Rejection letter ripples

A and I are coming up on the anniversary of our first date. November 4. Two weeks after our first date, out of the blue, I got this email from A.

Good Morning,

Sorry for dropping off the radar, it is a busy time for me at work, and I’ve been fighting a cold or something which as dropped my energy levels. I didn’t want to ‘ghost’ you, I believe that is the correct term, I’m not one of those cool, young hip kids who know all the slang.

As much as I enjoyed dinner and our varied conversation, I felt that something was missing from a romantic standpoint. I wouldn’t rule out friendship, though as I really did enjoy talking with you!

I’d be up for another bottle of wine or cocktails to further our discussion on religion, and now we could add the US election and the new ‘white’ culture and paranoid fear state!

Cheers,

A

My response was:

Hi A!

I really didn’t expect to hear from you, what a nice surprise! I figured out about halfway through our date that there wouldn’t be a second, for the same reason as you, the chemistry just wasn’t there. But I did, very much, enjoy chatting with you, and would love to meet for drinks some time. I would love to completely agree with each other in all the ways to solve the world’s problems over wine!

The truth was, I didn’t think I would ever hear from him again. I was dating B and D, F and I were starting our downhill descent to divorce, and I was completely consumed with NRE for D. I did, however, very much enjoy our first date. We got along very well, with instant chemistry. There was never a lull in conversation and we laughed and drank a lot. So why did I know there wasn’t going to be a second date? Well, because when an hour in, we find out that A knows D and their wives are best friends, that can make things awkward. But true awkwardness prevails when I unintentionally, by saying my daughter’s name, reveal his life’s biggest hurt. Because our daughters share a name, a very beautiful but uncommon name, he had to tell me about the death of his daughter on our first date. This is undoubtedly not a recipe for romantic connection.

A and I went out once as friends. We had a great time. Without the “date” part of it in the background, we were just our raw, honest selves. We proceeded to spend about six hours drinking wine and chatting, and I even had to sleep off some of the wine in my office before I drove home. We talked about everything that night and it was so fun. At one point I remember thinking “It’s too bad we don’t have a romantic connection, because we could have a really good time.” In fact, I may have said that out loud.

Then, exactly two months after our first date, A came over for some wine and a chat on the couch. After five hours of drinking and chatting, we ended up clothes-less in bed. It was the start of what we have now. For this reason, we had our first date just over 11 months ago, but have only been dating for nine months.

As A was driving us home last Friday after our super hot night with U, I said: “Can you believe that you once sent me a rejection email?” His response? “I am very thankful I did!”

For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about that. I was completely prepared to go on with life, never seeing A again. Had he not decided to send me that email telling me that he didn’t feel a romantic connection, but would like to meet again, I wouldn’t have ever really thought about him again, apart from the fact that I was dating D and would have heard about him from time to time. I would never have chatted with him freely as his friend in a bar for hours and then on my couch for even more hours and then at some point realized he was sending out the signals that more than friendship was welcome and crossed the couch.

I guess the enormity of the ripple effect of seemingly simple acts are something I’ve become increasingly cognizant of. From choosing to take Chemistry 30 in Grade 11 and meeting X in that class, which 22 years later led to him introducing me to polyamory to A sending me a rejection letter, which led to us creating this amazing non-traditional, on-our-own-terms, fantastically hot relationship that we have, I’m just blown away by how some seemingly innocuous things happen, and they end up having such life altering ripple effects.

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Happy Right Now

My life is fucking fantastic.  Shall we talk about how?  Yes, yes we should!

Well, F has moved out. Or at least there are dirty spots that need to be swept or vacuumed where large pieces of furniture used to be.  It’s almost done.  The relief and happiness I feel at this transition into independence is incredible.  Yesterday, I picked up my kids to take them for dinner, and my eldest two expressed that they were having a hard time with all the changes, as the previous night was their first night in their dad’s new place.  Luckily, my parents live close, and were able to come meet us for supper, and helped me give the kids the love and attention they needed to just feel a little more secure in their little lives.  When I dropped the kids off with F, he and I had a good chat about how to help the kids with the transition and came up with a plan to work together. We talked with our eldest about how we are friends now and we are going to always be on her team and want to help her as much as possible.  I talked to my second eldest and just hugged her and sung the “I’ll love you forever” song, and she said “Does this mean you’ll always be mommy?”, and I said “Yes sweetheart, I’ll always be your mommy and I’ll always be here for you.”  I have no illusion that F and I won’t fight in the future, but last night was a great example of what positive separation and coparenting looks like.

My job is great.  I am getting constant positive feedback from the people I work with and the people I work for.  More importantly, I love everything about it.  I enjoy the intellectual stimulation, the challenges, the people I work with, the learning I do, and the flexibility in my schedule.  

