Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Dating

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, which is why I haven’t posted anything. We ended up moving at the beginning of this month, and although it wasn’t a huge ordeal it was still a good amount of work that had to be done. I came to San Diego 18 months ago with two suitcases stuffed with clothes, books and art, and I haven’t acquired much more since. The small yellow room in the big house in lovely Bonita is where I met all of the people I know here, including the man I love, and it will always be special to me. But it’s not exactly the environment in which to raise a child, so my boyfriend’s parents kindly let us take over the rent on their house and decided to move to Tijuana to save money. The way things work out perfectly like this always blows my mind.

However much a blessing this is, it’s also tripling our housing expenses so we have been very focused on the business. I am still waiting on unemployment and while I am theoretically “self employed” I haven’t quite figured out the how to get work just yet. But things are looking up, and we are working on other streams of income, such as running a booth at some swap meets around town and selling off old inventory, some of his mom’s garage sale finds that are collecting in the garage, and even seasonal knick knacks that can be bought online for wholesale prices.

On top of that, I caught a cold when I had to go to the doctor’s office for my ultrasound last week and I’m just now feeling above 90%. Also, sleep has been difficult because our female dog is in heat and the male can’t get enough (just like his owner). If we keep them together he will try to have sex all night, and if we keep them apart he whines all night.

We are both exhausted from the stresses of life, so it seems that meeting a girl is on the back burner for both of us, and we both seem to be O.K. with that. I think I was more concerned with him meeting someone than he was, because I’m worried I won’t be able to satisfy him sexually for much longer since I’m so tired. But he’s not worried.

We have had a “couple profile” on OKCupid and have not met anyone except the girl I already knew from church. I was trying to convince him to make his own profile so that he could talk to girls on his own, because the profile on there is more me than him. He didn’t say much about it when I brought it up. So I asked the question in the polyamory group on Facebook and got responses saying that separate profiles are the way to go.

When I told him about the response, and asked him again if he wanted to make his own profile, he told me that he didn’t want to. He said if he meets someone then he would let me know, but he’s not that interested in “finding someone.” I think a lot of times it’s just boredom that drives him to want to have sex with other girls, combined with a need for variety (which are kind of the same thing). I totally get that. My need for variety is combined with a need for being wanted, but variety is not at the top of the priorities right now.

His parents came from visiting family in El Paso with a huge bin of baby girl clothes and other essential playthings for our little Eva. That’s on our mind, and it’s hard for me to feel sexual when she is constantly kicking me. Also on our minds are his siblings who are, for now, staying in the parents’ house with us, and all of the relationships and drama that go along with them. They have been helpful with cleaning and cooking and helping with the dogs so I don’t mind them staying, but other issues still need to be resolved to have a peaceful household.

We’re not exactly putting a hold on polyamory, at least as far as I’m concerned, although we may not be actively searching for a girlfriend. The fact that the barriers are down between us and we can communicate with each other about our wants and needs is the best thing that’s happened to us. Our relationship has changed so much and we are both happier.  Even if we don’t have a girlfriend by the time the baby is here, we will both live, and we will deal with the challenges as they come with honesty and openness.

Questions Everywhere

Live A Life People Want To Be A Part Of

A couple weeks ago I posted a rant about online dating and how much it sucks. This came after I was disappointed at not getting responses from people I had been talking to on OKCupid. Well, I checked today and it turns out that I was the one who didn’t respond. I remember writing messages but either through my own mental lapse (yay pregnancy) or some kind of electronic fuckery (yay Mercury retrograde) they did not get sent.

But even before I discovered the error of my ire, I realized that I was wrong for saying that people online aren’t worth dating. I had so many people respond to my post saying they met their spouse or significant other online, and that I overgeneralized when I said they either don’t have a life or are too busy. I’ve had bad experiences dating people online, it’s true, but I’ve met some good people too.

