I don’t know if it comes through in the picture, but this was beautiful. The way the light hit the tree, and then didn’t. Red-orange on brown, against a blue sky. Beautiful.
Today was a mixed bag. I had a great social work moment. I took a man a bowl of thick grits and saw him smile for the first time in weeks. That may not sound like social work to you, but it was to him.
Then I had some uncomfortable conversation about polyamory. And then I had to chase thoughts around in my head about that. Thoughts like:
It’s about me, and who gets to call the shots on my life. I chose poly in the beginning because it gave me autonomy in all areas. Once men know they don’t own my bits, they leave me alone about everything else: my kids, my money, my lifestyle, how I spend my time, my hobbies. All of it. It’s MINE.
If I stop seeing the old guy, the new guy gets left to wonder when I will find another new guy and decide to stop seeing him. And I don’t think he gets that I face an equally unsettling dilemma: he’s monogamous. I get to worry that he’s gonna meet some “nice monogamous girl” and decide to quit seeing me.
You know, part of me wants to say “ok, I’ll be monogamous” because I don’t want to “lose” him.
But if I do that I am already loving him in a controlling way. I am not being non-attached because if I make changes to ensure the relationship, I am going to expect he will do the same. I won’t be accepting him just like he is. And accepting him just like he is …this is what allowed me to not hate men who have come and gone before, because they were perfect in their selfness. They may not be people that I want to spend a lot of time with going forward, but as long as they are true to themselves….I accept that.
I won’t lie. That viewpoint required constantly deciding and constantly enforcing that mindset with myself. It all goes together, the non-attachment and the poly and just loving people. He says he thinks you can’t love someone as much if you do it in a non-attached way. I think you can love them more because you love them true.
And one thing I didn’t say, but part of the conversation: “If you’re not so afraid to lose someone, then you’re free to love them as much as you want.”
All of which led to this: There are days when I am glad I live my life based on guiding principles I ironed out for myself in advance instead of momentary feelings. This is one of them.
So there ya go. Some raw honesty for you about what it’s really like to try to find balance and integrity in polyamory. Because in the end, it’s not about him or him or him. It’s about me, and how I treat myself, and by extension, those I care about.