Posts Tagged ‘open marriage

19
Jul
21

re-entering the world – is my “socialize” setting broken?

I really need more poly friends. Friends that I can geek out with and talk to about dating and relationships. Someone who isn’t my husband. My spouse and I are pretty open about the people that we date, and will often even socialize with each other’s metas. (partner’s other partners.) But we tend to keep specific details to ourselves. It’s a sort of amalgamation of “kitchen table poly” where everyone talks and plans together, and “don’t ask don’t tell” poly where partners date separately and don’t share all the intimate details of their other relationships.

Spilling new relationship energy onto an existing relationship can be fun in some ways. Flirting with someone new can make you feel confident, sexy, and amorous. It’s fun to share that joyful, sexy energy with a partner. On the other hand, it can get annoying to hear every schmoopy detail about your love’s new love interest. I understand that.

Part of the reason that I started this blog in the first place is that I felt like I was overwhelming my friends with stories about my dating exploits. I wanted a place where I could tell stories, and recall the fun, exciting, and ridiculous experiences that I had. Not only were my friends having trouble keeping up, so was I! This space became a place that I could chronicle my journey, share my exploits, be vulnerable, be mean, be honest. It’s really interesting to go back and read posts from eight or nine years ago. I have really evolved a lot since then. I’m pretty sure that I’m nowhere near my final form yet!

Life took some unexpected turns in the past years, and I’ve not dated very much recently. COVID factored greatly, as did the fantastic relationship that I have with my spouse/nesting partner. There were professional demands, there was a wedding to plan and host, we moved twice, there were two deaths in our immediate families, and one of us was seriously injured in an accident.

Dating was never completely off the table, but it was certainly not a priority. At least not for me. My man dates a lot more than I do and is often putting himself out there, or at least “chatting with” a few people fairly regularly. He keeps an active dating profile, and is active on several poly groups. He tends to tell me about his interests when they get to the point of meeting in person. If they are just “talking” he may or may not mention them. As of right now, our slightly unusual system works.

I, myself started flirting with an old flame several months ago and it was fun. (Let’s call him Groovy Gardener.) He’s someone that I’ve known since junior high, it’s a long-distance situation, so right now it’s just chat, but it was good for my ego, and a turn-on. I don’t expect anything to come of it, and I have a feeling that it’s not something that he would be open with his partner about, so we didn’t get far into discussing ethics or going beyond fun talks that have been somewhat naughty at times.

Then a few weeks ago, a new contender entered the arena. (We shall dub him Mr. Write because he’s a writer, appreciates a good pun, and also because he’s been somewhat mentoring me with my “legitimate” writing efforts. (Did you kids know that you are illegitimate?)

Well, perhaps he’s not entirely new. A new, old contender, I guess. I will have to look back and see if I mention him at all in past blog entries, but I don’t think so. Today he gets his own designation in my blog anyway! We met about eight or nine years ago through a mutual friend that I no longer associate with. Back then, I felt that we were flirting and vibing nicely, but I wasn’t quite sure. He would respond to a message, and possibly show up to socialize, sing karaoke, or grab a drink, but my former friend liked to stir the pot and had made a few provocative comments in his presence that may have been uncomfortable or misleading. Sometimes he would only stay for a short time, and I wasn’t sure if that was because of her, or if it was simply nothing. I don’t know because whatever flirtation we had basically stalled. I also wasn’t sure if he was poly or knew that I was poly based on conversations with me or with our various mutual acquaintances (including an openly poly friend of his that I dated.)

Anyway, over the years we have socialized a little bit, are friends on social media, have run into each other on occasion, but hadn’t hung out in quite a long time. I married Working Class Whimsy four years ago – a few months before Mr. Write also got married. He and his wife even bought some wedding items from us at our post-wedding garage sale. I would venture to guess that that was the last time we saw each other until about a month ago.

In May, yet another mutual friend (there are several,) passed away. A few weeks later, a private wake/memorial was held in a local bar. I hadn’t been to a bar in 16 months and almost talked myself into not going, but in addition to wanting to honor my friend; it was a private party, safety protocols were in place, and about eight people that I really wanted to see were going to be there. There was karaoke. I hadn’t done karaoke in two years.

