relationship style

Relationship style can vary.  I need both closeness and freedom.

Long ago I went on a date with someone I met on okcupid–J.  He was a white guy, abled, married, straight.  We went to coffee at a place near my home, after he got off work one weekday.  We talked and seemed to like one another.  He was smart, feisty, lively.

I remember J paid with cash, and his 20 dollar bills were new–he whipped them apart, when he counted them, being very careful no bills were sticking together.  Sitting with him in his truck after the cafe, I got cold.  It was winter and night.  We discussed what he was looking for, and his background.  Where he was from.  He told me about his kids.

I was with my exhuband at the time, and it was unclear what was going on with our relationship style.  At the time, I wanted to be poly, and was trying some stuff out.  I was in love with a good friend and really wanted to be with her.  But my ex was cautious and not too comfortable.  I went to the local poly meetup just to see what it was like.

other white guy

Oh yeah, I had dated this other white guy also, D, near the same time. We had been a 99% match on okcupid.  We didn’t have sex or even kiss.  Maybe we were “just friends?”  But there was a dating vibe, with some thrilling affection, and one time we stopped by his office at night to use the phone–it was before cell phones were common.

I was overwhelmed with the desire to do it with him in his office, maybe on the floor.  Maybe that’s why he brought me there, to see if we would do it.

So we didn’t even kiss, but we kind of almost had sex.  I was extremely horny, but it would have been adultery.  My ex and I had not agreed that was ok for me to have sex with D, so I bit my tongue, and the moment passed.  I still think of that moment, and how my life might have changed, if I had cheated on my ex.

That guy liked weed way too much, and I guess his boundaries were bad, because he tired to get me to smoke with him, even though I had said no.  I’m glad he and I parted ways after a short time, but it was confusing.  Maybe I confused him too.

He was older than I and loved record albums and books, seemed to hoard them, but was proud of that.  Sounded like he lived in some kind of bunker with with parents, but he had his own wing, and it was filled with a highly organized record album collection, for this style of music he liked that I found totally unappealing.

Hmm, what a weird guy.  And when I didn’t want to smoke weed with him, he stopped returning my messages.

poly meetup

I went to the local poly meetup with that weed guy; I tried to befriend the local poly scene’s queen.  We messaged a bit, and I really liked her, but our friendship never got off the ground.

That lady was white, thin, serious, and had pretty hair.  She was really into safer sex, like she used a glove to touch someone’s private places.  I had never used a glove to touch someone’s private places in my life.  I liked how she was so clear with her boundaries that her safer sex policies were publicly known, even to me, who had never been anywhere near having sex with her.

And she had these special cats, from a breeder–I can’t remember what kind.  She said something weird about them being fat.  She wanted to make her cats lose weight, because she didn’t want them to have diabetes.  Even then, I found that preposterous.  Like she was fat shaming her cats–who does that?  I thought cats were the animals who were allowed to be fat!

I really liked her fastidiousness, though.  And her cautious kindness.  I wish I could have been her friend.  But her husband seemed lascivious.  When he hugged me, I felt like he was getting off on it, a “maybe I’ll save you for later, plump lil morsel!” feeling.  I was a prospect he wouldn’t pursue quite yet, but he’d look at me and extra-enjoy the hug.

He was king of the local poly scene, and it was not clear why.  He seemed like a normal white guy, but maybe extra horny?  Those tech kind of poly people–smart, with money, no kids, deliberate.  Probably he was king just because he had the good fortune of being married to the queen.  It can happen that way.

back to what I was trying to talk about

I went on the date with this guy J, and I remember one of the things he told me as we sat in his truck.  He said he wanted a girlfriend, but she didn’t need to be in a relationship with someone else.  In fact, it seemed he wanted his wife and family, but then he wanted a girlfriend also, all to himself.  Like he didn’t want to be monogamous, but he wanted to be with women who were only with him.

That seemed very sketch at the time, like, “Good luck with that!”  He seemed way not appealing enough, that he would have been able to pull that off.  I imagined how he was seeing me, as a potential girlfriend.

A week or two later, I went to his house for a party, me and my ex.  So we met his kids briefly, his wife, and this hippie couple who lived with them also and seemed anxious.  The lady made some delicious soup, and I thanked her.

I was nervous to attend this party.  When I knocked on the door, J’s wife answered, and she screamed in my face.  It was jarring and unwanted.  She apologized, welcomed us, and said she thought we were the neighbor.  It was a really unhappy way to meet her.

She worked at the coop, and I used to see her sometimes, working the meat counter.  “There’s that weird lady who screamed at me,” I would think, and avoid her.

my point

I still think J was an unappealing creep.  But I’m glad I had these experiences to feed my thought.  The ways I participated in that poly scene, kind of dating, helped me learn some things, even if I didn’t get what I was looking at or have a lot of fun.  I’m still chewing on it, 15 years later.

So I’m grateful.  And I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong anymore, that J told me he wanted to be with women who were only with him.  I didn’t like J very much, but it’s ok to need weird things and say that.  Better to be upfront about it than to scheme and manipulate people, trying to arrange something like that without communicating about it.

Also, I realized recently that loving multiple people in a possibly sexy way is a totally different skill set than giving a partner space to do the same.  I fall into all sorts of intense emotional things with people, with ease!  But giving my spouse tons of space to do what he needs to do can be a struggle.

I thought I was a horrible person for that, but I realized it’s very human.  Just because I fall in love easily doesn’t mean I’m great at reacting to my partners doing the same.  I’m working on it.


Being honest about relationship style means admitting we might be doing something besides the norm, which means more work, to take our own path.  Many people pretend to be monogamous, or try to contort their non-monogamy to look like monogamy.  It takes some bravery to tell the truth, when the world is going to judge that, and many people will not understand.

Relationship style is mysterious.  What makes sense to any person seems almost like faith–you could encourage yourself in a certain direction, but how could you make yourself believe something?  Faith happens or doesn’t.  And relationship style–some people can choose, but some people, it’s more necessary, like a sexual orientation or gender identity.


I’m a slut, and my heart does what it will.  I can control my behavior ok, but I love anyone in any way, at any time.  So we can work out the details of relationship style and what we expect of one another.  But I can’t be really close to anyone who couldn’t accept I can fall in love with the mail carrier and then out of love the next day, or back in love with the mail carrier, or whatever.  It’s going to happen, whether I’m allowed to talk about it or act on it.

That’s just an example–my mail carrier is a doofus, and I don’t like him at all.

I prefer to talk about everything.  So maybe I should only be close to people who like to talk, including about feelings.

By Nest

Curious, disabled Earth Goddess, telling the truth.

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