Opening the door
I've been lucky in love, recently.
A friend of mine asked me the other day: 'But how do you find these partners who are open? How does that conversation come up?'. I forget how much of a baby poly I am because it hasn't been an issue for the people I'm currently dating. Mostly because I'm so open about my identity so it's already there before the conversation of dating comes up. Aside from my first partner, which was a hot and heavy hook up turned into a lovely romance and he HAPPENED to be poly (to which I found out the next morning over brunch and was overjoyed), all the rest of those I date have known that about me and are part of that conversation.
I think my friend's question threw me off a bit because I didn't have an answer. I'm generally not someone who is 'searching' for more partners, I've just lucked out. Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of bad dates and short term partners, some of whom cut me out of their life entirely once they brought up the 'I want to only date you' topic, and I responded with 'I can't do that'. It stung a bit, but mostly because I've always been open about being open, and it seemed like a surprise to them when I mentioned I can't do exclusivity. As if I was ruining their life for thinking otherwise, and was actually told I was a bad person for leading them on. It's that gaslight that really throws my anxiety into a spiral.
Actually, it's probably since that one person that I've been more ACTIVE about openly expressing my identity. When I was dating someone at the beginning of the year who I super liked it was on the table at that first conversation. Though, he was also not really looking for a commitment. The problem ended up being that being open and commitment aren't two separate things. I still needed someone who was committed to being with me, while also being okay with me having other partners. I've talked about how I'm 'too much' and part of being poly helps me feel like I'm not completely burdening a partner with all my garbage, while also needing to have them in my life constantly.
I'm a big communicator, so the issue of be being poly would come up early on in any romantic interest. Especially now that I am dating four people. If for some reason someone was to ask me on a date... (I'm going to do another blog about 'dating' because I've happily skipped that stage with most of my partners who've organically slipped into partners without the hassle of the 'chase') I would probably either open with 'yes! I'm poly, if you're comfortable with that then let's have some butter chicken and walk in the park'. I like butter chicken. I even had someone approach me with: 'Are you single?'. And that question really helps with breaking the ice of: 'Nope! But I'm poly, so I'm open to dating everyone!'. I know now I could never date someone who was strictly monogamous.... or rather would want ME to be monogamous. I think I could date a monogamous person, I just don't think a partner should have control over what I do with my life. I'm an independent human, please don't shackle me down! It's a lot of the reason I DIDN'T date for so so long. I was afraid of someone forcing their idea of what a relationship with me SHOULD look like.
Is it easy? Hell no. I don't experience jealousy (that's another post for sure...) so it's hard for me to jump into someone's mind when it comes down to them being upset about my other partners. Which is why I'm so much of a communicator. If that's a problem I want to be able to talk about it and make it work for the people I date. Do I want to talk about my partners with my other partners? Of course, because they are people I love that happen to be part of my life, and that's how conversation works. But if someone I'm dating specifically didn't want to hear about it, then I won't talk about it. I come in hard and fast but I'm very malleable, I'm VERY good at pleasing people (NO, THIS IS NOT SEXUAL!). I hear people when they talk and I take all that information and bring it into the next conversation. It's part of the good qualities about myself I'm very confident in. Want me to list the bad ones?! I CAN GO ON FOR HOURS.
Personally it's important for me to share my life with all the people I love, but I also know it's hard to be part of everything. For an introvert, I get out often. I've been reading a book about being poly and it helps me a lot. One of my fantasies that it talks about often is the multiple partnered house. I wish I could have a big house where all my partners and their partners could live in and like we can have a sex dungeon or something that has scheduled hours, plus a few 'free play' hours because apparently you can't schedule sex or something and keep it exciting, I don't know, I'm ASEXUAL. What?! My boyfriend said he wishes a similar thing, anyone able to give us a free house to get started? Of course... nothing is that easy. So instead I try to get out and have everyone with me at all times and... I realize that's not always the answer. I'm open to learning, I want to hear and... wait, what was the subject of this blog again? Oh yeah, starting out dating someone....
I guess until that comes up I can't tell you how it happens. The people I'm dating seem to be cool with it all, and maybe that'll change because people change and humans are complicated. And maybe in a year I'll be dating 12 people, 3 of whom live in south east Asia, I dunno, I dunno. Or maybe I'll be single because my anxiety makes me spiral into thinking everyone who loves me is playing a sick game. BUT, all I know is that talking about things is how I thrive, how I stay alive, and yo, it's not easy, but it always feels so much better once we've talked. Because a conversation in my head never plays out how I imagined it would.
I had to relive a memory this week. I'm working on a show, about my ex, who stopped seeing me and then stopped acknowledging my existence. I tried so hard to talk with him. My director brought up the time she was working at her coffee shop and I came in and said 'this guy I'm dating, he's meeting me here, and we're going to talk in the park'. I remember how anxious I was. I remember calling one of my best friends the day before about it. She helped me with talking points. What did I want to say, what did I need. Because I really liked him and I just wanted him to feel the same. And well, he pretended to for long enough to break my heart. So, I just go into each conversation hoping that everyone is being as honest as possible. You never know how someone is going to respond. You kind of just need to be comfortable being in the limbo of not knowing until you are able to talk, and even then, you'll never REALLY know.
But a talk, that's my conclusion for this headline. It's always about the talk.