June 30, 2009
I chatted up a friend today because I was so excited about the wonderful day that I have been having. He is someone that I was semi interested in in the past, but his wife seems possessive despite calling herself newly poly, so I backed off quite a bit. He is currently going through a lot, so we were having a talk about that, and we ended up talking about things between us and my feelings on why things are where they are. He wants to remain friends, especially right now because of the new things he’s figuring out, but he’s interested in trying to see more of me and in trying to let our friendship develop.
I can’t say what I want from that right at this minute, but I would like to think that things could go well for us, and he claims that his wife has calmed down. I WAS the first girl of his that she met, after all. We’re sort of half planning an outing now, and I am really looking forward to it!
June 29, 2009
I went to a women’s retreat this weekend, and it was a wonderfully restorative time. One thing that I really enjoyed was being able to talk to other spiritual, intelligent women without worrying about judgements. For example, most people I meet in daily life would not appreciate hearing that I am poly. My new friends, on the other hand, were glad to hear it. Most of them acknowledged without judging, but a few of them wanted to know more about poly. As it turns out, two young women near my own age had been curious about open relationships, but had had no idea where to turn for more information or advice. It was so nice to help them out with that.
Another woman got some help from me directly in the form of support. She has been in a monogamous relationship with a young man who has always been poly, and he finally told her that as much as he loves her, he can’t be monogamous anymore. She is trying, at the age of 50, to deal with the idea of being in an open relationship for the first time in her life. I think I offered her some much needed support, and we had a nice talk.
I know that my blog helps people, and sometimes I even get those rare, treasured messages that tell me how much I have touched someone’s life, but to be able to help someone in person was a very special thing to me. I enjoyed it immensely, and I find myself hoping that this center opens its doors for another retreat in the near future.
June 27, 2009
I was in line the other day when I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me. We were talking about books and our jobs, and I mentioned that I have reviewed a couple of books for this blog. She immediately started asking what the blog was about, so I told her. “What’s that?” she asked. Is Polyamory the name of an author? Is it a fiction or non-fiction topic.
The woman in front of me in line was trying really hard to cover up her giggling from the moment that the conversation started. As it turns out, she was keeping an eye out for her husband’s girlfriend, who was on the way to meet them, when she overheard us. She was absolutely no help, but I was glad to amuse her anyway. I admit that I stuttered a bit and had a hard time explaining myself to this woman. I have met with hostility and understanding, requsts for clarification and misconceptions, but never, ever have I met with such a complete and total lack of knowledge real or imagined about poly.
That’s not to say that it was anything wrong. I guess my point is that I surely need to brush up on my public (or semi-public) speaking when it comes to poly. I normally don’t talk much about it in person with people who are totally unfamiliar with the concept (except with people that I am interested in, in which case the tone of the conversation is significantly different).
There was also an amazingly hot guy there who was making eyes at me, but he got way ahead of me in line and left as soon as his turn was over, so I was a tad bummed that I missed a perfectly good chance to flirt. There was ALSO a couple that I know there, and I was more than happy to bolt when I saw them, because the male part of that couple has been hunting me for months. Icky!
June 20, 2009
1. What is the best way to explain to a potential partner that I *might* be poly?
The most important thing here is to be honest. Let them know that you think that you are interested in a poly relationship. Here is the hard part: assure them that you will be prepared to break things off and step back if you can’t handle poly, and MEAN IT. No one wants the pressure of falling in love only to have that person try to draw them away from other loves. You can only be so prepared for how you will feel, but you CAN be prepared to do the right thing if it turns out that poly is not for you.
If you’re explaining this to a partner who is not poly already, then you have it a little easier in some ways and harder in others. Let them know that you have thought about dating multiple people at once, and be prepared to hear that they are not okay with this. If they are, all the better. Try things out, talk about your feelings, and be prepared for one or both of you to want to pull back to monogamy. Keep in mind, though, that you will not necessarily be on the same page at the same time all the time, and it will be up to you to save or abandon the relationship if things get hard. If he takes to poly and you don’t, things may need to end between the two of you (for example).
2. If becoming involved with someone who has experience with poly, what is the best way to work through issues of jealousy which are fairly likely considering I’ve never had to share before?
The best thing you can do is be communicative. I don’t mean throw yourself on the floor and scream about your feelings when your lover is heading out the door on a date, but do make sure to set aside time both before and after they leave to talk about your feelings, good bad or indifferent. For general advice on jealousy, see the rest of my blog.
June 19, 2009
A long time ago, I messaged a man on the poly dating site that I was not interested in dating. He had said something interesting, and he was local, so I started a conversation with him. Fast forward about a year, and we now communicate regularly via email, exchanging several messages a week about daily happenings, etc. He is very polite and respectful, and has not made any passes at me.
It’s good to be able to make friends online and have them just be friends. He invited me out to dinner recetly, not as a date, but to get to know me in person, and I accepted. I will, of course, let the rest of you know what happens when we meet. I expect it will be a pleasant meal and some wonderful conversation. He shares some interests with me that Michael does not, so maybe if our friendship blossoms, we can spend time doing those things together.
This is one of the things that I love about poly. I don’t actually have any designs on this guy, particularly, but I can plan weekend camping trips or go out to dinner with him or any number of other things, and no one has to worry about crossing lines. If we roast marshmallows and go to sleep, cool. If we end up making out all night… well, aslo cool! The marshmallows and the making out will have to wait a while, though. For now, I’m just happy with a new friend to chat with.
June 17, 2009
If no poly person dated people with no poly experience, we would be a very inbred group pretty fast. Every group needs fresh blood, which means that some of us will eventually have to date the inexperienced poly virgins. While this can be an exciting prospect, it is also a really risky one.
