10 things I learned this week

  1. When your friend asks your boyfriend for a one-on-one date after a hot threesome, you might have some feelings on the matter.  It may surprise you that it is not jealousy – the idea of them having sex is hot to you  – it’s the fact that he already doesn’t have that much time for you to begin with, you don’t want to lose more time with him.  He responds in the most reassuring and loving way he can. It’s perfect.
  2. When you start talking about feelings with said boyfriend and then rather than feel the disappointment of his inappropriate response, you get ridiculously drunk, it is a bad idea to drunk text your ex-boyfriend who you have finally managed to get comfortable with being in the same place as you again.  You might make things awkward.  Making an apologetic joke about your train of thought derailing and then exploding is not sufficient to make up for your drunken ramblings. You might not care that much; rather, you just find it funny.
  3. When your friend shows the super sexy videos from your threesome to her rather hot husband, he may start texting you asking to experience your hot blowjob face.  You might like the idea and start planning a foursome.
  4. When another ex-boyfriend says he wants to acknowledge your relationship and what it means to you both on Fetlife, and you decide on “It’s complicated” because nothing else seems appropriate, you realize that nothing about how you feel about each other or what your relationship means is actually complicated, because you have good communication and boundaries and neither of you want a classical relationship, but it sure is complicated to try to explain that to others.
  5. When you know you have the most amazing friends because one contacts you because she wants to talk about your friendship and what it means to her, you know you have an amazing friend who communicates so very well.  
  6. When you come out to a favourite coworker and an old friend each in a matter of days  and they just respond with support and “How do you have the energy for all the sex?!?”, you know you have amazing people in your life who only want the best for you.
  7. When you see multiple people in a week who haven’t seen you in a while and they comment on how happy and settled and content you are, you know you are living your life exactly how you should.
  8. When you dye your 7, 5, and 4-year-olds’ hair with bright blue, purple, and pink hair dye, you will learn that it is a very bad idea to ever dye the hair of a 5 and 4-year-old. But fuck will it be cute.
  9. When you go for lunch with the boyfriend and the friend you had a hot threesome with and she says her neck was sore from your boyfriend choking her and you get jealous for the first time about him being with her, because he’s never choked you so much your neck was sore, you realize you are truly and completely a submissive, and it just all makes you so happy to have him as your dom.
  10. You sleep, alone, in your house after a night shift for the first time ever and you wake up with the incredible thought that your life is exactly what  you want it to be and you can do anything you choose with it, you realize exactly how truly and completely happy you are.

 

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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.

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.  

A poly year

A year ago, I went to bed, happy and fulfilled in my life, at least I thought.  I had a crazy dream that night.  A dream about X that was anything but platonic. That dream prompted me to message X when I got to work the next morning.  And the rest is history, as they say.  He introduced me to polyamory, and changed my entire life.

I’ve been poly for a year.  I’ve never been so certain about a decision in my life.  I am polyamorous.  I have had the most amazing year.  I fell in love with X and felt the intensity of our connection and loved him so completely.  Then it ended.  I met A, and we had the weirdest first date ever, with our bizarre coincidences and crazy connection.  We friend-zoned and were both happy to do so.  I met B, who was a romantic interest in my life for a short time, but has been a steadfast friend as I navigate my divorce and my dating life.  Then I started dating D.  I fell so madly in love with him, in the most intense and amazing way possible.  I had months of a near perfect relationship with him. It ended, in an absolutely awful way, but it doesn’t change how amazing the relationship was.  In the meantime, I unintentionally started the incredible relationship I have with A.  We embarked on an adventure exploring BDSM together.  We supported each other through some pretty shitty times.  We turned to each other when the rest of the world was railing against us.  We just became who we are together as a couple, while being who we are as individuals.  We figured out what worked for us.  I met L.  We are still working on creating what we want in our relationship together.  Committed and cooperative and happy and moving forward together.  

My marriage disintegrated.  It was awful and conflict-filled and I held on too long. Then I stood up, hopped off the roller coaster, advocated for myself, and moved forward.  We are working together to co-parent the most amazing four kids in the world.  We have moved forward as adults and our separation is negotiated.  I hope that moving forward we’ll work together instead of apart.

I dated.  I had coffee dates and dinner dates and drink dates and lunch dates and breakfast dates, and I had first kisses that rocked my world and second dates that ended in disappointment.  I had horrible dates and hopeful dates and disappointing dates and a wife messaging me to tell me I had a liar date.  

Outside of the poly part of me, I had three grandparents die.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer.  My sister cut me out of her life in a hail of fire.  I lost friends, met new friends, and connected more strongly with others.

I told many people about being polyamorous.  All but my sister reacted positively.  Nearly all embraced me and my chosen lifestyle completely, asking relevant questions and supporting my choice.  Most importantly, my mom supports me and my kids support me.  I have told so many people now that I’m almost “out”.  Not yet.  But one day, I will be.  In particular, I came out to G and to my person at work.  I made the strongest connections with two women who will always have my back.  They are better than having a sister.

