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icesong

Moderator
Staff member
It was late at night so no deep talk about the article. But I have to ask him later what brought all that on. I could be wrong... but it was almost like he was having a hard time imagining what it must be like to NOT have these things in place -- consent, communication, comfort.
Honestly there's a lot of situations I read about here and in other poly groups (on FB mostly) or even people I know where I'm like... wait, you two don't talk to each other, and I'm not even sure from how you two talk ABOUT each other that you're even friends let alone in love. Why are you married again?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
TIDBITS TO SAVE

Busy. Checked on elders and took them some cake. They are doing mostly fine. Mom has some doc appointments I'm concerned about but no point in letting concern become worrying til results are in and there's actually something to worry about. So I'm in this limbo space on that.

My aunt is dealing with a COVID outbreak in her apartment building. Concerned for her.

Haven't called friend elder in a while so need to do that and check on her.

Still doing self quarantine and making the best of it at our household.

Youngest DD is what? 6 weeks post break up or so? She's doing fine. Busy with school, chatting with her friends, doing her hobbies. She and I are both surprised at how fast/smooth the healing time was on that one. She's pissed her teacher lost an assignment she already turned in. Now she has to do it again. I told her to scan her work moving forward if this teacher is kinda loosey goosey. It takes just a minute to do that for back up. But if that's the worst of it? Things are fine.

I remember sending DD this at some point.


But I wanted to copy the questions here.

Should you stay…​

  • You and the other person very much want to be in the relationship you're in together
  • Most of the relationship makes everyone in it happy most of the time
  • You and the other person are getting most of what each of you wants and needs
  • You look forward to seeing each other, share a lot of laughter and joy, and find the relationship makes you feel good about yourself
  • Both of you feel the give-and-take is mutual
  • Communication is open and works well
  • The relationship is and has been physically and emotionally healthy and safe for everyone
  • Everyone in the relationship is, or at least seems, very invested in it
  • You and the other person have more good things to say about each other, and things you like about each other, than criticisms or things you dislike
  • You resolve conflict well together
  • The relationship feels like a place where everyone can be themselves, be challenged and grow in positive ways, and is accepted, cared for and supported
  • You or the other person don't feel done

…or should you go?​

  • You or the other person don't really want to be in the relationship anymore or feel apathetic about it
  • The relationship makes anyone in it unhappy a lot of the time
  • You or the other person are not getting most of what you want or need
  • Seeing each other isn't something one or both of you looks forward to anymore, there's little laughter or joy, and one or both of you finds the relationship makes you feel bad about yourself
  • You or the other person feels like they give way more than they get
  • Communication has broken down, stopped or feels impossible
  • The relationship is or has been physically or emotionally unhealthy or unsafe for anyone in it
  • Anyone in the relationship isn't or doesn't seem invested in it
  • You and the other person have more bad things to say about each other, and things you dislike about each other, than good things or things you like
  • You don't resolve conflict well together or feel only one of you is trying to fix things
  • The relationship feels like a place where someone wants to change the other, where positive challenges and growth have stopped happening or never happened, and/or one or both people aren't being accepting, caring or supportive
  • You're only or mostly staying in it out of guilt
  • You or the other person feels done

…still not sure?​

  • Is this the right relationship for you in your life now, or was it only right in the past?
  • Are you staying in because this feels good, or because this feels familiar?
  • Are you afraid of change in your life or of being alone or single? Is this relationship keeping you from needed change or growth?
  • Do you feel like letting go means you failed? Are you staying to try and prove something to yourself or someone else?
  • Are you staying because you feel guilty about having been sexual in something other than a lifelong relationship?
  • Are you choosing to stay because you've become a partner's caretaker or counselor rather than their partner?
  • Are you staying because any relationship seems better than no relationship, or because you're afraid this is the only chance you'll have for this kind of relationship?
  • Are you staying because it's what the other person wants or says they need, even if it's not what you want and need?
  • Are you staying because you made some kind of promise that you know you can't keep or don't want to, but feel guilty about breaking?
  • Are you staying in figuring you'll just wait and see if something better comes along, and stay if it doesn't?

A friend of mine who left her abusive husband and is raising 3 kids on her own now posted links to Sara Kuburic pinterest and instagram. It was interesting to skim through. These popped out at me so I saved them to give to DD when she's ready to date again.

