AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the month “January, 2014”

Once More… with Feeling

Ben just spent the weekend at my place again. After having a rather intense conversation on Friday night, I asked him if it would be okay if I talked about that particular conversation on this blog. He said, I was just thinking about telling you that that would be fine. It’s uncanny how alike we think. We often attribute it to the fact that we both have a nonverbal learning disability, which affects various things including visual-spatial reasoning and social skills. We are often unable to read social cues. However, one of the few things Ben and I do not have in common is the desire to have children. Ben wants to and I’m pretty sure I don’t. I don’t like saying that I will never have kids, because I like keeping possibilities open. In September, I dated someone as a potential primary partner who told me he was going to have a vasectomy and my immediate thought was, but what if I want the option.

When Ben was here, we talked about children. I told him that when I was with my longtime ex, I thought about kids for a good chunk of the relationship and I felt like it was hanging over my head. That’s part of the reason why I ended it. After the conversation ended, Ben was crying. I was upstairs and came down to talk about it. He told me that he has accepted the fact that if we stay together for the long term, which we both would like, there probably will not be children. One of the wonderful things about polyamory is that he could potentially have children with someone else. I told him early on that I would be comfortable with 3 of us living together, assuming she and I got along, and the 2 of them raising children. I like the idea of being the aunt. I would like to help out from time to time, but I don’t necessarily want to have the responsibility for the rest of my life. I very much enjoy my independence. Also, like many people who consider themselves feminists, I  think that women should have the choice of whether to have children or not. I’m very much aware of the fact that if Ben and I had children, he would gladly take on the lion’s share of the responsibility. I know that I wouldn’t be the pregnant and barefoot wife in the kitchen. However, it still involves a lot of work that I’m not sure I want. I like talking about these things early on in the relationship because I think it’s important to clarify what you want in the long term. Some people find it scary and intense, but personally, I don’t do small talk. 

If you have any questions, send me an email to miriam@askmiriam.ca  Thanks as always for reading my blog!

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

When we speak of polyamory, we mean multiple loves, if you translate it literally. Since I was about 15, I have been fascinated by love. I loved observing couples on the Toronto subway and on the streets. I remember my mother encouraging me to read up on it and figure out what it means to me. Of course, I wouldn’t actually say those words until I was 18 and in my first serious relationship. My boyfriend at the time was somewhat shy and I was the one to bring it up and even then, it was actually in a phone conversation. Not that I was that shy at the time either, but definitely not as confident as I am now at age 30. I told him I was thinking about him and certain words came to my mind. He said, is it I love cereal? He loved cereal, and yes, he loved me. In my longest relationship to date, I wanted to say it just a few months in, but I knew it would not be reciprocated, so I waited. I would not say it until about 6 months into our relationship and even then, I had to wait a week before he said it back. That was quite a difficult week, but definitely worth the wait. At this point in my life, I don’t think the phrase need be reciprocated because it is perfectly acceptable for people to be at different points in the relationship. Sometimes I think I say those words quite easily because I feel comfortable with people fairly quickly. Of course, it shows the depth of my feelings for the other person and I don’t say it lightly.

So what is love anyway? Ben and I have similar definitions, unsurprisingly. It means no reservations. You know the person somewhat well and you take them as they are. We all have our foibles and when you love someone, you take them with their foibles and you don’t try to change them. A friend of mine also said that love means no ambiguities. You know where you stand. In that case, saying the words is almost optional. I am personally of the opinion that you don’t have to say the words all the time once they have been said, but it is of course nice to hear and be reminded.

At this point in my life, I want to be accepted for who I am. I told Ben that coming into this relationship, I resolved that I wouldn’t change myself for the other person’s benefit. As many of my readers know, many people have described me as intense. Personally, I think of myself as a very laidback person and I can tolerate a lot of things. I told Ben that I can be seen as intense because I express how I’m feeling. There are times when I hide things, but generally, people know what’s going on in my head and for some reason, that can be intimidating. I think that especially in the context of polyamory, you have to own how you are feeling. By putting your feelings out there, you may be making yourself vulnerable, but it will be to your benefit. If putting your feelings out there means saying I love you, I say go for it. It’s never too early or too late to let someone know how you feel.

 

The Student

Sunday and Monday were days of firsts for me and others. On Sunday, I received a text message from someone I am calling Enrique. Ben and I met Enrique at a sex club on New Year’s Day. He was a very young looking guy who was clearly very interested in me, but not very experienced. He cuddled me while Ben and I had sex, which was a lot of fun. However, he also bit me while kissing me, which was a turnoff because kissing is very important to me. We all exchanged phone numbers. Enrique and Ben also seemed to have a nice chat when we were getting ready to leave the sex club and I liked that. I really like it when everyone gets along. Hurray for metamours!

Enrique and I have exchanged a few texts since that day and on Sunday, he wrote that he was thinking of coming to Toronto, if there was room for him. He lives 1.5 hours away. I suddenly felt very nervous and I felt the need to call Ben to see what he thought. This was the first time I have called a partner to see if what I was doing would be okay. My motto in life is, do what and who you want, so I surprised myself that I felt the need to call Ben. I was nervous about the fact that he wasn’t very experienced. Ben was, of course, completely fine with Enrique coming over. I feel very fortunate that at this point in my life, there are 3 men who are very happy to travel to see me (Ben, Enrique, and a certain person in Texas). Enrique arrived on Monday night. His eagerness is both charming and off-putting. He stepped into the foyer of my house and just started making out with me. As I mentioned before, he’s not a very good kisser, but I told him I wanted to teach him how to be a better lover and he kept calling me Dr. Katz, which I have to say I enjoyed. He really likes French kissing and I told him he has to work up to it. You can’t just stick your tongue in a woman’s mouth, especially mine. Of course, every woman is different, but I think most women appreciate some leadup. By Tuesday morning, his kissing technique was starting to improve.