I loved.  I loved men like I’ve never loved before.  My relationship with D only need serve as an example.  I’ve never loved someone who wasn’t blood so unconditionally.  My love for A is unique too.  It’s the first time I’ve submitted to a man worthy of my submission.  He’s earned a special respect and love from me. That’s something bigger than I can explain in words.  The fact that he doesn’t really ‘get it’ makes it even more important and a little funny too.  These loves taught me about the type of love I should have.  The type of love I want and the type of love I deserve and the type of love that I shouldn’t accept.  Through loving these men and the understanding of what it meant, I loved myself again.  I chose to stop sacrificing my happiness.  I expected more. I demanded more.  I became more.  I became a better woman, a better mom, a better partner, a better person.  I stood up for myself.  I supported the people I love.  I became who I’ve always wanted to be.  

I cried.  I hurt.  I raged.  I cried some more.  I have never felt so broken.  I have never felt so confused, hurt, rejected, unloved.  I cried as I shed my old me and the new me became.

Today, a year later, I’m happy. Truly, completely, thoroughly, uncomplicatedly happy.  My life is full of everything I could possibly want.  The most amazing kids, parents who love and support me, friends who accept me unconditionally, partners who accept me for who I am, two fulfilling, challenging, and stimulating jobs, and so much of everything I could ever need.

Happiness came in a form I never expected, because I had a dream.

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.  

 

Protection

This last week has been pretty great.  I’ve had a few pretty excellent first dates and a fantastic late date with L.  A and I have spent more time together than we have in months as his wife is out of town so he was a little more available than he has been.  It’s nice to see him recharged.  He’s been burning the candle at both ends for months and the last few days he’s been more relaxed than I’ve seen him since February.  It’s pretty great to see.

I’m going to forego talking about the three great first dates (that all ended with a first kiss in the same parking lot, which cracks me up) and the one really not great one I had last week and talk about a realization I made yesterday while having dinner with A.  Somehow the topic of X came up, probably because I’ve been chatting with him quite a bit recently.  I talked about how I still have a thing for him, but we’re skirting around the issue of our intense magnetic attraction.  As the words came out of my mouth, I realized that skirting around the issue is intentional on my part. That by keeping him at arm’s length, I’m protecting myself.  Protecting my heart.  

This got me to thinking about the new men I’m dating.  How I feel about them.  I remember the all-encompassing feeling of New Relationship Energy (NRE) that I felt when I was dating X and when I started dating D. I remember the excitement when I got a text and the anticipation of the next date and the overwhelming pleasure of each touch, be it holding hands or kissing or more.  I remember how I couldn’t get them out of my mind and I loved every bit of that sensation.  I realized that I don’t have this intense, overwhelming NRE with the new guys.  It’s not like I can turn it on or off, but I think that part of the reason I am not overwhelmed by NRE is just protection.  I’m protecting myself, my heart, from taking the risk inherent in dating someone new.  

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  With X, it’s an active choice.  I can’t take the risk of dating him and falling so madly in love with him again.  The wound caused by our romantic relationship ending is so recently healed and that memory is enough for me to to not want to relive it, but keep him at a distance where I can be in control of my emotions and protect my heart.  With the other men though, it’s probably more of an unconscious choice.  I think that I am naturally protective of my heart just now because of the fresh scar that D left on my heart (the one that is superficially healed but requires some time to heal beneath the surface and still has some lingering pain associated with it) and that’s translating into a lack of NRE.  Don’t get me wrong, I like these men, I want to spend time with them, they are all pretty incredible and I’m very attracted to them, but I’m not all consumed by NRE for any of them.  

This realization takes me on two different emotional paths.  The first is happiness that I can protect my heart and still embrace new relationships.  That I’m a bit more in control than I was last fall when I fell so completely in love first with X, then with D. The second is a bit of sadness in knowing that I’m not putting myself all in, wondering if it’s because the part of me that feels that intense emotion broke along with my heart or if it’s just because I haven’t met the right person.   Along with this is the mourning of the loss of that wonderful emotion and wondering if I’ll ever have that intense fun and excitement of falling in love, and being so certain in that love, again.  

I think more than anything, it shocked me that I suddenly, mid-sentence, realized that I was protecting myself. That I’d put up barriers that I was previously unaware I could erect.  That I had donned an armour built on heartbreak and hurt and disappointment.  That somewhere, in all that has happened, I shed a little bit of my optimism and positivity and freedom for a little bit of safety.  The broken heart is like a terrorist preventing me from enjoying everything I should in life due to fear.  The threat of hurt is not paralyzing, but a very real, recently experienced source of fear.  Right now, it’s protective, but I need to be cognizant of when the protection becomes limiting.  

