Tag Archives: relationships

Mindful Choice

Keith’s recent FriendZone came back to him, asking for things to ‘go back to how they were,’ and while I encouraged not rushing quickly into deciding one way or the other (because simply acting out of hurt isn’t good). So he hung out with FriendZone, and realized that the friendzone is right where they should be right now. And he was able to articulate that to her in a (hopefully) non hurtful way.

And as he and I processed through the last 8 whirlwind months in this whole openness thing, he was able to be insightful about many things that I appreciated. Namely, he saw FriendZone as a friend/co-worker who was cute and he was attracted to her sexually. But as their relationship progressed he realized that, much like many patterns with women in his life, he was giving much more than he was receiving. He was this girl’s emotional stability, the counselor she turned to at 2 am when she needed a shoulder to cry on, and while he enjoys that role in a relationship, he would like something that fulfills him in an equal way, and that is not in the amount of BJ’s he’s receiving. He was able to say that he was infatuated with the NRE and the simple newness of being ‘open’ that he went for the first fish on the line thinking ‘maybe Polly will want this closed soon, better jump!’ or ‘maybe this is the only one I could get to relate to me, I better just go for it.’

When she friendzoned him, it gave him pause and time over the past two months, to provide that emotional support without the sexual reciprocation. Initially I was surprised, but as he talked more about his desires, his patterns, how he’s enjoyed talking to people on OKCupid who are seeking non-monogamy and have a similar worldview as the two of us, it made perfect sense. No harm no foul in this whole experiment of living life to our open fullest.

And that’s what I appreciate most about our journey. He didn’t just start going to seedy bars to get his bang on. He’s been the mindful thoughtful guy I’ve known our whole relationship. Today as I laid intertwined with Anne and we were talking about our orientations, and how I believe that my husband is at heart polyamorous, she said, “I could see that. I could see him having 6 wives. And giving each one 100%. Treating each one with the individual respect and love that they need. And sure jealousies would come up, but not because he would be comparing you to someone else.” Because his personality is bent toward being relational, sex included.

And that summed it up for me. And to have my sweetness able to already see that about Keith, who she’s only met a handful of times, made my heart happy. Sunshine in Seattle happy.

Defining the Relationship…

In casual texting conversation today, Anne referred to me as her girlfriend. She was bragging about a test she had done okay on (and way better than the rest of the class) and was really happy that all her hard work despite burnout had payed off, and she said:

“It’s a good thing my girlfriend is a counselor because…”

And I think I stopped reading at that sentence because my head was spinning. I feel like a 14 year old girl with her first crush. I mean, whoa.

And yet.

Um.

Whoa.

Girlfriend seems like a too-good-to-be-true title for the mere 2 months I’ve known her. It feels important, regal, but also like…responsibility, and to just not fuck this shit up, you know? Because I’m not looking to break hearts, but this is also all so…new…and I sometimes catch myself during the day being like ‘oh yeah, you’re not monogamous, you’re not straight, you have a girlfriend.’ Gulp. Am I open to the task? Can I be trusted with another heart when I’m sometimes not the nicest person in the world? Am I ready to settle down?

Whoa Polly, you might be saying (don’t you hate it when bloggers just ASSUME what you might be saying or thinking as you read along? I sure do…) to take a breath, slow down, it’s not THAT BIG OF A DEAL. But yeah, it sorta is. Because like, sure we’ve talked about how we’ll probably date for 20 years or so (not just something I think, but other people in my life see our connection and roll their eyes and say ‘um, yeah, you’re gonna be that old couple still in love and talking about Victorian literature), so it’s not just a woo woo 14 year old “ohmegherd let’s get married!” to the other freshman kid in class…but still…dating…titles…it’s all so…serious!

It brings me to this whole conversation I had yesterday over on the post What’s In a Name where we were looking at how language shapes feelings and things like ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ can cause hurt feelings. And Anne is in a sexless platonic marriage set up for her to have a girlfriend as her ‘primary’ (only?) sexual partner. And I’m in long-time monogamous but now a budding polyamorous marriage where my husband has been the ‘primary’ emotional and sexual partner. And so while our goals for staying married to men and having a girlfriend are the same, I can’t help but wonder if our need or desires for what each other can fulfill is the same? And after two solid in-person dates, and texting and sexting multiple times a day, I’m still not sure I’m ready yet to call her my girlfriend.