Relationship Green Flags
  • They apologize when they are wrong
  • Their words and behavior align
  • They encourage your connection with others (friends, family)
  • The speak about their ex-partners with respect
  • The communicate clearly and honestly
  • They set, honor, and respect boundaries
  • They show up authentically and offer you space to do the same
  • The are intentional about resolving conflict
  • They are actively working on growth and healing
  • They share compatible goals for the relationship
  • They make you feel seen, heard, and appreciated

Relationship Red Flags
  • Refuses to apologize
  • Inconsistency between words and behaviors
  • Often talks about themselves and rarely shows interest in others
  • Unpredictable and/or inconsistent
  • Drives a wedge between you and your support systems
  • Speaks poorly of all their former partners
  • Takes on your emotions as their own
  • Makes belittling comments or passive aggressive jokes
  • Places unrealistic expectations on you or the relationship
  • Violates your boundaries

I have some minor quibbles with some of the phrasing but agree with the overall thrust.

One has to develop their own personal standard for what they will and will not put up with from people.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
SURPRISED AT BREAK UP VIDEO DIARY

So it's not quite 3 months since youngest DD broke up with boyfriend.

I was surprised when she just up and decided to show me and her dad this video movie she made. She'd been keeping a vlog thing on her phone talking about the break up. She started it the day of, and kept it up daily and it dwindled to weekly and she did the last entry and recut the movie to hit the highlights.

She said she did it because she wanted to hear herself talking, see her face, her body... all the changes as she healed. So she could SEE the progress to reassure herself. And now she has this thing to look at when she breaks up again for self care -- what worked post break up? What didn't? So the next one can be smoother.

I never would have though to do that way. I'm more of a written journal person. But good for her. Figuring out what works for her.

DH and I still keeping the door open if she needs to talk more about it but really she's doing fine. We tried not to make a big deal about it around her when she showed it to us but later that weekend in the car during errands when it was just us? It was still like "Wow! She just up and decided to share something so personal/private with us. Like "Hey, want to see my breakup blog?" I never would have done that with my own parents!" for both of us.

I will repeat what I wrote before.

Some parents get SO hung up and don't even do the basic sex ed talks with their children. Much less the extra issues that come with LGBTQ+ or polyamory or BDSM or...

Just because the parents aren't talking to them about it, doesn't mean it is not happening to their kids.

I do sometimes what happened to her exBF and the potential Apple? Did they get together in the end after kid and exBF broke up? Move on to trying some kind of teen poly thing with a different partner who WAS up for that poly V?

I guess I'll never know. However it pans out for those other kids, I hope things go well enough. Those early dating experiences help people figure themselves out.

Glad the experience for my kid went well enough all things considered.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
MORE DD STUFF

DD felt like talking last night and here comes more about the break up story and some clarification.

She says she's gained some things in hindsight.

That it wasn't so much being asked to consider a poly V that bothered her. And who knows? In time when she has less going on, she'd consider participating in one. She just doesn't want one NOW -- she has too much going on to deal in that. Her problem was BF dragging things out and not being up front with her from the beginning.

(That apple did not fall far from the tree. Those things piss me off too.)

BF was sitting on their Apple crush for a long time and didn't want to ask DD about a poly V thing even after Apple asked them out and said they are fine with a V. So this dragged on and on before FINALLY he came out with what was on his mind. But in the meanwhile he was acting weird and not explaining why so that behavior was driving DD up the wall.

BF said he didn't want to say from fear of DD breaking up with him.

Which to both DD and myself -- it's stupid. This is dating. Breaking up is part of the package. Some of the people one dates are just not gonna line up. Doesn't mean either is horrible people. But it just doesn't line up. What is one to do? Go around with a string of people they don't really get along with or have things in common with just from fear of a break up? Like it's just impossible to shake hands and go "Thanks. I enjoyed getting to know you. I'm sorry it doesn't quite line up for more so we have to part ways. It's a bummer. I wish you well in your future endeavors and hope you find a better match than me."

So then DD got mad like -- "Why not just TELL ME? Why are you wasting my time dragging out? Could have broken up sooner then."

And the BF went into witterspace of "See!? I knew you'd get mad about poly and break up!"

And she was "Can you not tell the difference? I am not mad about THAT -- you asking to poly. I am mad about THIS -- the witholding and you being weird for so long not telling me what's going on even when I ask you directly."

But nope. She could not have a that conversation and have her upset feelings validated because BF was too busy wittering their anxiety -- he'd been gunnysacking and holding things in and here it all came spilling out in a mess.

Rather than BF owning it and apologizing like "Yes. You cannot be a mind reader. You did your end of the job and were asking what is going on. I did not do my end of the job. I'm sorry I was not more forthcoming."

