'm sure we'll have issues with my B&W literal interpretation of our agreements vs his shades of grey interpretation, and having an outside view will help me to stop taking it personally when it happens.

He IS still a bit "restless" now that I'm dating another person and we are making sure to be aware of that. He's been spending a lot of time doing after hours work events that scratch his social itch, he has a very full March where he's out of town for almost half of it, AND he just got a job offer that will keep him busy and engaged mentally once he starts, which always makes him happier.

I'm feeling more confident he'll feel like dating again soon, and while I'm sure there will be road bumps, I think he'll be a bit more capable at managing communication issues and feelings of guilt as they spring up, and not dating just because "you're dating so I should date". I'm very glad he's aware that he can meet his desire for social interaction through other means while he sorts his other stuff out. He'll be doing more poly events solo, and we are going to Norwescon so I'm sure he'll be meeting lots of women and being reminded of the upside to dating (omg I love women!) instead of the downside (omg all the stress! STI talks! Barrier usage!!! communication!!! oh no I screwed up and your feelings are hurt so I must be bad!!!!).

So still pretty non eventful all things considered. Still pretty happy (actually I'm ecstatically sickeningly happy). Just not boring at the moment
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
My stress level overall is a bit heightened because I've never had more than two partners before, and while I'm pretty sure the main issue may be scheduling (although Greg's availability does not conflict with my other date nights, yay!) I find myself feeling self conscious about the sheer hedonism of it all. I've felt it is totally acceptable to have two partners but think I've have had an vague feeling that if I had three I'd think I was greedy.
Oh, I know that feeling! I'm out to all my friends, my parents and most of my co-workers, but almost all of them assume that I have 1 BF besides my husband - I tell very few people I'm also seeing someone else, and will tell even fewer people I'm considering adding another FWB. Self conscious about the sheer hedonism, yes that sums it up perfectly.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:48 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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... I am surprised at how fucking awesome it is to see somebody actively working to make sure things go smoothly for everybody involved, nobody has ever beat me to the punch on something like that before. Hot.
Super-Double-Awesome! GalaGirl sometimes uses the phrase "Hot Ethics" - which really resonates with me, and seems to apply here. His approach seems to be proactive and practical.

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On another note in a week it's going to be my 2 year anniversary with Brian. It feels so different when you generally only see somebody once a week and don't interact with them much via other means in between, just doesn't "seem" like two years.
People have noted that the NRE seems to get stretched out when the interaction is limited (whether by scheduling or distance). On the other hand - it doesn't "seem" like I have been with MrS for 20 years either - in my brain it seems like we just got married a few years ago (maybe this is just because I can't fathom how OLD we have gotten .)

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I'm enjoying spending time with him more as time goes by instead of less, and I think our differences have actually taught me a lot about relationships.
Good, good. I have little relationship experience (just one really long and happy one ) and initially had to remind myself that just because MrS and I do stuff one way doesn't mean that there aren't other valid ways to be be together. Dude is NOT MrS and my relationship with him will NOT be the same. The fact that your interest and comfort level continues to grow...good stuff.

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I find myself feeling self conscious about the sheer hedonism of it all. I've felt it is totally acceptable to have two partners but think I've have had an vague feeling that if I had three I'd think I was greedy.
Yup, hedonism guilt - I sometimes get struck by the thought that it really isn't fair that I get to be so happy and be with these two great boys and play with fun girls and live this great life...while other people are struggling in their relationships and unhappy or lonely. Like I don't really "deserve" to be this lucky. I then remind myself that I am only responsible for MY relationships, and if everyone is happy then there is NO problem with "letting" myself be happy too. My happy is not stealing from anyone else's happy. Adding a third person (if everyone's needs are getting met and current relationships are being tended) does not "steal" anything from someone else.

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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I'll be curiously watching what happens in my head after this actually means three sexual partners (I'm a slow mover, what can I say) to see if I actually think that.
Love this! Watching my own brain work stuff out is one of my favorite pasttimes.

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Lastly, things with Adam have been going really well. ... I'm considering going to see his counselor at some point, but truthfully I haven't felt conflicted about anything for so long I cant think of anything to talk about right now. I'll probably start when he is dating again, as I'm sure we'll have issues with my B&W literal interpretation of our agreements vs his shades of grey interpretation, and having an outside view will help me to stop taking it personally when it happens.
Glad things are going so well, sounds like you know where trouble spots are likely to develop and have an idea has to how these can be handled. (There's YOU being proactive and practical.)


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So still pretty non eventful all things considered. Still pretty happy (actually I'm ecstatically sickeningly happy). Just not boring at the moment
Actually, it sounds pretty "eventful" at the moment (lots of interesting stuff and possibilities going on)...but what it seems like is "non dramatic" and "low conflict".

