Heartbreak

Break ups don’t get easier. I have gone through many. Some hurt more than others. In this case, a partner of 5 months broke up with me. I was so happy, and so in love with him that he officially became a partner, instead of a boyfriend, quite quickly.

Two weeks ago, we were watching a film, and I spoiled a couple of things, and because he was a bit annoyed about it, I went internal for a bit to process and to calm myself to not spoil any more things. It felt like a good thing to do to sit back for a bit. My phone opened on an article I had left there for later reading. So I read it. It was an everdayfeminism.com article on women’s emotional labour (http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/06/emotional-labor-womens-lives/). As I read it I started crying. It resonated with me so strongly. He leaned over to check in and I requested that we keep watching the film but he insisted on talking to me. And it got a bit muddled and I said that I didn’t think he could relate to this. The next thing I know he has left my house without an explanation.

I wrote him to ask what was going on. He asked me to leave him alone but in my confusion I pushed. He then responded saying we were done. After two weeks of silence, he has confirmed that this is the case and he actually meant his last message to me. He also said he probably doesn’t want to talk about this as he doesn’t see the point.

I feel like I am 15 again. Blaming myself, asking myself what I did wrong. Wondering if or when I could contact him. What the best thing to do was. In the end, his message indicated that there was no right thing to do. He had made up his mind. I love him dearly still and feel like I would beg on my knees to have him back.

But I am 27, and I know that I am not the defining factor here, there are two of us and we both hurt each other. Yes, I made a mistake but I have now apologised. I wanted to talk so I could explain and apologise but he does not want this.  He doesn’t want to talk. I don’t get to know what went on inside his head, he doesn’t want to know what I thought or felt. I could learn a lot from knowing what he felt. I like growing after all. So I will grow by finding my own way of stopping the blaming questions in my head, the regret that forms a lump in my throat and the pain that’s twisting my heart.

 

Luckily enough so many wonderful people and partners are out there, who lovingly support me through this. I can only hope it will be another 5 years before I get dumped like this again.

Safety Net on the rollercoaster

Recently life has been good. Recently life has been not so good. Professionally and privately things are actually really good. Other things out of my control, happening to other people are not so good. The problem is that these bad things are affecting me and I need to protect myself from them.

I am trying to deal with a close one, who is not like they used to be, who is not doing well. This person has made poor choices with unluckily bad consequences which have drained and exhausted their close ones including me. I am hurt. Sadly it was not anything malicious, just something silly that went badly wrong and now I am struggling to handle how it affects me and the others.

Same as a few years ago when a very close friend confused me with his aggression and demands which ended our friendship, I am now again not really knowing how to move on. I will never likely get a genuine apology, an explanation, a gesture that will help me find closure. I need to find my own way to resolve the situation in my own head and heart.

In both situations, I am notable to ask the question: Why? I want to know what went through their minds, or how they feel about what happened once the dust has settled. I worry about my performance as a friend and if I did all I could do. I question my loyalty. I see my self protection as selfishness. I judge myself. I worry about my friends and community judging me.I wonder what more I could have done. The answer is: nothing, without doing harm to myself. I decided to focus on helping those who have given their support. Strengthen the web of mutual help and support.

So many things are wonderful right now, but these unresolved emotions lurk in the back of my mind. I get reminded of what it used to be like to have those people in my life. Because I made so many ties to activities and things to these friends in my mind, the reminders are everywhere.

For you own protection, you sometimes need to cut the ties, although that takes time.

Nice Guy / Bad Boy

We have heard it all: ‘But I am a nice guy!’ Or ‘Why do women want bad boys?’

This post is not about men complaining about this. It is more a thought about how black and white the dating world seems to see this. Having spend more time on OKC, reading profiles and various online dating horror stories, I started to think about my own behaviour in dating as well as a friend.

I am usually busy. In the last few months I added full time work, two new hobbies and a lover. Adding this to my existing partners, friends and other engagements, my schedule is rammed. Reevaluating my priorities and finding ways to split my time in a satisfactory manor is a hard an ongoing process. And then I drop the ball on people. I went on two OKC dates which were fun but I just forgot to respond or chase up and well, now there is silence, which just gets longer and the longer it is the harder it becomes to find the strength to respond, as now you need to apologise for the delay in responding. I might now be considered a bitch, or a ‘bad date’ or just anything negative really as I failed to communicate to these people that I am to busy to really date them. Ironically I have failed to communicate that I am too busy, because I am so busy. I have hurt people and been mean to them without meaning to do so. I still consider myself ‘nice’.