DD admits to doing her own dragging out. Even though she came to realize this just wasn't the right fit because of the dragging out and lack of forthrightness thing bothering her? Pandemic hit and they both hung on to each other from familiarity more than anything else. Hit the snooze tag on breaking up. Put up with some behaviors he doesn't like putting up with. So it dragged on for several more months than it really needed to.

I keep telling her break ups need to be polite, fast, and clean. Just end it. Then you cry with your family and friends and process and all that. But the actual break up? Polite, fast, and clean. No break up is FUN. But dragging it out just makes the ugh part of it longer. It's better to linger in the healing space.

I think now that she's gotten "first break up ever" over with, she REALLY gets it now.

I also told her to cut each of them a break -- they are teenagers. They are just learning how to date, they aren't gonna be perfect at it and all things considered even with the bumps? They did well, they learned some things about themselves and each other.

I think I did ok listening to DD and letting her express. But later? I was just shaking my head thinking "OMG, witterspace and gunnysack dumping. UGH!"

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
ARTICLE

Out of the blue last night while we were playing games, DH told me about some poly article he read where the comments were blowing up. NY Times had posted on their Facebook.

"My boyfriend has two girlfriends. Should I be his third?" By Silva Kuusniemi


It's been posted in various locations.

DH: I read this article that might interest you. "My Boyfriend Has Two Partners. Should I Be His Third?"​
Me: This has to be an article? They cannot answer that from the beginning "Am I into polyshipping or not? Do I want to be with a dude who already has to partners?"​
DH: Well, it was more the comments that made me go "huh?" The comments were like "Don't try to give it a fancy name like poly! Just call it what it is and admit you want to sleep with everyone you see!"​
Me: That's so annoying. As if there can only be two toggles -- angel or whore.​
DH: Exactly. Isn't that weird?​
Me: Yes but not a surprise to me. There's a reason that button from ages ago is still around. "Bi, poly, and I still won't sleep with you." People reacted like that back then and still do now. Remember H. asking why, if I was sleeping with you, I wouldn't let him have sex with me? As if I'm some candy bar everyone can just take a bite out whenever. *I* control where my body does and who I offer to share it with. People need more sex ed. And education about consent. I'm def. not interested in sleeping with everyone I see. Jeez.​
DH: I agree about more sex ed and consent, but I'm not sure about the comment people. They just really did not like the word polyamorous.​
Me: That was the line in the sand? If I said I just wanted to have casual sex relationships, that would be ok. Because I'm just saying it up front -- what I want. But saying I want to love more than one, that's the freak out? I'm NOT saying what I want up front?​
DH: That's the vibe I got.​
I asked DH if he still identifies the same -- monoamorous, and relationship flexible. Like he's poly-friendly in the sense that he doesn't mind being the end point in a V, but he's not interested in dating new people himself. He said that he still felt that way. I confirmed I still felt the same -- poly, but relationship shape flexible. I've been fine with our agreement on "closed through active parenting." Even though things have eased up some with elders than when I first joined here, I'm not done with eldercare. I have the last one to get through HS grad too. Add pandemic weird? Pfft. I'm not in a hurry to renegotiate agreements even though I know DH is fine with me bringing that up.

I think the article reflected what the comment people seemed to struggle with but did not articulate as well. Having a certain idea of how love is supposed to go, and then being challenged by other ways of loving. And having whatever reaction to that.

Why had the polyamorous community rephrased the rush of falling in love as “new relationship energy” (NRE for short)? Why would anyone endeavor to rebrand love into something like a start-up, complete with its own energized, abbreviated lingo?

I think NRE happens to monogamous people too. Call it whatever, but it's definitely a stage of love. Other articles call that twitterpated phase "falling in love" or "romance" or "newlywed stage" or similar. It's just the pink fluffy lala clouds time. Then clouds lift and reality sets in. Then it's "make it or break it" time for the couple. To see if they can make it to DEEP compatibility or not.

And how could Juhana encourage me to pursue other relationships? Did I truly inspire so little emotion he wouldn’t care if I dated someone else? “I am willing to endure the discomfort,” he would reply, “because you are worth it.”

I see people trip up on that. When they believe love is measured in "jealousy response." Jealousy is supposed to "prove" that you love the person.

I did love an ex a lot but he didn't FEEL loved enough because I didn't care if he talked to other women or formed close friendships with them. Or even if he wanted to date them. I just wanted to renegotiate agreements before going there, so there wouldn't be cheating on agreements. He was so stuck on HIS idea that I was not "acting jealous enough" show how much I valued him rather than ME telling him how much I valued him that this (with other problems) led to me dumping him.

But why couldn’t he be willing to endure the discomfort of depriving himself of someone else?