Things with A are great.  More on that in another post, because I have a lot to say there, and he’s pressuring me for an insight into my thoughts on recent events, and it’s fun to make him wait.  Things with L are good. I don’t see him as much as I would like.  I’ve been busy and he’s started dating another girl, so his time is more limited.  He has evening activities often and I’m busy during the day.  He’s been pushed back in the pecking order of my men a bit, but when we are together it’s amazing.  He’s supportive and fun and loving.  What we have is great, and I’m going to choose to be happy with that.  I’ve been dating another guy.  This gorgeous, sweet, kind, and fucking sexy man, who I guess will get the letter M.  I met M months ago at a polyamory pub night.  He and his girlfriend and her husband gave my drunken ass a ride home that night.  I remember him walking into the pub and thinking “Damn, he’s really fucking hot.  I bet he’s an asshole.”  Sure enough, I was completely wrong.  Talk about an exercise in checking my biases and assumptions.  He’s so nice.  He’s going through a divorce, has two kids that are the same ages as two of mine, and he’s amazing in every way.  Everything about being with him is simple and easy.  When we began talking, it was because he sent out this “You are Awesome” video to nearly everyone on his friends list on Facebook.  I wrote back that I thought he was awesome too, and asked if he had sent that message out to everyone, and he said yes and that his phone was blowing up.  I commented that it must usually be like that, and he said “No, it’s usually pretty quiet”.  I said that surprised me because he’s so hot and charismatic and kind that I thought the women would be throwing themselves naked at his feet.  He destroyed my assumptions by saying that had never happened, and said he thought I was hot too.  I just said “Really? We should talk about that some time?”  He responded with “Nice advance lady!”, and we kept on talking.  That was over a month ago, and it’s going great. He’s fun and kind and makes me laugh and turns me on and rocks my world and I’m happy with how simple and easy it’s been.

Everything is great.  I’ve never been this happy. Ever. Which brings me to an interesting conversation with a coffee date I had a few weeks ago. He said: “I’ve given up on happily ever after.”, and this got me to thinking.  I don’t think there is a happily ever after. That’s the stuff of lies and fairy tales.  What there is, or at least has the potential to be is Happy right now.  This is my new commitment to myself, working for the end goal of being happy right now.  It’s just all part of making the choices to be true to myself and live the life I choose.

 

The exact right thing

Sometimes things just work.  My life has ramped up in busyness.  I’m back full speed at work but loving every minute of it. F is about to move out into his own rental place.  We transferred ownership of our vehicles the other day and the cashier at the registry commented on how good we got along for people about to divorce and I laughed.  It seems that the stressful days that I have experienced aren’t the definition of stressful for most people and F and I actually get along pretty well.  Funnily enough, after I said that we have four children together, so we both know we are stuck together for the rest of our life, and it’s better to get along, she says “Oh, so what happened?  Did you two just grow apart?”  So, I responded in the only way I know how to when it comes to a complete stranger asking you to sum up the cause of you choosing to end your 14 year relationship as casual conversation.  I said: “Sure, let’s go with that!”

That same evening, F and I sorted through some household items.  We spent four hours together. Four hours, where we didn’t fight. We laughed, we talked, we compromised, we joked, we ate pizza with our kids. I had a glimpse of what it can be like if we manage to become friends, coparents, and a team for our kids.  It was an amazing gift of premonition about the potential we have.

Even later in that evening, I had my normal Friday night date with A.  I hate calling them “normal”, because our relationship is anything but.  It’s unique and fun and full of connection and mind-blowing sex.  When every time you have sex, it’s ‘top three’ good, you know you have something worth keeping.   

Earlier in the week, I found myself alone with time to spare, and smoked a joint and spent sometime with my thoughts. During that time, my brain got in a negative loop that wouldn’t stop.  I started doubting everything.  Somewhere in my logical, not stoned, brain, I decided to email myself a list of questions that I should ponder, when, I wrote:  “you are capable of legally operating a motor vehicle”.

The next couple days, I spent processing my doubts.  My insecurities.  The imbalance in our feelings for each other.  Wondering if that translated into bigger problems that I am unaware of. Wondering if it meant that the commitment that we share isn’t shared at all.  Somewhere, in all of that, I knew that the problem was mine, not his, and that it was mine to work through and didn’t need to be communicated until I’d processed the shit out of it.  

As I processed, I realized that the root of my issues laid in the fact that there are things in our relationship that scream of “this is not a relationship but a side-piece”.  In my infinite loop of negativity, I focused on a couple things that really bothered me.  Among them was the fact that I’ve never been to his house.  That he never invites me out to anything.  That he nearly never comes out when I invite him out with my friends (and is rather dismissive of the idea in general).  And, as always, back to the fact that he doesn’t love me.

