Tag Archives: open relationships

Coming Out, College Friend Edition & Blurred Lines

It had been two years since my last catch-up session with a good college friend. She was in town for Christmas, and so we decided to take our friendship offline and back to a Starbucks like the old days. Her mom was sweet enough to watch my son while Clover and I got our caffeine fix, and about an hour into our hang out, I decided to come out to her even though it’s ‘not really relevant right now, since I’m not actually dating anyone,’ and her response was:

“You know I dated a woman for 5 years, in college, right?”

Um, no, I didn’t know that, but A) my instinct (and Keith’s instinct) was right this WHOLE TIME, that she was not totally straight, and B) I reframed and felt so bad that I hadn’t been a better friend at various points, because apparently her relationship with Denise was abusive. And full of shame, and secrecy, because we ALL were involved in the college youth ministry group, and our life was built around church, and a church that appeared ‘liberal’ in so many ways, but same sex gender relationships was definitely not on the table. It was so lovely to connect in this way, and later I told her that I had wished I would have known, because I remember when she decided to stop hanging out with Denise, and how hard it was, and it makes so much more sense now knowing that she was BREAKING UP and not just ENDING A FRIENDSHIP (which is also hard, but in a different way).

So, yay, I’m out to all my college friends, except Laura, who I was probably in love with anyway, and might make things awkward. So, ya know. Another good coming out experience for the record books.

But then, I’m in this weird place. Texting Renee has been boring as fuck lately, because being a mom is not my most interesting feature, and while I’m okay to talk about our kids, I really get tired of hearing a grocery list of things you’re going to do today, like three loads of laundry and dishes. I want to know the thoughts in the head that are beyond that, though I also recognize that in the haze of new baby it can be hard to remember to think about things like the patriarchy, or whatever. And since I got this apology email two months ago from Anne, I’ve just been missing those conversations that tickled my brain and my clit.

So, ten days ago or so, Anne texts me that her ex-husband, and the father of her older teenagers, had died in a car accident. And suddenly we were texting. Not just condolence niceties, but actual texting. Like nothing had ever happened. And then my grandma died, and she was texting me about that. And then I sent her an article on the rising cost of childcare, and she sent me an article about horrible 50’s sex advice, and suddenly…we were texting. A lot. Like old times.

I’ve missed her.

Her long blonde hair, and laughing during sex, and the conversations over text about life AND poetry AND Victorian literature AND education AND etc.

I haven’t missed the horribly juvenile and tumultuous way we ended. Via text. No closure, just ending. And passive aggressive pinning quotes on pinterest. Like we were dumb junior high girls in a girlfight.

So I invited her to coffee tomorrow, since I’m on my way to Portland for my besties’ birthday, and she accepted. And we both said we were nervous. And I feel DUMB, because I feel like I’m going against all my better judgment in wanting an ex back, but my co-worker Bethany said that ‘maybe it’ll be closure at least, if not something new going forward,’ and I can honestly say that in the 4 months not dating her, I’ve given dating an honest shot and been totally bored or not turned on by anyone I’ve been talking to. Despite that tumult, I would honestly like to date her again, with some parameters and lessons learned, perhaps.

Any advice? This whole game of romance is so fraught with emotions, and dating a woman is so different than dating a guy. I feel like the complicated emotions and different communication style had contributed to our breakup. And I don’t want to rush into something that is in a constant state of emotional upheavel, but there’s this big part of me that misses all the really good things. Anyone been here, done that? Dating an ex? Closure? Reconnecting? Having to tell people you really want to get back together with someone you’ve been bitching about for four months even though you know you’ve still liked them this whole time?