This is the "If you really love me... you would do..." style of "proving" your love to the beloved. That one drives me nuts too.

It sounds like he was up front about having 2 GFs. Why would he dump established relationships over the new one? He's not the one who holds the belief that he has to elevate one love above all others. And having 2 GF, why would he kick up a fuss about author having another partner like he's a hypocrite? He's willing to undergo the discomfort of adapting, making space, and restructuring his life again because he finds being with her worthwhile. Doesn't that demonstrate the desire to be here with her?

Why, I wanted to know, was one pain fundamentally more acceptable than the other?

Why does there have to be any pain at all? If author is putting herself through something that is too painful, isn't the answer obvious? Stop doing it.

I have subjected Juhana to painful conversations and many collapses in which I would demand that we separate, that he break up with his partners, and that he do not breaking up with partners – often within the same conversation.

This is the belief of "Love conquers all!" falling apart.

She entered the reality check -- the make it or break it phase. All up and downy. Crisis of faith time for the author. Easier to end it with the dude rather thang going in circles. Not compatible, accept, move on, with less wailing and gnashing of teeth. But that's a whole lot easier to do emotionally if you believe "Love is NOT enough for deep compatibility" instead of "Love is supposed to conquer all!" Believing the latter leads to a lot of unnecessary banging head on wall.

The couple in the story do eventually break up.

(cont)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Weeks later, we spoke. Juhana had come to the conclusion that the disposition for poly- or monoamory was something innate, like sexual orientation. Perhaps it was even genetic, the way monogamous prairie voles and their promiscuous cousins, the meadow voles, had differing amounts of oxytocin emitters or vasopressin receptors in their brains.

“We just wouldn’t have worked out because we are too different,” he said. “I am polyamorous, and you are monoamorous. It’s not anyone’s fault.”

Bold mine. And neither one knew this ahead of time?

If these are all the toggles?
  • Monoamorous + wants monogamy shaped relationships only
  • Monoamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • Polyamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • Polyamorous + wants poly shaped relationships only
I think people can only date people in the same category as them or an immediate "neighbor" in the list. Because then whatever small gaps can be bridged.

I think it is obvious that this kind of pairing would have too big a gap to bridge, and are just too incompatible:
  • Monoamorous + wants monogamy shaped relationships only
  • --
  • --
  • Polyamorous + wants poly shaped relationships only
I think love alone is not enough to build a solid relationship on. And it's a continued investment of loving, not just the one time investment at the lalala stage. Every day one chooses to be here. If either DH or I started just phoning it in? Or neglecting? Our love would fade. Because love can and does fade away when there's no investment or energy put into the relationship.

DH and I have been living in this space for decades.
  • --
  • Monoamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • Polyamorous + relationship shape flexible.
  • --
We experience love in different ways, and are ok with that. DH knew I was "not into exclusive" back when we were dating. I was seeing other people when I was seeing him. By far he's been the easiest person I've ever been with because he knows himself and what he is and is not up for. We had a long engagement and sorted out a lot of things. When we wrote our own vows when we got married they did not include "forsake all others" nor "obey."

Unlike comment people, the author did examine her beliefs and wrote this. Bold is mine.

But my own love seemed less like something grounded in science and increasingly like a faith. It wasn’t that I couldn’t love multiple people simultaneously, but that I wouldn’t. Not because I thought it was ethically wrong or impractical or too difficult, but because it was sacrilegious to the idea of love I possessed.
Where polyamory recognizes the beauty of a pantheon of partners with whom you can express different facets of yourself, a monoamorous, monotheistic view elevates one lover above all others.

She had a certain idea of how love should go for her, and participating here confirmed that she didn't want to change that idea. Which is her right. She can do that. There's nothing wrong with wanting that love style. And perhaps then, the relationship was worthwhile after all for that nugget.

I just got frustrated because THAT seemed like the key thing, the flash of clarity she was seeking. And it's like she missed it when it happened!

Disciples of both faiths submit to a degree of suffering: the polyamorous must deal with jealousy, infinite scheduling and complex interpersonal dynamics, and the monoamorous must accept a lack of diversity and newness and the gravity of commitment in a culture of too much choice. Perhaps for those of us who aren’t voles, the defining prerequisite for preferring and thriving in any form of relationship is simply to believe in it.

I don't get the "love as suffering" belief. Why do people buy into that myth?

Everyone deals with jealousy. It's just an emotion like happy, sad, mad, etc. Making a schedule and interpersonal dynamics? Well, duh. That's part of the price of admission to poly. Dealing with all your partners. But I don't see that as suffering. Don't want to deal in that? Don't go there then.

