Captain's Log

LoveBunny

Member
Ugh, having some sort of emotional crash after a few days/nights of very intense sex. I really let Sunny have me, I went deeply submissive, gave him every part of me however he wanted, fluid bonding, etc..It was totally consensual, of course, but now I'm feeling extra needy.

I was fine when I got home that first morning. I went to work, then saw some friends. Started to miss him that night, but he kept texting me sexy pics, so I just assured myself I'd see him soon. Yesterday, my mood slowly deteriorated. Last night I was an anxious, strung-out mess. I convinced myself he was off with his other lover, while I was sitting home craving him and missing him. I started to think I'm just sex for him. I tried to text him for some reassurance, only to find he was all drugged up on edibles and painkillers, half-asleep, his back bothering him. I couldn't get what I needed from him at that moment, so let it drop and cried myself to sleep.

I have to work from home, on-call, 3 nights a week. Sunny used to come over more and sleep at my place on those nights, but since he hurt his back, my bed gives him trouble, he needs to sleep sitting up some. So lately he just waits for me to be done with my night shifts and has me drive up to his place on my nights off. I understand (in my head) this isn't about his feelings for me, it's his back. However, my emotions are telling me he isn't making enough effort to spend time with me. Me always going to him and trying to be with him makes me feel like I'm the pursuer, a role that causes me anxiety.

He wants to come by today after he finishes a job in my area. I'm arguing with the voices in my head telling me he only sees me when it's convenient for him. I hate that my nervous system considers being in love a mortal danger. Just re-read POLYSECURE, especially focusing on parts about how to calm my anxiety around relationships. The woman from OKC I've been talking to resurfaced, but IDK, she doesn't really ask questions and rarely texts me first. Maybe she's just a bad texter and I should offer to videochat. Or, maybe let it drop.
 

icesong

Active member
Sub drop is a *bitch* and is when I'm most likely to feel insecure too. I'm sorry you're riding that roller coaster.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Sub drop is a *bitch* and is when I'm most likely to feel insecure too. I'm sorry you're riding that roller coaster.
@icesong Isn't it??? Total withdrawl symptoms, and we didn't catch it because it came so many hours after any actual encounter, like a delayed reaction.

Sunny came over last night and this morning we talked a lot, trying to brainstorm and problem solve how I can feel safer and more comfortable with him having another lover.

One of the things the authors talked about in POLYSECURE I found very helpful: situational security vs. relational security (they might have used different words, but I think I'm getting it close to right.)

Situational = things like marriage, cohabitation, having kids, pets or a bank account together, etc.., the exchange of jewelry, granting of the title "boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee, etc." In monogamous relationships, the promise of exclusivity is included among these. Of course, none of these situations guarantee you won't be neglected, abandoned, cheated on, etc.. But the entanglements, promises, titles are designed to make you feel more secure, to present you to the world as a couple.

Relational=how consistently your partner shows up for you. Traditions and rituals you have together. Memories you've made, milestones like first vacations together and holidays. Saying I love you. How your partner makes you feel when you're with them and when you're away from them. How deeply and honestly you talk. Touch, sex, affection. The keeping of one's word. The good stuff that means you AREN'T being abandoned, lied to, or neglected.

In poly relationships, you may not get as many of the situational securities. You definitely don't have the exclusivity, and, if you're a secondary or coprimary, or with someone who considers themselves a relationship anarchist, you might never get the title, marriage, kids or cohabitation with your partner, either. Which means you need to rely a lot more on the relational securities.

My current relationship, at almost 10 months in, is very relationally secure. Sunny shows up for me, says he loves me, and acts like it. We make time for each other on holidays, take trips together. He's caring and considerate, affectionate, passionate, and emotionally available.

We have some situational securities too, though he's told me he never wants to marry again, and of course, he is not exclusive to me. I have the titles of "girlfriend" and "primary/anchor partner." He's given me a necklace I wear. He has a closet at my house, I have a bathroom area at his. He keeps a vehicle at my house so I can drive back and forth to his place. We talk about future cohabitation.

Also, at one point, the book described my situation perfectly: Basically, if intellectually and philosophically you believe in poly, but when poly happens, your emotions revolt, you might be anxiously attached.
 

icesong

Active member
Also, at one point, the book described my situation perfectly: Basically, if intellectually and philosophically you believe in poly, but when poly happens, your emotions revolt, you might be anxiously attached
haha I'm so very called out by this one (although truthfully I'm more disorganized attached than anything).
I have to say I've hit a point where the relational stuff makes me feel MORE secure than the situational stuff - having the situational with someone who isn't necessarily as good at the relational anymore (that's not entirely fair, it's complicated) just activates an "am I just an obligation?" complex like WHOA.
 

LoveBunny

Member
@icesong, I feel like a nice mixture of both structural and relational is the way to go, but I definitely feel what you're saying about how the structural stuff can make a relationship feel like an obligation. When Sunny first told me he was taking on another partner as we simultaneously upped our structural agreements, I felt as if I'd suddenly gone from exciting, sexy new girlfriend to "wifey," and worried that I'd go from being something he wanted to feeling like an obligation.

I worry about that less and less lately, as it seems he is still VERY sexually interested in me and seems to need our time together almost as much as I do.

Something strangely helpful happened in my last conversation with him. He felt like I needed to know/understand a bit more about his other relationship so I could stop making such a big deal about it in my head. I was skeptical that this would help. I felt sort of neutral about some of what he said, like that he didn't see his other relationship as a longterm one, the "spark" wasn't there for that, but that it's comfortable and "spiritual" and that when they hang out, they do things together I'd have no interest in doing. I asked him "like what?" And sure enough, he said microdosing and listening to electronic music--something I have zero interest in.

That part really helped me: Now, instead of picturing them making passionate love, I picture them all doped up and bopping their heads to annoying music, lol. It's not a scene I have any interest in being part of.
 

LoveBunny

Member
I don't like having a metamour. I say this not because I want or expect Sunny to dump his other lover, but because I want to name the thing. I dislike sharing the resources of Sunny's romantic/sexual energy with someone I don't personally care about. Intellectually, I understand those resources are Sunny's alone to bestow, but the neglected child in me wants it all.

But, if I HAVE to have a metamour, Mary (I will name her) is admittedly totally unobtrusive. I don't have to see her on on social media because she's not on there. She's content seeing Sunny a couple times a month and doesn't bug him if he doesn't respond to calls or texts for long stretches. She doesn't care about being with him on holidays. She's low risk for STIs (no other partners.) From what I understand, Mary is healing from some bad stuff and not in a place in her life where she wants an escalator relationship, but she still wants sex and affection. I get it, and I actually feel glad that Sunny can provide some healing for someone.

I'm warming up to the idea of Mary, but I still get anxious about future metamours who might be more demanding of Sunny's time and attention. He says he's "not accepting applications" for other partners right now, but he also doesn't see Mary as long term. He's optimistic that whatever happens, he and I are "soulmates" who will be together a while. I struggle to trust in his feelings for me, and I'm by nature more pessimistic. Men like him don't come along every day, I get why women surround him.

I don't feel jealous (though I am sometimes annoyed by) the many other females circling Sunny: his first wife who is mother of his children, his 2nd wife to whom he's still legally married for her citizenship, his straight female platonic bestie, or the woman he calls his "sister" a platonic soulmate. I already share him with many women. It's the sexual/romantic relationship that gets me territorial and possessive.

I'm re-reading threads about compersion here, glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't easily feel it. I'm also reading a book about managing jealousy for poly people. In past relationships, I think I was more apt to drown jealousy out with tequila, or act out with another lover, or explode into a supernova of neediness. I really just want to be able to ride it out without it impacting my well being. I note I'm getting much better at it.

Sunny and I spent a lot of comfortable, quality time together this week. I worry that I'm not giving him enough space, though he doesn't complain. I have to make the effort to not just automatically invite him everywhere I go, to purposefully spend time doing things without him. I want him to actually miss me a little, which he won't if I'm always up his ass.

one minor glitch this week, non-poly-related, because he can be a "bungly" communicator (someone else used that expression on this forum, I forget who, but it's perfect.) He struggles to tell me sometimes what he wants or needs, often because he's scared of upsetting me, or else he's waffling on what he wants, or he can't quite access his feelings.... Then things get messed up. It's annoying, but we worked through this last little mishap fairly fast.

I have been messaging in depth with a guy on OkC, ready to move forward to videochat. He's perfect for what I'm looking for right now. He lives a few hours away, travels a lot, is in an LDR open relationship with just 1 other partner. New to poly, but doing his homework. He's very different from Sunny as far as I can tell, more political and intellectual, much younger, black. He seems to be applying for the role of stud, no daddy dom vibes. Absolutely lovely eyes and smile in his photos. He said he could see me once a week or so if we hit it off, doesn't mind the trip, has a lot of freedom in his job. I told him once or twice a month was probably the most I could do. I don't think Sunny wants to spend less time with me, I know I don't want less time with Sunny, and I still need time for myself and my friends.

I'm excited, but also scared. Will this screw up any equilibrium between me and Sunny? He's had me all to himself for 10 months now. Will he still feel the same when he doesn't?
 

LoveBunny

Member
I never saw "family" as a warm, safe place. I left home as soon as I was able. I haven't seen any member of my family in years.

For a while, I had a husband. I could have had a baby, once, but I chickened out because I felt too old and my marriage was already breaking. I have a handful of good friends, don't know if I'd call many of them "family." My life has always been sparsely peopled. Closeness, unless with a lover, often feels uncomfortable for me.

I keep wanting Sunny (or someone) to function as my family. Trouble is, Sunny already has a family. I don't mean anything to them, and why should I? I'm not the mother of Sunny's children. Sunny says at this time, he has no desire to ever get legally married again, so I'm not on track to be his wife. Do I even want to join his ready-made family? Or will I just always feel a little apart?

Sunny wants me to meet his mom tonight. She's staying with him all week, which means I won't be spending the night at his place at all until after new year, it's too awkward with his Mom sleeping on the couch. He says he'll stay at my place more, we'll see. Even if she likes me and we get along, iffy because she's a Trumpet, she's bound to be more invested in having a relationship with her grandkids' mom than with me.

Sunny was with me xmas eve and again xmas night, but of course he spent xmas day with his kids and ex. I was halfheartedly invited, but Sunny isn't keen on me meeting his ex yet (this has more to do with her than with me.) I doubt I would have relaxed in his ex's home anyway. I've only met his kids briefly, once, and I'm not used to kids in general. So I spent xmas day alone while he was with them, then he and I had our own late xmas dinner.

I'm shaky on knowing what's "normal" growth for a couple after 10 months. My relationships have usually moved (too) quickly, and I struggle to understand if spending 4 nights a week together and still living apart is a healthy pace. I think I would spend every night with Sunny if I could. He says he misses me nights we're not together (usually because I'm at home on call for work), but I don't think he means it bothers him, or he'd come over, you know? Recently I asked him if he saw us spending more time together in the near future. He said probably not until we move into together.

I remind myself that Sunny is not long out of his 2nd marriage, not even divorced yet. Of course he's in no rush to "settle down." He feels the need for all kinds of sexual exploration and experiences I've already had. I get it, but the idea of not having to date, not having to constantly negotiate relationship agreements, appeals to me. We're trying to meet each other where we're at. Some on this forum would say I should leave him, free him to be fully poly and me to find someone more monogam-ish. Maybe they're wayyyyy more secure than me, or maybe they've got bigger dating pools, or maybe they don't feel alone when they're not in a relationship. Good for them!

While we're sort of slowing down the escalator, I hope to turn my attention to dating. I finally heard Okcupid guy's voice on the phone. I'll call him Braun. Sexy baritone! I know we're not supposed to try to make things "even" in poly relationships, but having someone I'm excited to meet takes some sting out of knowing Sunny has another lover. Sunny thinks it's "trying to force things" that I'm on dating sites actively seeking a secondary, he thinks I should just be open to it and wait for it to organically show up in my life, like it did for him and his current arrangement. But I'm not laid back type B like Sunny. If I want something, I go out and try to get it.
 

icesong

Active member
Sunny thinks it's "trying to force things" that I'm on dating sites actively seeking a secondary, he thinks I should just be open to it and wait for it to organically show up in my life, like it did for him and his current arrangement. But I'm not laid back type B like Sunny. If I want something, I go out and try to get it.
I think people who laud “organically show up” arrangements must meet a LOT more new people in their life than I ever have. If I wanted to start a relationship with someone I already knew? I would... and I don’t. ;-) So if I want new relationships then dating sites are the best place for them.
 

LoveBunny

Member
@icesong, Yeah, the chances of meeting someone "organically" right now seem negligible during Covid. Anyone with half a brain isn't going to parties, events, etc.. Lately, my world has narrowed down to a bubble of very close friends, and we keep to ourselves. I don't see that changing in the very near future.

So how do I deal with the fact that Sunny and I have a disparity in the amount of time we want to spend together? The time we DO spend together is always quality, even if we're not doing anything special, and I love and appreciate that. Sunny is--I'd like to say "content," but I suspect the truth is "maxed out," at 4 nights a week with a me. I suppose given that fact that we haven't been together even a year, that's reasonable. He says he sees us living together someday, but I have a hard time picturing it if he gets stressed out after several nights in a row. I suppose it's different when you live together, you learn to spend time apart while together.

I keep coming back to the harsh reality that my IDEAL relationship is with someone who wants to be with me pretty much every night, assuming that's how often I want to be with them. Is that a want or a need? Am I willing to compromise that to be with Sunny, so that Sunny can maintain multiple relationships, plus enough time for his kids and himself?

Would it work if I had another partner to sleep with some nights? At the moment, Sunny and I have a no overnights rule (exceptions under extreme circumstances.) I wanted this. I hate sleeping alone, while Sunny likes having some nights alone. I am afraid him wanting nights with someone else will take away from him wanting nights with me. I suppose, if I start wanting overnights with someone else, I'd have to lift that rule for both us. Would this backfire and mean I'd get even less nights with Sunny? More importantly, how do I stop doing this damn tally/inventory thing, constantly measuring how much time and energy he gives me? It's not helpful. I guess just knowing he loves me is supposed to be enough, even if we're sitting in separate houses (a 20 minute drive away) sending goodnight texts when I'd rather be in his arms. Or even if he's in someone else's arms while I'm alone.

The days just before NYE got stressful. Sunny's mom was staying with him, I was sick (allergies not Covid, got tested) and working a lot. I met his mother, but was disappointed to learn that he'd told her about Mary too (though he didn't introduce them.) His mom is conservative and religious, and it's cool that he's close enough to her to admit he's poly, it's not like I think he should hide who he is. But I'm struggling with the feeling that Sunny is more excited about/invested in having multiple relationships than he is excited about/invested in his relationship with me.

Then, he neglected to tell me what weeknight he wanted to spend with me (freaking "bungly" communication). Turned out I wasn't feeling well that night and was expecting covid test results the next day, so we decided he shouldn't come but he got all agitated, so I said "just come tomorrow night," but he had plans with Mary, so we lost a weeknight together. This was the first time I KNEW exactly when he was on a date with her. It was hard to swallow, but of course at some point there was bound to be a schedule conflict. I said a few sharp words at the moment, but quickly apologized, nothing too dramatic. I left him alone to his date, and the next night (NYE) we made nice and spent a lovely several nights in a row together.

Now, he's complaining that he's feeling stressed as a "hinge." He's hinted his other relationship might not be going great, didn't say why. He said something recently about having "seen her at her worse." But I don't want to hear about it. I understand that in the true spirit of poly, I'm supposed to give some kind of shit about my "metamour," but I honestly don't care if Mary's needs are getting met by him, or his by her. Not my problem. I care about his relationships to his children, his pets, but not his other lover. Maybe I should meet her, maybe then I'd care about her? Idk if any of us are ready for that. He told me a while back she doesn't like to hear about me, either.

I don't like feeling that I need to apologize for or defend the amount of time and energy I want from a partner. We can compromise and negotiate, but at the end of the day I wonder if my desire for closeness and Sunny's for autonomy are just too far apart.

In other news, I had my first long videochat with Braun, and he is VERY good looking and smart in ways completely different from me. He's mathematical and has business sense, while I'm creative and well read. He's also nobody I'd consider for a primary relationship I don't think. He's 12 years younger, lives several hours away, and more importantly, a workaholic on par with my ex husband. At best, I think, we can have a sexy, fun, interesting casual relationship. We're talking about him coming here to meet me in a couple of weeks.

Is this a life that will work for me, putting together multiple part-time relationships instead of seeking one full time partner? I've tried it both ways in the past, and am learning much of it has to do, either way, with choosing the right person. I definitely feel like the quality of my partners is improving. Sunny, newbie mistakes aside, makes a good hinge, he's got the right mindset and temperament for it. I hate to think HE may have chosen the wrong partner (me) for this undertaking. I can't believe how monogam-ish I am being about him!! Where's the "cool girl" who used to be the center of the orgy??

Sunny doesn't seem to think we're wrong for each other. He insists he's in this with me until I sit him down and tell him I'm done and want out. It does calm me to think if I truly have years to spend with this guy, countless days and nights, I don't need to focus on how many nights a week we spend together.
 

LoveBunny

Member
Sunny proposed a weekly schedule, offering 3 nights in a row of designated sleepovers (mostly at his place, all on nights I'm not on call for work.) He wants Sun and Mon nights for his own "self-care," in other words I should expect not to see him. One of those nights I'm on call and can't go anywhere anyway, but Sundays I'm off. The other 2 weekday nights that I'm on call for work are "maybe he'll come over and hang with me, maybe not" nights.

His reason for doing this, presumably, I told him I thought I'd do better on nights apart if I know when we next have a night together. Plus, I can plan accordingly if I know ahead of time I'm spending a night alone I can makes sure to do nice things for myself, get food I like, save a movie I want to watch or plan time with friends if I'm off, and so on.

My first reaction to his schedule was disappointment that he only wants to be with me 3 or 4 nights a week. He said he thought it would work out to more like 4 or 5. My 2nd reaction came from the fact that on Sundays, Sunny likes to go listen to music or boat with friends, and it sounds like I'm excluded from that. I expressed hurt that "self care" felt like it was about doing things without ME, specifically--not about him getting the alone time he always claims he needs. I guess he must see Mary, primarily, on Sundays or Mondays, or maybe Tues or Wednesdays. He replied, snippy, that "It shouldn't matter to me" what he does when he's not with me. It's his time to be "autonomous" (a word I taught him.)

Perhaps I "shouldn't" care. But I felt alarmed that my boyfriend schedules days at a time to not participate in our relationship. Now, I'm trying to reframe it as he's promising me a certain amount of assured togetherness. He's expressed frustration that I seem to be keeping a tally of our nights together instead of just enjoying the quality of our time. I have to remember he doesn't see sleeping together as necessarily "quality time" like I do. It's just not as important to him.

I'm not negotiating for more time or different nights. He made clear he already felt he was "compromising" in that he'd rather be more spontaneous. Of course we agreed this wasn't set in stone, could change according to things we want or need to do, together or apart, any given week.

I find myself feeling as if I don't want to try so hard with Sunny anymore. It's like my flow of energy to him is starting to slow or stop, knowing we're probably not going up the escalator any further for a while. I think I'm coming off of NRE as we reach our 11th month together, I feel very "it is what it is" and not as enthusiastic about him as I was before. I'm sad that this doesn't seem like it's going to be as close a relationship as I long for, but there's still many good things about it.

I don't even know if I should say anything. Last night Sunny expressed to me how happy he is, and I hate to burst his bubble and fear he'll break up with me. No man wants to be around a woman who isn't happy with him. I feel I "should" be appreciative of what he DOES give me instead of worrying about what he does not, but I struggle to get there. Does our happiness gap mean I'm making too many compromises for Sunny's benefit, or is it just because he's a happier person in general?

Oh, and I seem to be starting menopause. For the first time in my life, I didn't have a period this month. I can't be preggo, Sunny's fixed. Is that why I feel so blah lately?

Braun says he can't come meet me for another couple weeks, he's having baby mama drama. That's fine. Gives me a little more time to get to know him via videochat and text. So far, I've noticed he takes a frustratingly long time to answer messages, and his looks and voice definitely stir my lust.
 
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