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Tarot for Moving On

I was struggling this past weekend. I had written Anne a letter, not trying to rehash details, but to cauterize some of the jagged edges I felt from how we had ended. And when she responded in like, which brought up a lot of unfinished feelings inside myself. Because I see myself as a very straightforward person, it’s hard to hear that she said “I think you were more serious than me,” when in fact, she was the one who had a few months ago asked “are you taking a girlfriend application?” I feel like the confusion of her personal life was spilling over into dating me, and it was especially painful to read, “I give 99.9% of myself in all my other relationships and at work, and I need someone who will be my oasis.” As someone who doesn’t really do drama, but will call out miscommunication, that hurt, and I haven’t responded. I wasn’t the self-proclaimed ‘Disney princess, hopeless romantic,’ that she was, and I certainly do not want to be relegated to the point of doormat oasis. I don’t ask a lot from relationships, but what I do ask is to be present with me and work through communication issues as they arise. 

So naturally, after hours and hours of processing with my sister/good friends/Keith, I consulted an online tarot reading. Because fun and harmless. 

Past

The Past position in the reading refers to recent events and challenges that just took place, things that lead up to the present situation, and your role in them.

Six of Swords
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The Six of Swords represents a retreat that you took. You were dealing with heavy stress, signified by the choppy water behind the boat. This card can also indicate that you felt “haunted” by someone or something, and you sought closure. You left the situation behind, and set forth for the calmness of still waters. You learned to balance your mental state, evidenced by the swords that do not fall though the boat is in motion. You were the protector in the situation. Your loved ones relied on you to carry them away from troubled waters. You didn’t let them down.

Present

The Present position in the reading represents what is happening right now. Typically, this is what triggers you to seek out a reading. This card can often help you to understand what steps to take next.

Two of Cups
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Love and deep friendship are suggested by the Two of Cups. You may be in the process of entering into a fulfilling love relationship. This union is based on passion and strength, symbolized by the lion, and a healthy attitude, suggested by the Caduceus, or wand of medicine. The man and woman facing each other, staring into one another’s eyes, suggest the deeper sense of understanding that exists between them. You are probably feeling understanding with this person that you have felt with few others. Perhaps marriage is on the way.

Future

The Future position in teh reading describes what is just around the corner. It’s an official “heads up” about where the situation is heading and how you may navigate through it towards the best possible outcome.

Page of Pentacles
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Frequently, the Page refers to you, or someone of either sex who will strongly influence your life in the situation, and tends to be young or have a youthful semblance. In this card, the Page’s garments of brown and green demonstrate his connection to the earth. He gazes at his pentacle with pride and reverence; he does not take what he has for granted because he has worked so hard to earn it, and he knows he deserves what he has. He is the student, mezmerized by each mystery his studies reveal. The pay-off will matter very little to this person: he will do what he loves to do. His success will stem from his passion for his chosen field.

 

It didn’t solve everything, but it did leave me with a sense of groundedness. That it wasn’t ‘all my fault’ that the relationship ended (which was what my monkey mind was telling me), and that while the future is uncertain, it’s not a dreadful gloomy place. I learned so much about myself, letting myself open up to the possibilities, and am now free to pursue more relationships that make me happy (and are hopefully low drama? Does that exist with women?). Today I’m feeling in a calmly grounded place, and that is nice. 

Summer Lovin’ Happened so Fast

Sometimes I find myself so enraptured in life, not even trying to mindfully live and experience it all, that I don’t take the time to sit down and get it all out. Channel the energy of the moment into words on paper. And then the moments are gone, because life is a series of moments strung together, and writing about the past, for me, is sometimes difficult because the feeling in the moment has passed.

So there I am, having not written about what it was like to lay in her arms laughing after we had sex for the first time. I didn’t try and describe what it was like to taste her, my first woman, or how she moaned in delight saying I had a magic touch. I didn’t write about the sunshine streaming in the bedroom window, or how romantic I felt in buying her a handmade gift off Etsy. Instead of writing, I was living, experiencing, loving (with a little l, not the big L).

And just like that, it’s over.

A new moment. A new feeling. A new blog entry, with the gap of time between the beginning and the end. A first chapter and a last but no middle.

The reason we ended was silly, trite, frustrating for someone like me that values conflict as a refining process toward creating a shiny diamond of relationship. Miscommunication, perhaps fear on her end, and a breakup in the middle of an argument over…toast.

Though, in the words of a shitty therapist I fired a few years ago, “it’s not about the fucking laundry toast.” Somehow the smallness of a conflict over a text message was really a symptom of something bigger. We both behaved like 8th grade girls and I’m embarrassed about my part in the ending. 