JaneQ

PS. Sorry to take up such a long post on your blog - but you had so many positives in there to congratulation you on.
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Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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  #28  
Old 03-03-2013, 02:03 AM
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Thanks you two, I hadn't really seen other people addressing that before - so while I'm glad I'm not alone it's also too bad that its so easy to feel bad about good things!

And Hot Ethics...that sums it up. I've just never really seen it from anyone in real life before in such great quantities... when that stuff comes out of my mouth to people I always assume they translate it as "wow she over-thinks and talks a lot" but I feel so much better about myself when I stick to my word and try to make sure everyone's feelings are being considered. But crap... now I'm getting preoccupied thinking about our date next week.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:15 AM
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Weekend

I went to Adam's therapist for the first time early last week. I'd planned on going in a few months to get some advice on communication issues that come up when Adam dates - wasn't in a hurry because I didn't have anything bothering me I could think of to talk about, but ended up grabbing an opening when I saw one. She also had an opening before Adam's appointment Friday too so I scheduled it and we carpooled up for them.

Afterwards we headed off for a couple of errands and then for our date night. It was going amazingly but got a bit tense when he brought up the idea of renegotiating something I mentioned. The issue was that he seemed to be offering to change the agreement as a favor for me, but it turned out he actually wanted the same freedom himself but found it impossible to just straight forwardly bring it up. Nothing new there but sigh...it's hammered out for now but that's just the sort of thing that is hard for me to roll with, and that counseling will help me with. The rest of the evening was very nice, things seem to be coming together for me in a way that is making it easier for me to let things go and not let them ruin an otherwise great day. We went home and watched a romantic comedy (I can only get him to watch those a couple times a year )

Saturday I had a nice leisurely date with Greg, we watched a horrible movie that has my biggest girl crush in it, and had a very good time. Things really feel comfortable with him, I was going to say that its nice, but nice is an understatement. He is also the biggest flirt I've encountered since I was a teenager. Upsides and downsides to it, it does seem to fan the flames of NRE.

I'd already decided to let myself enjoy NRE for the first time in 20 years instead of keeping a tight rein on it like I usually do (not that I don't enjoy those feelings, I just usually wait 4-6 months). I'm also am enjoying being able to tell Adam what I'm feeling as things move along and see how supportive he is, in case I need any reminders down the road of how ideally I should react when HE'S going around getting all giddy next time!

Due to a lack of organization on everyone's part, I didn't end up meeting a new friend Sunday morning, but that made it possible to get a bit of extra sleep and head up to Brian's at noon. It's odd how I worry he and I don't have enough in common to spend a lot of time together even though we've had plenty of 10+ hour dates. Spent a lovely night over, still totally stunned the next day that it's been two years already. Dropped him off at work, did the happy dance that the freeway system here means I am rewarded for carpooling into downtown, though I'd preferred to cuddle the entire day away.

So I had almost the best weekend in the history of my memory. Nevertheless lately I have been suffering with guilt about my good fortune. AnnabelMore had posted a link to a blog post her girlfriend made. It had this gem of a paragraph that really struck home to help combat some of the feelings I've had lately.

"I don’t believe in cosmic justice. I find the concept, while nice to think about, even less plausible than an omnipotent, omnibenevolent magic sky wizard. I cannot balance my privilege and fortune with the needs I see in the world, i can only accept my blessings, both earned and unasked for, live as best i can, and work for a better world. So I try not to ever think about things in terms of deserving. We don’t get what we deserve, we get what we can out of what’s available. I don’t have to deserve my good fortune. I certainly don’t deserve my ill fortune."

I've been wasting time feeling bad for being lucky and loved. How ironic is that? Comparison IS the thief of joy, in both directions, and I'd only thought of that being in terms of those more fortunate, instead of recognizing that I always feel badly for those less lucky than I am - and use it as a reason to feel guilty about being so lucky.

So that was a crazy week, 2 dates with each of my 3 partners. This week I'm back to 1 date apiece with some other plans with people who are not adorable, sexy people I like other than platonically. I'm glad to see that I was able to test my limits for social time and because I'm so comfortable with the people in my life I was not stressed at all. That was my biggest worry with more than 2 partners, so I'm feeling a bit optimistic now.

I'm also feeling really loved and supported. Sniffly and shit too.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 03-12-2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:28 PM
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"Hot Ethics" get my motor runnin'.

Quote:
I'm also feeling really loved and supported. Sniffly and shit too
Yay! That is an awesome feeling.

GG
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