March 9, 2015

Is This a Date?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 2:13 pm by Kathleen

One of the fun things about poly is that it opens up the definition of the word relationship. Not that it isn’t broad already! I have a relationship with my mom, one with my brother, ones with colleagues and acquaintances, and they’re all very different beings and mean different things! But what about my… personal life? What about Relationships with a capital ‘R’? That’s pretty cut and dried, right? What about a one night stand? Is that a relationship? What if you’ve got a fuck buddy that you don’t interact with in any other way except when you’re horny? Does that qualify? What about a group of friends who all “mess around” with each other? Are those friendships or relationships? Are they both? Does it matter?

A friend of mine, who is also poly, recently told me about a friend of hers. They’re dating, but my friend is the only one who knows that. Once a week they go out for dinner and a movie, great conversation, and joyful companionship. He’d tell you that they’re friends who just enjoy hanging out alone together. She enjoys what she considers dates, is perfectly happy with the relationship exactly how it is, and would cheerfully murder anyone who clued her (friend? boyfriend? date buddy?) in and maybe ruined it.

Can you really be dating someone and only one person knows about it? It’s a question I’ve been pondering lately, along with questions of consent, ethics, and how relationships and attachments get defined, by whom, and whether they truly have to match. If I am getting what I want and need out of interactions with another person, does it matter if they define our relationship the same way that I do?

The difference, for me, is in the effects it has. If I was in my friends position and that guy was single, then I’d date away without a worry in the world. But if he was in a relationship already, then my feelings about our dates might matter to his other partner, and that is a secret that I just wouldn’t feel right keeping, even if it cost me my relationship or forced me to redefine it. Which is why, when I recently found myself in a similar situation, I decided that I had to come clean. It remains to be seen whether things will have to change, but I’m glad I didn’t continue to behave in a way that feels sneaky to me.

Life is complicated, but fortunately it’s beautiful, too. I hope your complications are glorious, and worth every twist and turn!



June 3, 2012

Defining Relationships

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:19 pm by Kathleen

I love my husband. But we don’t have sex. And if I don’t have sex with him, and we sleep in different rooms, then how are we different from roommates? And if we’re “just” roommates, then what significance can our relationship really have for us?

I know this is sort of non-sensical, but it’s some of the stuff that’s been knocking around in my skull lately, and it’s really throwing me off balance, so let’s get it all out, shall we?

What I’m really questioning, deep in my psyche, is what our relationship is, and how sex or lack of sex may have redefined it. After all, normal married couples have sex, so if we don’t, does that make us less married? Less in love? Less able to care for each other. Of course not, but my fears are the ones in the driver’s seat right now emotionally, so I’m trying to squish them. And that’s where defining relationships comes in.

For example, my  brother and I share an undeniable bond. We hated each other growing up, but once I moved out things changed radically. We’ve become allies, friends, and companions, and although we disagree sometimes, argue, and get frustrated with one another, I’m still driving something like 14 hours with him to help him move out of state. Because I love him and he loves me, and we are Sibling. So what is sibling? It isn’t just about growing up together, because I know plenty of siblings who don’t have a special bond or even much of a bond at all. It was a decision that we both reached pretty much simultaneously around the time we came of age. I’ve got your back.

And maybe it really is that easy. Michael has my back, too. We don’t just live in the same house, we’re there for each other, and there’s an understanding, both stated and quietly understood, that we always will be. Like my brother and I, Michael and I have made a decision. I love you. You love me. I’ve got your back.



June 30, 2009

Feeling Good

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 10:30 am by Kathleen

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!



May 23, 2008

Missing Frank

Posted in Frank tagged , , , , , at 8:39 am by Kathleen

Earlier this week, Frank and I had a stupid argument, and we haven’t talked since.  The truth, though, is that I was missing him long before we stopped speaking.

When Frank and I met, we had an almost instant connection.  Within only a couple of weeks we were sharing intimate truths and deep dark secrets about ourselves with no shame or fear.  That continued until he asked his girlfriend, Tiff, if she minded us cyber-dating (they were poly).  She was uncomfortable with the idea, and that was pretty much where our friendship died.

Frank was very respectful of his girlfriend’s wishes, especially considering her stormy and unsure relationship with poly.  I respected (still do) that primary relationship, and was fine with the idea of going back to good friends.  Frank, on the other hand, was so afraid of crossing some invisible line with me and unconsciously betraying Tiff’s trust that he drew a reasonable line, took a few giant steps backward, and held there.  Our deep conversations turned into “so how’s the weather on your coast?” and our long chats turned into “Check out this funny video I found online.”

I was, and still am, a little heartbroken, not because I was a little in love with Frank, because I was, but because I didn’t just lose a potential partner, I lost a tremendous friend.

Every once in a while I’m tempted to send him a “how’s the weather” IM, but then… it just seems so sad.  Like a scraped out, used up husk of what was a brief but shining friendship.  I understand his fears… but he also promised me that asking for a partner wouldn’t lose me my friend.  I guess that’s the risk you take.