I get it.  He’s busy.  He often says something like “If you want me to come out to this event, then I can’t come to your place on Friday”.  I guess I feel like my kids must feel when I give them a choice between two things they really want.  Like no matter what, I lose one of the things I really want. That, right there, is where I was going wrong. I was losing sight of the fact that in that situation, no matter what, I win.  I win time with a man who brings so much value to my world.

As I was processing the shit out of my twisty bits that I didn’t need to communicate, A came to a poly pub night for one of the Facebook polyamory groups I’m part of.  I had been inviting him out every month since January, and the closest he got to coming was when he picked me up from the very first one, drove me home, and we broke my bed!  The happiness and comfort I felt sitting in between A and L, a hand on each of their legs at that poly pub night, was extraordinary.  It’s an incredible thing, to be out with two men I love, and being able to be out about it.  To have them sit at the same table and interact with each other and everyone else. There’s something so comforting about my life choice being understood and accepted and the men who are so important to me being accepted without question.  The gorgeous man in the suit on my right who can command a room in a second and the cute guy who is a little awkward in jeans and a t-shirt on my left.  It’s a wonderful place to be, however temporary.

This seemingly small thing, A coming out to this night, was so special to me.  More important than it should be. One of my friends questioned why it was important to me, and it got me thinking.  Why is it?  It’s because it legitimizes my place in his life.  It acknowledges it aloud in the only place we can.  A place that has been missing in my life since D left it, because with our polycule, back then, everything was acknowledged and normal.  The next day, on our Friday date, we were talking about the night and how he probably wouldn’t come out again.  It was hard for me to understand.  On a visceral level, it hurt to hear that he wouldn’t be willing to come out with me again.  So I asked him “why?” He said the only thing I didn’t expect to hear.  The one thing I hadn’t considered.  He said: “We have so little time together, that when we have it, I don’t want to share you with other people.”  This is a paraphrase, possibly misrepresented, but if so, it’s what I want to remember it as.  In that moment, he put a brake on the negative thoughts revolving around in my head, and reset me.  

It never occurred to me that he didn’t come out with me because he wanted me alone.  It never occurred to me that he valued the time with me alone.  It never occurred to me that he didn’t like sharing my attention.  It never occurred to me that he had thought about the fact that he would rather be the focus of my attention than to share it.  It never occurred to me that he wanted to focus his attention on me.  

He said the one thing that I needed to hear.  He’s either the most perceptive person on the planet, exceedingly lucky, or very good at reading what people want from him.  No matter what, I’m happy that he said what I needed to hear.  That I matter to him. That he wants to be with me. That he values me.

It seems so silly when I read it.  But being valued is pretty much the most amazing feeling in the world.

 

Monster metamour musings

Today, there was a post about metamours on a local Facebook polyamory group I’m a member of.  I saw the post in the morning and spent all day thinking about metamours. I have had a pretty wide range of metamours, when I think about it.  X’s girlfriend knew about me, but we’ve never interacted, because we lived in different cities. Fun fact: I’ve actually not seen him in person in 14 years.  B’s wife knew about me, but didn’t want to hear about me. She was very much “don’t ask, don’t tell” in her philosophy.  I suspect that a lot of this had to do with her unhappiness in their marriage, which ended in January this year. Then there was W.  She embodies everything that makes a metamour a nightmare. She was manipulative, insulting, passive aggressive, and outright lied.  She interfered in my relationship with F and she interfered in my relationship with other people.  She continues to get involved in our divorce and my kids keep coming home asking me questions about things she says to them.  I keep hearing the horrible things she is saying about me to friends.  She is a perfect example of what I never want to be as a metamour.  

Then there was D’s wife. She exemplifies everything I ever want to be as a metamour.  She welcomed me into her life before I even started dating D.  It was nothing for us to hang out before D came home from a date or for us to go for dinner together with her boyfriend or to go for brunch just the three of us.  She is the woman who gave up her spot in the bed so D and I could spend the night together, spontaneously, when I crashed a gathering they were at.  She is the woman who heard from someone else that I had said something that she wasn’t OK with, so she came directly to me with her concerns.  She is the model of metamour that I follow.  No judgement, no drama, great communication, support, and acceptance.  

