Home > diary, poly > Poly – mini lows and highs

Poly – mini lows and highs

This is again just a diary entry as much as anything else, so don’t be expecting some great thought out theoretical perspective!

I just really want to document for future me what happened last night. That I had my biggest poly fears brought up with an existing lover getting together with someone new, whilst I simultaneously had lovely connections and snuggles with poly friends.

There can be an assumption that being poly means I don’t feel jealous – I wish that were true! But just like I can be scared of travelling on my own, or feel challenged by writing a masters dissertation, or feel achey and exhausted and cold and tired on a long Scottish hike, being poly is not all blue sky and effortless but I still choose to embark on it.

Just now I am dealing with a relatively new sweetie (18 months) beginning his first new affair. I seemed to have seen it coming before he did, and felt those familiar, unwelcome pangs. I forced myself to ask him, and he seemed surprised but then over the next few days confirmed that yes, as I’d predicted, they were getting close in that way. And last night they kissed for the first time.

Jealousy for me is almost pure insecurity. Its fear of loss, of my lover connecting with someone else in a way that squeezes me out, or eclipses our relationship.

This latter is not entirely unfounded – a seven year relationship was ended as my lover and his new partner gradually found themselves moving towards a more exclusive, married with kids setup. Looking back on it, our relationship was not what either of us needed – he wanted that livetogether full entanglement whereas I’m very solo poly. However the breakup was super painful, and was further complicated by PTSD because we’d got together in a warzone and somehow a lot of the trauma from that was dug back up as the relationship that had grown from it was wrenched up from its roots. To deal with this, I’m kinda getting back on the bicycle. As much as it scares me, I simultaneously really want my lovers to get together with new people. I want the experiential learning of different outcomes, so that my brain can start to disconnect “lover getting new lover” from “and this inevitably leads to loss and pain and grief”.

Other contributing factors to my jealousy is common old insecurity and low self esteem. Why would anyone be with me at all? How could I possibly stand up to comparison with their new love? And then I start putting so much pressure onto having amazing good times with them, that actually messes with the spontaneity and being in the moment that we really need. And then I become aware of that and get more stressed and flustered and feel how terrible how pressure cooker relationship is and become convinced that they’re only having great times with their new person, and the spiral gets out of control.

I really need to address a lot of this at a much earlier level than the jealousy. One way I could deal with these horrible and painful feelings is to try to control the relationships that my sweeties have with others. I could turn to monogamy, although that seems almost more doomed – surely if the only way your partner can make new connections with someone else is by leaving you, or having an illicit affair, that is worse not better? I totally understand that folks are monogamous for all sorts of reasons and I have as much right to judge them as they have to judge me in my consensual adult relationships – different strokes for different folks and all that. I’m just saying why I dismiss that option for myself, as it isn’t even going to nullify the jealousy for me.

So instead I’m trying to deal with my insecurities head on. I’m trying to live my life as fully and “me”ly as possible. And that way not only am I entirely unique (as we all are) and therefore incomparable to someone else, but even if the “worst” happens and a lover leaves me, at least my life has so much else going for it. And I get to have an awesome, meaningful, fulfilling and fun life on the way. How many wins is that? :D

But anyway, this post was titled poly lows and *highs* for a reason. Because randomly I was visiting some friends who are poly last night, and as the new person kissing thing was unfolding (my lover was keeping me informed as that is our agreement) not only was I able to share my feelings with folks who wouldn’t just say “well what do you expect being poly, of course your relationship is doomed if he’s getting together with someone else” but I got maybe my favourite part of polyness – cuddles. :) I don’t know if its because with monogamy comes a need to have explicit boundaries – this person I am in an exclusive relationship with, so that means that we don’t cross certain physical/emotional boundaries with anyone else – whereas non monogamy those set rules are not there and so they’re all up for negotiation and communication, but I have a lot of relationships which are pretty blurry and hard to define. I just don’t know if they would be allowed to develop at all within a monogamous framework, but maybe folks who are monogamous can comment on that.

I really really enjoy physical affection. Its almost like a hunger, that I’m not necessarily aware of building up until the relief and release of a good cuddle. And so when i got a message this morning saying that my lover had kissed this new girl, I was being held at the time by someone I could, with full awareness of the patheticness, ask “he’s not gonna leave me for this new girl is he?”and he held me and said “no he won’t because you’re awesome” and we just lay there. And then another poly person joined us for more snuggles and I just felt the warmth and affection and openness and caring and everything felt much more ok.

There’s no way I’d give up the connections, not necessarily sexual, that I have because I’m poly, because of the pain and self growth that non monogamy challenges me with. I might as well give up climbing mountains because my legs ache the next day. What would my life be like without the wild high places and wind in my hair? My legs will grow more muscular from the ascent and likewise my heart will strengthen. And if it doesn’t, why I’ll do what I do any time I feel raw and overwhelmed – I’ll endeavour to do gentle nourishing activities, and spend time with dear people and take some time off to recover.

Categories: diary, poly Tags: ,
  1. August 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Well, my monogamous perspective of cuddles is that they have nothing to do with romantic relationships, so it’s perfectly fine for me to cuddle with a friend if I am in an exclusive relationship with someone else. The exclusive part for me in terms of physical contact is just about kisses in the mouth and touching of genitals. (I did have problems with that when I was living in the UK, because I was aware that in that culture people don’t touch each other as much as in mine, so I tried really hard not to touch people and it was quite awkward sometimes).

    • August 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      cheers for your perspective :)

      In this case we also slept together, very intertwined, but with clothes on.

      Its cool you have such explicit boundaries too, as I think too often it can be assumed to be “common sense” or “obvious” what each other’s boundaries are in terms of what is acceptable in exclusive relationships, and I think if its not explicit it makes it easier for folks to hurt each other by accident/miscommunication.

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