When I walked into the bar (fully masked,) the first person I saw was Mr. Write. Hugs and hellos were exchanged, introductions made with his table companions. I realized that about 85% of the people in the bar were not wearing masks, and, being fully vaccinated, I decided to remove mine as well. I admit to having a few moments of moderate panic after I took off the mask, and I said as much. It was truly bizarre to be inside a building without a face covering. Weirder still was getting water from a communal pitcher and drinking from a stack of cups on the bar. It was pretty loud, so conversation was challenging and required leaning in towards the speaker to be effective.

I hopped from table to table in order to socialize with various people. It was simply amazing to be among other humans.  Despite it having been a memorial for a departed friend, I couldn’t stop smiling. The energy was incredibly positive, and I loved talking, singing, and seeing people that I hadn’t seen in a long while. So, when I say that I thought that I was picking up a little vibe with Mr. Write, well…maybe it was my great mood and over-active imagination. Maybe he’s just flirty and outgoing like me…or maybe…has it been so long that I don’t remember what chemistry and flirtation feel like? Do I just flirt with everyone? Probably yes to both.

I spent time with lots of folks – old friends and new, and then made sure to reconnect with Mr. Write on the way out. His tipsy companions (two hot chicks, as I recall,) were friendly and we talked about COVID, our late friend, re-entering society, and crazy hair color. I had experimented with purple, a “mermaid blend,” pinkish-blonde, and hot pink in recent months, and shared a photo or two, which Mr. Write seemed to receive positively. There was some level of comment about how one photo was a bit “boobilicious” and he raised no objection. I made a joke about my body having all the qualities that one enjoys in boobs, just all over. It was funny, and social, and I talked way too much, but it felt good.

Before I even got home I had a couple of messages from him. Funnily, there was nearly an 8-year gap between our Facebook messages. He sent a couple of funny, nerdy, song parodies that he did during COVID. They are very geeky, but I love how secure he is in his nerdiness. There’s a confidence and comfort that is much braver than I. I admire people who don’t particularly mind being ridiculous. It’s delightful. Several messages were exchanged, some of them a little bit deep and personal in nature.

He’s a published author, and I sought his advice about writing. More good exchanges. He was very supportive when I had a little tantrum when I was unable to submit a piece that I wrote due to technical issues. I missed the deadline, then they extended the deadline because the technical issues were on their end. Yay. I got the piece turned in, but really appreciated that he had reached out with his support and advice.

One day, I bought a book that featured one of his short stories and settled into a hammock in my back yard and read. When I got to his story, I snapped a pic of my feet up in the hammock, and his title and name on my kindle.

I captioned the photo: “my current view”

His response was “Huzzah! Reading + legs, what a wonderful summer view 😊 and I like that story.”  

Yes, it does sound flirtatious, but during the month or so that we’ve been chatting, I became aware of the fact that Mr. Write is nearly 19 years younger than I am. This fact alone made me think that I must be crazy to think that we were having a mutual crush. Still, I truly valued our blooming friendship and excellent conversation. Yes, I love flirting, romance, passion, and sex, but I also love people, conversation, and connection. I welcome both.

He invited me to join him and some friends for karaoke a couple of weeks ago. I had plans with my family, so I declined. (Okay, the truth: I went to a dive bar with my family and had a huge burger and a couple of strong drinks and was unable to get up off the couch to go out!)

He’s been out of town for a week or so, and a few days ago, I received a message from Mr. Write asking if I wanted to get together when he’s back in town next week. My response was:

“Yes, Please.”

His response was:

“You are an I-want-to-spend-time-with-you person.”

Well, pardon me if I swooned just a bit. I did. My heart did a little flip-flop in my chest and my tummy felt funny. Because even if that wasn’t intended to be flirting, and even if it was only meant in a platonic, friendly way, it was meaningful to me. I appreciate this person, enjoy his company, and am grateful that he wants to spend time with me. It also at least somewhat validated the feeling I had that we were hitting it off.

