AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “jealousy”

Into Trouple

The word ‘Trouple’ was coined by Eve when she was here last week and I really like it, so I’ve decided to name this post Into Trouple. As many of you know, Eve visited Ben and I last week. Last weekend, I went to Beijing and by the time I arrived home on Sunday evening, Eve was there. It’s a bit odd walking into your apartment when your fiance’s girlfriend is there, but anyway, Eve and I had a nice hug and we all had dinner together. The first night was slightly awkward given that Eve and I were meeting for the first time. I was in a horny mood that night since I had been away for several days, so Ben and I asked Eve if she would be okay with seeing us have sex and she said yes. She said that it only made her feel a bit uncomfortable, so we felt thankful for that. I did feel a bit attracted to Eve that first night, but I didn’t want to do anything that would make her feel uncomfortable, so we all went to sleep.

First I will talk about the positive and surprising things that happened and then, the negative things. On Monday, Ben and I went to teach and Eve observed Ben’s classes. Later on, the 3 of us and some other friends, including Alex, went to the Chinese equivalent of karaoke, KTV. We all had a pretty good time, though Eve felt a bit left out. Afterward, we had dinner with Alex and then went home. Awhile ago, Ben and I bought an ebike and the 3 of us attempted to ride home on that, which was successful, but not something we would do again. After getting home, the 3 of us were cuddling. Eve told me how much she liked cuddling and I told her the same. I was very surprised when she started putting her hands under my clothes. What surprised me even more was how turned on I felt. She asked me if I wanted her to kiss me and I said yes. I’m always impressed at how forthright she is and I was even more impressed by her kissing skills. As the week progressed, we would wake up every morning and usually what happened was that Ben would go to the bathroom or get a drink of water and Eve and I started cuddling and kissing. Ben would return to the bed and we would have a threesome; Ben would go down on me and Eve would kiss me and suck on my breasts. Then the 2 of them would have sex. I told Eve that of all the women I’ve been with sexually, she turns me on the most. On the night before Eve left, she and Ben gave me the most intense orgasm of my life and I told both of them that. Eve and I also had a good time together when we were not being sexual. The 2 of us had 2 meals together and had good conversations. There were a couple of moments during the visit where I could tell we were thinking similar things at the same time. Overall, we got along very well, as I had expected. I was most nervous for her in this new situation, but I think she dealt with everything well. She mentioned that she does not consider herself a possessive person, so this scenario is fine for her. Finally, she and Ben said I love you to each other, which made all of us happy. Many people would ask me, doesn’t that make you jealous. At this point in my poly life, I have loved 2 people at the same time and it’s an incredible feeling. It makes you appreciate the people for who they are. It also brings a certain stability to the relationship, which makes things more regular for me. If Ben was just to have casual sex, for example, I wouldn’t be able to predict when that might happen, so a regular relationship is nice.

For the negative things: There were times last week when I did feel left out. It can be difficult when your partner has a new relationship and you feel like you are the one looking in. This situation is new for all of us; Ben hasn’t had a serious relationship since he and I got together, so I haven’t really had to share him that much. The new relationship energy can be daunting because it can make one feel insecure and wonder whether you give your partner enough. That being said, both Ben and Eve were concerned about me feeling left out and I think they did their best to include me; the threesomes certainly didn’t hurt. I also wanted to give them alone time, since they don’t get to see each other very much and I live with Ben all the time. Eve also said to me at one point, don’t fall in love with me, it would be too complicated. This is after we had been physical a couple of times. I told her that I will normally develop feelings for people if I’m physical with them enough times. She said that she enjoyed kissing and cuddling with me, but she still identifies as straight. I fully respect that and I don’t want to cause her any discomfort because she’s an important person in my life, but I was a bit taken aback when she said that. Anyway, if I was going to have a female partner, she would be different from Eve. Ben and Eve are both very similar to each other, as they both identify as INTJ on the Myers Briggs scale (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). Ben and I think in some similar ways and Eve and Ben think similarly in other ways. I would want to be with someone who’s a bit more similar to me – extroverted and artistic. I have often been the artistic person who spends time with science geeks and it would be nice to find someone who’s more similar to me in those ways.