In my experience, however, the most quality relationships I had were people I met in real life, when I was out doing the things I love to do and bettering myself. I met so many men and women by going to open mics in Dallas, and one of my longest relationships and best friendships started with a threesome after leaving an open mic (he and I dated for over a year, and she and I were ride or die bitches and roommates who had lots of fun times together).

I think those relationships were so great because I was doing what I enjoyed, performing poetry like the goddess I am, and spending time with creative, beautiful people who have similar interests as me. I was very happy, constantly creative and exuded self-confidence, therefore I attracted happy, artistic, exciting people. I was living my life and people wanted to join it.

My landlord, a relationship coach and fellow polyamorist, wrote a great article called The #1 Myth About Dating That Keeps People Stuck, which really got me thinking about my agenda right now. I am/We are looking for someone we like. We are trying to find this “certain someone” who is exactly right for us. And that’s the whole problem.

When we start trying to get to know ourselves and make improvements in our own lives, and stop looking, searching, trying to find someone else, the right person comes along. It’s cliche but true. That’s what happened when I met Johnny. Before we started dating, I had been single since moving to San Diego seven months earlier (my longest singlehood stretch), but I eventually got lonely and made an OKCupid profile since I had heard good things about it.

I met some people, had some dates, wasted a good solid month on a guy who ended up being an alcoholic nutcase, and for my final online dating gesture, invited a really sweet guy to a party and then proceeded to have sex with someone else (I know I’m an asshole, I never claimed to be a saint). For almost two months I perused OKCupid and just got fed up with it all, so I finally deleted my account and stopped looking. Instead, I lived my life, hung out with my friends, wrote poetry, cooked delicious food, went out dancing, and stopped trying to “find someone.”

Less than a month later, this guy I had known the entire time, who was a good friend of my roommates, walked in the door with a couple of friends and somehow I intuitively knew that we were going to hook up that night. We’ve been inseparable for almost a year now, and I didn’t need an algorithm to tell me how compatible we are. In fact, if we had been on OKCupid, we probably would be less than a 50% match. If he had ever written me, I would have never responded because he would’ve written something like, “whats up sexy dam you got a nice booty wanna smoke a blunt sumtime?” and I would’ve deleted it immediately. Yet we are perfect for each other in so many ways.

The point is, you can find people everywhere. Anywhere. In the most unexpected places. Around you already. Even on the internet. But the most important thing is to be actively living a life that other people want to join. Those are the type of people that I want to meet, so I want to be the type of person I would want to get to know.

That being said, I responded and apologized to the ladies I had neglected on OKC, and even though I probably missed out on meeting some of them because of the lapse in time, I learned a valuable lesson. Quality people can be found online (after all, I’m there *wink*). They can also be found at the grocery store, in a class, at the gym, at the bowling alley, at a live music show, at the dog park, and anywhere else you go.

I’m not going to put all my faith in OKC’s algorithm, but I’m not going to write it off either. What I did was enroll in a Spanish class, and made an effort to get out there. Not that I’m in class looking for a date, but if I meet someone while I’m trying to improve myself, the chances of meeting a quality person definitely improve too.

Live A Life That People Want To Be A Part Of

Moving Right Along with Polyamory

I’m happy to report that we are moving forward with our polyamory venture. The last few days have been interesting as we created some online dating profiles (as a couple for now) and talked about what our wants/needs are.

Pay AttentionThe funny thing is that neither of us is in a big hurry to have sex with someone else. When we had it out last week, he told me he needs attention. In reality, he needs constant attention. I have gone to work with him every day this week (one of the perks of owning your own business) just to hang out, help him with the shop, and I do my own work while he does his. I asked him on Wednesday how it was having me there, and he said he likes it. I told him if he changed his mind to just let me know, and he said he would. There have even been days where I wanted to stay home to clean, do laundry, or whatever, and he said he would rather have me at work with him.

It’s nice that he wants me around all the time. Yes, it would be great to have a couple of hours to myself, but I don’t even know what I would do differently. The other night, his friends invited him bowling to practice for our league, and I encouraged him to go hang out with the guys for a night. Unfortunately, our car had some electrical problems that night which took out the brake lights, and he didn’t want to risk driving, so he stayed at home and was just fine with that.

