Sunday thoughts lacking coffee
I’m sitting in my living room drinking tea and dipping a bagel into a small mount of za’atar on my plate. Later, I might go over to his house to watch a movie, or I might stay in my pajamas until it’s time to go out for cocktails with a couple of friends who live nearby. And I feel…happy? Self-satisfied?
A while ago I decided to try monogamy. I said I thought I might like it, but really I was harboring a lot of fear-fear that I would cheat on my partner in a sort of auto-pilot. Fear that the autonomy I kept talking about doesn’t really exist. Fear that…I don’t know, of the boogy man mostly. You know what? I fucking love it.
When my poly friends tell me their scheduling woes, I nod sympathetically on the outside while nodding “yes, I’m so glad to be rid of that” on the inside. When my friends talk about relationship hierarchy, I actually care a lot…one of the reasons I decided against the “we’ll just have this out of town girlfriend on the side who doesn’t want to live with us” solution is that I didn’t, in my heart of hearts, believe anyone really didn’t want to be cared for and so it felt unethical to be part of someone’s “I’ll take what I can get.” But I’m still delighted that this isn’t my problem to deal with.
When it comes time for gossip I let the ball drop, I’m sorry. I’m dating this dude, he’s nice, I’m still dating him. How’s your metamour’s cat?
But there are some common concerns-couched-as-questions that I thought I’d answer:
You must still have scheduling woes?!
Yes, of course, we’re working adults. But think of, say planning a meeting at work. Is there a difference between the complexity of planning a multi-stakeholder working group and planning a review session with the person who sits next to you? Yeah, so I’m planning with one person who more or less sits next to me.
One person can’t meet all your needs!
You’re right. Now explain to me, slowly, how you think monogamy works? Really though, I got this most recently from a woman I was driving home from a party, but it was followed up by “but some monogamous people still cuddle with their friends so that’s ok.” Maybe her needs are different than mine. This person I’m dating meets most of my sexual and almost all my intimate touch needs. I say “most” and “almost all” because I’m making space for pornography, this blog, frivolous shoe purchases which for me are tied to sexuality, hugging friends and family members, holding hands with people during difficult conversations, etc. I have many other needs, they are met through friendships, hobbies, work, family, etc. The point is, I don’t feel deprived. I sometimes feel slightly awkward when I have dinner with my male friends alone and then I tell my partner and I get over it.
Do you miss it?
I actually miss metamour relationship more than I miss dating lots of people. By which I mean, I miss having a sort of haram women’s space were we are connected in a more than casual way. I address this by spending more time with women in my family, dragging my partner to couple events where I can spent time with other people’s wives being wife-ish, and organizing girls night.
And one question no body asked – did anything surprise you?
Yes! I was really concerned when I suddenly started thinking a lot about my exes. Some with relief, “that person wasn’t for me, I’m glad I didn’t marry him.” Others with sadness, “that person was amazing and I was too young at 23 and didn’t know how to date or communicate with him.” But apparently this sort of chapter closing is normal? I’m really glad I have the past experience to learn and grow from, and it’s not like I didn’t know I still harbored feelings for one of my exes (not to mention some “I exploded that relationship because I was in the middle of my first year of grad school and losing my shit” guilt). But harboring feelings is one thing, apologizing might be appropriate even, but it’s very unlikely that there’s a there there, so I guess in some ways I’m reacting to what feels like the finality of it.
There’s a lot of monogamous to poly transition lit, has anyone gone the other way? Did the experience surprise you?