So the convoluted…am I her girlfriend? Do I want to be her girlfriend (yes!) but am I ready right now (yes? maybe? what does it even meeeeaaaaan?!) Can I be her girlfriend but not have her be my girlfriend, yet? questions linger in my mind.

And then…what does being a girlfriend mean…for her…for me? Does it mean monogamy? Will I have the same level of communication with her that I do with husband Keith? What if I kiss another girl, or guy, is it cheating? What if she wants monogamy and I am just not sure yet but don’t want to lose her because she’s so damn awesome?

So many thoughts. So many feelings. So much advice is needed…

But girlfriend. That felt pretty good overall. Despite the mini-existential crisis I’m having in blogoworld…

 

 

Friendzoned

After three months of dating Jen, Keith got the friendzone talk the other night. And I am surprised at how bummed I feel, for him, AND for me, though I have never even met this woman. I felt my husband’s pain, as he had just begun to navigate the tricky waters of dating again, and was really beginning to find a groove with communication, honesty, and time management. And opening himself up to someone who’s not his wife, after 8 years of monogamy.

We knew it was inevitable. We you tangle with someone who is only really interested in monogamy for their lifelong journey, though is okay with being the other in an open non-monogamous relationship, you are opening yourself to heartbreak. What I didn’t expect, was how much it would affect me  to see him hurting. How I’d feel processing his feelings about another woman and just how little jealousy, and how much empathy, I feel for him in this whole process.

 

How I’m Planning to Spend the Night of My Husband’s First Date

Tomorrow Keith ventures out on his first official date with the lovely Jen. Sure he’s hung out with her in person before, but while they were tentatively re-establishing a friendship and before she felt that the open marriage ‘situation’ was totally legit. And so tomorrow’s the day, where they meet up for some beers at the pub before the soccer match and then head on out to the stadium. I have no idea what to expect as far as what might happen at the game, and think he’s being cautious since we’ve had season tickets for several years, knowing all the people who sit around us, as well as knowing his sister’s in attendance at the game, too. In my mind they’ll appear like platonic friends (which he often brings to the game instead of me) and that the making out, or physicality will happen in the privacy of alleys or bathroom stalls or the backseat of his car…

At any rate, I haven’t given much thought to the imaginings of what will go on, knowing he’ll give me the update when he’s home. I’m excited for him, and am having  hard time explaining that feeling to friends who know of our situation, and a hard time not telling those who don’t. But at risk of sitting at home and suddenly freaking out I thought that it’d be good to spend some time with a friend. So I’ve scheduled a mama/son and friend happy hour date at the local family friendly brewery. I figure that doing something fun and social with a good friend will help me if I have any of the poor me I am stuck at boring home being a mommy while he gets to have fun feelings come up. Because those feelings surface when I get into that parenting-is-fucking-hard and we have to go tit-for-tat in time away. I don’t think it’ll be a concern about him necking another woman, more that he’s not here parenting when my kid refuses anything but chocolate chips or wants to watch 53 episodes of Curious George 🙂

It feels like tomorrow is the crossing of a threshold, entering a way of being in our openness experiment, and I’m really excited that he’s we’re getting go through that door, together, even if we are actually apart.

 

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.

I asked a girl out!

Now that I’m back from my Vegas weekend, I have time in my schedule to go on a proper date with Anne. But I am so unskilled in the whole dating department that I was terribly nervous to ask her out. I mean, it seemed pretty apparent that we’ve been on the same page since the beginning, and she certainly seems interested in going on a date with me, but until I asked, I couldn’t know for sure. 

It’s interesting the thought process I’m going through now that I’m out. Because growing up I had certain rules in my mind for how men and women should interact as far as dating. Every experience of me going outside the gender norm (and asking a guy out) had been met with resistance or outright rudeness. And so those experiences reinforced the value that my church had taught, that guys were supposed to initiate and girls were supposed to basically wait around until a guy took some interest. 

But with girls…how does it work? Does asking her out make me too forward? Would anything happen if both of us was waiting for it to happen but to shy or awkward or nervous to say anything about it? I know what I’m feeling is reciprocated, so I just decided to take the plunge. Since she’s busy with school, and work, and kids, and her own life, I put it in her court saying in the course of a texting conversation, “I want to take you on a date,” and asked if she was free sometime this weekend. She suggested Friday night, and so I said I’d plan something. 