On Saturday in the early hours, Ben and Eve went to the airport. They had to leave our apartment just after 5am because Eve’s flight left at 8. I left with them to make sure they were able to catch a taxi. They did make it to the airport and as I expected, I had trouble getting back to sleep. My mind conjured up many different things, including a general feeling of insecurity. I know that Ben would never leave me and I know that Eve cares about me, but the irrational part of me was saying, Eve is better for Ben; they will stay together and Ben and I won’t. Eve excites Ben and I don’t, so why should I bother. Of course, I know now that I was being irrational. Ben came home and reassured me that he’s not going anywhere. We are both committed to each other for life. The more pertinent question in fact is what will happen with Ben and Eve. We will see her in Vietnam at the end of June before we go back to Canada, but so much after that is unknown. Once Ben and I return to Canada, money will probably be an issue and we may not be able to come back to Vietnam in the near future. Eve will apply to school in North America, but there’s no guarantee that she’ll get accepted and she’ll need a scholarship to attend. Even until the end of June, we may not be able to talk to Eve much because she’s working in another city and will be living with her co-workers. Many of them know about her foreign boyfriend, but not about the polyamory. There are many unknowns at the moment, so we’ll see where it all goes. As Ben said, there is no question of ‘if’ they will be together; the question is ‘how.’

Thank you as always for reading. If you have a relationship question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

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Responsibility and Envy

This week, I want to write about 2 things, which are more related than one might expect. First off, responsibility. What I mean in this case is responsibility for one’s own emotions and for the emotions of others. I recently read this article: http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/polypeople.shtml. It makes the very good point that there are some poly people who act as if they have no responsibility for how they make others feel. We can make partners and metamours jealous, for example. Jealousy isn’t a completely bad thing, but if we can change our actions to make others feel better, why not do that? We cannot completely abdicate responsibility for how we affect others if only because our happiness can depend on making others happy. I definitely think that we should treat others the way we want to be treated as well. Often, Ben, Eve, and I all talk on skype together. I am conscious of the fact that Eve sometimes feels jealous when she sees Ben and I being affectionate. She wondered how she would feel when she comes to visit us if she sees us kissing, cuddling, or perhaps having sex. We decided to do an experiment; Ben and I kissed while Eve watched. Afterward, she said she didn’t feel uncomfortable, so we were all happy about that.

Her visit is now 1 week away and we are all anxious. I told her that I felt that this visit hinges less on how she and Ben feel about each other and more about how she and I feel about each other. She needs to be able to deal with the fact that Ben is with both of us and that won’t change. I think it is in all of our interest that she is made to feel comfortable and secure with Ben. I know that I may feel jealous while she is around because Ben will be giving someone else lots of attention, but in the grand scheme of things, I want Ben to be happy and I know that that includes having Eve in his life. Likewise, Ben wants to see me happy with someone else, though I don’t expect that to happen until we return to Canada at the end of June.

This past week, Ben and I celebrated 1 year of being engaged. Generally, we spend Monday evenings doing things together as a couple and I decided to do something romantic for that anniversary. I bought candles, a flower, and sweets. I spread the flower petals over a sheet on top of a blanket on the floor, lit the candles, and put the sweets on plates. Ben was very happily surprised, which pleased me. Unfortunately, some of the candle wax got on the blanket, which is what we sleep under, but we had a nice time. That evening, Eve wanted to talk to someone and Ben was occupied. She has also been in contact with someone else and he was also occupied. At that time, Eve felt a whole set of emotions about Ben and I celebrating our anniversary, including envy. When it comes to poly, everyone talks about jealousy, but few people speak of envy. It is under the jealousy umbrella in the broader sense, but it can simply be defined as wanting what someone else has. I sometimes feel envious about what Ben and Eve have. Of course, I’m happy that Ben found someone else that he connects with so strongly, but I also want the same thing for myself. I don’t expect to find that until at least moving to Vancouver in mid-July. I am partly a competitive person by nature and I often feel that I should be achieving more than those around me, so perhaps the envy plays into that. For the moment, we have to see if the relationship will continue between Ben and Eve.