A’s wife is very good friends with D’s wife.  I have no doubt they talk about me and that D’s wife plays a role in A’s wife’s acceptance of me in his life.  I have only really met her the once, the same night that D’s wife gave me her spot in the bed. At that time, my relationship with A wasn’t really a relationship yet, and it was new.  We’re 9 months in now, and I haven’t seen her since.  We’ve had a few texts back and forth, but our relationship exists mostly in likes and the occasional comment on Facebook.  I’m sure she knows a lot about me, filtered through A, like I know a lot about her, all filtered through A.  I find it hard sometimes that I don’t have more of a friendship with her.  I really appreciate having my own relationship with my metamours.  I have a natural tendency to think the worst.  So when A has to cancel or limits our time together, my initial reaction is always to blame her.  I always talk myself out of such ridiculousness, because I don’t really know her, so I don’t really know what’s going on in her life, and blaming without understanding of facts is stupid.  The fact is, even if she was dictating everything, it doesn’t matter.  This is where I think that many people would tell me I was in a hierarchical relationship. Perhaps I am and I’m delusional.  The reality is, A is madly in love with his wife. They have 20+ years of history together, some of it wonderful, some of it heartbreaking, but they are each other’s best friends.  They have a family together, they have their routines, and they have their life.  I’m not part of their life.  I’m part of HIS life.  He told me, in that brief period of time we were friends between our first date and our first fuck, that if she ever said she had a problem with his girlfriend, he would end the relationship.  That stuck with me, and while I know he would miss me, I also know where I place in his life, and I know that I’m not as important in his life as he is in mine.

Because of this, I am the metamour I am for her.  I’m not sure she’s even aware she has a metamour, or at least that there is a term for the relationship we have by virtue of sharing the same man romantically.  My position is to be understanding and accommodating and make things easier for all of this to work.  So, when A’s wife was having a hard time one weekend and really needed to spend time with him, I was understanding and forgiving when he cancelled a date.  When we set up weekly dates so that he could keep his weekend dates with his wife and family, I agreed.  It’s why when I try to make plans for us, I ask him to run it by her first, or ask him if she would be OK with me booking us to do an activity.  It’s why I accommodate changes in our plan.  It’s why I try to not ask for more than A can give (I’m not always perfect at this) and try to keep things casual and fun when we’re in between dates.  It’s just my part of making things easy for us to be together.  In the end, it’s about respecting the person I’m dating, his priorities, his obligations, and the other people who are important in his life.  More than that though, it’s about respecting his needs and desires in our relationship and working with him to create the relationship we want together.  

When I met L’s other girlfriend, I knew immediately that we were going to be friends. We just clicked.  I’ve been a source of support for her, welcomed her into my life with open arms, and I haven’t been disappointed.  She is really good for L and complements me well.  She’s young, but has had a life of someone twice her age.  She’s strong and independent and watching her make choices for herself to be happy is amazing.  She reminds me a lot of myself when I was that age, she’s still figuring things out and she’s doing a great job of it.  I’ve fallen into a bit of a mentoring role, mostly because I am older and have been through a lot of the things she is going through, but mostly, I think she’s going to end up being more like family. I can thank D’s wife over and over for showing me how to be supportive and accepting and welcoming of L’s girlfriend into my life.  L is so good at communicating things that he really facilitates his girlfriends being friends.  He loves us both, is committed to us both, and is creating a world with us where we all work.

I guess my point with this is that I think that if we are developing relationships that we allow to evolve on their own, without expectations or pressure, we should also do that with the relationships with our partner’s partners.  I think there are too many expectations in the metamour relationships in polyamory.  I think it’s good to respect your metamours for their decisions and their comfort levels.  What makes you happier and more comfortable may not be doable with them.  Attempt to understand them and be the metamour you would like to have.  

There’s going to be an inevitable time when I have a conflict with a metamour in the future.  I hope when it happens, I remember my own advice, to try and understand them and work with them.  

What was missing

I’m the girl that nearly eight months ago advised A to stop trying to find a girl who fit into a mold he had envisioned and to embrace the opportunities in front of him.  I encouraged him to date and enjoy what developed. To stop looking for a specific thing and to see what could develop.  Part of the reason for this conversation is that both of us didn’t really feel a romantic connection, despite the fact that I had crossed the couch and we were already having incredibly hot sex at the time.  He had gone on a date with a girl who he had a great connection with but for allergy reasons he couldn’t continue to date.  He had other reasons he didn’t want to continue to date her, and at that point, he felt like there was something wrong with him.  I suggested he should just have fun and see where things went with the girls he was dating.  That he should stop looking for something specific and embrace what came to him.  I suggested that since he was happily married, he didn’t need to check so many boxes, that he could probably find something that was fun in and of itself.  Something unique.  Something worth it.

When I was giving this very good quality advice, I wasn’t thinking that he would end up dating me.  I never thought that we would be in a slightly complicated committed relationship.  I never envisioned anything that happened in the months that followed.  What I know is that this man saw me through the greatest heartbreak of my life, he also saw me through the negotiations of my divorce, and he saw me through the emotional breakdown that happened when my life slowed down enough for me to start processing.  This man, who is so incredibly frustrating to talk to about emotions was my biggest support when I was going through so many.