Keith thought it was cute that I was researching date options, and said, “oooh, Ms. romantic,” when I suggested this fancy restuarant on a marina that has a great happy hour dinner for really cheap (comparably). I love that he’s sweetly teasing me about it, because with him I am not as lovey-dovey romantic in nature. I find that I enjoy practical romance, like when he got me a really cool new book for our anniversary, rather than flowers. So he thought it was cute that I was planning such a stereotypically romantic date night for my girl. 

Today she asked me where I was taking her, and somehow she hasn’t ever been to this restaurant! I’m actually really surprised because it’s a local favorite for many people, and it makes me happy that I’ll get to show her that experience! But ya’ll, I’m super nervous…I’ve never been on a date by myself with a woman. Sure I go out with my girl friends, but there’s never been that sexual chemistry piece I’ve had to wade through. Though I know that’s reciprocal, too, as she asked me today if walking along the boardwalk would entail making out 🙂

Sigh. I’m smitten. But I’m rule driven, and have no idea how to navigate a same-sex relationship where there’s no designated ‘guy’ and ‘girl’ roles to fill. I ask her out the first time, will she ask me out the next? Do I pay for the bill? Do we ‘go dutch’? Do I kiss her first or do I wait for her to kiss me? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

But I did it. I asked a girl out on a date. Well, I guess I told her that I wanted to go on a date, and she said she would. So that’s something, right? 

Any advice ya’ll on navigating the new ‘rules’ of dating? 

Getting Poetry from your Lover

While I’ve only gone on one date in person, our texting relationship has blossomed into something really magical. We connect on so many different topics, but especially over our love of literature. She is an elementary teacher, and today she sent me this:

“Each month I teach my class a poem. We recite it every day for the entire month. I picked an Emily Dickinson poem for May in honor of you. It’s one of my favorites.”

SWOON.

I mean, come on! How could a girl not get all twitterpated at that? She then included the poem, which goes a little something like this:

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Yeah, still swooning.

Communication & Connection

 

Oh my Lord, I haven’t felt connected to my husband Keith in such a long time. I don’t know, we’re just in this space where the talks are free flowing and things are seriously GOOD. It feels really lovely, though it’s not exactly easy. Because the ramp up off communication has it’s spark in our newish foray into the world of openness in our marriage. We’ve been talking about feelings and insecurities on how much time we will spend together, or how we feel about our partnerpossibilities that we’ve each been exploring, and how the page sometimes changes and we will need to adjust accordingly.

See, when Keith reached out online to Anne, it was because she was seeking out a threesome with an already established couple. They flirtatiously texted for a few days before he introduced her to me, and then she and I hit it off. We met up last Friday, but I had already been forming a bond with her that began to feel more girlfriend quality than random hookup  or even friends-with-benefits quality. Having never had a girlfriend before, I can’t quite explain why this felt different (because maybe it was just different than I expected it to feel?), but somehow the page went from it being  our couple wanting a threesome initially, to me wanting to date her, make her my girlfriend, and let a threesome happen more ‘naturally’ if the case may be. Because, while I have a really high sex drive, I also move at slower pace in terms of initiating something sexual with her, than Keith would.

Keith was under the impression that she was still game for an experience with the two of us, initially, because he wanted to be in on the vulnerable experience of me really being with a woman. He has known that it’s been part of my identity since the beginning of our relationship, and he felt hurt that he might not get to experience that, and worried that he might feel jealous in the future. But just like how I felt different after he explained that it wasn’t just a ‘guys think two chicks making out are hot’ reason why he wanted to be there while I explored being with a woman, he realized that I was still picking him, us, over a new relationship. But we talked, and talked, and talked, and didn’t have an agenda in trying to convince the other person that I AM RIGHT, it was truly an exercise in sharing vulnerably, allowing our insecurities to be seen, and loving each other through it.

And so, at the end, we are in a really amazing place. I have no jealousy about the ex-coworker he’s sexting and hoping to meet up with her at some point. He feels good about me pursuing a dating relationship with Anne, while maybe keeping the hope alive for a possible threesome in the future when she and I are comfortable with each other, and already established. And ultimately, regardless of what is happening in these budding new relationships, we are still all about each other at the end of the day. This type of relational openness isn’t for the faint at heart. Because talking about feelings and insecurities is exhausting, but oh so worth it at the end of the day.

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