As always, I appreciate your reading. If you have any sort of relationship question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Learning Compersion

This post will be about 2 things: learning and compersion. Ben commented to me the other day that once you learn about poly, it’s difficult to go back to monogamy. You cannot unlearn the fact that you are aware that polyamory and non-monogamy exist. You might try it out and find out it’s not for you, but if you get into it and like it, I think it’s quite difficult to go back. I’m always reminded of someone I interviewed for a little research project who said to me, I feel like I passed a signpost that said, you will be poly from here on out. For myself, I feel the same way. There are many different ways to be poly and those may change, but for those of us who like all genders, we will always have the desire to be with more than one gender. For people who are straight and poly, the desire to have different relationships will be there as well. As many of my readers know, I got into poly because of a certain American person. Once I met him and I was aware that I could have feelings for more than 1 person, there was no turning back.

Ben, Eve, and I continue to have regular contact. She will definitely be coming here at the end of April. As Eve and I get to know each other better, we like each other more and more. She even said that she would be friends with me with or without Ben and I feel the same way. We think very similarly and our interests are also similar. Both of us have had few meaningful relationships in the past with women because we are very different from most women, so it’s always nice to meet a woman who is like us. Eve has never been attracted to a woman before and of course, it’s hard to know at this point if we’ll be attracted to each other because we haven’t met yet. I also don’t want to get my hopes up because Eve might end up living very far away from us. She’s applying to do her Master’s in Europe and we’ll be on the west coast of North America. There is a chance that she could do her Master’s in Canada, but the particular program she wants to apply to is in Guelph, which isn’t all that close to where we’ll be. I’m planning to apply for my PhD in Washington, Michigan, and California and that would start next year.

By getting to know Eve better, I find that compersion is so much easier. I’m happy for Eve and Ben because I want them both to be happy. As a reminder, compersion is often described as the opposite of jealousy; when you are happy for your partner to be involved, in whatever way, with others. I don’t think that experiencing compersion is necessarily a requirement of poly, but I think it definitely helps get over whatever jealousy existed. I think it also helps us let go of the possessive side of love. Don’t get me wrong – there are times where I want Ben all to myself. For the time that we’ve been involved, we haven’t really had other serious relationships, so this does take some getting used to. In the end though, Ben and I want to create a team of love. This could mean several of us living together and supporting each other in whatever ways are needed. It’s not for everyone, but I think that having that kind of bond would be amazing. A true poly family.

Thank you as always for reading! If you have a question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

 

AskMiriam about Jealousy

Questions: How do you deal with the jealousy problem? If, for example, Amy had more interest in Ben and she wants to monopolize Ben’s time, how would you deal that?

Answer: Periodically, I get asked about jealousy and I don’t think it’s a topic I could write too much about. This particular question, however, involves 3 people: myself, Ben, and Amy, so it’s a bit more specialized. I am of the opinion that every relationship is unique. Amy cannot replace what Ben and I have and I cannot replace what Amy and Ben have. If Amy wanted to spend more time with Ben, I hope that she would tell me that. At the very least, Ben would tell me and we would talk about it. The same thing might happen if I met someone new and wanted to spend more time with them; I would tell Ben about it. Now, scheduling isn’t very romantic, but I think it’s nice when people decide in advance that they’ll spend certain nights together. Of course those nights could change, but perhaps they won’t. Most people require consistency in their lives and I often feel that I do as well, even though I also enjoy adventures.