Mono people? They aren't suffering "a lack of diversity" when they get married. They PICKED their spouse and CHOSE to get married. They don't even want new partners. I don't see that as suffering either. Don't want to deal in that kind of exclusiveness? Don't go there then.

And only mono people can be committed and have gravitas? C'mon.

I would have said

"Perhaps for those of us who aren’t voles, the defining prerequisite for preferring and thriving in any form of relationship is simply to believe in it and date people who believe similar."

Do the business of dating and get to know the potential and figure out what lines up or doesn't. Figure out if you are shopping at the right store, before deep attachments form.

Isn't that the other big "flash of clarity" to realize? Louder for people in the back.

LOVE ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR DEEP COMPATIBILITY.

Increase the compatibility odds by knowing your own self, and what you are and are not up for, and shop at the right store. Doesn't matter if other stores have cute stuff. If you know stuff there isn't gonna fit you right, it's just a waste of time trying to shop there. If you are figuring out what you like, get on with figuring it out.

I don’t think I would have found out at dinner what I was hoping to do, just as no flash of clarity ever appeared for Juhana. There are no answers in love, I think. Only choices made in the absence of objective truth.

I'm not a fan of Austen and Bronte like the author is. I lean more toward practical. To me the objective truth is that he came with 2 GFs already. So if the author was firm on monogamy and wanting exclusive, why take up with a dude who can't provide that? Isn't it dead in the water from the start? Can we not see the BIG ol' gap?
  • Monoamorous + wants monogamy shaped relationships only
  • --
  • --
  • Polyamorous + wants poly shaped relationships only
Why spend the article pining for the fjords if the goal is to seek compatible partners?

But if the goal of the articles is to write a romantic essay, then by all means. Pine away. I did enjoy reading it, and thinking about it, and I do sympathize with people who are still figuring things out for themselves.

So I have to thank DH for sending it my way. Def article was better than whatever weird comments he was telling me about.

Galagirl
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Me: That's so annoying. As if there can only be two toggles -- angel or whore.


Firstly, thank you for these two posts. It's given DH and I something to discuss and reflect upon.

IDK about anyone else in the room, however, in my head, I automatically went, "Por que no los dos?". WHY do I have to be one or the other? I am both, and neither at the same time. (This is meant for the author and not you, btw :) ).


I think the article reflected what the comment people seemed to struggle with but did not articulate as well. Having a certain idea of how love is supposed to go, and then being challenged by other ways of loving. And having whatever reaction to that.

Honestly, I blame the Hallmark channel and Madison Avenue for this. If porn has given some folks unrealistic expectations of how sex is "supposed" to be, the aforementioned entities have done the exact same for relationships. It reminds me of a meme I saw at the beginning of the pandemic here in the US and the caption read, "I can't wait to see the Christmas Hallmark movie about a small town candle maker who wanders into a Zoom meeting with a big city lawyer".


I think NRE happens to monogamous people too. Call it whatever, but it's definitely a stage of love. Other articles call that twitterpated phase "falling in love" or "romance" or "newlywed stage" or similar. It's just the pink fluffy lala clouds time. Then clouds lift and reality sets in. Then it's "make it or break it" time for the couple. To see if they can make it to DEEP compatibility or not.


IIRC (it's been a hot minute since I dated 😂 ) but I believe this stage is called "butterflies in the stomach" phase. It's the same thing, it's just labelled as something else. The author seems to think that labeling it differently is somehow wrong. I'm not sure how I feel about that because humans have a tendency to call things by different terms all the time and I cannot see how that is a bad thing. And I'm not sure why it would be and it kinda bothers me that this is her implication.


This is the "If you really love me... you would do..." style of "proving" your love to the beloved. That one drives me nuts too.

It sounds like he was up front about having 2 GFs. Why would he dump established relationships over the new one? He's not the one who holds the belief that he has to elevate one love above all others. And having 2 GF, why would he kick up a fuss about author having another partner like he's a hypocrite? He's willing to undergo the discomfort of adapting, making space, and restructuring his life again because he finds being with her worthwhile. Doesn't that demonstrate the desire to be here with her?


Ok, thank you for this. I had the exact same thoughts. Although, as the article wore on, I got the feeling that she is one of these people who insist either in words or actions, that their partner needs to set themselves on fire in order to keep her warm. The constant refrain of, "What you are doing is not enough! You must do more because I am so insecure!!!" kept cropping up, but that's just me.



She had a certain idea of how love should go for her, and participating here confirmed that she didn't want to change that idea. Which is her right. She can do that. There's nothing wrong with wanting that love style. And perhaps then, the relationship was worthwhile after all for that nugget.