With most of our communication, including planning being done in writing, the main thing getting lost is tone. Is this short digital message really meant the way it sounds in my head? Will the person think I am rude? Do I sound too pressuring? Add to this that our communication about emotions and intentions in real life can be stifled, delayed or just inexistent. Honesty can be very scary. Silence is often easier then finding a way of letting someone down. Facing the pain you might cause is hard, just vanishing is easier, right?

So people go silent, feelings get hurt and Boom someone is a bad boy or a bitch. There are so many variables that influence someones behaviour. We like to find malicious intent where there might only have been carelessness or even fear. In cases like the ‘I am a nice guy, women only want bad boys’ trope, could it be that we want to see these bad boys/girls as more evil than they are to soothe ourselves or even to justify our own behaviour?

Someone I briefly dated who then became my friend did mention this ‘nice guy’ stuff a few times. I was at the time dating a person who was not really good to me, but who I know never intended to hurt me. My friend saw me suffer and wanted me to be with him, as he was ‘nicer’. We are no longer friends because in the end he was actually malicious to me. So who is really the ‘nice guy’?

It should really be kind not ‘nice’.  It would be kind to show understanding and forgiveness. It would be kind to be honest and respectful. It would be kind if dating would be easier 😉

 

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

 

 

I have a confession to make

Over the years, growing more into polyamory, being intimate on various levels with many different people, I have finally come to terms with one thing: I am not a cuddler.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hugs. I love hugging people as a greeting, as a lovely intimate moment of connection. I love feeling the persons heartbeat against my body, breathing in and out together, feeling the comfort. they-do-love-to-cuddle-imgurBut cuddles? That is a tricky area for me. I like to cuddle for a few minutes at a time, maybe only 30 seconds. I don’t like skin on skin, as it gets sticky and sweaty really quickly. Also often my shoulder ends up hurting if I lie on it weirdly trying to snuggle someone. A little here and there is good but I always felt that the message about cuddles is : ‘More is always better’ or ‘There can never be enough’ cuddles or ‘Cuddles always help’. Cuddle piles and ‘Send cuddles’ status updates seem so lovely, but for me it doesn’t sit right.As it is a huge part of the loving poly community, I thought for a long time I needed to love cuddles as much as everyone else seems to. There was cuddle pressure. I have recently admitted to myself that this is not on my ‘likes’ list. I put the pressure on myself. The loving poly community loves me as I am, cuddles or no cuddles.

Love hugs, love kisses, don’t like cuddling. Limited Cuddle Time available – Book now. Or something.

I feel like a cat – independent and stroppy. I want a bit of petting now and when I have had enough I will scratch you and wander off. And this is in no way a judgement or grumble at people who love cuddling. Please go forth and enjoy all the cuddles! 🙂

 

I don’t really know why I wrote this post – Random Post Achievement Unlocked!

 

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

You have more than I do!

‘But you have more partners than me!’

Ever encountered that? Or this one ‘You have multiple partners, you have nothing to complain about!’ ?

Since actively being poly, I have been confronted with all sorts of reactions to this lifestyle. Often when someone finds out it goes like this: ‘Do they know about each other?’ or ‘Well I could never share my partner.’ These are the kinds of replies that come from non poly people. Being called out on having multiple partners ‘and I have less’ kind of way, has mostly come from other poly people. A once dear friends didn’t want to talk to me about my unmet needs because I had two relationships and he had none. I couldn’t need more than two loving boyfriends when he didn’t even have so much as casual partners. How dare I complain?