Broken

The last week has been amazing in so many ways.  Things are falling into place.  F and I are working together really well.  Our bi-weekly finance discussion went so smoothly this week that we ended up thanking each other for working as a team and cooperating so well.  We laughed about things our crazy kids did.  I offered to do some things for him, he for me.  It was so….functional.  

My job is gearing down for the summer.  This is awesome, because it has been, at times, rather insane, with long days and intense work stresses.  I love my job, but even a job I love gets overwhelming with pressure sometimes.  I  also had a great weekend with so many friends around me that love me.

So everything is shiny and beautiful and perfect, right?

No.

I’ve been really down the last couple of days.  This is completely unlike me. I’m normally a super positive person.  I usually have to focus on something super sad to even cry when I want to.  (Unless I’m angry, I can cry very easily when pissed off).  Yesterday, for unknown reasons, my date ghosted and I ended up alone in the evening.  This isn’t that big of a deal. I like being alone with myself.  I’m great company for myself.  But the overwhelming sadness just wasn’t going away.  I asked A to go out for a drink, but he was busy.  This isn’t surprising, he’s always busy these days, and I’m trying to be cognizant of exactly how much I’m asking of him, which in recent weeks has been more than he can give because I haven’t been coping with life that well. I know that sometimes I need to find my support elsewhere, and working out exactly what I need to do to get what I need and, truthfully, even recognizing what I need, is a challenge.  

So, since I was utterly alone last night, I headed into our gorgeous river valley to feed the mosquitoes go for a walk.  I decided I was going to focus on the super sad things that have happened in my life in the last 5 months, to see which one was the one that was trying to make itself known.  I had 2 grandparents die.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer.  My sister attacked me unfairly in a family text conversation and we haven’t talked since.  D broke up with me via email.  I asked F for a separation and we have had near endless conflict for about 9 months. I figured if I was sad, I probably had one or more of these things still to deal with. What this meant is that I was completely overrun with despair. I walked and walked and stifled tears the whole way.  I was feeling dejected and unloved and unwanted and weak and overwhelmingly hurt.  I can’t explain how bad I felt, I haven’t ever felt the way I did last night.  I got back to my car, sat in the driver’s seat and cried.  Full on sobbing, ugly tears, break-down cried.  It hurt in my heart and my stomach and my head.  I cried for probably a good 20 minutes until F texted me to ask me if I was coming home soon because he wanted to get to W’s house.  I figured if I sat there much longer, someone would call the cops because they would be concerned for my safety, thinking I was about to jump in the river or something.  So, I drove home with tears in my eyes, just hoping I could hold it together while I said goodbye to F so that I didn’t have to explain to him that I was broken but didn’t know why.  

Well, that didn’t work.  I walked in and he immediately asked me if I was OK.  I said I didn’t want to talk about it and stood their crying silently as he talked about the day he and the kids had.  He looked up and realized what was happening and stopped talking and offered me a hug.  I declined and he asked if I was sure.  I took the hug.  It was the first proper hug he’s given me since early February.  It wasn’t what I needed, but it helped. It got me out in the yard to do some work before I went to bed and helped redirect me.

I was chatting with X and K during the evening as they both asked how I was doing and I was honest.  X said he had been thinking that he wondered how I did it all, and he concluded that I am Wonder Woman.  K said that he didn’t know how I held up as long as I did and that I’m superhero strong and a real lioness.  In my weakest moment, two people who I care about deeply said something about me being so strong.  I felt so vulnerable and so broken.  I cried even more then, but it helped to realize that people who actually know me see me as a strong person, and that it was OK that I was sad.

I think what happened, or what is happening, is that life has calmed down.  I’m no longer running on adrenaline, putting metaphorical fires out, bouncing from one stressful life event to the next.  I don’t have constant conflict in my life.  I’m not busy like I was a couple months ago.  I’ve had sufficient, and even abundant, down-time lately.  Dealing with the stresses in my life, on top of parenting my children, maintaining my career, boyfriends, friendships, and family obligations has been overwhelming the past months, and I was just operating on autopilot, because I didn’t have the luxury of taking time to process.  I think my subconscious decided that now that I have time, it was OK for me to feel all the feelings.  All those feelings came out all at once last night.  I broke.

This is all OK. Actually normal.  Of course I couldn’t hold it all together.  Who could?  

My friend, the one who came for my birthday, when I posted about my crying in a group we are in together with four of our mutual friends, said: “ It’s normal to feel some sadness. While there are some great things happening in your life, there is also some not so great things happening in your life. Sometimes it’s great to have a good cry.”

Rock reforms with the pressure of water.  Water carves canyons and creates beautiful creations simply by running over it.  I’m hoping that’s what my tears are doing, helping me reform and create something beautiful.