I just got frustrated because THAT seemed like the key thing, the flash of clarity she was seeking. And it's like she missed it when it happened!


Honestly, I cannot fathom why she agreed to do it in the first place. She had to have thought that her love, and her love alone, was going to get this guy to dump the other two partners and the two of them could go skipping merrily into the sunset and damn the other two women he was in a relationship with. That says a lot about her as a person, imo, if that is the actual case.


Bold mine. And neither one knew this ahead of time?

In all inherent fairness to her, she may not have known that at the time. Honestly, I had no idea I was poly until around 2018 or so simply because the word was not around at the time I was in my 20's and 30's. Even if it was, the internet was not around and access to that type of information was scant and far between.


As for the dude, he knew better.

And only mono people can be committed and have gravitas? C'mon.

I would have said

"Perhaps for those of us who aren’t voles, the defining prerequisite for preferring and thriving in any form of relationship is simply to believe in it and date people who believe similar."

Do the business of dating and get to know the potential and figure out what lines up or doesn't. Figure out if you are shopping at the right store, before deep attachments form.


I didn't see where the author stated the ages of the participants, but I wonder if this is not a factor. Not that young people cannot be in poly and/or mono relationships, but more along the lines of "With experience comes wisdom" kind of a thing.

ETA: "I could tell he was proud of this skill, as if it was something that marked adulthood proper, acquired just beyond a bridge that I, at 27, had yet to cross."

Ok, I just re-read the article and came across that sentence.

IDK about you, but that kind of smacks of. "He's making me feel immature". Well, then, decide for yourself if you wish to cross that bridge. Whether you want to or not, it is up to you. However, it is, absolutely, up. to. you. And please be advised that once that decisions is made, you will bear the consequences of that decision, for good or for ill.


So if the author was firm on monogamy and wanting exclusive, why take up with a dude who can't provide that? Isn't it dead in the water from the start? Can we not see the BIG ol' gap?


Could have been a case of, "Run it up the flagpole to see who salutes". Or again, she could have gone into it, either consciously or unconsciously, that her love alone would get him to see how in the wrong it all is. Then cue the skipping, sunset, blah, blah, blah.


Increase the compatibility odds by knowing your own self, and what you are and are not up for, and shop at the right store. Doesn't matter if other stores have cute stuff. If you know stuff there isn't gonna fit you right, it's just a waste of time trying to shop there. If you are figuring out what you like, get on with figuring it out.


I am hoping this experience at least kickstarts the figuring herself out phase. Speaking for myself and no one else in the room, I was not taught that it was me and me alone that needed to figure that out. I was literally aping my parents and my friends insofar as what I wanted and what I supposedly didn't. It was only when I hit my 30's (late bloomer, I know!) that I started to have boundaries and starting to advocate for myself. I don't think in the main and on the whole people are actually taught that. Which is not to say that they shouldn't be taught that. They absolutely should. But I think the number of people who are taught that are few and far between. We (as in society as a whole) should probably fix that. :)


So I have to thank DH for sending it my way. Def article was better than whatever weird comments he was telling me about.


IMO, the comments are ALWAYS better than the article 😂
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
IDK about anyone else in the room, however, in my head, I automatically went, "Por que no los dos?". WHY do I have to be one or the other? I am both, and neither at the same time. (This is meant for the author and not you, btw :) ).

Haha. I thought the same thing -- a person could be both things or neither depending on their mood.

IMO, the comments are ALWAYS better than the article 😂

For going "WTF?" as entertainment? Maybe. LOL.

Honestly, I cannot fathom why she agreed to do it in the first place.

From what I can tell in the article? The initial attraction was this....

"Juhana was an excellent communicator and emotional acquaintance – a stark contrast to the one-love men I date before. Also, I didn’t want to give up time for my projects or friends, so it was a relief to have the relationship limited to specific days of the week: Mondays and Thursdays."​
What she may have wanted was something like "non escalator solo poly." Just not the poly part. But I don't think there's a parallel word to mean "non escalator solo mono."

As for the dude, he knew better.

I think so did she. If what she wants is dates twice a week with a better quality partner? Seek it in the monogamy category. OR date outside her usual category knowing this relationship is "exploring outside my usual" and not likely to end in "monogamy."

I don't have anything against relationships of a season -- like dating til college graduation or dating through a summer romance or dating to see what something is like. There's a pleasure in that.

But most of the angsty seemed to come from her not having realistic expectations going in.

