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Old 03-13-2018, 08:55 AM
SomeDudeLearning SomeDudeLearning is offline
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Default Compersion and loneliness

In direct conflict with each other, generally.
I find it difficult to feel good for my partner out having fun while I'm feeling very much isolated and alone.
Maybe if that wasn't the only way things go aside from time together at home, it'd be easier. I like to think so, anyway.

I can't see this applying as easily to women, unless they're more picky than they are lonely, and though I'm basically ten years deep into my cognitive dissonance regarding my own gender, I guess I'm stuck with the male perspective.

How do you deal with this? It sucks being the only one not having fun outside home.
Especially when it just looks like an inescapable loop.
I've got nearly 50 years of life expectancy left, and I neither want to live like this nor alone without my long term relationship either.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:30 PM
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FallenAngelina FallenAngelina is offline
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You give yourself only two impossibly intolerable alternatives, compersion or loneliness, when in fact there is vast territory between them. Who told you that compersion is mandatory? You're miserable enough to want to castrate yourself, so obviously this kind of extremist thinking isn't working for you. I'm gonna guess that "can't use it enough to keep it happy" (below) has much more to do with your lack of emotional fulfillment than your libido level.


From your intro thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeDudeLearning View Post
I'm renewing my search for sex drive suppressants. Can't use it often enough to keep it happy, super tired of dealing with it and all its various side effects on mood and outlook on life... Want it gone. Preferably gone completely and not reduced. And yes, if I were in the appropriate income bracket, I would totally have had surgery by now to make this stop permanently.
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Last edited by FallenAngelina; 03-13-2018 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:54 PM
SomeDudeLearning SomeDudeLearning is offline
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Originally Posted by FallenAngelina View Post
You give yourself only two impossibly intolerable alternatives, compersion or loneliness, when in fact there is vast territory between them. Who told you that compersion is mandatory? You're miserable enough to want to castrate yourself, so obviously this kind of extremist thinking isn't working for you. I'm gonna guess that "can't use it enough to keep it happy" (below) has much more to do with your lack of emotional fulfillment than your libido level.


From your intro thread:
I get to experience both extreme emotional states at once. It's loads of fun. I don't choose either of them, but there they are anyway.
Emotional fulfillment? That's at 100% before the open relationship gets kicked in every time. Then all of a sudden I feel deprived of what I'm clearly missing out on.
The castration thing, has to do with the withdrawn symptoms from sex being more and more annoying over time, peaking at about 30 days without, When the withdrawal is at the top of the mind, due to feeling an inability to use more than self-fulfillment techniques to abate it at all, the concept of just removing the whole subsystem is extremely attractive compared to living with it.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:18 PM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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As much as it may suck to feel like you're missing out, being left out, and/or jealous of your partner's outside "fun", wishing to completely eliminate your sex drive (permanently, no less) seems like an extreme reaction.

This tells me that your long-term partner either doesn't know how badly you're feeling, or your sex life with her is lacking in some major way!

IF you were in a psychologically "centred" place, personally, AND ALSO being satisfied - physically AND emotionally - by your primary relationship... you may ideally still WANT other sex partners, however you probably wouldn't NEED them to the degree that the LACK of such opportunities would completely discombobulate you the way it appears to be doing.

At the moment, you're allowing the perceived lack of opportunities to explore sex with other women to negatively impact every aspect of your life, including your current relationship and self esteem.

I haven't re-read your intro thread, so I'm not sure how many other partners your SO has... but I'm wondering if there is some way she would be willing to curtail (not stop altogether) her other activities - maybe refuse to take on any new partners right now or limit how many days/hours she spends outside the home, leaving you alone and miserable. This, of course, is ultimately not HER responsibility or work to do, though it may be a workable temporary measure.

In the meantime, it seems you have a lot of self reflection to do:
- If you can't see an end to this imbalanced and unfulfilling situation, you may choose to rethink whether or not polyamory is for you.
- If your current partner is more interested in doing her own thing, no matter how it impacts your emotional well-being, you may need to re-assess whether THIS relationship is working out for you.
- You may choose to change aspects of your OWN life (your working environment, social groups, living arrangements, location) to allow yourself more opportunity to meet likeminded people.
- You may need to devote more time to therapy, and to working on your own self esteem, social/relational skills and attitude.
- Develop hobbies, interests and join groups (other than dating sites or poly groups) that maximise your chances of meeting likeminded individuals.
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Boho: F, 56, primary partner, heteroflexible
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2018, 06:47 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi SomeDudeLearning,

How much time does your partner spend with you? Whatever amount it is, it doesn't seem to be meeting your needs. Your options seem to be, ask her for more of her time, search for people to date when she's not with you, break up with her (and then perhaps search for a monogamous partner), leave things as they are which so far is making you miserable, or start feeling better without changing anything. I don't know of any way to accomplish that last option, but that doesn't mean a way doesn't exist.

Or some combination of the above.

If you want to search for someone to date, here are some possible resources:
... and

Quote:
"As for where to meet poly people, if by some chance you are interested in anything alternative like Renaissance fairs, goth culture, sci-fi conventions, indie music, bdsm, or any small fringe group, you will be more likely to meet people who have at least heard of poly and are accepting of it."
-- SpaceHippieGeek, Polyamorous Percolations
Even if it's not an "alternative" type group, if there's a club or something in your area that does something you're interested in, you can always join that group and it just gives you a way to get out there and meet people. If you meet someone on a platonic level and get to talking about poly, then they can decide how they feel about it without any "pressure to agree." Then if they do decide poly doesn't bother them too much, and some kind of romantic connection subsequently develops, you'll already have "had the poly conversation" with them.

Just some thoughts.
Regards,
Kevin T.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I read your other thread. And now this one. I am having a hard time following.

Are you saying this? I quote just to visually block it off. You correct me if I get anything wrong, ok?

Quote:
For the last 10 years, my current partner and I have had a poor sex life. I want to share sex, but because of X, we don't.

We are open/poly. I find it hard to feel happy for my partner when she goes out to have fun with other people while I am at home feeling isolated and alone.

My life is (time together at home, with no sex) or (she goes out and I'm at home, with no sex).

I think this is a guy thing -- that women trying to poly date have an easier time than men do. I cannot see a woman struggling with loneliness like this unless they choose to be alone because they're more picky than they are lonely.

I'm basically ten years deep into my cognitive dissonance regarding my own gender, I guess I'm stuck with the male perspective.(<--- I don't know what that part is trying to say.)

How do you deal with this? It sucks being the only one not having fun outside home dating other people.

Especially when it just looks like an inescapable loop. I've got nearly 50 years of life expectancy left. I do not want to live like this. I also do not want to live alone without my long term relationship either.
Is that it? If so... You seem to list what you are NOT willing to do at this time. Not willing to keep doing this like THIS. Not willing to live alone and end things with partner. So something somewhere has to change.

What area(s) ARE you willing to work on at this time?
  • Are you willing to ask partner to Close and stop with the poly thing entirely?
  • Are you willing to ask partner to spend more connection time with you?
  • Are you wiling to work on your social skills and try meeting new people so you are not home alone and your social network is more than just your current partner?
  • You sound depressed. If you have been like that for 10 years.... have you considered seeing a counselor?
  • Something else?

I don't think this will be solved with one thing. I think you might need a multi-prong plan rather than a single plan.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-13-2018 at 10:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2018, 09:46 PM
SomeDudeLearning SomeDudeLearning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabunny View Post
As much as it may suck to feel like you're missing out, being left out, and/or jealous of your partner's outside "fun", wishing to completely eliminate your sex drive (permanently, no less) seems like an extreme reaction.

This tells me that your long-term partner either doesn't know how badly you're feeling, or your sex life with her is lacking in some major way!

IF you were in a psychologically "centred" place, personally, AND ALSO being satisfied - physically AND emotionally - by your primary relationship... you may ideally still WANT other sex partners, however you probably wouldn't NEED them to the degree that the LACK of such opportunities would completely discombobulate you the way it appears to be doing.

At the moment, you're allowing the perceived lack of opportunities to explore sex with other women to negatively impact every aspect of your life, including your current relationship and self esteem.

I haven't re-read your intro thread, so I'm not sure how many other partners your SO has... but I'm wondering if there is some way she would be willing to curtail (not stop altogether) her other activities - maybe refuse to take on any new partners right now or limit how many days/hours she spends outside the home, leaving you alone and miserable. This, of course, is ultimately not HER responsibility or work to do, though it may be a workable temporary measure.

In the meantime, it seems you have a lot of self reflection to do:
- If you can't see an end to this imbalanced and unfulfilling situation, you may choose to rethink whether or not polyamory is for you.
- If your current partner is more interested in doing her own thing, no matter how it impacts your emotional well-being, you may need to re-assess whether THIS relationship is working out for you.
- You may choose to change aspects of your OWN life (your working environment, social groups, living arrangements, location) to allow yourself more opportunity to meet likeminded people.
- You may need to devote more time to therapy, and to working on your own self esteem, social/relational skills and attitude.
- Develop hobbies, interests and join groups (other than dating sites or poly groups) that maximise your chances of meeting likeminded individuals.
Hahaha! True, true, more true.
So many factors. I ended the relationship last year because I was so tired of trying and failing to deal with the nonfunctional open relationship issue. She wanted to get back together late in the year, no poly. I still loved her, so gave in
//edit: correction: agreed to try again.
That no-poly fell under the bus when a love interest got all forward after about 5 months. Rather than ditch the relationship, I decided to try one more time for balance, I like my relationship except for the stupid left out thing. And it really really looks like it'd be tons of fun if I ever make enough social connections with women for those possibilities to have a chance to evolve to where there's fun for me out in the world too that I don't have to generate myself.

I find it somewhat aggravating that other than this issue, I have excellent self esteem.
But this thing hits so hard that all of my positive self image doesn't even seem to matter.
Not one of my many positive features has had any effect on my issue. I've done tons of research and observation, and put my best foot forward as far as "going out" around other humans to try to find random connections with women. Tons of non poly friendly women out there, I tell you what, and I'm clearly not a good guesser.
Mental issues? Major cognitive dissonance regarding other males as friends. Last guys I thought were my friends, clearly were not, and my (sadly, all-male,) social circle dissolved. I do not feel positive about new guy friends, so the people-ing out there is very crippled. Being all female focused looks bad and has never yet worked, but damn if
I want more guys involved in my life.
Work, not giving up for exposure. Social groups? Had an all-male one back in 2009, have not managed to make a new one yet as I'm not that great at meeting people without introductions (plus the dissonance, it's mostly just guys want to be friendly but I'm not enthused.)
Living arrangements, last summer reminded me that spending all my time alone is not fun either. Location, staying in town until I can afford wooded land.
I wish it was as easy as changing my environmental parameters, but it's internal issues making non superficial connections that have borked my process over the last 9 years.
Improving social relational skills would be great but requires practice, which is in extremely short supply. Being good at making guy friends has not given me any useful things to work from regarding making female friends.
The hobbies and things to do is a big deal. I've read about that repeatedly. Part of the aggravating cognitive dissonance issue was losing the concept of fun being attached to anything but sex and closeness. Other things are cool and all, but nothing else hits that excitement button anymore. And too much brain dead to be enthusiastic about existing hobbies with computers and electronics... Having a major problem that really seriously heeds a solution tends to make for a one track mind without a lot of flexibility. They're not social hobbies anyway.

I'd love to find things to do in the out and about, with women around. Unfortunately, can't dance, too introverted to be more than a lump at parties or bars or what have you.
Have yet to find fun things that aren't all just me by myself (hikes, swimming in summer)
But anyway. Just elaborating since people are responding, even if a lot of it strikes me as picking at my existing issues rather than constructive suggestions. Though I do see the same suggestions repeatedly since 2009, and they're no easier to follow now than they were then, like go find new friends, develop something exciting to do alone so general happiness/attractiveness are increased, go talk to people who you pay to listen to you (therapy,) and finding groups of like minded people (no dice, yet.)

Last edited by SomeDudeLearning; 03-14-2018 at 02:53 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2018, 11:10 PM
SomeDudeLearning SomeDudeLearning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I read your other thread. And now this one. I am having a hard time following.

Are you saying this? I quote juCould you please be willing to clarify? t to visually block it off. You correct me if I get anything wrong, ok?C ould you please be willing to clarify?

Quote:
For the last 10 years, my current partner and I have had a poor sex life. I want to share sex, but because of X, we don't.
X ranges from emotional discontent to disinterest. We started on the same footing and it actually lasted at least 5-6 years. Which was awesome and is more fun time than I've had in total through the rest of my life so far.
Quote:
We are open/poly. I find it hard to feel happy for my partner when she goes out to have fun with other people while I am at home feeling isolated and alone.

My life is (time together at home, with no sex) or (she goes out and I'm at home, with no sex).
We do still have some physical interaction, just not as much as my (expletive deleted) drive would like. I do find it really annoying that she is supposedly less interested in sex than I yet still gets more.
Quote:
...
I'm basically ten years deep into my cognitive dissonance regarding my own gender, I guess I'm stuck with the male perspective.(<--- I don't know what that part is trying to say.)
Here is a tolerable reference.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
Quote:

How do you deal with this? It sucks being the only one not having fun outside home dating other people.

Especially when it just looks like an inescapable loop. I've got nearly 50 years of life expectancy left. I do not want to live like this. I also do not want to live alone without my long term relationship either.
Is that it? If so... You seem to list what you are NOT willing to do at this time. Not willing to keep doing this like THIS. Not willing to live alone and end things with partner. So something somewhere has to change.

What area(s) ARE you willing to work on at this time?
  • Are you willing to ask partner to Close and stop with the poly thing entirely?
    Been there done that. Started this time that way, then she got the offer she was unwilling to refuse. She won't give up on a good thing.
  • Are you willing to ask partner to spend more connection time with you?
    We do that. I only have issues with my rather not be alone time.
  • Are you wiling to work on your social skills and try meeting new people so you are not home alone and your social network is more than just your current partner?
    I'm ten years into that. Feel pretty much lke a total failure. I've gone to many dance things where I bounce by myself, parties where I either wander around and try to figure out who shows interest in talking, or go around playing introduce-y and increase my acquaintance base, coffee shops to draw, swimming where I'm moderately comfortable but still have no good reasons to get into strange women's space to start conversations, walks outside because it's actually enjoyable though no communication options, asked the few people I know for introductions to women who would consider spending time with an involved male (never worked yet.)
    I've really stretched my possibilities a lot, just not good at breaking into stranger's personal space to start conversations, which means basically other guys come up and express interest in (whatever) if there's any conversation at all.
    And still no social group where I don't feel excluded either due to incompetence or having been stomped on.
  • You sound depressed. If you have been like that for 10 years.... have you considered seeing a counselor?
    Yes. Only when the issues are on top though. I had four years of monogamy with no worse feelings than thinking I has failed at my attempt to have fun myself. No. Talking to regular people hasn't done me the slightest bit of good, why pay for the privilege?
  • Something else?
    I'll refine and add to this once I'm at a real keyboard.
    So, mostly reading, talking, researching. People say get out in it, but that just puts a speed bump in the path for people who know what they're doing out there. I am too uncomfortable to enjoy where I'm at, and being uncomfortable reduces my aura or what you want to call it. I want to find the things-to-do that are fun without needing others involved, but other people are still there anyway because it is enjoyable.

I don't think this will be solved with one thing. I think you might need a multi-prong plan rather than a single plan.
Agreed.
Quote:
Galagirl
Forum is making me type outside the quote, so here's filler text.

Last edited by SomeDudeLearning; 03-14-2018 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:42 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I think you have interrelated issues that are tangled up. Kinda hard for internet people to help you untangle something like that.

Which is why I suggest a counselor who is better trained to help you untangle. You don't seem willing to do that at this time.

So your self help options are going to be limited.

Quote:
I find it somewhat aggravating that other than this issue, I have excellent self esteem.
But this thing hits so hard that all of my positive self image doesn't even seem to matter.
What's the excellent self esteem the positive self image based on?

How is your self respect? I don't see you mention it.

To me, self respecting behavior is what my self esteem is based on. I do behavior that is self honoring and self respecting. I do not do stuff that hurts me or dings me. Then I can feel proud of taking good care of me. I can hold myself in good esteem.

If I lie to myself, tell myself stories, talk down to myself like I am my own self bully -- none of that is self respecting behavior. I cannot feel proud of doing that, and my self esteem as a result won't be so hot.

I see some places in your posts where you kinda talk down.

Quote:
She wanted to get back together late in the year, no poly. I still loved her, so gave in.
I don't say things like "I gave in." I say "I agreed to try dating again." I take ownership of my choices.

I don't see me as a helpless leaf on a river going whatever way other outside forces say. I see me as a captain of my own ship. It might only be a row boat, but I decide whether to paddle or coast with the current.

How do you see yourself as you move in the world? Like a leaf or a captain or something else?

Quote:
I ended the relationship last year because I was so tired of trying and failing to deal with the nonfunctional open relationship issue. She wanted to get back together late in the year, no poly. I still loved her, so gave in. That no-poly fell under the bus when a love interest got all forward after about 5 months. Rather than ditch the relationship, I decided to try one more time for balance, I like my relationship except for the stupid left out thing.
The left out thing is not stupid. Why do you call things names when they are important to you? You seem to value connection, inclusion. Why's that stupid?

She asked to get back together Closed. You were willing to try that model.

Then that ended when she wanted to Open again. If open/poly did not work before why agree to try that again rather than say "Nope. Not up for that" or similar?

Quote:
And it really really looks like it'd be tons of fun if I ever make enough social connections with women for those possibilities to have a chance to evolve to where there's fun for me out in the world too that I don't have to generate myself
It's ok to play the field. Could dating as a single person give you the fun opportunities you want without the problems of poly?

How is you (keeping you in this poly thing after two attempts of it not working) an example of you taking good care of yourself? How can you feel proud of that behavior and hold you in high esteem?

I think you have to ask her to return to Closed. And if she's not up for that, stop seeing her.

Or don't ask, since you see she doesn't really want to do Closed. Could skip right to not seeing her any more and finally accept that love is not enough and you two are just not compatible.

Free yourself of this ill-fitting poly model and stop banging head on wall.

That's not going to solve your other problems with building a friend/support network for yourself, learning to date women better, and working on social skills.

But it ends you having to sit around home feeling sad because she's out elsewhere poly-dating other people while you aren't. You can have your own home and not deal in seeing any of that any more.

Quote:
I'd love to find things to do in the out and about, with women around. Unfortunately, can't dance, too introverted to be more than a lump at parties or bars or what have you.
If I want to go do stuff out and about? I find the local listings of events and focus on what I am willing to do.

If you don't want to dance or do bars, that's fine. But what DO you want to do or ARE you willing to try? I notice you have yet to list something concrete that you are willing to try in a group. If you like hiking, why not try group hiking?

Could focus on what you want MORE of, rather focus on stuff you do not want.

I don't call my own self names like "lump on a log." That's a put down. How can you feel proud of calling yourself names? That's a ding to self esteem.

I could be wrong, but it is like you go around emptying your self esteem bucket in small ways.

Maybe ways you don't even notice because of depression or because of struggling with 10+ years of frustration. Could that be happening here?

Cuz it's going to be hard to fill the bucket if there's little holes in the bottom draining things away every time you try to put some in there. The little holes might be little, but the effect is not. They don't help the rest stay. They have to be fixed first.

You sound depressed to me so you might want a doctor check up to assess if that is so. Because depression is another bucket drainer.

Quote:
Though I do see the same suggestions repeatedly since 2009, and they're no easier to follow now than they were then, like go find new friends, develop something exciting to do alone so general happiness/attractiveness are increased, go talk to people who you pay to listen to you (therapy,) and finding groups of like minded people (no dice, yet.)
None of that will be doable if you have depression and have to solve that first. Nothing will have appeal and you may not have the energy to try.

Again, you seem to have MANY overlapping things going on at the same time and untangling them in order to be able to figure out which ones to deal with first? You might want help with that if you have been going at it alone for a long time and no dice.

You may have to change your mind about that "paying people to listen" thing.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-13-2018 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:59 AM
SomeDudeLearning SomeDudeLearning is offline
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Hi SomeDudeLearning,

How much time does your partner spend with you? Whatever amount it is, it doesn't seem to be meeting your needs. Your options seem to be, ask her for more of her time, search for people to date when she's not with you, break up with her (and then perhaps search for a monogamous partner), leave things as they are which so far is making you miserable, or start feeling better without changing anything. I don't know of any way to accomplish that last option, but that doesn't mean a way doesn't exist.

Or some combination of the above.

If you want to search for someone to date, here are some possible resources:
... and



Even if it's not an "alternative" type group, if there's a club or something in your area that does something you're interested in, you can always join that group and it just gives you a way to get out there and meet people. If you meet someone on a platonic level and get to talking about poly, then they can decide how they feel about it without any "pressure to agree." Then if they do decide poly doesn't bother them too much, and some kind of romantic connection subsequently develops, you'll already have "had the poly conversation" with them.

Just some thoughts.
Regards,
Kevin T.
Good points. I like your last option, though haven't found it either. I spent at least half of last year very, very, single, and it did not help with meeting or befriending women. Though I got a lot less gnarly looks about my situation. I did think being single not in a relationship would help, but I fear it was/is more my excessive honesty about what I like, what I want, and what I would not deal with that prevented interactions past the most superficial. For example, burned out enough to leave 14 year long term, so no way I was going to get into that again anytime soon after... Only wanting fun rather than saying I wanted to be involved long term lost me a lot of potentials. But better honest and lonely than taking advantage of someone.
As far as amount of time, we can be apart and it's fine. Lots of practice with making alone time feel tolerable last year. It's her consistently having such an easy time with experiencing so much more of an existence than me that sets off the bothersome emotions. Without that, aside from the non-healing still disliking being reminded of feeling halfway male by proximity to other guys, I'm actually decently happy and stable.
Thanks for the links, I've only tried about the first fourth of them. I did get the novel experience of being absolutely slaughtered at chess four times in fifteen to twenty minute sessions a week or two apart each, thanks to OKC, and "met" an actual poly lady a year ago there who still talks on FB... I just don't have a good format to pester someone to hang out when convenient times mostly refuse to align. At least she's willing to be friendly and has a clue where I'm at, even if in-person interaction isn't really a thing that I can anticipate as more than a potential. So I have gathered one friend from the ridiculous amount of outgoing messages I've sent on those sort of sites. And that is actually pretty cool.
Fetlife, I'm too vanilla except for nonmonogamy, and could not contribute anything useful there. Facebook is funny, it's like having a social life without ever getting the fun of in person communication. Though it points out parties and stuff where people who are able to handle the group mentality get together. I've been at those, though "being there" is kind of a generous term for the way I usually get in groups larger than two or three.
I'll look into the rest. I've searched for clubs and groups, but aside from weird stuff like groups on walks I have not seen things I find enjoyable. And how is it easier to talk in a group just because it's in motion? I really don't grok the extrovert thing. I like people one on one, not in a gang.
And the information is good to add to the ever growing database, and, well, emapthy/sympathy, are nice in their own way. Thanks for contributing.

Last edited by SomeDudeLearning; 03-14-2018 at 02:16 AM.
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