This question also deals with the issue of insecurity. If Ben were to spend more time with Amy, would I feel insecure about myself or the relationship? The answer for me is, not really. I do consider myself lucky because I was raised with a healthy sense of self. A lot of women are taught to feel bad about themselves and have low self esteem as a result. No matter the gender, some people would also think they are being replaced by the new person. I think communication goes a long way toward remedying this. If we remind our partners how much they mean to us, that certainly helps. If we do something like have sex soon after our partner comes back from seeing their partner, that can sometimes help too. We can also develop feelings of compersion, meaning we are happy when our partner is with someone else. I personally still want to develop that more… These issues aren’t always easy and depending on our own personal situation, they can feel better or worse. It’s important to be kind to yourself and tell your partner what your needs are in this situation. As always, communicate, communicate, communicate. The person with the new partner should also be sensitive toward their existing partner(s)’ feelings.

As a note, I’m currently on holiday. Tomorrow I’m off to Japan and in mid February, I head to Taiwan. I hope to have some adventures while on the road. Stay tuned! If you have a question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca Thank you as always for reading!

Islands in the Stream

Remember that old Simon and Garfunkel song? I am a rock, I am an island. That song reminds us that humans are not islands. We depend on other people for many things like social interaction, companionship, etc. Unfortunately, when you’re in a couple, people treat you as if you’re an island. I often feel that Ben and I are not included in certain activities because we are a couple and people feel they should not disturb us. As if we need our alone time, all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with Ben, but we need friends just as much as the next person. Ben and I have remarked that if we had come to Asia as single people, we probably would have met more people by now and would have made friends more easily.

I think this can become a problem in any relationship, whether polyamorous, monogamous, or any other type. It can be very easy to depend on your partner(s) and everything else seems secondary. Over the course of my life, I have been as guilty of this as any other person. When I was in my second last year of high school, I started dating my first serious boyfriend. I had dated a bit before him, but it felt like my first real relationship. Suddenly, everything else seemed less important and I wanted to spend nearly all of my free time with him. Through high school, I had a best friend and I only realized later that I was excluding her from my life. As I have gotten older, I have tried my best not to do things like this. It’s important to me to have friends and I continue to strive for deeper friendships. Not to mention, I need time to do things for myself such as exercise, write, cook, etc.

One of the benefits of polyamory is that we can have more people in our life. We can have friends who we may occasionally have sex with. We may have a romantic partner who we don’t have sex with. We might have long distance partners who we trade emails with. All of these people enrich our lives in some way and there is no reason to exclude any of them. In some monogamous relationships, partners are not permitted to see certain people because it might cause jealousy, so dependence on each other may grow in an unhealthy way. Before I left Canada, I saw my ex of 8.5 years a few times, and his partner did not like that. I really wanted to be friends with my ex; we did share most of our 20s together and we were fortunate enough to live abroad. Just before I left, my ex’s partner was starting to accept the fact that we were friends and I was happy about that.

For the moment, I feel lucky to be in China with Ben. However, I find that I want more social contact and it can be difficult to do that in a country where you can’t speak the language very well. I am very much an extrovert and it’s nice to have friends you can count on. After all, we are not islands in the stream… Thank you as always for reading and if you have a relationship question, please email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Culture, Politics, and Polyamory

Today I ask this question: Can certain political systems and cultures lend themselves better or worse to polyamory? I’ve been thinking about this because I’m now in China and I wonder if a more collective style of culture and politics would lead to more people being in multiple relationships. According to this website: https://sites.google.com/site/itsawomanschoice1/history-of-polyamory,  it has been common throughout Chinese history for men to have one wife as well as multiple concubines. For some nomadic Tibetans, it was common for a woman to marry multiple brothers, which is known as fraternal polyandry. However, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, men have 1 wife and concubines no longer exist. Of course, China currently has the issue that the ratio of men to women is very unbalanced, due to the One Child Policy and selective abortion. Would it be advantageous for men to marry more than 1 woman? However, for most of the women, they would not abide by this and if the man had multiple wives, the woman should have the right to marry more than 1 man or to have multiple partners.