Last night he was invited out again to a nightclub with some of our friends and chose to stay home. He said, “Now that I have your permission to go out and look for a girlfriend, I don’t even want to.” Ironic, but it totally makes sense right now. This new level of communication allows so much potential for freedom that the restricted feeling is gone, and the urgency of wanting goes away. I’m sure his apathy will pass in the next 20 weeks (because I’m sure my sex drive will diminish before the baby arrives, and then after, I won’t have the constant attention to give him).

When we talked about what we want and need from relationships, he really didn’t have much to ask for. He said I take care of him and treat him well and that when “she” (whoever she is) comes around it will be even better, but for now he’s ok.

As for me, I’m not itching to dive face-first into pussy or dick right this second either. I’m being well taken care of by this wonderful man, and pregnancy has caused my introverted side to take over anyway. It would be nice, in a few months, to have someone to help give attention to my man, and if she liked to cook and clean and take care of a newborn, that would be an excellent bonus.

okcupid logoIn the meantime, we’re cruising OKCupid to see who’s out there. Funny enough, I was browsing and saw a girl we met at church a few weeks ago (we go to the Unitarian Universalist church because he’s Christian and I’m not). She’s a military wife with a 3 year old who had talked to us when we first started going, and I found out from her profile she’s bisexual and poly and we have some other interests in common. It was cool “meeting” her on there, and we exchanged some messages and decided to get a bite to eat after church tomorrow. Not sure if anything will come of it, but I think we could be friends.

That’s what it’s all about anyway. Making new friends, with or without benefits, and the freedom of being honest with each other. It’s little mental changes that make all the difference. He likes that he doesn’t have to hide conversations with ex-girlfriends, or when he checks out a girl at the store, or when a customer comes in and flirts with him. I like that I don’t feel guilty for looking at other people or watching weird bondage porn because I know he won’t judge me. I like this comfortable communication, too, because we are tiptoeing into a deeper level of intimacy that I don’t think either of us has experienced, but we are both looking forward to.

Open Heart, Open Mind

Being honest isn’t easy. I’ve joked that I’m so honest because I’m too lazy to come up with lies. That’s not exactly true, because there are still times when I choose not to say something I should, or keep information to myself. But generally, I don’t lie because it’s too hard to remember things that are made up.

And that’s for me, who is pretty comfortable expressing myself most of the time around most people. Some people don’t have that option. They are taught from an early age that there are right things and wrong things and if you don’t agree then you’re wrong too, and people will judge you for that. So children learn to lie, and they become adults who lie.

Open MindIf given the option, will they be honest? That’s what I want to find out. Well, not “they” in some theoretical sense. I mean, “he,” as in my boyfriend. Will he be more open and honest if he knows he will not be judged or abandoned for his thoughts, desires, opinions and behaviors?

I have received a lot of feedback from people reading this blog and/or in the Polyamory group on Facebook that I recently was recommended to by a close poly friend. Some feedback has been positive, but it’s mostly negative. Well, what should I expect, it’s the internet after all. People are judging and condemning my relationship already, even though they only know what’s going on from a few posts and comments.

People tell me that cheaters will never change, they’re not worth being in a relationship with, they’re flawed, and that our relationship is fundamentally dysfunctional because we have problems with communication. I’d like to congratulate all those people on their perfect relationships that have been 100% open and honest from the very moment they started. You are truly fortunate to have found the ultimate partner(s) who all understand the one and only way to make a polyamorous relationship work.

For the rest of us who are living one day at a time trying to make sense of this confusing life and all its complicated relationships, I’d like to take a moment to say that there is no right or wrong reason to start being polyamorous, there is no one way to have a successful relationship, and if your mind and heart are open, you can enjoy the amazing and wonderful world of open relationships no matter where you are right now.

I’m not an expert, and yes, I just started blogging because I just started the process of opening a previously (supposedly) monogamous relationship up to polyamory, but this isn’t my first rodeo.