So we chatted quite a bit more, and it was a little disjointed because I was high as hell and watching Space Jam: A New Legacy and talking about Porky Pig and Don Cheadle. Somewhere in there, he told me that he was in the bath, and sent a picture of his legs – perhaps a throwback to my hammock legs some weeks ago. I referenced the Cialis bathtub commercials, and he wasn’t familiar, but it led to a discussion of what his tub photo should advertise. I suggested the seven deadly sins, which was well received with more sly flirtation.

Then he said that he was going to need to go soon because he was tired and the phone was heavy in his hand. I made “goodbye” sounds and he said that he was turning on his side so as not to doze off and give himself a black eye. Having been told that he needed to wrap up, I said; “have a good rest of your evening” and he said; “oh wait, one more thing.”

My heart stopped, and those three little dots lingered for what seemed like an eternity.

At last, came the following message:

“Going to ask the question without being too awkward, are we doing a mutual online flirting thing, and is it welcome?’

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for clarifying.”

“Sounds good. I’m also really game for flirting without direction, but thought it easier to ask.”

“I’m someone that never assumes and welcomes connections of all sorts.”

“I’m someone who overwonders about overstepping”

I love that he was brave enough to ask. I love that my consent was important to him. I also know it’s all very 8th grade and pretty tame, but it gave me quite a boost. I admit that I am currently surfing on quite a NRE (new relationship energy) high. Which is silly since we haven’t even had what could be considered a “first date” – though we’re working on scheduling something for when he gets back in town. I’m just happy and enthusiastic about getting out there again, connecting with someone, and also, I’m thrilled to know that my “radar” isn’t off. Yes, we actually were vibing. Yes, it was mutual. Yes, he likes me.

Oh my god I really do sound like my 8th grade diary!

Be safe out there, friends!

–RD

03
Apr
21

The Return of “Brad Pitt”

Is it weird to have a crush on someone that you are regularly shagging? Because I did. I had a crush on “1994 Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall.” I have written about him a few times in the past in Friday Freak-outs, Flirtations, and Friskiness from March, 2013, Embracing the Unexpected (Firmly, With my Thighs,), I Don’t Often Get Nervous, and but…but…I wore Sexy Underwear and Shaved from the following month, and Brad Pitt Got Fat from October, 2013. His “designation” under the “old system” of naming people that I dated was “P29” – but the system was impersonal and flawed. First, it was hard to keep track of folks without a nickname. Secondly, people age. “P29” would be “P37” if I met him now. Nicknames like “Dancing Dr. Who” and “Teddy Bear Pirate” make it easier to follow. I once said that this guy showed up at my door with a leather hair tie looking like Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall and the name stuck. He’s been “Brad Pitt” ever since – even when he’s looked more like Kevin Smith before he went vegan.

I really liked “Brad Pitt” and he was a regular hook-up for about a year or so. We had most excellent sex and, when he wasn’t aloof or in a “Pitt” of depression and despair from his PTSD, we had fantastic conversations, lots of common interests, and a remarkably similar world view.

I think I was a little bit in love with him.

I mean, just a little.

I recently responded to a question in a poly group about whether you have to be “in love” with each of your poly partners in order for it to “count” as “poly” or whether it would be considered “friends with benefits” if you weren’t. I’ve never really been a fan of labels, but basically, I feel like we have lots of different levels of friendship, affinity, attraction, common interests, etc with lots of different people. We can love them in different ways, and with different degrees of intensity. Different people meet different needs – that’s the whole point.

Anyway, it’s been a while, but I really liked Brad Pitt. I know that I was a low maintenance booty call for him, and that was really okay for me. I would occasionally see him near the beginning of my relationship with “Working Class Whimsy” and they knew about each other. But as things progressed with “Whimsy” “Brad” and I didn’t see much of each other. I assumed he was figuring his shit out, or maybe had gotten involved with someone – as I had. There was no drama or bullshit, we just sort of faded away from each other. I would occasionally think of him fondly and wish him well.

Then, after years of no contact, he popped up again a couple of months ago, on Facebook. I should be clear – we are not, nor were we ever Facebook friends. It was not that sort of relationship. (Plus, I generally don’t friend people that I date.) He and I mainly communicated by text. So, in the midst of a global pandemic, I get a message from someone using a slightly different nickname than the one that I knew him by, (both different from his real name, which I also know.)

