Old Attitudes and New Developments

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about our poly venture, mostly because there hasn’t been much to report. Our baby is growing (along with my belly) and we have both been too busy with our  businesses to even think about meeting people. Our OKCupid profile has been inactive for a couple of months and we have just been living our lives, spending time with our dogs (who are about to have puppies) and trying to relax when we’re not working.

However, we are still building a great foundation of openness, honesty and trust for that time when we are ready to venture out into other people’s lives (or beds, or both). Not that we have it all down yet. Right before I recently flew home to visit friends and family, I was talking to my ex-boyfriend about meeting up at a drum circle with some other friends, and I had this phone conversation right in front of my current boyfriend since I have nothing to hide and no ulterior motive–visiting with my ex is purely platonic.

However, when I got off the phone, my man asked, “Who was that?” to which I replied, “[Ex’s name].” Then he said, “Oh, that guy you fucked?” I know he does this partly to playfully irk me, but it shows his traditional attitude that anyone who previously put their penis inside his current woman is somehow an enemy. I sighed and said, “Why do you have to say it like that? We dated for two years, so yeah we had sex a couple times.”

And it’s not like this is the first time I’ve seen my ex since my man and I have been together, because I see him every time I go back to Dallas to visit, because he is a close friend of mine–and our relationship was hardly sexual even when we were together so it’s not like we’re hanging out for that reason. I think that most of the time it’s silly to cut ties with exes and have tried to remain friends with most of them when they are willing. That goes for people I’ve had casual sex and/or long-term “fuckbuddy” relationships with. To be honest, if I didn’t stay friends with people I’ve dated or slept with, I wouldn’t have many friends!

Anyhow, spending a few hours with my ex was really a non-issue, and I know his old attitude is slowly changing, but it’s something new and different to get used to. When someone has been taught that jealousy is normal and right their whole life, it’s difficult to think anything else even when presented with a new way of seeing relationships.

But the newest development in our relationship came last weekend, when my boyfriend went dancing downtown with his friends. He has been such a homebody the last few months that his friends miss him a lot and keep asking him to go out, and even still, I have to encourage him to go. He has connections at a few clubs downtown and can always get in big groups without waiting in line, and sometimes get free drinks.

Well, last Saturday he was at the club and started talking to some girls, passing joints and handing out his business cards. A couple days later, he got a text from one of the girls he smoked with, and from the first text he showed me, he has been honest with me about talking to her. They have been texting back and forth a lot over the last several days and would have met up, if she had stayed in town longer. Ironically, she’s from El Paso, Texas, same as where he is from.

He showed me her pictures and I said I thought she was cute, to which he responded sarcastically, “Oh, I’m so glad you approve.” I replied, “Would you rather I didn’t approve?” No, of course not. I asked him what it’s like to be able to talk to me about another girl, and he says he likes it that he doesn’t have to hide and lie anymore, and it’s different than any other experience with girls he’s dated in the past. He actually said, “I’m glad I have you.”

At the same time, he’s had a hard time being honest with her about our relationship. I asked him if he told her about me yet, and he said no, he didn’t want to scare her away. He even told her he doesn’t have a Facebook so she wouldn’t friend request him and see pictures of me and all the talk about our baby. Well, she found him online today and was upset that he lied to her about not having a profile. He said to me, “Most girls aren’t going to understand what you and I are doing.” I said, “Maybe, but some are. And you never know what someone’s gonna be okay with if you don’t tell them. It’s better to just be honest about it, because if you keep lying and she finds out, she will definitely be mad and probably never talk to you again.”

This is happening as I type, so the story is still developing. Hopefully he and this girl will eventually get to hang out again when she comes back to visit in March, and he won’t cause any more problems by continuing to lie about the fact that he has a girlfriend. But that’s up to him. So far they seem to be pretty excited about talking to each other and it excites me that he gets to experience a new kind of relationship that gives both of us the security we need and the freedom that we want.

Holding Hands

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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

Down with Online Dating

The weekend apart was not what I was hoping for but exactly what I expected. Johnny and his family left in the RV Friday afternoon, leaving me and the dog at his shop. Other than having to talk to a few customers on Friday and Saturday morning, I didn’t have much to do running the business except sit here and watch Netflix while the painter worked on a couple of jobs he needed to finish.

I didn’t go out with anyone, meet any of the girls I’ve been talking to, or even get a response to sending them my phone number and telling them my boyfriend is out of town and I wanted to hang out. Which reminds me of something I knew but hoped wasn’t true:

The internet was wrong?Meeting people online SUCKS.

I don’t care what dating site or service or group or posting, people online are talking to other people online because they’re too scared, socially awkward, busy, or boring to meet people in person. In general, either they’re too busy with their real lives they don’t have time to actually meet, or they don’t have enough interests to get them out of the house to socialize with people with similar interests.

Seriously, once I was talking to a guy on OKCupid and I asked him what he liked to do. His response was, “I dunno, watch TV and jack off.” Real winner. Never met that guy.

Another guy I met during that time had a job that required travel, was part of a circus performance acrobatic group, had a primary girlfriend plus kids along with other girlfriends and a large social circle. We went on one date, had great chemistry and even kissed at the end of the night with the promise of a second date that never happened because he had a life that couldn’t handle one more person.

Yet another guy I met on eHarmony of all places was a 26 year old virgin who still lived at home and had an anime/manga collection that would make Japanese people nervous.

And then there’s the slew of people who I’ve had great conversations with online, via text and even on the phone, that flaked when it came time to meet in person and were never heard from again.

I’m not gonna lie and say it was always the other person who was a loser. I’ve been the flake who was too scared or socially awkward to meet up at times. So for the past couple of years, I’ve only turned to the internet to date when I a) didn’t really want to meet someone, I just wanted to talk, b) was in a new place and didn’t know anyone, or c) was desperate and didn’t really care about the quality of the person I met (eg Craigslist hookups).

This time, I guess it would fall under category b, not that I’m in a new place physically but we’re in a new place with polyamory and don’t know people who are into that.

Still, I know better. My landlord (also polyamorous and a relationship therapist) even gave me some resources for meeting other poly people in the area, like Kamala Devi, a poly advocate who runs meetups and other poly activities in San Diego. It would be a better use of my time to go to one of her Poly Potlucks than to cruise OKCupid but it also means really getting out there, being social and meeting people.

As much as I want that, I’m struggling with being antisocial right now (mostly due to the pregnancy/hormones/feeling fat) and worried that Johnny won’t want to go. I’m scared that he’ll get overwhelmed or won’t fit in. And it’s far to drive. And it’s a lot of time. And we’re lazy. I can go on with excuses but all I’m doing is just that: making excuses.

Meeting people online is not the way to go. If he wants to keep looking for girls online that’s fine with me, because either he will have success or he will have the same difficulties as me and stop looking. For me, it will only lead to disappointment and frustration, so I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m going to find out when the next poly event is and sign up.

Ready or Not, Here We Go…

Even though I’m not that anxious to date, I’m having more success with meeting people than he is. I hung out with the girl from church a couple days ago. It was fun, and we might become friends, but I’m honestly not sexually attracted to her and don’t see our friendship going to that level. I’ve also exchanged e-mails with a couple of other cute girls, and hope to meet up with one of them soon.

My Love and Me

My Love and Me

He talked to a girl, too, and had a tentative plan to meet up with her on Friday. When he told me about talking to her, he said it made him nervous to think about meeting up with another girl. I asked, “Are you any more nervous than you were before, when I didn’t know?” He said it makes him more nervous now that I know about it. Then he told me he doesn’t want to do it alone, he wants me to be there too. He wants the sex and the emotional support. I understand, but to be honest it makes me nervous to think about just being there while he’s having sex or getting a blow job from another girl. I’ve always been a part of the experience and don’t know what it would be like to just be an observer.

But the plan to meet this weekend is off, because his family is leaving to visit his aunt in Fresno on Friday afternoon and will be back Sunday. Because of his business, he doesn’t often get to take trips like this, and I know his family is looking forward to spending some time together because they haven’t been all together in a while (in fact, the last time he took a trip like this was back in mid-May, Mother’s Day weekend, and when he came back after being gone for two days, we had amazing sex that resulted in the conception of the child I’m currently carrying).

Him being gone means he won’t be here to run his business and I will take over for a couple of days. Scary! I don’t know much about car stereos and window tinting, but hopefully I won’t have to do too much talking. Thank goodness for Skype.

It also means I’m sleeping by myself for the first time in months! Last time we spent the night apart was the last time I asked him for a night alone, when what I really wanted was a couple of hours by myself, but I didn’t communicate it correctly. We ended up both being miserable, lonely and frustrated that night.

Thor!

Thor!

This time, however, I might see if one of the girls I’ve been talking to is up for a date on Friday or Saturday. One of the girls I’m talking to is also pregnant, just a month behind me, and would be wonderful to hang out with. I’ll still probably sleep alone but that’s not the worst thing in the world. At least I’ll have Thor, our Blue Nose Pit Bull, who reminds me so much of Johnny (they both have giant craniums and need constant attention).

The time apart will be good for us, and for his family, I’m sure. I’ve been pretty overwhelmed being with him 24/7 and asked if I could spend more time at home, so I can clean and shave my legs and meditate, and other things I don’t have time to do. This weekend I’ll have lots of time for whatever I want to do.

This will be a good time for us to find out what we do without each other, with all the freedom to do what we want. Let’s see what happens!

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.

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.