In 2009, after a year or so of casual dating, I met a guy who I thought I wanted to  settle down with. He was everything I was supposed to want and I should’ve been happy, but I wasn’t. In fact, for a couple of months in 2010, I couldn’t get out of bed and function like a normal human because I was so depressed. So I decided to get back into something I used to be passionate about before I started living my life for other people many years earlier. That thing was poetry.

Thing about poetry is, there’s different groups of people who perform poetry, and I wanted to make sure and find the group that I would fit into best. In order to do that, I looked up an ex-boyfriend who I met at an open mic eight years earlier. It was all very innocent at first, and I told myself that I wanted nothing to do with my ex, that I was committed to this new guy. But I was lying to myself and I ended up cheating on the guy I was supposed to marry.

The thing was, I wanted both security and freedom, comfort and adventure, familiarity and new experiences. But we are taught that we can’t have our cake and eat it too. You’re supposed to have your freedom, adventure and experiences when we’re young and single, then “settle” into security, comfort and familiarity when we find that one person who fulfills all our needs, or enough of our most important needs that we will deal with those needs they can’t fulfill.

Dealing with those needs often means denying yourself, like I denied myself poetry for so many years. Or it means indulging those needs, often at the cost of integrity and communication with those you are supposed to love.

An open heart is an open mind - Dalai Lama

When I realized that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to “settle down,” I told myself I wouldn’t get into another shamonogamous relationship and decided being open was the way for me. But I only realized that after I cheated on someone repeatedly, hurt him in immeasurable ways, destroyed friendships, burned bridges, and lost everything (literally, I had a few bags of possessions and nowhere to go, even ended up sleeping on the street one night).

Since then, I’ve had so many amazing relationships, lovers, friends, experiences and adventures that I can’t say I did the wrong thing. Yes, cheating is wrong. But monogamy was wrong for me. It was wrong then, and it still is now. This goes against everything we are taught about love and relationships, but just because most people do something a certain way. it doesn’t make it right for everyone.

There’s a reason it’s called an “open relationship.” You have to be open minded to try it. You need an open heart to share love among many people in different ways. So forgive me, all you perfect people who have doomed my relationship before it has even started, I’m not going to close my heart to someone I love because they don’t fit your perfect way of doing things. I’m certainly not going to make things work between us by pretending to be monogamous when neither of us want that. I’m going to open myself up to the opportunities and see what happens.

Fight, Full Disclosure and Forgiveness

Your heart-centered approach to other people’s problems can open a door to the possibility of greater intimacy now that the gracious Libra New Moon falls in your 8th House of Deep Sharing. Don’t let your fear of the unknown stand between you and feeling compassion for someone else. Instead, maintain a balanced approach to the mysteries of love. Exploring the uncharted shadows of a relationship isn’t as scary as it might seem at first.

Broken Heart, RepairedI didn’t plan to post my horoscope every day, but I also didn’t expect it to be so dead-on every day. Last night, we got into an argument over something trivial, but something was lurking below the surface and had been for days. Less than a year we’ve been together, but I can tell when something is off. I knew something was going on this week in his head, but didn’t have any proof of what it was. My intuition was the reason that I brought up introducing polyamory this week, and this argument was my impetus for doing something I hate to do: spy on him.

Before anyone thinks I’m a horrible person, let me explain. First of all, he has snooped through my things, logged into my email and Facebook, and even read my journals to try to find something against me, which he could never find. Secondly, the only times I’ve gone through his messages is when I’ve had a really good reason to do so, like the night I caught him trying to meet up with another woman. The way he was acting and talking on the phone to this girl made me suspicious, so after he left to meet her, I opened our shared iPad and found messages from her on his Facebook, which was still logged in.

