I spin a good yarn about how this blog isn’t about me; and, in fact, most of the time, it isn’t about me. But sometimes, just sometimes, it has it’s more selfish uses. Like today.
Being a girl, or rather, being me, I can go to sleep feeling deeply one way and awake to find I feel the complete opposite. So it has come as something of a surprise to wake up day after day feeling the same way; and it is a feeling I never thought I would experience. Ever. And I am still nervous that it might disappear… so I’m using my blog as a moment of preservation. If I can write the feeling down, if I can take note of the little things that are enabling it, perhaps I can reread this at a less stable moment and attempt to regain it.
Or maybe not. But there’s only one way to find out.
The feeling boils down to this: for the past week or so, the idea of feeling affection for and from someone who also feels affection for other people is, in fact, kind of nice. What I mean to say is, open relationships are looking mighty fine from where I am presently standing.
Okay okay, the idea of playing with my current crush, and my fuck buddy, and the couple, and a sadist, and whoever else comes along, and not having to choose is a very large contributing factor, BUT – there are other parts to it as well. Not least of all it relieves the pressure of attempting to be someone’s everything. I fundamentally believe that is impossible anyway; how could one person provide you with everything you want? That’s not to say I think monogamy can’t work; I think it can and very well. In fact, at some point in my life, I would like to sustain a long term monogamous relationship. But ultimately I think there is always a price of admission. To find someone whose needs match yours exactly seems nigh on impossible.
This realisation came about largely as a result of me admitting just how diverse and deep my desires are. To expect one man to live up to everything I want is an EXTREMELY tall order. Believe me. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t put some things on the backburner for the right person.
There is of course the rather large jealousy issue; I can be a very jealous person – in fact there have been times when I found even the idea of being in an open relationship very upsetting – but these past few days I’ve been so happy that it’s forced me to reassess my jealousy and where it comes from. As is true for many people, the core of my jealousy is a fear of loss; I remember way back when I was with Hans, we went to a party and he spent the evening flirting with another girl. It hurt me so much because I felt like I was losing him to this other girl, as though the two things were mutually exclusive. I don’t feel like that now. For the most part I don’t think people cheat on their partners because they want to be with someone else instead; I think they do it because they want to be with someone else as well. And if that’s not true, if someone cheats because they don’t want to be with their partner, then they shouldn’t be with their partner. It’s a coward’s way out, but it definitely indicates that they shouldn’t be together. And that’s true if you are monogamous, or open, or poly, or you swing, or have any combination of people and affection.
For me this is undoubtedly the hardest part, but getting used to the idea that if I’m with someone and they want to be with someone else as well it doesn’t mean they want to be with me any less feels like something that could really enrich my life. The idea that you can only want one person at a time is a horrible social norm anyway and I know it’s not true because wanting to play with a sadist doesn’t make me want to fuck the couple any less, and wanting to fuck the couple doesn’t make me want my crush any less either. Still it is something to overcome due to how deeply ingrained it is in most people’s psyches.
However, I do have a much nastier or much more comical – depending on how you look at it – problem. Generally speaking, there are a lot of people in the world whom I dislike; it’s not that they’re unkind or malicious people, it is simply that they rub me the wrong way. And I’ll admit it, most of these people are female. Being a straight female myself the people I’m with mostly want to sleep/play/be with other females, many of whom, as I just mentioned, I dislike. And I don’t like sleeping/playing/being with people who are sleeping/playing/with people I don’t like. Do you follow? Ultimately I know this is something I need to overcome; this is just a nasty pet peeve which, whether I’m monogamous or not, I need to get over. But, until I do, I can also continue to remind myself that no one is forcing me to be involved with people who are involved with people I dislike. Sometimes, for the sake of mental stability, I just have to give up good things.
Now, I’m not saying it wouldn’t hurt if, for example, I went to a party with someone and he spent the evening flirting with other girls. I’m not saying that I could handle sharing a man with any of my best friends. In fact, I’m not even saying that I want to know what my partners get up to or with whom in any great detail. I still favour a general ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. BUT where I once wanted no knowledge whatsoever of what my partners got up to with other people, I’m finding things like knowing that my crush spent the day in bed with another woman far less upsetting, which is a huge step in the right direction.
And my ultimate goal? Compersion: genuine happiness for someone you care about because they are receiving happiness from something or someone entirely unrelated to you.
Today I woke up with this little fantasy in my head, and it made me grin from ear to ear:
Every summer one of my best friends enjoys a few days when his parents go out of town and he takes over the house. Over the course of those few days it is usual for him to throw a party. We drink, we smoke, we get high, we laugh, we catch up, we introduce new boyfriends and girlfriends and just plain old friends, and it is the most fun we have all summer. There’s nothing particularly special about these parties, but they have something that makes them fantastic.
When I woke up this morning, my vision was this (just with different names): I arrive at this summer’s party with a man none of my friends know. Let’s call him Sam. Sam is not who I am “in a relationship with” on facebook – not that I use my facebook relationship status, but you get the idea. I introduce him to my friend Grace as my boyfriend, and then Sam goes to find a drink.
Grace turns to me, puzzled and asks, “Sam? I thought you were going out with Tom?”
I smile, “I am.”
Grace raises a skeptical eyebrow: “Where’s Tom?”
“With his girlfriend.”
Grace grows ever more confused. “I though you were his girlfriend.”
“I am. He’s with his other girlfriend,” I answer happily.
Now, the pure, cool awesomeness of this imagined exchange is definitely not a good enough reason to throw myself into any kind of non-monogamy without thinking about the consequences or working out my own issues… but it sure seems like the kind of thing that can act as good incentive, don’t you think?
There are plenty of other thoughts flying around on this topic, but above is the bulk of my present ponderings, so I’ll leave you with this: I feel lucky in that I am very slowly making these realisations on my own. I don’t have a partner to factor into my self-discoveries. And as things currently stand, whilst I may be involved with several people, monogamy is not and I think will never be on the cards with any of them. This gives me a certain freedom of expression and pleasure. What it also means is that I refuse to label myself as open or polyamorous or a swinger or even non-monogamous. All I know is that my jealous tendencies are quieter at the moment, and my current view of less stereotypical relationship models is a very inviting one.
So, my plan? I am ridiculously content and happy at present; so I think, for the time being, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. When I hit a snag or something changes, I’ll figure it out. Reasonably and sensibly. And return to read myself here.
A note on the title of this post: ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ is, of course, an Arctic Monkeys song. I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, but I love it, and I’m reappropriating the sentiment for myself: the piece you’ve just read was written tentatively and the thoughts I’m thinking are being thought very cautiously: my chair has most definitely been moved, and whilst I like where it’s been put, I’m not quite there yet. So I won’t sit down lest I fall over.