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

 

 

Living with the Primary

Since about 6 months, the Goth and I have been living together, just the two of us. Until now we have, with the exception of a month or two, always shared with other housemates.

I was always under the impression that moving in with a partner was such a huge step but I realise now that this idea has mainly been portrayed by the media concerning people who have never shared their living space before, in which case moving in with a partner can be very intense. Everyone in this situation worries about what happens if there is a big fight, if you get sick of each other in such a small space, or if you break up; because moving house sucks and so does sleeping on the couch (if you have one).

But on the other hand, living together is no piece of cake either. It requires a lot of sacrifices and compromises. I find it also needs understanding of each other. I am still baffled by how the Goth can simply not realise that there is an empty bottle or a dirty dish or a wrapper lying around that could be taken to the kitchen, the bin, the recycling. The main thing I have realised is how very different the Goths mind operates to mine. Living together, just the two of us has helped me understand him more which results in being able to respond to him better and communicating more effectively about chores, as well as emotions.

However, given the dynamics of our polyamorous relationship, we do also limit each others dating possibilities by sharing a living space. Understandably, the Goth does not want me to engage in intimate activities with other partners when he is in the flat and I feel the same. Thus we discuss schedule, dates, sleep overs etc in advance to make sure each others boundaries are respected, as well as the needs of our other partners. Given that the first interaction for our schedule is focused on the two of us, I use the word primary to describe him to others. This is something I do like to explain, as I do not wish to rank my partners, as well as I do not wish to be ranked. My priorities for the Goth are primarily logistic, hence the title of this post.

All in all for our relationship it has been very constructive for our general stability and the understanding of each other, which is what has lead me to reflect on this topic.

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

Five Years – the evolution of a relationship

Five years ago the Goth and I had just started dating. If we go back exactly five years, I had broken up with my boyfriend back home to be with the Goth in London as I at the time still believe that loving two people at the same time was unacceptable. The Goth and I had agreed on an open relationship. Although it became clear that he was not very comfortable with this when I had sex with someone back home a few months later. It was just sex, great sex, but that was all there was. Still the Goth struggled to deal with these events.

Six months later I met a lovely man and fell for him. The Goth was very very unhappy about this, however his peaceful nature never made him make a fuss about these occurrences. In the end I pushed the conversation to a break up. The Goth and I were no longer a couple. The end, let’s move onto the new guy. Except that the month that followed was filled with sadness. I just missed him so much. The then new guy and I went to the same club The Goth and I used to go to, and of course he was there. This made both the Goth and I very unhappy.

Thanks to our friends, The Goth and I started negotiating what it would take to be together again. It was at the time, monogamy. The monogamous period of our relationship lasted a bit more than a year, and ended with an unfortunate incident on infidelity on my part. We knew something had to change. I stumbled onto polyamory via the books “The Ethical Slut” and “Opening up”. I started to get really excited about the idea of openly loving more than one person as it seemed to be something that kept happening to me.

The start of us being poly was also long distance. I started dating someone back home and The Goth was happy on his own in London. This particular second relationship didn’t affect our relationship in a negative way. My secondary, at this point, was not made for poly and ended things in a particularly childish and petty manner, the manner of screaming down the phone at me and calling me a slut and a whore, while I was at work. This taught me to find people more experienced with non-monogamy. A few months later I stumbled onto the German, by now we know how that ended. Again lasted for over a year, but ended horribly badly with me bruised and scarred, most of which has healed by now.

Today, five years down the road, The Goth and I feel stronger than ever. We talk calmly and productively about our relationship, our needs and boundaries. 

We went through so many different stages together. When we started out, communication was stifled. He often backed down when I wanted something he wasn’t ok with. Even when I started dating the German, he just didn’t say anything because he wanted me to be happy. It feels like now he wouldn’t put up with the same treatment anymore. 

When we were monogamous our sex life was at it’s worst, my expectations of him were ridiculous for a person like him. I failed to respect who he was and how he deals with things and wanted him to be everything I could possibly want. This is, for me, a main point why I need polyamory. 

Having been together for 5 years means we have grown together, we went from 20 years old to 25 years old together, side by side, even if we weren’t always looking in the same direction and had different goals, our love for each other meant that we still went along the same path somehow. We are currently very happy together, from my point of view more than at any point of over the last 5 years. 

I don’t know how we managed to stay together for that long, and support each other and care for each other but somehow we made it into a really good place and that is the only thing that matters. I can only hope that we can continue this way.

I also now finally understand why there is this idea that the longer a couple has been together the more it means. It is, like Dan Savage says, about commitment. This commitment has laster 5 years and taken us through a lot and it feels wonderful to have been able to experience all of this with the Goth.

 

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

Love: How much does it change you?