That hurt. I was confused, because to me everyone’s problems always mattered. Yes, I might have two relationships that fill me with love and care but that doesn’t necessarily fix other needs I have unmet by both partners. So is this a less relevant problem than my friend being frustrated about being single? Didn’t we both want someone to fulfil a need? And does it even matter if our problems were both exactly the same? He was unhappy and so was I. I couldn’t experience how he felt, after all I am not in his mind but I could see his pain. This pain my friend was in that I wanted to help fix.

rule10_final-Conflict-1024x810

I have now come to despise those kind of phrases. I do have multiple partners, but it takes a lot of effort to gain and maintain these relationships. I also have certain privileges that others don’t. I often find myself very grateful for these privileges but I feel crap about them when somebody tells me ‘You live with your partner and I don’t.’ It is even worse when somebody uses it not only as a comparison but in a way that could apply pressure: ‘You have more partners than me, share!’

It can be difficult to be around people who seem to have more. On a particularly low day, I see something I wanted, and my friend has it, so now I want it too, really bad. I get reminded of how much I need this thing. It hurts that I don’t have it and compersion become the most difficult thing. Being happy for your friends for what they have.

We can not always be happy for others. We can be aware of their happiness and know that even if we say something silly or hurtful they will forgive us. If it gets that bad that your friends happiness turns you bitter and angry, then your friendship is in trouble. That is when the lashing out, the seeming lack of support becomes a destructive force, rather than a small easily mended mistake. The strong friendships weather storms. In my case, as always with open and honest communication. This case here though, of these sentences about having more, I understand where they come from so I don’t always need to discuss them. Unfortunately that does not mean the hurt cause by the sentence is erased.

Love and Be Loved

ThePolyOrange

First contact

New Year, New Adventures, New Problems, New Experiences, New Opportunities.

My first big adventure this year was a trip to Germany to commemorate a friend. It was a weekend of Goodbye’s but also Welcome’s. For the first few nights I was staying with a man I had met shortly after I got together with the German back over 2 years ago. We seemed to always like each other but for various reasons we were never able to spend much time together. Well this weekend we did, and it was lovely. Due to the reasons for my trip, my mood was complex and we failed to connect quite as intimately as we’d hoped.

Thursday evening was filled with hours of chatting to each other about life, love and lust. It can be incredible fun to sit around and discuss each others experiences and expectations. It can also be uncomfortable, not necessarily awkward but individually, internally it can sting. Someone you are really into shares details of their sexuality with you. A lot of it sounds delicious but some things raise worries about incompatibility. Sexual preferences, kinky practices that the other finds essential, you do not. Does this mean you will clash? Does it mean an intimate encounter will be unsatisfying for both of you? Is this all already doomed?Frist Contact

On that evening, while talking about many things, we were not open about these kind of concerns. As the weekend progressed, my mind got heavier and I wasn’t feeling intimate anymore. A lot more talking happened, around how tricky sexual encounters can be, and how it would just be easier to communicate during. We both felt how social conventions were restricting sexuality with ridiculous concepts of how it all should be. Obvious example: heterosexual sex is penis in vagina with simultaneous orgasms. This is a man who understands, and is capable of the importance of honest and clear communication. He also, in his very own way, rejects social conventions and insists on being individual and adaptable (if he wasn’t at least a little like this, I doubt would like him for anything more than his looks).

When dating, sharing experiences and desires can be very titillating. There is a risk of reducing excitement, but unless you try out and talk, you are unlikely to find a real answer. More often than not there are ways of adapting preferences and fantasies to make for a satisfying and interesting encounter. As usually with me, the rule is communication (If reading much of my blog, one might have noticed that by now).

Sunday morning there was tensions, we both felt it. I am incredibly grateful for both of us opening up, then and there to each other, to prevent an ending filled with frustration and resent. Primarily we told each other how we felt, and where we were standing. To the happiness of both of us, we agreed. For many reasons, and amazing people, I might have to come back to Germany, yet again!

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

Chemistry Connections

Over the last few months, I have met quite a few new people as well as tried to move closer to some people I already know. Throughout all of this, I felt a lot of different emotions ranging from excitement to fear. I was also very happy at different points.

I was wondering if I had stretched myself too far recently. I was at one point dreading seeing somebody. I felt pressured to be social, and/or sexual. Maybe I should take a step back.

I actually felt pressured about two new people I was seeing. One was for a second date which was set to be at home, and made me quite worried about having to play. The other, I had been seeing for a while but was not as excited about anymore. I felt confused and scared.