IDK about you, but that kind of smacks of. "He's making me feel immature". Well, then, decide for yourself if you wish to cross that bridge. Whether you want to or not, it is up to you. However, it is, absolutely, up. to. you. And please be advised that once that decisions is made, you will bear the consequences of that decision, for good or for ill.

To me it just read as besotted with him and his "got it better together" life.

Most young adults I've known take some time to finish baking. Then more time to really get comfortable in their own skin, and start really thinking for themselves rather than going on "whatever my parents said" or other role models.

The human brain takes about 25 years to fully form so 27 could be a late bloomer.

But yes. One is free to choose. One is not free from the consequences of one's choices.

Galagirl
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Haha. I thought the same thing -- a person could be both things or neither depending on their mood.


And with hormones, it could be any number of these and all at the same time no less! :O


or going "WTF?" as entertainment? Maybe. LOL.


It's like fast food. Cheap, readily available and tolerable every now and again. :)


"Juhana was an excellent communicator and emotional acquaintance – a stark contrast to the one-love men I date before. Also, I didn’t want to give up time for my projects or friends, so it was a relief to have the relationship limited to specific days of the week: Mondays and Thursdays."What she may have wanted was something like "non escalator solo poly." Just not the poly part. But I don't think there's a parallel word to mean "non escalator solo mono."


You know...you may be onto something there. Which, I can see that. However, she may not have realized that is even an option.


I think so did she. If what she wants is dates twice a week with a better quality partner? Seek it in the monogamy category. OR date outside her usual category knowing this relationship is "exploring outside my usual" and not likely to end in "monogamy."

I don't have anything against relationships of a season -- like dating til college graduation or dating through a summer romance or dating to see what something is like. There's a pleasure in that.


There is also this. She knew the set up beforehand soo......


But most of the angsty seemed to come from her not having realistic expectations going in.


I think this is applicable in a LOT of situations.


To me it just read as besotted with him and his "got it better together" life.

Most young adults I've known take some time to finish baking. Then more time to really get comfortable in their own skin, and start really thinking for themselves rather than going on "whatever my parents said" or other role models.

The human brain takes about 25 years to fully form so 27 could be a late bloomer.


I was also one, so yes. She could very well be. If so, I wish her well on her journey. It is a long and difficult road and I don't envy anyone doing their own internal work. Just so long as they learn and grow from it.


But yes. One is free to choose. One is not free from the consequences of one's choices.


Never.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
TIME ALONE WITH DH

The seniors lately have been so EXTRA this month. I could list all the things, but I won't. I need a break from senior shenanigans.

I will be glad when there's a new "bee in the bonnet" for one of my dementia elders. Because I am really, really, really tired of talking about feet on a loop. It's like a weird litany.
  • Yes, I know your feet have a thing.
  • Yes, I made the appointment for the foot doctor.
  • Yes, it is on this date.
  • Yes, I will drive you when the time comes.

  • Yes, I know your feet have a thing.
  • Yes, I made the appointment for the foot doctor.
  • Yes, it is on this date.
  • Yes, I will drive you when the time comes.

  • Yes, I know your feet have a thing.
  • Yes, I made the appointment for the foot doctor.
  • Yes, it is on this date.
  • Yes, I will drive you when the time comes.
Round and round it goes. Over and over and over. Because they forget they already asked me, they are anxious about it, so they ask me again. I'm patient and kind and will repeat as many times as needed to reassure. But in my head I go "OMG! I want to stop talking about feet!"

Between work busy, the elders and their weird, kids, pandemic... I started planning a fantasy vacation. I'm not not going anywhere cuz pandemic, but nice to dream.

And time alone with DH lately? That was just bliss. We suddenly got the house to ourselves for a few hours because none of the seniors or kids needed us for anything that day. Just out of the blue there was this surprise day. Both of us were like "Really? Nobody needs anything?"

So we spent it catching up on sleep, sharing sex, getting take out, and having meaningful conversation about our own selves. Just a long day date. Reminded us both of lazy Saturdays before children when we were first living together.

I've missed time alone with him like that. Not just and hour or two here or there. But a huge block of time. And OMG, does that man drive me crazy. The way he snakes his leg along mine. The way he deftly pushes all my buttons. Delicious shivers for sure.

I was telling him about poly books I was reading and passages I really enjoyed and what I think about them.

He was telling me about his work having a diversity & inclusion group that he has been attending and enjoying. He said it was like attending a school Gay & Straight Alliance meeting this month because of Pride. That he wasn't sure what he could add to the conversation this time around as a middle aged cis straight white dude. But that it was a good meeting.