When you love you give part of yourself away, you give part of yourself up. Someone else takes up that part. You think about them, how to care for them, how to show them you care, how to make them happy. You think about them when you see something funny that would make them laugh, or something that they would find beautiful or would appreciate.

These thought rarely replace our thought and needs concerning our self. With love for your children it might be different. Some parents expect nothing except they wish for their kids to be happy. Others unfortunately might not love their children like that and expect them to achieve things they failed at themselves, or choose the path that they think is best rather than letting their offspring make up their own minds.

My mother for one seems to be a selflessly loving mother, which I am eternally grateful for. It is only now that I am an adult and can discuss my growing up with her that I see how much she struggled and suffered for me and my dear brother, all only to help us find happiness, preferably long term.

Selfless love is tricky. My mother has mentioned various tough moments in which she didn’t know or couldn’t help us, and it caused her extreme distress. In romantic love, giving your love without expecting something back is difficult for most of us. Some get absorb by love, which often can lead to possessiveness and spawn feelings of jealousy as well as develop into dependency: I can’t live without you. I need you. etc

Others fail to put themselves aside at all and give to the point of exhaustion. This being more my case, I know how it feels when you invest energy, love, care and often money to help someone and make them happy. Luckily enough in my case when this is unrequited I wake up reasonably quickly and don’t suffer for years on end.

Then there are people who fail to include their love into their system. People who, despite actually loving someone intensely at moments, are not capable of giving themselves up every now and then, or often enough, or whatever would be necessary to strike a balance in the relationship. This results in devastating feelings of frustration and guilt on both sides.

The problem here would be, like with most issues concerning the care for each other and the exchange of love in that sense, the different “languages” of love. The way our own self deals with love, giving and receiving. Some like expressing themselves with words or by giving/making gifts, others treasure intimacy or time spend together. The solution is clear: understand your lovers way of expressing themselves, recognize and appreciate it. It is not necessary to change yours as long as you understand theirs.

Love takes up parts of ourselves. It requires change in the sense that being closer to someone requires adapting yourself to the other. Making compromises is key. Unfortunately some people are unable to change their priorities and give anything more of themselves up. Some do learn very slowly, so slowly that you believe your suffering was worth it only to discover that now someone else is suffering because of their lack of growth and selflessness, which you once invested in.

I have heard troubling things recently, related to that last paragraph. They have upset me to the point where I dream of them repeatedly, and recently set someone on fire in one of those dreams. It is new to me that my investment in a person, and my suffering for and because of said person has no positive results whatsoever. I recently also terminated a friendship because it was one sided and all the investment came from my side and the taking from theirs.

I guess I have learned to protect myself from emotional leeches that will bleed me dry. I have also realised that those leeches are unlikely to improve in their maturity and emotional responsibility towards those they cherish.

They might have not grown, but I have, and for now, a year after my father’s death, that is all I need to know.

Love and Be Loved, (unless you are a leech 😉 )

ThePolyOrange

New is Always Better

I like excitement and find more interest in new things to explore. This also goes for people. One of the reasons why I can’t imagine myself ever being monogamous is because I see myself getting bored only being able to be with one person. Just a few years of the same person seems scary, let alone a decade or a lifetime.

Considering divorce and cheating statistics, I get the feeling I am not the only one who feels like this. However there are people who get more excited by someone once they know them better, and who don’t get bored. It appears to be natural to them to find excitement constantly in the same person. I envy this. I would not find myself having lovers slip into the friend zone.

I have wondered where my sexual desire for people comes from. When someone is new to you, you can imagine all the amazing things that could happen between you. Once you get there, this beautiful thing becomes a real person, not a fantasy. Sometimes someone having a strong desire for me can reignite my fire, or seeing them with someone else can. I have found myself stop feeling sexual towards someone because I was monogamous for a while, then going back to being intimate proved incredibly difficult for me.

Recently I have been working on Mindfulness, a sort of meditation technique which I intend to post about once I have explored it more (again something new). It got me thinking about how meditation and intentional thinking can make me find that desire I thought I had lost for someone if I wish to make it surge again. Perhaps by thinking about certain events with this person that were intense, or imagining them when masturbating to bring my sexual energy closer to their presence in my mind, to associate both together again.

I might have to post about this again after I have experimented with it.

Maybe I am not so obsessed with new people as I once thought I was, in my phase where screwing people was more like a sport than an intimate encounter between two beings. I think I can relax about this subject considering I have not gained any more lovers since the summer. However two of my dearest lovers will have to depart soon, which makes room for new people. I can only hope I won’t get carried away 😉

Love and Be Loved

ThePolyOrange

Relationship Dynamics

There are many theories and clichés about the statuses of two people who are in a relationship: the giver and the taker, the reacher and the settler, the dominant and the submissive (not in a bdsm way) etc.

Every relationship is different and every person connects differently with each person. Usually once we start connecting there is a certain dynamic that shapes the relationship. In my case, I often tend to be the nurturing one. This starts early on in the relationship. When I meet someone I quickly care and open my heart to them, and this often encourages the same response.

Being the active and supporting one, what happens if I stop and need to be taken care of? It usually leaves the partner quite stunned and out of their depths. Some

one who is used to being quite passive is probably going to struggle reaching out to their partner in need.

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This happened to me, unfortunately at the worst time. It happened when my partners where falling for someone new which caused a lot of emotional turmoil. Petrifying fear and anger were on my menu almost everyday for months until I finally found a way of communicating properly.

Talking to make your partners aware of what is going on is the most important. The one in need, could give advice on how to help and the helper could admit that they are out of their depth and frightened of doing the wrong thing.

When something life changing happens to a partner, it does not happen to you in the same way. The repercussions will hit and the changes in your partner and their life will affect you too. My partners where not expecting my melt down after my Dad’s death and the way it changed me. Adaptability to your partner seems so tricky. How can one easily take over control and care of the relationship when one’s partner suddenly stops being able to?

I can only envy my mother. She has found a man who stood by her through her alcoholism and two teenage children as well as an ill ex-husband, oh and a pushy family.

It makes me wonder if that strength and willpower comes with age or if it depends on being with the right partner.

The good thing is that with a little communication, and if one can gather up the strength and put aside one’s pride, the support does not have to stop just because the dynamics flipped.

I guess with this post this fits all the more:

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

Advice and how to avoid getting it

We have all given and received advice.  We have all ignored advice.  We also have been frustrated by people ignoring our advice. But have you given up on giving someone advice because the person you are trying to help is refusing to accept any of it? I have been that person recently. With the death of my father, the break-up with the German and the Goths new love, I have been one hell of a mess. And at least two people have tried and given up on giving me advice recently.

Truth is I am a pussy. And by now I should know better than discuss my problems when I am too scared to face the advice I am given. I know how frustratingit is when someone you care about is sobbing and you give them the best advice you got and they turn you down. These people had every right to get annoyed at me. I get annoyed at people drowning in self pity. Its horrible to think that I might become that bad.

The answer is trust. Open up and if thats not what you want, and all you do is whine, shut up. Or at least after 5 mins. You only hurt people that care about you when you confront them with your pain and dont let them in. (Easier said than done, but really guys I am fed up with whining about my fear and pain and bla bla bla, so there some harsh truth)

Now all I can hope for is that those people I annoyed will give me their advice again and this time I will listen to them.
Good advice from good friends should never be disregarded. Trust your friends since they know you and they will want to help you, so let them.

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

The Winds of Change

Things change. That is for sure. May it be for the better or the worse, it happens nevertheless. .Image

Today the German and I broke up. I just could not find a way to integrate him in my life in a positive way anymore. All the contact left between us made me feel drained and angry. I probably dragged it out longer than necessary but I do not like cutting people off. If I shall ever see him again I do not know, what I do know is that for now I can not use him in my life. Maybe the winds of change will blow him back into my life in a better way than he left.

On the Goth front we’ve seen some changes too. As a matter of fact he is now dating, I guess I can call her that, his best friend. I am really happy for the two of them. my only concern is that although I am welcomed to join in to cuddles, kisses and more, past events between me, the German and Violin have left me scared.

This is part of what I wanted to write about today. Identity.

I identify myself as a strong, sexually predatory, independent woman. Well most of what I considered myself to be, I seem to be unable to draw from these days. How much of myself have I lost when I can no longer confidently engage in a threesome with two of the people I cherish and trust the most in my life?

Another part of me feels very puzzled when I look into the mirror. I want to run and hide in the arms of someone new, throw myself into a new love and easy the passing of things.

I met someone new, someone who feels safe and loving and kind but also interesting, intriguing and challenging. Someone I can push my sexual boundaries with without ever feeling like having to perform. This someone shall henceforth be named the Dancing Gentleman.

Seems like it could be just the thing? Well it never is, and I don’t want him to be either. I want him to be exactly who he is, and right now that is a man aware of his issues who does not want to feel responsible for a partner because he wants his focus to remain on himself (to summarize and if I got it right, after all the talking). I hugely respect his self awareness and his way of communicating his boundaries. That does not change the fact that his bed seems the perfect place to hide…

Currently I am back home and actively working to make those winds of change blow in my favour. Distance seems what is on the menu. Distance from an unhealthy love, from an overexcited love (/hormones) and from Work to give me the space needed to get a close-up look at myself

Will I ever be able to go back to who I thought I was? Will this identity I used to have ever fit me again? I don’t believe so. I believe that all the changes, all the suffering and all the joy will help me reevaluate my identity and when it is ready I am sure it will be a perfect fit.

