Never Never Land
Well, I titled it that because I never thought I would be where I am today. I knew nothing about polyamory until recently and as a result I grew up thinking the mono way was the only way and dedicated my life to a single woman. Twice. Yep, I’m twice divorced, so I have successfully completed two marriages. At least that’s how I like to look at them as they we're both learning experiences and I was blessed with 3 children between both of the ladies.
I learned a great deal from both marriages and while I was content to be monogamous, I was never fully happy. After I separated from my second wife I reluctantly eased back into the dating scene. Very quickly I realized I needed to make a list. Yep, so that I could check off little boxes and find the perfect woman who would meet all of my ridiculous expectations and desires. I learned equally as quickly that finding someone that meets all those requirements was going to be unlikely at best.
I began seeing a woman, we’ll call her Awesome, at first very casually. One night I told her half jokingly that I didn’t think I was ever going to meet a singular right woman for me and that I thought I would need to date multiple women to be able to get all the boxes on my list checked. She laughed and said that was silly, that I was not that kind of man as I had always been dedicated to my woman.
Flash forward a few weeks and I was out having fun with a friend, we'll call her Bunny, and the evening suddenly went in a very different direction than I had expected when she asked me if I wanted to stay at her place for the night. I agreed and began a second casual relationship.
At first I did not tell either of them about the other because I figured both relationships were purely casual. A few weeks into dating both of them Awesome became very suspicious and began asking questions about the time I was spending away from her. I reluctantly shared with her that I had been involved with Bunny. From that conversation it became clear to me that Awesome was going to want to know every detail about every other relationship I got involved in from there on out. This all being new to me, I felt instinctively averse to sharing what I considered private information about my private time with other women with her and told her that and continued to be elusive about where I was when I was not with her so as to mask the time I was spending elsewhere with others.
Yes, I said others. There was a short period there where I also dated my 2nd wife again. Shortly after things with my ex dropped off though, a few months after I had began dating Bunny, she found someone else she was interested in dating monogamously and we went back to merely being friends. So, for a brief stint it was down to me and Awesome.
One night, while out celebrating with some friends and family at a bar I connected with a woman and had what I think now she thought was going to be a one night stand. I, on the other hand, had other ideas. I found her fascinating. I had never dated a woman like her before and while she met many of my check boxes, she also, was not the perfect match for me. Nevertheless I convinced her to date me for a couple months, never disclosing that I was still seeing Awesome as well, however, Awesome knew about her for the same reasons she knew about Bunny. In the end I made it clear to her I was not interested in settling down and being monogamous and she decided that was not going to work for her. So we parted as friends.
I know what you’re thinking by this point… this is not a poly story, this is just a story about a dude sleeping around. Well I’m getting there… remember, I didn’t have any knowledge that polyamory was even a real thing, let alone an option at this point. Although, the cocoon was splitting and I was beginning to see some light.
So, another couple months pass and I connect with an old friend. Or rather an old friends sister. A beautiful woman that had apparently fantasized about what it would be like to be with me as we we're growing up. I couldn’t help but give in to such seductions, of course. However, things we're a little different at this point. I had around this time become aware of what polyamory was and had begun learning about it. I had discussed it openly with Awesome and while she wasn’t really in favor of it, she said she would be understanding of my desire to have multiple women in my life, so long as I was open and honest about it. She, on the other hand had tried dating a bit earlier in our, still very casual, relationship and decided it wasn’t for her. Nevertheless I had agreed, albeit reluctantly so, to be open and honest about it. So I shared with my old friend this information, by this time we had been seeing each other for a month or so, and she took it surprisingly well. She really wasn’t caught off guard too badly because I had been clear with her that what we had was casual and had shared much of my poly perspective with her without being so formal as to call it that.
At first, she was actually fine with it. So, I figured we could try something new and I invited both of them to join me on a date. The three of us together. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped… no threesome at the end, but aside from a little awkward tension between the two the date went ok. As a few more weeks passed she began discussing the situation with her friends who began pressuring her to stop seeing me and that if I didn’t care enough about her to be monogamous with her than I wasn’t good enough for her and so on and so forth. A few more weeks of the friend wedge being driven in between us and she decided it was time to call things off. I told her I understood and that I cared about her and I wish she would not let her judgmental friends ruin the wonderful thing we had. A few days later she unfriended me on facebook. So, I texted her to say hi and see how things were going. I got no response. A couple days after that and I texted her again asking her if everything was okay and why had she not responded to my last text. She said she had no reason to make niceties with me any longer. I protested that I understood her perspective, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t still be friends and just do friend things from time to time. She said she had enough friends and that she really didn’t see the point in continuing our friendship.