At the same time, I had a wonderful first date with someone. The Chemistry was very clear. It was quite overwhelming to feel this way, in the middle of all these other things.  It made me wonder if maybe I was “settling” in a way for the less intense moments due to my pursuit of this strength of chemistry.

The more I analysed these feelings, the more I realised that it wasn’t about all of it being too much, but that it was about each individual person.

I got up the courage to discuss some of these things with the people it concerned, and thanks to their support and honesty, the pressure was lifted.

The intensity of chemistry was something I have desired for a while, but it didn’t directly change my feelings about anyone else. I was worried I would want to discard others because of certain intensities, but I didn’t. It just helped me put things in perspective, but it also gave me the courage to discuss how I felt.

Each relationship with each person felt separate from the others. They are only impacted by each other due to restrictions of time, a day does only have 24hrs. But in general, I learned to look at everyone individually and look at how I felt towards them, allowing me to appreciate them all the more.

Chemistry and Connections are always different, unique, special. Individuals coming together to create something singular, original rare.

 

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

 

 

 

The Intellectual Benefits of Polyamory

Today I had a little epiphany. I found myself watching a pilot episode of a new US series which is build around a white middle aged heterosexual male, who “has it all”, as they say. He feels confined and bland, so he starts to break free of his job but then finds his wife cheating.

This is as far as I got before stopping to write this post. From the description, this revelation does not end in divorce and the story focusses on the couple trying to find a way of dealing with the mundanity of everyday life in the white upper class in the US. Now, while watching this all sorts of words came to mind: white privilege, white heterosexual male etc.

I realised that 5 years ago I wouldn’t have thought about it that way. Since I moved to London I have learned a lot, especially about themes such as feminism, gender equality, genderqueer, ethical non-monogamy, and general politics. Being in a metropolitan city has broadened my horizons and needless to say, I never want to go back to what I would now consider ignorant. I know this sounds judgemental, I mean it about how I see myself back before I moved away from home. I do not mean that people who don’t live in cities with millions of people in it are ignorant.

Now I have thought some about it and most of this knowledge has come to me via my numerous poly friends, lovers and partners. Polyamory, of course has a lot of benefits, but for me personally, I have found a source of unlimited knowledge within the diversity of people around me. Many people are within the same circles and feel strongly about the same things, again feminism, gender equality etc.

Spending time with The Bohemian adds very different characteristics to discussions, as he is more judgemental and cynical, more the way I am, less than many others I know.

Having very different friends can also have this benefit but I feel with the basis of polyamory, the way I gain this knowledge is more personal. The nature of my poly lifestyle brings me to many events filled with beautiful and fascinating people, but it also gives me many very intimate moments, primarily on dates, where I can exchange myself with someone else on a deep and personal level. These are the moments where I not only connect with someone intellectually but I get to embrace their entire personality, their opinions, views but also passions and motivations.

I find polyamory to be a wonderful source of many benefits, and until now I was focused on the emotional ones. I am very happy to also have discovered how it has helped me grow in other areas!

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

What Happens after the First Step – More Dating

So last time I wrote about take the initiative and asking out people I fancied, as well as people I was intimidated by. Today I want to tell you what happened after that.

After breaking the ice, I had a few dates arranged. The Bohemian (my Booty Call) and I are now seeing each other at least once a week. We have also told each other that we like each other and he is very clear about his feelings, especially when he won’t get to see me for a week or so. He seems to like telling me that he misses me, which I find very sweet. But more than that it makes me feel appreciated. Missing people has always been a weird one, more about that in another post.

Then there was someone else, someone really hot, that I just find fascinating. (This is now slipping into my direct social circle, so I will be careful how to express myself) We had arranged an afternoon date, which happened to be the day after an event which was based on these social circles. We met there, and shared a couple of alcohol infused kisses, which was most lovely. I had high hopes for the day after.

We had lunch in a pub, shared a few more kisses, and some actually quite personal facts and stories (I always appreciate it when someone is as open as me). Unfortunately he had to leave and do some work. Now this could be because the date wasn’t going too well, this is what my brain said. Or the far more likely effects of the partying the day before and the need to be a responsible adult, which is what I convinced my brain to say.