So last night after we had our petty argument, I was alone at the house with the iPad again while he was at the gym. I opened it. First thing I saw was an email from a nearby gang bang club he was subscribed to. Needless to say, this piqued my interest. I went through the inbox and found e-mails from hundreds of people regarding a gang bang party he was organizing. That actually didn’t bother me much, it looked like he was posting this for someone else, and it was a party that was supposed to have occurred a week ago.

Then I found a message from craigslist, a girl responding to his response to a personal ad, with his phone number in it. That was what set me off. After I caught him a couple months ago, he told me nothing happened but that he would “get better” and stop lying to me and trying to hook up with girls. When I saw this email from just two days ago, I was so angry. Angry that he was still trying to find other pussy–in the casual encounters section no less–and angry that I believed that he would not try to cheat again. I’ve been with a cheater before and know they don’t change.

When he came home, coincidentally and thankfully all six of our roommates had vacated the house, and I unleashed on him. He first started explaining the gang bang party planning, and as I suspected he was doing it for someone else and it never ended up happening. I believe him about that, and it’s not what really concerned me.

I kept pressing about the other email, and at first he tried to tell me that he was recruiting girls for the party.Then he opened his email and saw the message to which I was referring, and he stopped denying it.

He said he has too much time alone at work and even though he tries to keep himself busy with cleaning and Netflix and even porn (which I have no problem with, we both watch porn together and separately), he still finds himself looking for girls. I couldn’t believe it when he actually said, “I have a problem, and I need your help.” That tore me up.

I didn’t want to forgive him. In fact, I had his clothes and shoes all in baskets and a suitcase so he could get his shit and get out faster. I swore I wouldn’t stay with a guy who lied to me and cheated on me, and pregnant or not I was fully prepared to figure out the rest of my life by myself. But when he asked for my help, I have to admit that I love him way too much to say no.

My head was so full of so many emotions and thoughts that I had a hard time finding the words. I tried to explain some of the things I’d read over the last couple of days about how important honesty and trust is, and that I would have a hard time trusting him since he has betrayed me and lied to me so much already.

He said if I could handle it, he would tell me everything from now on, and that he wouldn’t keep secrets or lie to me anymore. He also said he wanted me to go to work with him more often, not only to help his business (I do his website and marketing) but also keep him from being alone. As much as I didn’t want to, I had to believe him and trust him yet again. Honestly, I love him like crazy and don’t know what I would do without him.

At the same time, since we’ve been together, I have felt like I can’t share everything with him because there are things about my past that would make him think less of me. I also didn’t tell him about the guys I slept with before we got together, because firstly I didn’t think it was any of his business, and secondly, it wasn’t only my secrets to keep. One of the guys was a friend of his, and he found out by reading my journal. He loves to bring that up any time I talk about my mistrust for him, because I told him I never slept with anyone he knows or any of his friends. He thinks it’s no different than what he did, but it’s absolutely not the same thing.

I told him to finally be honest with me and asked if he had been with other girls. He said yes, once the night I caught him and another time before that. He says it was only two isolated incidents and he used protection both times. He asked if I wanted to know anything about it, and the only thing I wanted to know was, “Why? What is it that I’m not doing for you that you have to get somewhere else?” He said he doesn’t know, because I do everything for him.

Seriously, I do everything for him. I cook, I clean, I help with his business, I exercise and relax with him, don’t ask much, give him the freedom to go out whenever he wants, and still give him blowjobs and sex at least once a day, usually twice. Did I mention I’m also five months pregnant? What the fuck am I not doing? Why am I not good enough?

That hurt so much more than thinking about him having sex with someone else. Why am I not good enough to provide for all his needs? What more can I do to make him want and need only me? That was the most painful part. It brings up so many feelings of inadequacy that have followed me since childhood through all my relationships. It doesn’t help that one of the biggest problems in our relationship was that he was ashamed to be with me because I’m overweight. As much as I want to believe we’ve gotten past that, his cheating brought all those feelings to the surface again and made me feel even more worthless and inadequate.