Another brief stint of just me and Awesome. Approximately 9 months from the time Bunny and I had dissolved our casual relationship she split with her boyfriend. A few more weeks passed and I made it clear to her that I still cared for her and was interested in being involved with her and she was back on board. This time, I had knowledge though, and an agreement with Awesome to open and honest about things. So, one night I tried to tell Bunny about Awesome and our relationship. Mind you, that at this point, Awesome and Bunny are facebook friends and know of each other as friends of mine at the very least. Awesome is not shy about posting things on facebook that indicate the nature of our involvement. Bunny adeptly steers the conversation away from the subject. A few days later I try again… same thing. I talk with her almost daily, however I only get to see her once every week (if I’m super lucky) or two (usually). So a few weeks go by and we are together again in person, and I try to bring it up again. Immediately, she takes the conversation elsewhere. I sort of give up for awhile.
I’d like to take a quick side trip here and reflect on something that occurred during the time Bunny was with her boyfriend in between our time together. I experienced a strange emotion that I had never experienced before. At times I thought it was jealousy. Unlike jealousy it never turned into anxiousness, frustration or anger. Strangely to my surprise, it turned to contentment and even happiness when she would occasionally tell me about how he made her happy. Strangely to me, even toward the end of their relationship when she was sharing with me things that made her unhappy, I still did not feel the anger or even frustration that I thought should go along with it I only experienced sadness. I just wanted to help her; to see her be happy again.
A couple months later Awesome and Bunny as well as many of my other friends are all at my birthday party together. Throughout the couple of months prior to my birthday party Awesome, Bunny and I even go out together a few times… even with friends that sort of know what’s going on. Back to the party where conveniently whenever anyone speaks about my relationship with Awesome, who produced the whole party for me, including inviting Bunny to the festivities, Bunny manages to be out of the room.
At the party I step aside with another friend of mine who is knowledgeable about poly life to some degree and we talk for a bit. The result of the conversation is that I decide I have to tell Bunny how I feel about everything and put it all blatantly in the open. So, I take Bunny aside and I start the conversation by saying, there’s something we need to get out in the open, and I know you know, and keep changing the subject every time I try to bring it up, so I’m not going to let you this time. Without agreeing that she knew full well, all along she basically acknowledged it and that she was fine with it.
That night a friend gave the three of us a ride to my home (because none of us we're sober enough to drive) and on the ride home I held both of their hands kind of awkwardly from the front seat as they sat next to each other in the back seat. It was quite possibly the happiest birthday I’ve ever had. Although, when we got to my house, there was a bit of awkwardness as Awesome was not about to share the bed with both of us. Bunny, being observant and sneaky nonchalantly slips away from the awkward sort of conversation we're having about it and passes out in the living room removing the tension.
That was a little over 6 months ago and that’s not the whole story. So let’s back up to a few months ago. Another old friend of mine, we'll call her Daisy, split up with her boyfriend shortly after my birthday. It wasn’t because of anything that happened at the party. In fact, she wasn’t even there. Unfortunately, her boyfriend had been unfaithful to her, and worse, he had been deceitful and dishonest about it.
Up until a little over a month ago I hadn’t seen Daisy since we were tweens. A time when we fancied each other very much. We had played together rather inappropriately as children from time to time. Things that would probably get CPS involved these days, but was merely a case of two kids having a crush on each other being curious. But I digress… we had talked a bit on facebook off and on since we reconnected about a year ago and I still secretly had a crush on her. I knew though, that she needed some time to heal before there was any possibility of having anything with her. So I gave her the time she needed.
Daisy finally had some time and began going on a few dates. We had mentioned meeting as friends for drinks some time to catch up over the months since she split up with her boyfriend, but never could seem to align our schedules. Finally one evening we managed to go out and catch up, as friends. Which was very nice.
A couple of weeks later I invited Daisy out again. This time to join me at a comedy show, still, just as friends. I made it very clear as a couple of my friends (friends who are in the know about my lifestyle) teased her about being out on a date with me, that I was not out on a date. That we were just old friends getting reacquainted and hanging out. After my friends left though, she suddenly made it very clear that she was interested in being more than friends. That she had an interest in picking up right where we had never quite known enough to get to as children.
It was at this moment that I decided it was time to let Daisy know about Awesome and Bunny and that before I would move any further with her I wanted to make sure she fully understood the gravity of the situation. As I explained most of the story that I have shared with you above to her, she scooched closer to me, put my hand on her thigh and kissed me on the neck and cheek. Each time I pushed back and continued explaining, not only the above, but what I believed and how I felt. Her response was that she understood and was fine with it. ‘Friends with benefits’, she said, ‘we can just have a casual relationship with no feelings', she said. It was at that point that I realized how inebriated she really was and I leaned in and spoke softly in her ear. ‘No. I can’t take away the feelings I already have for you and have had for decades.’ She turned and looked me in the eyes, clearly surprised by what I had just said. I could tell she finally got it.
In that brief moment Daisy understood; these are not women I just have a casual relationship with. They are part of my life. They know my children. I know their children. We are a family, not of the Cleaver’s kind of the 1950’s, but of the world we live in today. She sobered up in that moment, though only a little bit, and I took her home. I said good night to her, gave her a hug and kissed her good bye. I have to admit, I felt the need to help her upstairs to her bed, but I knew… I knew that I wouldn’t have the will power to tell her no again at that point. I begrudgingly left her waving to me through the glass as I walked away into the darkness. Into my life in never never land.
The next day she remembered much more than I expected she would. In her sobriety she had many questions. After she had her questions answered she told me she wanted me. She told me she knew she didn’t fully comprehend what she was getting into, and that she would have more questions, but that nevertheless she wanted to be a part of it all.
That was a month ago. In the last two and a half years that I have been feeling my way blindly into this lifestyle there is one thing I have learned most important over anything else. Honesty. I was reluctant at first to be so open and up front about things. About what I wanted, needed, and expected. In time I learned from, at first, not being so open and up front, that it is better in the end to be so. If I am honest about my lifestyle and a woman isn’t okay with it, then it’s just not meant to be.
This is my life today:
Me: Age 35. 2 baby mommas (aka. ex-wives), 3 children, ages 8, 14 and 16, and 3 wonderful women in my life.
Awesome: Age 32. Lives with me (for now). Has three 5 year old stay at work children (she’s a nanny). Chooses to be monogamous. We’ve been together a little over 2 years.
Bunny: Age 32. Has her own place with her 11 yr old daughter. Chooses to be monogamous. We’ve been together a little over 2 years with a 10 month break.’
Daisy: Age 37. Has her own place with her 18 yr old son. Chooses to be monogamous. We’ve been together about a month.
I’d like to point out that I believe they are, and treat all of them as, equals. I don’t personally prescribe to the alpha concept.
Awesome, Bunny and Daisy have all chosen to be monogamous at this point despite for their own various reasons. Not only is it my belief that what is acceptable for me is acceptable for them, but I encourage them to seek out other men to spend time with when I am unable to be there for them. To find someone who shares interests they have that I do not share. I do believe they are, in fact, monogamous because they have no reason to lie to me since I have no issue with them being with another man and have proved that to them. At least to Awesome and Bunny who have been with other men since we were first together.
Wow! This was much longer than I expected it would be when I sat down to write it. Thank you for reading this. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed living it and writing it down to share with you.
Saaay ... I thought I was the only one who was allowed to post multi-post posts around here. Mods, do something about this! When it comes to windbags on Polyamory.com: there can be only one!
Nyuck nyuck, kidding of course. I just like reading my own giant posts and am too lazy to read others' giant posts without moaning and groaning about it. But I found your story to be quite interesting and engaging.
By the way: that happy feeling you had for Bunny when she was with that other boyfriend? Well, somewhere between 1971 and 1991, the Kerista Commune in San Francisco coined a word for that feeling. Sigh, and the word is: compersion. I know, I never cared for the goofy Care-Bear sound of that word either. But it's become quite popular and is here to stay, so ... give yourself to the compersive side of the Force.
Wow! Three beautiful ladies! You lucky dog you. But I bet your cup runneth over. "Heavenly Father, you're giving me way, way too many blessings. Cut it out." LOLOL ...
Anyway, I think it's quite cool how you took this journey and figured the whole honesty thing out and made good, solid, healthy polyamory a reality for you, Awesome, Bunny, and Daisy. What a wonderful life you guys now have together, with abundant love tingling in the air ... sigh. I really do envy you a bit.
Poor me, all I have anymore is one lovely lady, and I have to share her with her legal husband, so technically I only have half a lady. On the other hand, given the ridiculous amount of time I spend on Polyamory.com most days, I can barely fit that poor half of a lady into my schedule.
Seriously though, I really do have an awesome life, two poly companions who love me (though we're all hetero and it's just "bromance" between me and "Brother-Husband" as I like to call him), and two fun, funloving, loving pets to boot. So I'm not *too* jealous, is what I'm saying.
Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you four guys the best of the best!
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"