I will see him again soon, and I am certain that there is no reason for concern but I was disappointed our date ended so quickly. There will be many occasions to see him again, and if the chemistry is actually not right, it will be absolutely fine.

To be really honest here, it had me self conscious. Why does a date that has been cut short, scratch at my confidence? It ended in a lovely kiss, so why was I doubting myself? Why was I worried about there being a lack of chemistry, or him not fancying me? Silly really, but I guess it ties in with how attractive I think he is, and thus I had high hopes when he agreed to meet up with me. It took me some courage to get out there and make the first move, which has obviously left me more vulnerable than usual. Still it was a lovely afternoon with a lovely man and only time will tell how this connection can develop. And really, how bad would it be if it doesn’t go much further? It certainly shouldn’t make me feel self conscious.

Especially not given what happened recently. Someone who is aware of my blog has send me a very honest message. He asked me out. But not just that, he mentioned he found me intimidating but was also attracted to me and would like to have sex with me. Now that, is a direct approach. It’s funny how I can be very intimidating 😉 I get the feeling I have that affect on more people than admit it, so it means a lot to be when someone is this honest with me. It means even more to me when I have been thinking about sleeping with this person, and I really admire them for various reasons.

So there was something to make me doubt me, and then something to make me feel good about myself. But the thing I find important here, is the same as the last post actually: it all came from taking the risks, it all came from approaching people, it all came from putting myself out there!

And even if these connections, even if these people, or these dates, don’t go exactly the way I was hoping for, it was worth the effort and I am filled with more confidence to keep doing it!

Asking someone out – the all important first step

I used drinking last year as one of my methods to cope with my father’s death, and it ended up causing some social damage, most of which I have been able to repair. When I stopped drinking for a month last October, I realised how reliant my social interactions were on alcohol. I used to go out, have a few and then I wouldn’t think about flirting anymore I would just do it. I would not feel nervous about being intimate with someone and I would be braver about approaches people I fancied.

Currently I do still drink, but a lot less heavily. I go out, and ofter drive to these events, and soon after I find myself under social pressure. I feel like I don’t know how to talk to people anymore or what about and What am I doing here anyway, when I can be at home safe with The Goth? Most of the time, I would still go out and have a good time, I just found it difficult to meet new people and especially to flirt with new people. This is how I have found myself stuck in the world of OKCupid for the last 6 months.

I did however meet a few people I really wanted to go on a date with and meet in a more intimate, one on one setting. For weeks I would meet one of them at an event and then never had the guts to even really flirt. Our conversations were just friendly and I felt that I failed to show my interest in them.

The final thing was that I was looking for someone at an event to ask them out only to realise they had left, and I had sworn to myself I was going to ask him out that night. So I decided, if I can’t seem to do it in person I will use text form and wrote him a few messages online afterwards and eventually asked him out. His response wasn’t too positive so I will leave it hanging in the air for now.

This had left me with rejection but soon after it became clear that I just had to take the risk again and again, otherwise I was never going to know if any of these lovely men wanted to potentially date me. Factor in that for various reasons that I admired these three men that I am talking about here, and admiration usually makes me feel inferior thus I tend to be reluctant to approach, as I feel like I have nothing to offer. So this week I took another plunge and again in text form approached man number 2. He responded with enthusiasm, informed me he was busy this week but how about the next. Result: We arranged a date then and there, with the added bonus that this beautiful man is free during the day, just like me, so maybe we will arrange and afternoon date, which I do prefer as it leaves more options on how to continue if the date goes well.

Man number 3 I haven’t asked out yet. I have taken up contact online and am awaiting a response before I tell him that I find him attractive and would like to have him over for dinner and then maybe some. I feel this man would appreciate a very direct approach. As you might have guesses, I really have no issues with Sex on the first date.

So we shall see how these dates go, but I think being proactive is the way to go here. My risks seem to pay off more or less. I am also sure that my anxiety will fade once I learn how to flirt sober. If I don’t try, nothing will change, right? That is what worked for my grieving process last year, my worries about The Goth starting dating after my experiences with The German, and my shoulder and arm body muscles after getting some dumbells!

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange