…in an ideal, picturesque, though not entirely unachievable, world.
Some folk never quite get into traditional lifestyles. Some folk feel a bit off, but allow themselves to get settled, more or less happily, into a traditional lifestyle. Some get dragged, kicking and screaming, into a life they don’t want. I happened to be the first one, should that be of interest to you.
One’s entrance into polyamory might closer resemble a giant rock crashing down a cliff into the ocean, than a canyon eroded by a river.
…polyamory isn’t always easy at first.
You come into it, you may not know much of anything good about love and relationships, you’ve probably got to unlearn a suitcase full of toxic and destructive ideas (“Jealousy proves someone loves you,” etc, etc.).
The hard part about polyamory isn’t getting two or twenty partners– although, actually, the latter does sound pretty difficult. The real difficulty is opening yourself and adjusting your ideas of what is and isn’t possible. It’s a different way of seeing romantic love, or, perhaps, even love itself. After all, you needn’t be romantic to be polyamorous.
After that, well, the rest is mostly logistics and finding someone who fits your desires, kinks, needs, etc. Balancing Google calendars. Figuring out if you both/all want kids or not. But you gotta do all that for any romantic life partner. Poly or otherwise.
But it’s not so easy to abandon ingrained Rules of Relationships. That takes time…and…after a while…you learn something new…
Yes, a married man can stay the night away from his wife…and a wife can spend the night from her husband.
“I met a man. He’s married and he cannot stay the night with me.” The first time she’s denied this it feels wrong, as if she’s left out of something that makes this love real. A simple thing, she’s always been used to in any relationship. But he always goes home to his wife. She thinks this is just what she should expect…until she dates another married man. He willing spends nights with her, not every night, but some nights. He say, A married man is perfectly capable of spending a night with his girlfriend.”
She realizes something, too, because, frankly, she is coming to understand that she likes having her bed to herself. Some of the time. The last man didn’t owe it to her. Over time, she realizes, “Even if he were single, he had every right to choose to spend those nights with someone else, or simply keep them for himself. I can’t expect him to spend nights with me automatically, but to seek someone who consciously chooses to spend them with me, should I desire it. Because he’ll have to accept that I can’t give him every night, either.” It’s not about what has to be, but what she and he want.
If you love two people at the same time, choose both. Because loving the second does not invalidate the first.
“He can’t possibly love me. He already loves someone.” Perhaps it’s true, perhaps not. She feels this is true, in her heart, except, except. Tiny doubts swirl. The man who claimed to love her yesterday left her without a second thought, she tells herself. The man who says he probably doesn’t love her, that he isn’t sure about his feelings, treats her as she would treat someone she loved. In little ways. Texts her good night with an emoji of two people kissing, even though he doesn’t seem the “type.” He remembers her favorite candies are salted caramel dipped in DARK chocolate.
Tonight, can you hold me a few minutes longer? Of course, I can, he says as he pulls her tighter to his chest. And a part of her begins questioning the difference between what she thinks love should be in theory and what it’s meant to her in reality. “Does he love me or not, and, truthfully, do I care?” She doesn’t know. She thinks she ought to care, but she feels too happy to let herself drown in worry. He’s never said it, but a lot of people have said it to her, some that she met only virtually, some that she never even said a word to, but they loved her, somehow. And none of that made her feel a fraction of how good she feels now.
Long distance love is more than possible.
“I can’t be with him, he’s too far away. It’ll never work.” It’s never worked for her in the past. She doesn’t mind, it’s just a fling. “He’ll get bored.” But he doesn’t. A trip happens, unexpectedly soon. I’m traveling to him tomorrow, for three days. She can’t stop the excitement from shooting through her, almost like a pain. Six months later, he travels to her. This time for a week. “This can’t work,” she reminds herself. The distance is bound to kill the spark. “He’ll find someone new.”
And he does, because he needs someone to share his bed through the night, too. But he doesn’t stop talking to her. The texts, the gifts, the video chats, all keep coming. Somehow, it feels as if it’s working. For now, for the moment…and for all the moments for the next three years…she wonders, “When will it stop working?” Eventually, she forgets to stop asking the question, far too busy managing her local loves and him.
and so it goes. each wave crashing, receding. an evolution of thought in relationships.
I apologize if I cannot give much of a timeline on how long it takes. I never bothered to learn love from fairytales or romances. I thought they were sweet, I still read fairytales. Scandanavian, Greek, Russian, Chinese. But I never took The Little Mermaid as a model of love. I learned love and relationships from watching people.
What was possible and what wasn’t possible I learned from watching what worked and didn’t work for others. I actually thought I’d learn about sex by joining my friends for the first time, because what did I know? Better to see it for myself.
I believe– and you may correct me if you like– that if something is possible for one person, it is possible for any person. Desired by anyone? No. Concievably able to happen? Barring any practical limitations, yes. Trying to force your partner to date the person you find attractive? Not very possible. Wanting your partner to spend the night with you? Completely possible.
Of course your partner may not want to spend the night away from their home. Your partner might, at your gentle nudging, find themselves swooning over the girl you picked out for them (in your head). It all depends on what people want, plus what people are capable of offering (occasionally there are limitations in what a person wants to do and what they can do). But I imagine they aren’t as limited as you’ve been made to believe.