And yet, this Wise part of my soul knows the freedom I now have is what is best. I fell into a relationship with Anne, and now, with my foray into OK Cupid (like, actually messaging people), I feel like I am being more intentional. Really examining who I want to be in an open relationship and what I’m looking for in a potential partner. 

In a sappy final breakup text, sent a day or two after the fact, as I wanted to round some of the sharp edges we had left off with. In tribute to how we both enjoyed Emily Dickinson, I sent her this:

THAT is solemn we have ended-
 Be it but a play,
Or a glee among the garrets,
Or a holiday,

Or a leaving home; or later,
Parting with a world,
We have understood for better, 
Still it be unfurled.

Mimosa Mondays

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My lady love and I have a relaxed summer schedule, since we both work in the education field. So we’ve dubbed our Monday hangouts “Mimosa Mondays,” because…mimosas. Mmm. I can’t believe that a mere few weeks ago I was an emotionally distraught mess thinking that maybe I should go guns blazing into the world of OK Cupid to soothe my hurt little fledgling bisexual/lesbian pride. Because now? Um…amazing.

The conversation is so good. We can spend five hours talking and it feels like five minutes. We text a lot and I find myself mentally and emotionally stimulated. And the sex? Well, I’m no longer a lady virgin, ya’ll, and I’m loving every second in the lesbian pool. Mmm.

So we hang out, on Mondays, drinking mimosas and writing and reading books and snuggling on the couch and having sex. And it feels really nice. We’ve also started attending this online creative writing group that goes for the next few weeks, and I’m excited to connect with her in this way. Makes me feel closer to her already.

How Cake Didn’t Help Me Feel Better

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I’d been waiting a week for a repeat of our Saturday night goodtimes (which I have yet to blog about. Sigh). At any rate, the day sorta came…and went…and despite having bought Anne flowers and a chocolate cake to celebrate the end of the year and her graduating top of her class with a diversity certificate, I ended up watching too many cartoons on TV with my child and husband. And then I fell asleep in my kid’s room while doing his bedtime routine.

All of this after eating half a Trader Joe’s flourless chocolate cake…by myself.

Because, see, I had let myself get my hopes up. It’s something my mom told me NOT to do as a kid, rather than just teaching me how to deal with crushing disappointment. I don’t like to show how sensitive I really am, so I build up a shit-ton of walls to put on this swag that gives an impression that I am cool and unflinching in the face of disappointment. But, I gotta be honest, when Anne texted that she had to cancel our date, I was pretty fucking bummed.

The rational part of my brain kicked into gear, though, of course. I mean, her little sister had driven up from Oregon to fucking surprise her on Friday for her graduation. Out of town family TOTALLY trumps finger-banging your not-yet-girlfriend in a Saturday night date. I would have done the same thing. Especially since her sister doesn’t know about me. And it was partially my fault. Because Friday night she had invited me to this awesome end-of-the-year party thrown by her “wild friends,” and I had said no, earlier in the week, because I’m not yet ready to go to a party where I’ll stumble home at 5am drunk or stoned off my ass. With a toddler, that sort of shenanigans doesn’t fly unless I’ve pre-pre-pre arranged it. And it’d be better if I was just gone for the weekend than coming home.

So I had the opportunity to see her, and had to say no. And she got blindsided by her sister surprising her and had to cancel our date. I’ll survive. We’ll survive. But in the meantime, with my period just starting and being ‘stood up’ (or…cancelled on? rescheduled on?) I ended up eating half a cake and drinking a beer. Which made me feel barfy and chubby and probably why I fell asleep relatively early.

I hate that newness in relationships, where a one time change in plans can cause the emotional upheavel. I feel like a junior higher again.

My Opinion on Sexting

I came across this article about sexting this week, and it made me think about my own relationship to electronic flirting. While there may be a lot of hullaballoo about “kids these days,” sexting up a storm, I’d have to say I’ve been doing it forever, at least since CompUServe and AOL dial up, and some of the memories are downright hilarious.