So after about five years of no contact, he reached out and said:

                So, are you married or not?

His profile picture didn’t show his face, and the name was different. In the span of about 30 minutes, I did a complete social media creep on the dude and read about a year’s worth of posts. I soon found video and photographic evidence that it was him, but I already knew. Eventually I responded:

                Hey, it took me a few minutes to figure out who this is.

                Yes, I am.

                How are you surviving the apocalypse?

He said he wasn’t good. We briefly chatted about how fucked the world is, how much we miss singing, about TV shows, video games, movies, and how we were managing during isolation. We talked about fears, feelings, despair…we even talked about how he had legally changed his last name – due in part to his no longer wanting to have his father’s last name. After my social media perusal, I wondered if his name change also correlated to a significant change in relationship status. Did he get married too? There did seem to be a woman in some of his social posts. A chubby, older woman – hmmm, I think he has a type. I mentioned that I had planned to keep my exes last name as my middle name, but then decided that I no longer wanted or needed it. That was literally the entire extent of our “relationshippy” talk.

It’s funny that even after so much time and distance, we were able to be extremely forthright about serious, global, emotional, painful, personal stuff, while completely misfiring on general, social, small talk. It’s always been a bit like that with us – deep, intimate connection, but also weird, guarded, aloofness bordering on “ghosting” – then back again. I think it speaks a lot to his damage, and it’s just the way that we’ve always related to one another.

I’m not sure why he reached out. I like to take it as a compliment – he was thinking about me, looked me up, sent a message. But it probably wasn’t like that. I probably showed up in his “people you may know” on Facebook and he was likely curious about my name change. Still, it was really nice to hear from him and know that he’s alive. If we weren’t in COVID isolation, I may have explored the contact with a little more seriousness and interest, but we are, and it was nice to reconnect a little bit. I continue to think of him fondly, and to wish him well.

–RD

A post-script to my own post.

This could probably be an entire post unto itself, but I don’t want to do sound like I’m obsessing over this guy.

As I mentioned, I’m not Facebook friends with “BP” – never have been. But he did hit me up on Messenger when he reached out, and that’s where we have communicated most recently. When I started to write this post, I went back to our Messenger chat for reference and I noticed something new: we now have one FB friend in common. Wait, what?! That’s new. We did know people in common from the local karaoke scene, but he wasn’t friends with any of them on social media, and told me that he didn’t keep in touch.

Our mutual friend is a slight, attractive, single woman who is much closer to his age than I am. I found myself having a brief flare of…ooooh…is that jealousy? How WEIRD! I’m completely comfortable with the notion of him being married to the chubby gal in his photos, but I had the slightest spurt of “grrrrr” when I saw that these two were recent Facebook friends. Very interesting, and something that I will have to consider more. Not quite what I expected from my open-minded, polyamorous self!

Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.

11
Apr
13

mr. right…now…

I don’t know where to go from here. I just wrote a rather serious bit about religion and LGBTQ and hate to continue in a melancholy direction. I feel like the next chronological place to go is with the guy that I mentioned as my “fuck buddy” in a recent blog. The one that said I think like a man when it comes to relationships. I’m afraid that one might wind up being somewhat serious as well.

As a writer I have always been the type to “mentally outline” before I put pen to paper (yes, I am that old!) When I was being taught how to write a research paper in school I was always rather affronted that we had to turn in rough drafts, outlines, note cards, etc. Now that most of us write on computers and can cut & paste and edit on the fly, these steps in “writing properly” seem even more nonsensical to me. With blogging, I find that I come up with topics that I want to cover and do just a topic list and then spend some time organizing my thoughts internally – mentally. Which is what I’ve been doing today on the subject of “that guy” – and it’s managed to make me somewhat sad.

I talked about the power of “closure” in relationships last week (read the comments after the “way back machine” blog – how awesome is that?)  It can really feel good when you are able to have an exchange that helps you achieve some sort of peace and prospective. This is especially true at the end of relationships – particularly meaningful ones. I didn’t really have that with this guy and it’s…dissatisfying.

I don’t think that I feel hurt, exactly. I think that we had run our course and that our end was imminent, but it could have gone differently.