Although China is known as a communist country, it has been moving toward capitalism for many years now. Someone I spoke to labelled China a totalitarian capitalist state and I think most people would agree with that. Western countries have, for the most part, also embraced capitalism, which includes a belief in the scarcity of resources. Last year, I had the fortune to attend an academic polyamory conference in Berkeley and one speaker talked about polyamory in the context of scarcity. We have all been taught that we can only share so much; can we really share our love? In a time of crisis, which many consider us to be in right now, can we afford to share more? Personally, I think that if we moved toward more sharing, there would be less of a crisis. For example, a couple now in your average city, be it here in China or in North America, can barely afford to buy a house. Imagine if that couple was polyamorous and they both had partners; all parties express interest in living together. Perhaps the 4 could afford a house. If 2 out of those 4 decided to have 1 or 2 children, all 4 could share in the cost and effort of raising the child(ren).

Many people view polyamory as a modern Western phenomenon. What would happen if it spread all over the world? Although we are all from different cultures, we all want love, just like we all need shelter and warmth. I think the biggest obstacle isn’t culture or politics; it’s the perception of what polyamory means and the awareness that it is possible. Everywhere Ben and I go, we always get asked if we get jealous. Like many things, jealousy pervades every culture and it is not an easy issue to deal with because it’s not black or white. Jealousy is not wholly good or bad and it is possible to overcome. Now, if only I could explain that in Mandarin…

Being There

Ben and I had a unique experience, especially within Vietnam, this week. On Monday, Ben had a date with someone just outside Hanoi that went very well. I have to admit that I was a bit jealous about it, but I was very happy for him. The woman is Vietnamese and I was scared that perhaps Ben would want to stay in Vietnam to continue seeing her, but he did assure me that was not the case; she was also interested in living in another country. 2 days after their date, we both went to see her. I was very curious to meet this woman because she seemed very genuine and she clearly really liked Ben; she had been sending him lots of text messages that indicated her feelings. Unfortunately, our meeting didn’t go very well. Ben had spoken repeatedly about me and about how our relationship works, but she didn’t seem to understand it. She was warm toward me and she brought her very cute daughter along, but the meeting felt very awkward. I don’t think she knew what to make of Ben and I and she didn’t feel comfortable being affectionate toward Ben while we were all together.

What sealed the deal for Ben was the fact that she assumed we would pay for everything. After the 3 of us went to karaoke, I asked her if she could help pay for it, since we all sang and had snacks there. That’s when she told us she didn’t have her wallet – we weren’t sure if she was forgetful or if that was purposeful. The price of the karaoke wasn’t that cheap, especially by Vietnamese standards, and given that we had all sung, I felt it was fair to share the cost. After we left, she told us that she needed to take a taxi back to her motorbike and she needed us to pay for that taxi. We felt very taken advantage of and decided we wouldn’t see her again. She did apologize for asking for the money to get back to her motorbike and explained that in Vietnam, men pay for everything. I asked her if that is also the case when women see their male friends and she said yes. Several hours after the date was over, she sent several messages to Ben saying that he had invited her to karaoke, therefore he should pay. Karaoke had merely been a suggestion on our part, not a given. She also assumed that we were earning lots of money and since she wasn’t earning much, we had the duty to pay. Ben told her we’ve been volunteering in Vietnam and that we didn’t have the means to pay for her all the time.

Ben was fairly upset after all of this because he initially really liked the woman. This leads me to discussing one of the benefits of polyamory : After a disappointment, you often have another partner or partners to help you get over it. I pride myself on being there for my partners and I was happy to console Ben. I also know that if I went through something similar, he would be there for me. When I started becoming poly, this is something I had never considered and I think it’s a definite benefit. Although there is potential for more breakups when you have multiple relationships, there is also potential for more comfort.