Later that night, Enrique and I were in bed and I asked him if he would go down on me. It was actually his first time going down on a woman. I have to say, he was pretty good at it. Unfortunately, when he kissed me afterward, I felt turned off and I was ready to sleep, but Enrique was still riled up. Neither of us slept very well. He neglected to tell me before going to bed that he would have slept like a rock if he had come. Of course, that does not change the fact that I was not in the mood. Enrique is very keen to see me again, but I am not starting another long distance relationship. Despite the desire to be a teacher, I also don’t want to be involved with someone who’s inexperienced. It can be exhausting. I very much appreciate Enrique’s desire to get better, though. 

If you have any questions, send me an email to miriam@askmiriam.ca

The Blog that Could Not be Titled

I have tried and tried to settle on a name for this blog. I talked with Ben about titling it, subversive normality. I was also thinking about calling it, back to the future. Then I thought of calling it, what a difference a week makes. Anyway, no title it is. 

You know that feeling when something just clicks? I got that last week. Ben spent the entire week with me. I was initially a bit nervous about it because it would be much longer than any amount of time we spent together before. I thought we might get on each other’s nerves. I thought, what if the sex just isn’t good enough. I was wrong. So very very wrong, thankfully. Ben arrived on Sunday (Dec. 29) and would end up staying until the following Sunday. He had talked about having a New Year’s Eve party in London, Ontario, where he lives, but instead, I had one at my place. When he arrived on the 29th, something happened. I’m not sure what it was, but I just felt good about him and I. We both expressed desire in wanting to say, I love you. I know it’s partly NRE, but I didn’t care. I knew that that’s what I was feeling. I told Ben that I am always the first one to say it. He understood that if it was going to be said between us, he was going to take initiative. I told him, get to know me better first. We also talked about what exactly love means to us and our definitions were, of course, very similar. It’s when you get to a point where there are no reservations. Of course, you don’t know everything about the person yet, but the things you do know, you like. Even if there are things about the person you don’t like, you still really like the person. All week, it seemed like Ben and I completed each other’s thoughts, even though we’ve only been dating for a month. How strange and wonderful!

New Year’s Eve rolled around. I had a few friends over to my place for a very relaxed party. We had a potluck and lots of discussion. Some poly friends were there, so the topic of poly did come up and the non-poly people seemed to appreciate that. As the clock changed to midnight on January 1, 2014, Ben said, I love you Miriam. I said, I love you too. I was very touched. I hugged him tightly and I couldn’t resist telling my friends. What a joyous occasion indeed. And all week, it didn’t stop. We decided we would be primary partners, even though we hate the term. I really don’t like hierarchy, but I feel like Ben will be an extremely important person in my life. On January 2, we visited a sex club and I told Ben that if he asked me to marry him, I would probably say yes. Ben complimented me on my grey hair and said, I want us to get grey hair together. He told me he pictured us in a house with an old stove, eating lentil stew. The imagery was so evocative. I told Ben that he is one of the only people I’ve met who really understands and appreciates me. I know, I know- again, it’s the NRE, but it still rings true. 

As you can see from my last post on the Green Eyed Demon, some jealousy did come up. I brought it up with Ben and he actually told me he would be monogamous for me. I know that there are relationships where one person is poly and the other is monogamous, but to me, it doesn’t feel fair. I also don’t like the idea of “opening up” the relationship. I want us to be poly from the get-go. So, poly we are. This is very good timing because, as mentioned in an earlier post, someone from Texas is coming to visit me. He will be here from Feb 21-23. I’m interested in seeing what wil happen there…

A Question About The Green Eyed Demon

Question: What makes you jealous? And how do you find that jealousy manifests itself?

Answer: Funnily enough, I’ve been grappling with this issue lately with my new partner, who will be called Ben from hereon. In the throes of a new relationship, jealousy can seem almost lethal. A friend, (who writes this blog: itsnotaboutthesex.wordpress.com) reminded me today that our monogamous programming makes us want to possess our partner. We want to own and be owned by them. We have to remind ourselves that people are not possessions. We are all free to do as we wish. If we are not monogamous, we flirt with other people. This does not negate existing relationships. In fact, when I’m excited by a new relationship, I flirt more. I want to start more relationships because other relationships I’m in are going so well. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get jealous. Ben and I discussed how jealousy can be a fear of loss and that’s not a wholly unhealthy thing. It reminds us how much we care. 

One thing that probably makes me the most jealous is when my partner is flirting with someone and I haven’t been alerted in advance. Ben and I were at an event recently where many people were flirting with us. One woman took his attention for some time. When I saw them kissing, I felt jealous, partly because kissing can be so intimate. It’s one thing to see your partner have sex with someone else; kissing is somehow different. I remember an old partner of mine saying that swingers often don’t kiss because it signifies closeness. Anyway, the most important thing to remember is that jealousy can be overcome. Another wise friend of mine said that self-confidence is important. When we believe in ourselves and our worthiness as a partner, we remember that we have nothing to be nervous about. This also reminds us that our partner has good judgment and other people can see that our partner is awesome. Compersion is often described as the opposite of jealousy. When we can be happy for our partners and remember that new experiences enrich their and subsequently our lives, jealousy can melt away. Finally, I find that communication does wonders in countering jealousy. When everyone is on the same page about who is flirting with whom and who is dating whom, things work quite well.

If you have any questions, send me an email to miriam@askmiriam.ca Thanks for reading! I will post a blog in the next few days about the last week with my new partner. Stay tuned for a blog about subversive normality…

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