I’ve been dating.  I was rather smug when I first dated as a poly woman.  Three dates and two boyfriends out of the deal.  Break up with the one boyfriend and accidentally make the other one my boyfriend.  Well, I have more than learned my lesson since.  I had that horrible date after Christmas, I had another with a guy who was married to a girl I went to highschool with, I had a coffee date with a guy that was nice but there were no fireworks.  I had the great date with the hot bearded guy that knows D, and a second, but he doesn’t want what I want, so that went nowhere.  I had the great date with another guy, who ended up too busy to keep dating me, which was too bad, because I was really into him.  There was the guy who was lying to his wife.  There are so many guys I’ve been talking to who I eliminated from contention for this reason or that.  The guy who, before meeting me, suggested we have sex without protection and set off every red flag there is, who I stopped talking to immediately.  The guy I met the other day for coffee, who I had this great connection with in text, who completely failed to ignite a spark.  

I’m disconcerted, disenchanted, and disinterested.  I miss NRE.  I miss connection and that overwhelming desire to be with the man I choose.  I had it so completely with X.  I had it throughout the entire relationship with D.  I haven’t felt it since.  Not even a little.  I am in love with A, but that happened slowly over time, with connection, shared experience, and the deep trust that we have developed.  It was an interesting transition from friends to friends who fuck to friends who fuck who get in a collision together and he unintentionally calls me his girlfriend when we make out in the back of the cop car, then I become his girlfriend and we really like each other and then I fall in love with him and he avoids talking about feelings with me to where we are now.  I’ve been dating L, who I think is cute and amazing and fun and lovely, but I’m not overwhelmed with emotion for him, I just really like him.  The rest of the guys,  I just can’t get past the first date with.  Those I do, don’t get past the second.  

I would feel broken.  I would feel disappointed.  I would feel wounded.  But I’m not.  It’s not about me.  Or maybe it’s about me having standards that didn’t exist before.  I have a benchmark, a threshold, that I can’t reach.  That threshold was set first by D.  He’s tainted me for all future relationships.  So few will ever reach a place where he just set himself by being who he is.  A and L and even X are the only ones who have lived up to those standards long enough to stick around.  There is nothing wrong with having high standards.  There is nothing wrong with high standards.  There is nothing wrong with insisting the men in my life fit into my life in the best possible way.  What is wrong to me, is that I was giving exceptional advice about eight months ago that could apply specifically to this situation, and I am doing the best to avoid listening to it.  What is also wrong is that I didn’t insist that my husband reach that bar.  I settled. That realization hit me hard.

 


 

I wrote the first part of this post over a week ago.  I was dealing with some pretty heavy emotions that I didn’t understand at the time.  Feeling like something was missing, not knowing what it was, thinking there was something wrong with the relationships I have and trying to figure out if I could stay happy with what I have or if I needed to communicate needs I have, and if so, what those are.  I was a bit lost, to be honest.  I was admittedly sad, thinking about how in love I am with A and how he’s not expressed love for me.  I even engaged him in a rather unproductive text conversation about it that ended up in him shutting the conversation down as I got way too into the feelings.  At the same time, my dad was showing his worst side on Facebook, and between the two, I knew I needed to shut down the outside world for a while and take some time to turn inwards.  So I deleted Facebook off my phone, stayed in contact only with those I love, and embarked on a 2500 plus kilometre road trip filled with camping alone, visiting the best of friends, and so many epiphanies that I don’t know if I can actually put them all into words.

The first epiphany came the morning after I embarked on my week-long journey and I was chatting with a friend, saying how disillusioned I was with dating.  How my standards were just too high, and I was finding the effort that goes into internet dating to be too much.  I realized that my “problem” is that my standards ARE high.  But it’s not a problem, I just haven’t met anyone worthy of my time.  It’s a good thing.  

This realization made, I decided to focus on that feeling like something was missing, but not knowing exactly what it was.  I’m pretty damn good with my emotions and I know myself really well, so it was so weird to not know what was missing.  There are two major factors that fall into this part of my many epiphanies. The first is that there isn’t anything missing.  I don’t need anything more than I have in my relationships.  Do I want more?  Yep.  I want love to be reciprocated.  Is it something I need or want enough to draw a line in the sand?  No.  It would be pretty damn dysfunctional of me to demand something like that, and if love isn’t given freely and willingly, then it’s not really given, and the alternative is to end a relationship that I love and cherish and value so very much.  I would never do that because A doesn’t tell me he loves me, when he does, at least some of the time, show me that he cares about me.  

