When we choose, and note I use the word choose, to live a life that is not the same as our upbringing, that is not the same as what society deems as normal, we choose a path less travelled, actually it is usually all new territory. It is not easy when you do not have a baseline, just this nebulous goal that you are striving for.
Let me take the hiking analogy a step further. When you start out on your hike, you ensure you have all the basics – wet weather gear, hot weather gear, insect repellent, comfortable sturdy shoes, good socks, water, snacks, map and your stick. Everything is lightweight and neatly stored for easy access. There is a starting point and a clear destination, and someone knows what you are up to and where you should be and roughly at what time.
When you start out in polyamory, there are few resources. There are some books (and I sincerely recommend The Ethical Slut for some guidance). But there is very little on which to get a good grasp of what you need for this lifestyle. The main issue that when trying to pack for good times and bad times, every single person is different. Therefore, what is good for me could very well be bad for you.
There is no inkling from that first heady encounter as to how long this will last, whether it requires repellent of some description and there sure as hell is no map. Added to that nothing about this lifestyle is lightweight and just when you think you have access, you come up with empty air. Your starting point is some deep seated ache where you know that you need more than that one person as much as you love them. Your end point is some nebulous idea of nirvana where you and your partners all share equally and everyone is in love and content. When you get there is anyone’s guess so no one can really check up on you to make sure you got there on time.
This last week saw us get a new puppy. It triggers all of those “parent” feelings so libido and intimacy get thrown out the window. What I didn’t say was that R’s gf came along for the 9+ hour ride to fetch said puppy. She spent the majority of her day with us and she is a beautiful funny woman. Due to all the lack of sleep etc. R kind of withdrew, we all had a conversation and it went from off to on. Which is awesome because he gets to have someone else fill in some of his empty spots.
Fast forward to the weekend and the lack between us is palpable. We agree to spend some time with each other as we get puppy settled. It did not happen. Instead I fell asleep waiting and he chatted to his gf. This is after we had the conversation of things becoming routine and him getting restless. My deepest fear – that things become so comfortable he will leave to chase the exciting. His deepest fear – that I will stop loving him and toss him out.
Am I hurt? Fuck yes. Do I need to share? Fuck yes. Somewhere in this I need to find the balance. Chasing the shiny versus the routine. I know that I am sometimes unreasonable when I expect someone to follow through and there is an onus on me to ensure that I make it easier to do so. Yet, here I am Monday morning and I am still hurt. Yes, he knows.
This choice is not easy. R is not my only, but he is my one. I get most of what I need emotionally from the connection we share. He grounds my very all over the place nature and I help him explore his world. I don’t want monogamy because I know I am incapable of maintaining it for long periods of time. The choice of openness and honesty is hard. It leaves me raw more often than not.
There are days and times when I wonder if I am too accommodating. That I allow others too much leeway and inevitably get hurt. Yet, I am that person who does try to please. Finding the balance will always be my challenge.
I can say I am not jealous. I am envious though. Hopefully through this territory I will be able to find a path, and help guide others on their journey. We have spoken and probably will do so for a few more days as we find an equilibrium. That end goal is always there shimmering in the distance – this is but a few more steps closer.