But in my rational mind, I know that it’s not because I’m inadequate or not doing enough, it’s because no one person can satisfy all of our needs all the time. I know this, I’ve talked about it before, and I even know that he can’t satisfy all my needs either, no matter how much I wish he could. He satisfies my needs for sex, security, nurturing and supports my dreams and achievements as different as they are from his. But he can’t satisfy my intellectual or emotional needs in a lot of ways, and definitely can’t satisfy the lesbian half of my personality.

I have to come to terms with this, with becoming more intimate with him, opening myself up to hearing his truth as ugly as it may be, and I have to be brave enough to share with him on the same level. It is scary, but the potential for deeper intimacy with him is exciting, too. Many of my long-term relationships were shadowed with secrets. Freedom to be myself completely, to share all of myself with him and truly know him in return is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but been to scared to ask for.

Now is the time to open our hearts. Like he said last night, every time we have a problem, we get through it and become stronger. This is truly an amazing opportunity for us to connect on a deeper level, to re-pour the foundation of trust so that we can build a solid relationship on top of it. It’s not going to be easy. There’s still some digging to be done, and some (figurative) bodies to excavate, and some repairs to complete before we can rebuild. The most important thing is that we love each other so much that we are willing and able to do the work.

Self-Evaluation from “Opening Up: A Guide To Creating And Sustaining Open Relationships”

Opening Up Cover

Opening Up: A Guide for Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

I pulled this self-evaluation from the book Opening Up: A Guide To Creating And Sustaining Open Relationships because I want to answer some of these questions in subsequent blogs, and also hear what others may have to say about these topics. I know it’s a long list and a lot to think about!

It’s funny, because I’ve been thinking about how I would react to my partner being in love with another person, and imagining how I would feel, but I’m not really going to know how I’m going to feel until it happens. Still, this is a great list of questions to ask yourself, write about, and contemplate before entering into a polyamorous or open relationship.

If you are considering an open relationship, first evaluate yourself thoroughly and honestly to determine whether venturing beyond monogamy is right for you. Here are some questions for you to contemplate, write about in a journal, or talk about with a friend, partner, or therapist:

What are your beliefs about monogamy?

• If you’ve been in monogamous relationships before, how did you feel in those relationships, and how did they work or not work for you?

• Do you believe that someone can love/be in love with more than one person at a time?

• What role does sex play in your relationships? How important is it to you? What does it mean to you?

• Can you have sex without an emotional attachment? How are sex and love related or not related?

• Have you ever had a “fuck buddy” or “friend with benefits”? What worked and didn’t work about the relationship?

If you are currently in a relationship:

• What is the state of the relationship? Does it feel stable and secure?

• What are your most common conflicts with your partner?

• Do both partners want to explore a different structure?

• Do you have sexual needs, desires, and fantasies that aren’t being fulfilled?

Imagine your partner having sex with another person. It’s important to be brutally honest, not censor yourself, and really let yourself feel what that would be like.

• What feelings does that bring up?

• What would be your worst fear?

• What would the best-case scenario for this situation look like?

• What would be an absolute deal breaker?

Imagine your partner having a relationship with another person. It’s important to be brutally honest, not censor yourself, and really let yourself feel what that would be like.

• What feelings does that bring up?

• What would be your worst fear?

• What would the best-case scenario for this situation look like?

• What would be an absolute deal breaker?

How do you handle feelings?

• Do you consider yourself a jealous person? How do you deal with intense feelings like anger, jealousy, and resentment?

• Are you able to determine what your boundaries are and communicate them to others?

• When something is bothering you, do you more often keep it to yourself or share it?

• Do you have the ability to communicate openly and honestly, even about difficult issues?

• When conflict arises, how do you usually handle it?

How available are you?

• Do you have the time to nurture and grow more than one love relationship?

• Do you have the energy to devote to several different people and juggle multiple lovers?

• Do you have access to potential partners who have nonmonogamy experience and strong relationship skills?

• Do you have the self-knowledge and communication skills to be in an open relationship?

Feel free to comment on any of these questions, and like I said, I’ll delve into my answers to them in more detail as we continue on this journey together.