This is overthinking it and so far away from my point. The reality is that for the last year of my life, I have had the full range of very very very intense emotions.  From love to anger to heartbreak to disappointment to lust and back, I have had it all.  I have navigated enormous amounts of stress and major life changes, and as such, have been in emotional damage control mode for so long that when I finished that damage control, my mind didn’t catch up with my reality, and I started treating the functional parts of my life as another problem to be solved.  The thing is, there is no problem. They are functional relationships with partners who are working with me to create what makes us both happy.  That things aren’t perfect is a given.  Nothing is perfect, because we are human.  But the commitment, affection, and cooperation is there.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

The second part to this “missing piece” epiphany hit me so hard that I was nearly winded by it, and then I had to spend two days thinking it through and deciding what to do, and was the subject of my second night camping alone in a no cell service area.  X and I reconnected in May, just a week or so before D broke up with me.  It started out just chatting and joking with the usual sexual innuendo, and has progressed from there to more intimate conversations.  It got to the place where when I was talking to people I met on OKC, I would mention him.  “There’s X, he was my first poly partner.  We’re just friends now, but if we’re ever in the same room together, we probably won’t stay clothed for long.”  Over the last few weeks, as F and I finalized our divorce negotiations, as I was having some pretty deep feelings about A going away and not seeing him for a few weeks, and as some pretty amazing things were happening in X’s life, we started talking more, and he became a huge source of support for me and I for him.  On Friday, a huge event happened in his life, and when I heard how well it went, I was so very excited for him. Like genuinely happy in a way that shook me to the core.  I realized in that moment, that I love him.  I don’t know if it’s “still” or “again”, but either the hidden feelings rose again or they rekindled.  

I spent the next couple of days trying to decide what to do with this knowledge.  I’m really enjoying our friendship, and don’t want to lose it.  I’m happy with what we have and can stay happy with it.  There’s not a lot that can be gained by pretending that the feelings don’t exist, but it occurred to me that I don’t need to advertise them either.  Then I remembered a year ago when he dared to tell me about polyamory.  How he dared to reach out to me and love me and support me and ultimately, lose me because the timing was wrong.  So much good came back from that risk he took.  I decided to reach out to him and tell him how I feel.  He received it well and is taking time to process. That part doesn’t matter (well, it matters, but not for what my topic is). What matters is that I realized that part of the reason that I don’t spark with anyone I meet is that the space is occupied by someone else, and I don’t have room for another person unless the spark is strong.  There’s very little chance that anyone will ever reach the level of spark that X and I have.  It’s 23 years of foreplay, for fuck sake! What form our relationship takes going forward is up to us.  It may stay the same, it may change, but no matter what, it will be interesting, for sure.  

I spent the last two days processing what is going on in my life.  Or rather, what isn’t.  I decided to stop dating.  I’m going to focus on the relationships I have, including my two men, my family, and my friends.  I return to work tomorrow and as a career-minded girl, that will consume a lot of my time.  I’m going to live my life with love and freedom and really hot sex.  And instead of looking for the missing thing that isn’t really missing, I’m going to enjoy all that I have, because I have so very much, and what was missing was me being cognizant of that.  

 

Well, yeah! But OUCH!

In recent weeks, A and I have had a recurring conversation.  I’m not sure exactly what he’s trying to get out of saying so, but essentially what he says is: “My relationship with you is different than my relationship with my wife.  If my relationship with her ended, I would be devastated, but if you and I broke up, life would go on without much trouble.  I would be sad, and think it was too bad, but it wouldn’t be the same kind of pain as the ending of my relationship with my wife.”

Every time we’ve had this conversation, I have two responses:  1.  “Well, yeah!” and 2.  “Ouch!”

It hurts to hear someone tell you that you are not as important as other people, no matter how obvious it is that it should be that way.  It’s like my brain and my heart are arguing about the way I should think and feel, respectively.  They are at odds with each other for the appropriate reaction, so I have both.

Beyond that, the fact that he’s said a version of this a few times in the last few weeks suggests to me that there is something more behind his words. Part of me thinks it’s a justification that he doesn’t love me.  Or possibly him trying to compartmentalize the love he does have for me and the love he has for his wife and justifying the hierarchy in his brain.  Or maybe it’s him trying to subtly make the point that he doesn’t love me and that he won’t ever actually love me.  And part of me wonders why the fuck he doesn’t love me, but when I get into that line of thinking, it takes me to this place where I think about things and decisions I’m not ready to face, so let’s not go there.   

Maybe I’m off base.  He may not actually be trying to say something deliberately.  He may actually be obtuse enough to think that that is just conversation.  I think there is a message I’m not getting. The man is careful with words.