And guess what? I’m telling it backwards. Let’s start at the beginning. (Bet you wish I used those stupid outlines right about now, aren’t you?)

Last summer was tough. Ending a marriage and redefining a 25-year relationship was intense. Add kids, money and a house full of stuff that we had to divvy up? The entire summer was stressful, painful and despite our best efforts, often filled with fights, drama and heartache. I’m proud of how we have come through it and have found a friendship on the other side, but late July/early August was the worst of it.

I want to give you the context surrounding me meeting S46. I had had sex one time in the past nine months. If you have read more than two of my blog entries you know that was a major problem for me! I had just decided it was time to start dating, had put my profile up on POF and had met or talked to a few men, but not many. I had received my first “cougar” offer from the 23-year-old tatted guy but mostly I was…learning to be alone. I was consciously doing things that I wanted to do for me and forcing myself to get out of the house from time to time.

One evening I went to the casino. It was a pretty busy night and there were lots of social players there. Also, I was winning. I had been playing a Three Kings slot then moved to another machine, hit something big and went to cash out and “fold some bills” as I like to call it. That’s when I put some money back in my wallet after winning a bit and then go back and play some more. When I came back, this guy that had been playing a few machines down from me was at the machine that I had left and I took the slot next to him. Then he started a winning streak and hit a big bonus. At some point – we started teasing each other a little bit about the fact that he had taken over “my machine” and we continued chatting for the next several hours. We move around to different machines together – making sure that there are two free together so we can keep talking.

Then conversation turned to Vegas – I had a trip coming up in a few months, he was thinking of going…are we flirting now…hmmm…I start looking at him as a man rather than just a guy I’m chatting with. He’s geeky in an “old guy” sort of way not a hipster kind. He’s wearing business clothes – charcoal dress pants, button down shirt. He’s bald with a little mustache. Not really my type, but I’m enjoying our interaction and I’m starting to pick up a little…chemistry…? In talking about where to stay in Vegas he says he stays at a friend’s condo. Then he pointedly says “if it’s not obvious why I stay at my friend’s place it’s because I’m married.” He then goes on to tell me that he asked his wife for a divorce and she suggested they should just have an open marriage so that’s what they have now. Okay, but he seems pretty bitter or at least droll about it.

Chat continues, I reveal that I am recently separated, he asks if I’m getting out much & I tell him about the “cougar encounter” with the 23-year-old earlier in the week. He says “yeah, well, I can beat that – my 52-year-old wife is out fucking her 30-year-old boyfriend.” Without missing a beat, I say “good for her. At least she didn’t have him move in with you.” This got his full attention and we talked about the pros, cons & stupidities of open marriage & poly relationships.

I’m not going to go too far into that as far as my personal history is concerned, but it is something that my ex & I tried to do during the last several years of our marriage. I think that the model of multiple relationships can really work and is something that I am basically living right now, but we did it wrong. It’s impossible to support secondary relationships when your primary is disintegrating and untended. Anyway, S46 led me to believe that he was in an open, poly marriage.

As winnings were dwindling and the evening wore on, he finally stood up and asked if I liked sushi. I answered that I did and he did a little head gesture towards the new, fancy sushi joint at the casino and indicated that I should join him. I was like “um, are you asking if I would like to have sushi right now with you? Use your words.” This pretty much set forth our communication style for the next 4 months or so.

We had a very nice dinner with good conversation. I decided that he was sort of cute after all – taller than I’d realized, nice build under the business attire, dimples, good smile, nice eyes. And hey, I was on my first date in months, right? During dinner we exchanged numbers and talked about getting together again – maybe as casino buddies.

At that point I wasn’t sure if this was a lonely married guy who was looking for someone to hang out with or what exactly, but it didn’t matter too much to me. I was happy to make new friends, but I really didn’t expect to hear from him again.

We parted ways with a handshake of all things. I really pegged him as a married guy who was uncomfortable with how far he had taken his flirtation with me. Again, I didn’t expect to hear from him again and I didn’t hear from him for a full month after that first day.

I feel like this should be the end of this blog entry. It’s already pretty long and It’s not my favorite in terms of humor or thrill factor, honestly.

I promise this one gets better…for awhile…




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