In addition to the risks that are inherent with any relationship, people who are “trying poly out” have not field tested their own feelings, their jealousy response, or their ability to share. We were all new to poly once, but that doesn’t make it any easier when your new love decides that she can’t see you anymore because you are married, or worse yet, starts pulling you away from your established relationships.
Monogamous people who try to “turn poly people monogamous” are known in poly circles as cowboys or cowgirls because they come riding into your life trying to “rope” you and “seperate you from the herd”. So a woman who started dating Michael and then started trying to get him to break up with me would be known as a cowgirl.
But when poly people talk about all of the risks of dating newly poly people, or people who are open to poly, they rarely also talk about the rewards. Imagine being the first person to lift a blindfold off of a person who wants to see. Imagine offering someone an option in their life that will free them, and that they never saw missing. It can be wonderful and beautiful.
I’m not talking about trying to convert the unwilling, either. Poly is not for everyone, and I know that. If you are interested in me, then you have to be cool with poly, and if you’re not, then you stay mono and we will just be friends. But I’m not such an old hat at this yet that I would turn someone away JUST because of their lack of experience. After all, Becky was “highly experienced” in poly, and she was the one who bungled things up with these two newbies.
June 16, 2009
I happened to notice when I signed into my inbox on the poly dating site that something was different… The man that I had been arguing with, the one with little enough ammo in our battle of wits, is now known as “user deleted”. I guess that I am not the only one who let him know what a complete ass he was making of himself. Goes to show you, I guess… if someone stops in their busy day to point out that your fly is down, don’t flip them off because they’re not “your kind of person”, thank them, zip yourself up, and move on.
June 6, 2009
The ad that I posted two days ago was written and posted by the male of the MF couple. I am honestly not sure if the woman is even aware of the account, because everything that I have seen has either been signed by him alone, or has posessed clues within the text that indicate it is by him, not her (for example, the use of “I”).
That said… I emailed him to let him know privately that his ad came across as a bit “job ad”-ish, and was actually extremely polite about it. He responded rudely, and since I have a bit of gremlin in me, I took the opportunity to have a fun battle of wits. Unfortunately, battling the unarmed is not too much fun, and I quickly grew bored of this third-grade-esque insults and gave up. Some of them were interesting… for example, calling me a “round eye bitch” beacause I am white and all white women are whiney and evil (apparently). I was also amused when he called me fat despite having seen a photo that shows otherwise (or else how would he know I was even white?)
I declined to respond to his last email, and thought this would be the end of it, at least in private (I will be happy to point out when he is being an ass on the forum, but so far he has just been stupid, not rude in public). Today I signed on and found that… he had redone the personals ad to make it sound less jobb ad esque. In fact, he even MENTIONED in the ad that he had redone it because he had gotten complaints that it sounded like a job ad. So… he calls me a stupid opinionated nosy white bitch. And then followed my advice.
I am ALMOST amused enough to email him again… but I shall not. Still, I got a big laugh. Hope you do too!
June 5, 2009
The following is from my own head, not an actual ad. It depicts what I think a more sucessful ad might look like, especially as compared to yesterday’s humorous personal ad.
Dear World, Kathleen is an athletic woman with an interest in fire dancing and performance that is shared by her husband, Michael. She is a work at home mom of a small child, but we have plenty of sitters and spending time with her does not mean spending time with a baby, at least not all of the time. She has a wide range of interests, from cooking and gardening to rock climbing and white water rafting, and is a huge fan of theater from both sides of the stage. A new friend or partner who enjoys water activities would be especially welcome, since these are things that Michael does not particularly enjoy.
On the sexual side of things, Kathleen is a switch in the bedroom, but kinky behavior is not for everyone, and we don’t feel the need to impose it on people who are not interested in participating. We both move slow, sexually, so please don’t be hurt by the fact that we kiss and cuddle but don’t jump into bed (although Kathleen is most likely to jump you). Please note that Kathleen is allergic to cigarette smoke. We respect your right to indulge, but please respect her right to breathe. Asthma attacks do not feel good, and we much prefer to feel good.
Michael is a very active person, but also very quiet and a bit shy. He enjoys playing pool for the strategy aspects, which is probably also why he loves chess. Do you play a good game? Kathleen is not a chess fan! Michael has recently begun leaving his shy ways behind to organize pool games with friends, and to start a small club of sorts that meets once a week. He prefers hiking to kayaking, Kathleen’s preference, but both enjoy the outdoors in lots of different ways. He enjoys performing with Kathleen in fire dance, although he enjoys the physical challenge more than the attention, and has recently taken up Parkour, which is very exciting for him. There is nothing like getting a new move just right!
We are looking for a woman who might be interested in some of the same things that we are, from being outside to movies to sitting at home playing games. You don’t need to love everything we do, that’s what we have each other for, but experiences only get better with the sharing, we believe. We have been married for four years, and have one son with no immediate plans for more. We enjoy various activities several nights a week, often not together, and would welcome new companionship at any of them. While we know that you can’t force love, we prefer a triad arrangement, although individual dates with each of us only make good sense! We would love to meet new people, date a few, and make lots of new friends along the way. Perhaps if we’re lucky, we may even find The Woman that loves us both and that both of us love.
We are open to the idea of a poly fi arrangement, but you will not be expected to drop relationships or commitments, nor do we want you to change for us. Married women, women with children, or women with other partners are welcome, and your partners will not be “drafted” into our circle unwittingly.
This is just an example, and some of our information has been changed so that we’re not so easy to recognize. Nor are we especially looking for a woman to date together. The last bit was hard for me to write, as I am not used to thinking in that way. I mean, in our case, if something didn’t work out with one of us, the other would likely continue to date the hypotetical “her”. Anyway… thoughts on the hypothetical ad? I’d LOVE to hear them!