Among the other things he said was something about the duration of our relationship. Something along the lines of “My relationship with my wife will go on forever, years and years, but my relationship with you won’t.  It’ll end, maybe a year from now, it’s not meant to last as long.”  When I replied, I said I “didn’t think of it that way, my commitment isn’t any different because we can’t escalate’.  He backtracked a bit and said “Or it could be 20 years, who knows, but it’ll never be the same as my marriage.”

There are so many things that go through my mind when I think about these conversations.  It alternates between feeling unimportant and hurt by this to attempting to understand why he thinks the way he does about me and recognizing that it’s just part of his process in dealing with his feelings within our relationship and understanding where I fit in the context of the rest of his life. It’s not this horrible hurt or offense or anything, it’s mostly just trying to understand him, and as much as he likes to pretend he’s easy to understand, he’s not.

I recognize that splitting up a marriage, with years of history, children, grandchildren, a mortgage, debt and the rest of a shared history is harder than breaking up with a girlfriend who you share a hot sex life and a couple selfies with.  I recognize the permanence and meaning of a 20+ year relationship and how that is so substantial.  How sharing a life and a bed and sadness and happiness and being bored together and conquering adversity together is always going to be more substantial than the relationship with the girl you visit most Fridays to exchange great pillow talk and fuck.  I get that there is a tolerance of problems in a committed marriage that there isn’t going to be in a relationship with a girlfriend.  

What I also get is that I’m fun.  I’m the escape from reality.  I’m the safe place, the place of calm, the person who offers catharsis and support.  I’m unfailingly supportive, because my only concern in any of his stresses is him – I have only met a handful of his friends and none of his family and because of that,  my priority, when we are together and when we interact,  is supporting him and meeting the needs he wants filled by me.  There is no compromise in this. Within our relationship, there is just us.  There are no children, responsibilities, debts, assets, or stresses.  There is only us and what we choose to make of it. I also know that I’m the partner who is always willing to have sex as opposed to the one who makes excuses and takes it for granted.  I am a girlfriend, not a wife.

I don’t pretend to understand how he thinks about all this.  I know that he’s committed to our relationship, he makes a priority of me, and we have a fabulous time together. I’m not in a place where I need to change anything. I’m happy with where we are. But my brain doesn’t let me stop thinking about things that bother me emotionally even when I know intellectually that I don’t need to be concerned about them.  When I write a post like this, I worry about what his reaction will be at my bluntness, but in the interest of being authentic, and true to myself, I write as if he isn’t a member of my “audience”. 

I had never considered my commitments to my partners different than my commitment in my marriage.  Not that I thought from the beginning that they were equivalent to F, because that was never the case, because we had kids, 14 years together, and were completely committed to each other.  I never thought of dating someone for anything other than a committed relationship.  I have always acknowledged that each relationship has its own intrinsic limits and insisted that each relationship evolve in a way free from expectations.  I never considered that there was a guaranteed end to a relationship.  I see zero reason why I can’t be a girlfriend who is not a nesting partner but who is a girlfriend for the rest of my partner’s life. I don’t enter my relationships thinking that they are temporary.  Maybe I’m naive?  Maybe I’m too committed?  I just don’t think of my partners as disposable or unimportant and I don’t want to be thought of as disposable or unimportant.  Is it not possible to have a long-term or even lifetime committed relationship as the girlfriend of a married man?  And why doesn’t that married man love me yet?

 

***Sorry A, I got raw and honest and decided to put it out there tonight. You don’t have to respond. It’s me processing. I love you. ***

Disappearing stress

I was reminded today, by A, that I haven’t published anything in awhile.  It made me laugh, because yesterday I dumped some twisty bits on him and I’m pretty sure he came here hoping he would get more insight before he responded.  We laughed and joked and he tried to change the conversation, but in the end, we got through the twisty bits quite uneventfully, and ended up talking about all the other things.  

The last 3 days have been kind of amazing on so many different levels.   I truly don’t know where to start.  So I’ll start with A.  We had a great date on Friday.  Friday seems to have become *our* day, and I pretty much always reserve it for him.  I’m post-surgery recovering and can’t have sex, so we spent a much longer than normal time on the couch chatting, and I was several beers in before he arrived, so I was in a mood for fun.  For the first time ever, I jokingly tied him up and went to work having said fun. I figured that someone should have an orgasm in my house, since it’s been way too tame here lately.  Alas, I played way too much, but given the length of that blow job, I’d say he at least had fun.  Tying him up was totally not my thing though.  I like the responses when he grabs my head or moderates my speed or any touch, and taking away his hands just made it less connected. Fortunately, he just untied one arm and fixed that in short order and the night was saved.  Add to that the fact that I got a lot of other attention and I’d say it was a fantastic and much-needed night.  Twisty bits aside, I needed the connection, and I suspect he did too.