Thank you as always for reading. Ben and I are about to enter China – we’ll see what the opportunities are like there for polyamory… If you have any questions about any relationship, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Gender and Jealousy

I have written about jealousy before but it seems to be the topic that never goes away, so I felt compelled to write about it yet again. Over the weekend I went to a couple of poly events and I was asked repeatedly, do I get jealous? The answer is, well yes. The relationship between polyamory and jealousy is an interesting one. In some ways, we have more opportunities to be jealous because we might see our partner(s) with other people and feel jealous. We might hear our partner(s) talk about experiences they’ve had with other people and feel jealous. In monogamy, jealousy gets swept under the rug. Some people feel it shouldn’t even be discussed. I don’t think that’s a particularly healthy way to deal with jealousy and personally, I can’t sweep things under rugs.

I like talking about things and jealousy is sometimes one of those things. I feel that actually talking about it is the better thing to do because you can get to the root of why you feel that way. I think jealousy does come from a deeply ingrained place and we started learning about it as children. I think nearly everyone has some experience of abandonment in childhood and when you become an adult, it’s normal and sometimes healthy to feel that your partner may abandon you. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident in ourselves and in our relationships. Most relationships will end at some point and it’s important to know we can depend on ourselves and our friends and family for support when that does happen. However, I think that few poly relationships end due to jealousy because many of us are able to ask for what we need. For example, the jealousy may indicate that you want more time with your partner. If you don’t share that with your partner, they’ll never know.

So, what’s the relationship between gender and jealousy? Last year, I attended an academic polyamory conference in which one of the presenters gave a talk on jealousy. She compared poly men and women with regards to sexual jealousy, meaning you’re jealous because your partner is having sex with someone else, and emotional jealousy, meaning you’re jealous because your partner is forming emotional bonds with someone else. I was surprised to hear that her sample of poly men got more emotionally jealous than the women. Many people think that women are more prone to emotional jealousy, but I also think that many men are taught to take care for their partners, so when they see someone else starting to fulfill that role, they feel jealous. On the other hand, women are often taught to keep a tight hold on a good man when they find one. For thousands of years, women had to depend on men for financial security, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t want their men shacking up with other people. However, given that more and more women are in the workforce, this is of less concern. Thus, I think you can see that the relationship between gender and jealousy isn’t so clear cut.

So yes, I get jealous, but I can deal with it. Communication and a healthy sense of self are important, though they take time to be developed. Usually I just need a bit of reassurance that I’m important to my partner. I do believe though that having metamours (when your partner has a partner) has more benefits than drawbacks. As I mentioned recently, Tony and Ben get along and that makes me really happy. Awhile ago, Ben was dating someone and the 2 of them made a cake for me. I have to say, having metamours is pretty sweet…

If you have any questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca Ben and I leave on Friday afternoon for Korea. Either before then or during our long plane ride, I will write a blog on saying goodbye, an important part of most relationships.

How Jealousy Affects Relationships

I always get questions about whether I get jealous as a poly person. Of course it happens, but it also happens in any sort of relationship. For people who are monogamous, jealousy is present, but in a way, you are choosing not to deal with it or you just ignore it. For example, I was with the same person for 8.5 years until 2 years ago and we were monogamous; we remain friends. However, his girlfriend doesn’t want us to hang out because she’s jealous about it. He and I lived in Japan together and often went to karaoke there. We have liked doing it in Toronto as well. She is apparently especially jealous of that because she’s not a good singer. Also, we frequented a particular karaoke place where you have your own room, so she’s scared things will happen in that room. I have absolutely no intention of being sexual with my ex again, but I would like to be his friend. I’m nervous for him because they are moving in together this summer. I hope that she won’t squelch his social life because she wants to be with him all the time. Anyway, you can see that her jealousy has affected our relationship. I understand that she may be intimidated by our long relationship and it sounds to me like she hasn’t had a very positive long relationship either. I wish that this needn’t be the case. I remember when my ex and I started dating; I met his female best friend. I never thought that they would become romantically involved, but I was envious of the fact that she knew so much about him and I wanted that knowledge as well. Yes, envy is different from jealousy, but these are 2 terms under the same umbrella. The nice thing is, if you can be friends with the person, you can learn more about them. Recently, I’ve been spending time with Ben’s best friend and ex and I really enjoy hearing about what Ben was like in the past.