My girl friends and I would jump online and pretend to be people we weren’t. Namely, we’d end up sexy talking some (probably equally geeky younger guys, or maybe creepy middle age men) with fun names like Romy & Michelle. Yeah, we were SO clever. I think once I pretended to be Kari Strug (yeah, the famous Olympian) to get some sexy talk going. Not sure who would have believed any of that, but if it was today the Catfish crew would sure to arrive on my doorstep!

In my conservative Christian college days, I kept the sexting under wraps (mostly due to no options, really), but once I was graduated it ramped up again with my long-distance much-older boyfriend. I love pictures. I love words. It seems I was built for sexty texting!

And now that I’m in a newish relationship with Anne, I enjoy sending her sext messages in a different way I enjoy sexting with Keith. The same picture can spark a very different conversation between lovers. And that’s what’s fun about the the whole adventure!

So I was surprised, when reading through the article’s roundtable, that there were some who were so…shy? awkward? uncomfortable with the whole idea of sexting. While I can relate, in that I wouldn’t sext someone who I wasn’t 100% sure was interested in it, the whole act is fun and flirty and without much repercussions if you trust the person on the other end (perhaps I’m naive to the uprising of revenge porn).

Bloggy world, what’s your relationship with sexting? Love it? Hate it?

My Solo Ladydate

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Pre-date: nervously stuffing tortilla chips into my face while simultaneously trying to get my wavy/curly hair to stop doing that thing that makes me look unkempt/unshowered/homeless-or-on-drugs and texting with Keith about how nervous I was for the night. His advice: it’s like dinner with Mari (my platonic bff), and don’t worry about ‘the kiss’ until after dinner.

That was good advice.

Though hard, when you’re sitting across from such a pretty lady.

Dinner: we were both early. I figured that would happen, since we’ve talked about how how we worry about being late places. She stood out front of the restaurant, and we hugged and went in, and waited for our table, and caught up and it was so…

easy.

I mean, seriously easy. The conversation flowed, and flowed. She asked questions. I asked questions. We started conversations and then got sidetracked down rabbit trails and have yet to answer some of those questions fully, but I don’t feel that panicky shit-I-should-have-said-that-in-order-to-convince-her-to-like-me-more feeling. It was relaxed. Comfortable. Like we’ve known each other 100 years.

After dinner: we took a walk along the marina in the sunset. We wanted to hold hands but didn’t. Were we nervous? I think so. I wanted to kiss her all night. And as we sat on the bench looking out over the water, people watching, and talking about life. She said she wanted to kiss me on the bench while we were sitting there, but she felt shy. And I felt shy. And then it got cold, and we walked back to our cars, and then I kissed her.

Before I kissed her, I said “i’m feeling like an awkward 15 year old boy, and I want to kiss you,” and she was so short and soft and smelled so nice. It was so different than kissing Keith, and different than all the drunk makeouts from my younger years.

And then we talked some more.

And kissed some more.

And a little more talking.

And kissing.

And finally it was too late, and she had to go home, so I put her in her car and we both headed our separate ways.

I have so many more thoughts about how the whole date, but today I’m just feeling quietly happy.

 

FetLife? Or where to find other supportive peeps…

This week Keith told me that he had joined FetLife, to try and gain some advice from other people “in our situation.” I had heard of FetLife through OffbeatHome, in one of their posts that suggested the supportive environment for people of all kinky walks of life, including polyamory. While I’m not typically drawn to online forums (with the exception of one that I moderate, lol), I decided to give it a try and see if I could find anything useful (or anyone cool to provide advice) in our area.

Um. . .

I feel like I should have stuck with blogging. And reading books off Amazon. Because I don’t know about you, but the website navigation is terrible. And because of their security (which I appreciate) policy, you can’t just search for people in your area. You sorta have to stumble upon them, and with over 21,000 people listed in the Seattle area, and no discernible way to connect without reading hundreds of profiles or joining random groups, I got internet social-anxiety and left. Not to mention, I’m not super excited about clicking around and seeing surprise dicks in my face. Yes, I know, it’s a kink website, what was I expecting?