Saturday, I met the other girl L is dating, and we totally hit it off.  I’m eight years older than L, and she is six years younger.  We’ve been chatting pretty much continuously, and she is very much a 26 year old version of me.  He clearly has a type.  It’s funny.  Of course, L’s mind is blown that we both get along so well, but he takes it in stride.  After that, I went to roller derby again.  One of my very good friend’s husband wanted to talk about polyamory and emotions and how to deal with everything, and so I invited him along.  It was wicked awesome.  We had such a fantastic conversation, really enjoyed the match, and everything about it was great.  

Last week, I was chatting with D’s wife about her tubal ligation and asking about recovery time and limitations (mostly in sex, because, let’s be reasonable, I’m kind of needy when it comes to this – so says A, anyway), and I gave her a heads up that I’d be at derby because the time before was so awkward (in a hilarious way though).  When I had surgery, she wished me luck and I sent her a picture of my feet in these super fun hospital styrofoam slippers:

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She joked that she didn’t get anything like that for her surgery and I joked that I’d steal some for her, and asked her her foot size.  So, while I was waiting to go into surgery, I stole a pair, shoved it in my purse, and brought it to derby.  When she arrived, she spotted me, as far away as possible from where they sit, and texted to say she saw me.  I said I had something for her and to come see me when she could.  There was more joking and awesomeness back and forth that made me giggle.  She came across at half-time, and as my friend’s husband went out for a smoke, I see D walk by and he gives me a wave and smile and I smile back, and she says “Oh, D doesn’t want to interrupt your date.”, and I laughed and explained that it wasn’t a date and referred them to a group we are all part of to catch up on who he was and then chatted.  When D came back, he came over, said he didn’t want to interrupt my date, and I stood up and gave him a hug and explained that it wasn’t a date.  He bought me a beer and the three of us chatted, mostly about how my divorce is going and my new tattoo, but it was good.  It was so normal.  So at the end of half-time, they left to go back to their seats, and I said “Enjoy your long walk, I intentionally picked seats as far away as possible to mitigate the awkward”.  D’s response:  “Next time come sit with us”.  So I laugh and say “Does this mean the awkward is over?” and he says “Yes”, and his wife laughs and says “You two are so fucking weird!” and that’s how it ended.  I sent him a text to say I was glad the awkward was over and apologized for my anger and hurt and the passive aggressive way I dealt with my heartbreak, but didn’t get a response, but for me, it was the ultimate closure.  I just feel so damn good about it.

Oh, and her slippers fit:

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That night, I went to my good friends’ house.  They moved less than a block away, and they are derby refs, so we continued the night there. There’s not much to say other than it was a lot of fun. I was in prime drunken form and probably embarrassed myself, but it was great.  As seems to be the theme with them, there was some cuddling and love and tons of joking and laughter. It was amazing.  Honestly, Saturday was probably the most perfect day I’ve had in a long time.  A left so early in the morning after we fell asleep cuddling, I met L’s other lady, I had a great chat with my friend’s husband, I chatted and hugged and shed the awkward with D, and had a great, super fun non-adulting night with friends who accept me for exactly who I am.

Sunday, I had a Lego date with my 3-year-old, my eldest two came back from my parents’ and we had a cuddling movie night.  Then L came over, we chatted, and cuddled, and started a movie, and he decided to go home because he was tired, and the goodnight kiss ended up in more work on my blow job skills.  😉  (My main joke right now is that since I can’t have sex, I’m going to work on perfecting my blowjob skills and successfully deep throating.) It was just full of connection and awesome.  I like what I have with L.  He’s so sweet.  I describe him as the “cute new guy” to everyone.  He’s just lovely.  Kind, and funny, and strong, and accepting, and enthusiastic.  He’s a good match for me and my relationship with him is a good complement to my relationship with A.  A, I refer to as “sexy grandpa”, because that is exactly what he is.    

I’m back on OKC, on Friday, I eliminated the other 2 guys I was dating from contention for legitimate but rather boring reasons. They are both nice guys.  I’d have a great time with both of them.  But neither can give me what I need, so I needed to walk away.  Of course, this means that I’m talking to more men than I can keep track of, but it’s pretty great.  I have a date on Wednesday, and should have one or more others coming up.  A is going out of town next weekend, so I’m going out with L’s other girl on Friday, which should be fun.  

The biggest and most amazing thing is that F and I are in a good place again.  We had a great meeting with our lawyers today, and we are at the point of drafting a separation agreement.  I got basically everything I wanted and I think he’s happy too.  So much stress just disappeared from my life.

Now, if only I could have sex.  Because damn, 6 weeks is a long time.