People often say that jealousy is caused by insecurity. I think this can be especially tricky for women because we are often taught by society not to believe in ourselves. I feel very lucky because I had a very supportive family. My parents almost never criticized anything I did and as a result, I have become a confident person. When I was a child, after my parents separated, my mom walked around the house naked a lot of the time and that helped me to be confident in my body. Many women have not been as lucky as me. I hope that with passing time, every woman will appreciate themselves and be appreciated for who they are. 

Compersion has been called the opposite of jealousy. Compersion means being happy for your partner, especially in the context of them doing things with other people. In poly, this could be them having a date or having sex with someone else. Although compersion has been a concept specifically designed for poly people, it can be used in the context of any relationship. If you aren’t poly, you can be happy for your partner when they, for example, make a new friend, get a new job, or have some other kind of important life event. Even if you were poly, you would of course be happy for your partner for those things as well. Why can’t we apply compersion to every relationship? I wish that my ex’s girlfriend would be happy when we spend time together because we meant a lot to each other and to an extent, we still do. We gave each other a lot of experiences we wouldn’t have otherwise had if we hadn’t been together. I probably never would have lived in Japan, for example, and I’m very grateful for him in that regard. I would very much like my ex and his girlfriend to be at my wedding. We’ll see if that comes to pass.

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

Life on Fast Forward

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about poly and time. I joke with people sometimes that remembering things is a hobby of mine. I write poetry fairly regularly and that allows me to remember things that have happened over the course of my life. I’ve been non-monogamous to different extents over the last 2 years- most of that time has been poly, but right after I ended the 8.5 year relationship, I wasn’t really in a place to have multiple relationships. In this 2 year span, so much has happened. I never expected I would be engaged so soon after ending that long relationship. I’ve had a lot of adventures all over the North American continent in the last 2 years and sometimes I can’t believe I’ve managed to cram so much into this short amount of time. A friend of mine said to me that poly isn’t just a way of life for me, it’s also something I’ve studied – that’s very true. I’ve wanted to learn as much as I could about poly, so I’ve gone to conferences, I’ve interviewed people, and I’ve had relationships with all sorts of folks. I remember that one person I interviewed said that she felt that she had gone past a sign that said you will be poly from here on out and that’s how I feel. I don’t think I could ever go back to being monogamous. Poly has its difficult moments, but it allows me to learn about myself and others. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun!

So, what have I learned from doing things quickly? Slow down. I like taking stock of all that’s happened in the last 2 years. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to learn so much. When I first started heading down this road, I really had no idea what to expect. As I wrote recently, I thought it would be difficult to meet people; that has not been hard at all. What’s difficult is the emotional side of it- dealing with jealousy, bolstering self confidence, etc. Remember, dear readers, it’s always important to remember where you came from. That occasionally causes conflict for me because the person who brought me into poly turned out to be a bit of a jerk. I’m glad I met him because he gave me this life, but he wasn’t always nice to me. When I ended things with him, he said to me, nobody talks to me this way – that shocked me, but also made me realize that ending things was the best thing I could have done. The truth is, I think about him a lot. I sometimes initiate contact with him, but he will never initiate contact with me. I know I need to let go, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever forget him. After all, I love remembering…

If you have any questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca. Thanks as always for reading!

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