Lots of dicks, tho.

Keith agreed, though he has managed to connect with a couple and has a good vibe going with them, getting some questions answered, and building a friendship (they’re not looking for more boyfriends, and neither is Keith). But when we chatted about it, he too felt it was hard to engage with the material because clearly there’s a lot, but navigating is hard. And I have no idea what to even classify myself with all the titles they have going on over there.

So my question to ya’ll is, how do you go about connecting with other like-minded people? I know about munches, and maybe someday we’ll go out in person and socialize outside our little budding poly experiment?, but for now I’m inclined to simply meet and chat online. I’m not really into kinky, at least I don’t think I am (I would know, right?), and so that part of the website doesn’t necessarily fit. I’m fine with meeting kinky people, but preferably would like to meet other people who’ve turned monogamy into successful polyamory. Ya know?

Dating is about more than the good times…

I’m incredibly bummed.

Yesterday I had a wickedly amazing texting conversation with Anne, about life, and family, and school, and looking forward to our date on Friday. And she wanted advice on contacting her instructors about a possible schedule conflict for class, because she learned her grandma wasn’t doing well and she wanted to fly there to say goodbye one last time. We were really connected, and it was sweet to share bits of our life together, and I started getting really excited to hang out with her again in person in just a few days.

But this morning I got a text, at 6am, that she was on a plane already heading ‘home,’ because her grandma had passed away. And in the second sentence she said she would have to cancel our date. The thoughtfulness of telling me that in the middle of her sad time put a lump in my throat. While I’m bummed we’ll have to push back our hangout time, I have this quiet confidence that she’ll be in my life for a long time, and what’s one or two more weeks in the grand scheme of things?

And it really put into perspective for me, that dating isn’t just about the good times. It’s not just about the sexy thoughts and the romance of first dates and wine and making out under the stars. It’s about real moments, like sharing childhood memories, and dealing with deaths in the family, and experiencing conflict or hurts, too.

Keitht’s reaction was sweet, when he texted me, “is it weird that I’m sad my wife doesn’t get to go on a date with her girlfriend this week?” and I knew how he felt. Because if Jen were to have something happen where she couldn’t make their date next week, I’d be bummed for him, too. And it sparked a great conversation betweent he two of us, about jealousies and potential jealousies, and the care we have in wanting each other to be happy with our other partners.

I think relationships can be messy, not just because of hurt feelings and conflict, but because life is full of really beautiful and hard experiences that we get to share with each other.

My Experience Coming Out (Part 5)

I have a bestie, Ruth, who I’ve known since college. We’ve talked every day on the phone for the past NINE years, and that’s saying a lot because I HATE THE PHONE! She’s seen me through amazing and hard times. She’s seen me go from fundamentalist Christian, to practicing Agnostic, and has loved me through every phase in between. She had read my recent coming-out-as-NotStraight article, and so she has been aware of my sexuality for a bit. And honestly, she wasn’t surprised at all. And she was supportive in every way possible.

So I knew that telling her about Anne wasn’t going to be an issue, but since she lived 300 miles away from me, our relationship is reduced to stealing phonecalls whilst driving home from work. Or, in this case, home from her dad’s wedding. It was a long car trip she had, and I was a part of the passing-of-the-miles. I find phonecalls to be awkward for sensitive subjects that haven’t had a segue, but I needed to just confess, so after I listened to her experience at the wedding, I just launched into my coming out speech. And, of course, her response was amazing, like I knew it would be!

We talked about sexuality, and polyamory, and how straight-as-a-board she is, and how she wished Keith and I well in our venture. And since then has followed up in a non-forced way, letting me gush about Anne’s love of literature, and even crack the joke that she’s basically a bisexual Ruth (something my friend Mari might feel uncomfortable about me saying).

I’m now out to all the people closest to me, and it feels really good. I’m waiting on second date, and now that I’m home from my weekend trip to Vegas, I can schedule something with her. But our texting relationship is going really well! I am excited to hopefully someday soon introduce her to Ruth, so she can see just how cool she really is!