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange

Safe Place

Safety. Comfort. We all want a place like this. It is where we can be ourselves without judgement. A place where we needn’t fear. A place that feels like home.

Some of us have these places all around us. Some call it home, some call it their partner, or many of them. Some found it within themselves. Too many of us, are struggling to have just one.

Feeling emotionally safe is risky business. Trust, oh my, that is not easy to give. I believe that is because it takes time and investment to build up but someone can smash it with the slightest lack of care and it gets harder every time we survive such a hit. If only we could blame them because they did it on purpose, but only the fewest of us are actually malicious and wish to wipe out someone trusting us and hurting them.

It has been three months since my father passed away. The memories have not faded, nor has the pain. Not only the pain of losing my father, but also the destruction of my safe place.

I never thought I needed one. I always had one within myself and created my own home when and where I needed it. But this accident made me realise that I too sometimes needed a place to let go. Over Christmas I desperately tried to keep it all together until I cracked and all of me spilled over my bedroom floor. And then there was someone who helped me mop up the mess.

But as the mess got bigger and my father’s life came to an end, I realised I was abandoned by him. Instead of relieving the pain, it was increased by thoughtless gestures and selfish behaviour.

And after three months I find myself more scared and vulnerable of being close to people than ever before. I am yearning to find a place to let go. My scars tell me not to, they tell me to keep it together and perform the way my environment wants me to; otherwise there will be even greater loss.

I lost my father, I lost my mind, I lost a love I thought I deserved. What tells me now, what can convince me that I feel what I want to feel without my closest abandoning me? What happened due to the German scared me so much that I have issues trusting the Goth, and he out of all the people in my environment does not deserve this consequence of a consequence?

I am not very good at accepting other peoples help nor at communicating when I need help. I have been wondering if that is why I have not been able to establish my safe place with anyone. I guess I am a hypocrite for wanting people to take care of me but not letting them.

It all feels so confusing. I feel angry and hurt and everything but safe. I have been going through a range of things to find my stability again but nothing seems to help. However I have been able to identify (not very hard in this case) the major source of my pain. Soon, links will be severed and emotional heads will roll. And I will focus on rebuilding that emotional safety within myself so that I have a safe place to live and love from again.

Mono to Poly

Mono? No, thank you.

Not only not for myself, but also in choice of partners. A mono partner who needs to get used to a poly partner, is from my experience, close to hell.

The Goth can be classified as mono. Although I don’t think he identifies himself as either really. He is just who he is, and does not care for labels. But for all intents and purposes of this subject, he is monogamous. He does not date anyone except me.

As you know by now I am polyamorous and not only lead two relationships (as in boyfriend, girlfriend terms, if you want labels) but I also cherish lots of other forms of dating. My social life is a combination of all different types of love and affection.

With the Goth, our relationship almost fell apart due to my New Relationship Energy with the German. When we sat down and discussed things he said that his way of dealing with it was to emotionally distance himself with it. We finally decided we did not wish to break up and make a conscious effort of valuing each other more and spending actual time together, not just next to each other.

I recently went through similar things. I was heavily disregarded due to someone else’s New Relationship Energy. This combined with mourning the death of my father has now left me with a general daily frustration and want to hide.

New Relationship Energy is usually tough to deal with, especially when not used to it, one can easily forget ones responsibilities towards other people one might be involved with.

It also surges new emotions of fear of loss and jealousy. It did so in my case. When dealing with these emotions I find it easiest to state them clearly and ask for help to chase them away. As soon as I see that there is no real foundation for them, they usually disappear.

It takes courage to admit to mostly irrational thoughts of the jealousy kind, which is why most people avoid it. It shows weakness and since this is shunned upon in our culture, we tend to keep this part of our inner life safely hidden from the outside world. But as with most locked away or suppressed emotions, they have a tendency to have other repercussions.Some we may not be aware of, other might be uncontrollable outbursts.

For someone who is used to closed, monogamous relationships, being emotionally attached to someone who enjoys sharing heart, body and soul with many, can we tricky to get used to.

Then there is more. What do you share? Where are the limits? What can you talk about? Can you ask for advice from another partner? What is considered TMI?

The Goth is very open and loving about dealing with my other partners. He will comfort me and try to advise, or just plain listen to all my stories. This is a tremendous gift and increases my trust in him incredibly.

From my first experiences in the last year, passive as well as active, I can tell you, as you might have guessed, communication is key. Fear not, open up and see what happens. Chances are, all will be fine, maybe even wonderful.

Transitions are scary and relationships, mono or poly, are dynamic. The more pieces you add to the puzzle, the more dynamic the whole complex becomes. This is something one might not be ready for but has to embrace with open arms, hearts and minds.

For now, I wish you all the courage you can possible carry in your hearts. One can rarely have too much courage 😉

Love and Be Loved,

ThePolyOrange