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Old 09-01-2010, 01:45 AM
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Default How do your friends describe you to others?

I had an interesting conversation with a man I met today who shares a mutual friend with me. Apparently he has "heard things" about me previous to us meeting and took all day (hanging around while my friend and I did a canning project) to come out with the questions he had for me about these scandalous things he had heard. I am assuming whatever was said to him about me was said by my friend, although I don't really care enough to ask.

After the canning project was pretty much done, and he had a few beers in him, he got up the guts (after flirting with me all day) to tell me that he had "heard I was open to all kinds of things", and wouldn't clarify when I asked him what the hell he was talking about.

He eventually was able to choke out that he knew I was married, but that he wondered about what else I was open to in terms of relationships. After gently making clear that I was not interested in him, I took the straightforward route and told him a little about polyamory, (what little I know through experience) and told him it was ok to ask me questions, as long as he wasn't disrespectful or seeking information that was none of his business.

We had a nice little chat after that, and I tried to answer his queries to the best of my ability over a couple of cigarettes and a drink. Once he was clear that I was not into casual sex (i.e. not going to throw down with him right then and there), the conversation became more mature and I think I educated him a bit on alternate relationship constructs.

At the end of the talk, he asked if he had offended me by bringing it up, or if I was uncomfortable and thought he was a jerk for asking, and I told him truly that I would rather that someone ask me honest questions than "hear things" and make an ignorant judgment about me.

The experience brought up another facet of something I often wonder about; how do people who know me describe me in a few words to people who don't know me and have no context other than that description? What characteristics stand out as defining to others?

I know my friend must've said other things about me besides whatever he said about my personal relationships, but it seems nothing as juicy.

I came away from this feeling good about the boundaries I had immediately put in place with this man and my efforts to give an honest answer to an honest question. This is the first time that a stranger has approached me asking such questions based on a cloudy film of gossip they have heard from my inner circle (other than on here ). It took me aback at first, but I feel I gained respect with the person I was talking to, and no longer consider him a stranger. At the same time, it was weird to have someone approach me that way.

I know there are some stories out there on the forum about how others have handled a similar situation, and I'd like to hear them if you have the time to share.

-R
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Last edited by Rarechild; 09-01-2010 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:31 AM
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idealist idealist is offline
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That is interesting. I know people talk about me. It seems that when a person drifts away from tradition, it gives other people something to talk about. There are a lot of people in my life- business associates and acquaintances that know a little bit about my life, but not really enough to completely understand it. As a result, I know they make a lot of assumptions. There are several people that I know who have uneventful lives and struggle with depression because they seem to be unable to create a fulfilling life for themselves. They live vicariously through other people. It is a rush when someone actually takes the time to understand what my life is all about. But, until then, as least I can provide a bit of entertainment for those who are either unable or unwilling to create their own authentic life.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:58 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I know that PN's family talk about us and will continue to now that we are making moves to have Mono move in. It's all very gossipy we have heard via PN's uncle... but whatever, we have nothing to hide anymore to save anyones feelings...

My friend had an experience at a wedding this summer where she kissed a guy while her boyfriend was there. Everyone was calling her a slut behind her back. Well, not so much behind her back, because she knew they were.

I guess it's a matter of putting out there as much as you can take coming back at you... having the foresight to think ahead as to what people will say and deciding if you are ready for having to stick up for yourself is all one can really do I think... if I can't handle to backlash, I either don't do it, or what until I can...

I'm glad this experience went well Rarechild. As well as it could really.
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