I’m not good at thinking on my feet and need time to process conversations and situations. What I am good at however, is pattern matching and making connections, treating it all as data I guess, that can be interpreted until I understand who/what I’m dealing with. This isn’t necessarily the best thing for an overthinker but does lead to interesting insights, so I’m not going to complain too loudly.
Take the messaging with FLG, for example. He’ll say something that sparks in my brain and I’ll search back through the messages until I find what’s piqued my interest. Messaging might be a series of transient thoughts and fleeting moments but over time, the words and intent twist synergistically into something else. That’s not quite enough for me to see the shape of it in my brain though. It’s spending physical time with him, hearing his intonation that helps me spot who he is in his written words.
And messaging him, I tell him stuff about me. I’m more open than he is and sometimes hit send before having that “oh, what the fuck did I just send that for?” moment, but he thankfully takes that in his stride. But when I am being myself and put myself into words, I see things about who I am and what I want.
There’s been a couple of occasions recently where I’ve flung off a frustrated message, not meant for him. Or it’s a rhetorical comment. And even though he knows that’s what it is, that no reply is needed, he’s still responded. And those replies have stopped me short, made me think.
His biggest prompts have helped me work out why I am poly. Back in December, when I realised I was, I didn’t have an explanation for it and quite honestly, still fully don’t.
Late one night, about a month ago, I was chatting through some of the issues TSH and I have and he responded with “I’m not sure there’s any one person who can love you completely in the way that you need”. The comment sort of slid off me at the time but I kept coming back to it and coming back to it. And I still am.
I’m nearly 40 and despite not believing in the fairy tale of monogamy, I’ve always expected just one person to fulfill my needs. There’s always been a let down or disconnect, not maliciously or intended (mostly) but perhaps poly is a way of having all my needs met without that weight of expectation. It takes the pressure off me and off my partner(s) and allows us more to be who we are. Love each other in the ways that we are able to love.
And re-affirming that, I’d discussed parts of my “manifesto” with FLG and in the end, it was easier just to send him the list. His response was very similar to the one before, saying “I’m not sure any one person can do all that”. He’s absolutely right.
And more to the point, I don’t want one person to do all that and be all that. Perhaps it’s fear but I don’t trust that the rug won’t be ripped out from under my feet yet again. It’s spreading the risk.
Right now, I have two men asking me for time. And that’s asking a lot of me. In addition to that, I’m trying to navigate not one but two relationships, both with their challenges and that makes things so much harder.
With one, TSH, I know what I’ve got to lose but know that things really do have to get better. He’s trying really hard. He’s addressing the issues, but I can’t give him forever (cue David Bowie in my head saying “It’s only forever, not long at all”… sigh) and don’t know how long I can stretch out in limbo for.
With the other, FLG, I’m not sure what I do gain as neither he nor I actually know what’s being offered. That’s the bit I have to wait for. There’s glimpses of possibilities but he’s in a position to talk and do very little else. He is incredibly busy right now and I understand but it’s still frustrating and I’m struggling with that. I do have an approximate time frame from him though which is a positive thing. Then again, it might end tomorrow because of his circumstances.
On paper, the answer is easy: walk away, save my sanity.
But real life is rarely that straightforward; this is messy and emotional and as far from clear cut as it can be.
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