I pointed out he isn't the typical white dude. We present very "Ward & June" on the outsides but we aren't. He's in a mixed marriage with a bi, poly wife and one kid is also bi. We have other poly and LGBTQA+ relatives and friends. He said he didn't out anyone by name. Just said "I have a relative/friend who... I have seen experienced..." So, yes. He had more to say than he originally thought.

He told me at the end they all got a list of books and movies for further education. He skimmed it and thought about me. Because it was like "Yup, yup, yup" going down the list because I've already asked him to read/see a lot of the things.

So between sharing physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, mental intimacy with him lately? I feel like my cup is full again. I love hearing that man talk. I love how he thinks. How he supports me in pursuing my own things.

And if I have to hear some more about FEET again I can deal with it from a better frame of mind.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
BOUNDARIES WITH A LONG TERM PARTNER

I wanted to remember this before I forget. It's #37 from this thread.

You are not being over sensitive to want time on your own with husband without his other partners around. Every dyad needs its own privacy, space and time.

Whether or not she is "pushing his boundaries" I do not know. Because I don't know if your husband has actually articulated his boundaries to her like "Look, I need time alone with wife for our date nights. I know it's a public space, but I don't like you hanging around the edges then. It feels intrusive to me. Just like I wouldn't like wife hanging around on the edges when it is (you+me) date night. Please respect my limit and don't hang around when I'm on dates with other people."

You'd think some things are common sense, but people aren't mind readers. Boundaries need to be articulated first. And if he was having the problem, wouldn't it be him posting here about it rather than you? Like...why are YOU all up in this?

If he's already told her his preference/limits? And she's ignoring it and going around like a love sick puppy following him around everywhere? Enforcing his boundaries with natural consequences is his responsibility and his problem to deal with. You aren't the one dating her.

And again... he could call her into account, request she respect his limit, and if she doesn't respect him/his boudaries? He could dump her then. I mean, what else is there? Does he want to date people who don't respect him or his limits? How is that awesome?

If she's taking it to the stalker place? He can dump her, keep a record, and seek a restraining order/injunction depending on severity of the issue. Still his responsibility to deal with.

If he hasn't told her his boundaries? Could tell him to tell her rather than vent his problems at you.

If this is becoming chronic and hearing about his problems with her behaviors upsets you? Set your OWN boundary with husband. Because his problem might be lovesick puppy GF annoying him but the one annoying you is HIM.

Could tell him something like "Look, you date them. Not me. I don't want to hear about lovesick puppy people bothering you. You picked them out. Not me. So you have to deal with them and their behaviors. You might have to change how you vet people or update your personal standards. Turns out you picked a weirdo? On you to deal with it or dump them. "

It's sloppy hinge stuff when the hinge allows stuff from one side to leak over on another side.

It's also the work of detangling if the marriage got too enmeshed. I know some people are so used to having the spouse be their sounding board for everything from habit that they just take the spouse and services provided for granted. They don't seek consent first by asking if the spouse wants to even deal in this conversation. They just start inundating the spouse inappropriately with their polydating problems like "pass the buck" stress whooshies just assuming spouse is up for it.

On your end? You might have been used to always helping him with his problems as spouse/helpmate. But now that you polydate, some areas of his life don't actually require your assistance and may bring to light that you were overassisting before. So it may feel weird to stop yourself and take a step back. "No, that's not actually my job." Or say "Hey, you know just because I'm your spouse, it doesn't mean I have to..." Or say "Hey, you know just because I'm your spouse, it doesn't mean you get to..."

In the past you may have taken things done to him personally. Like you get all annoyed on his behalf, when someone annoys him at work. But is it actually your problem and your feelings to manage? It's ok to let him deal with his own problems and manage his own feelings without you along for the ride.

It's also ok for you to decide you do NOT want to be the consultant on his dating life problems.

Because even if allowing the (you + him) relationship be the platform for processing (him+her) problems might help him? It's not a great deal for you. When do you get to have your OWN relationship with him? You aren't his free therapist, right?

Not trying to be mean here... just encouraging you to have your own strong personal boundaries and detangle from husband stuff some.

It sounds like you all have to live into it, and sort out how to actually BE together in this new model.

So there's just going to be a period of sorting a lot of things out.

Galagirl

I have more to say on that but for now just copying it over to my journal thread so I remember it.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
"HOLIDAY" RELATIONSHIPS

So out of nowhere a while back, Leaf emails me a basic "Happy birthday" and I wrote back "Thanks so much! :)" That was the entire exchange.

This is "holiday relationship" that over time has gone from "ugh" to "meh" to "whatevs" because I set down some boundaries to stop Leaf's shenanigans from blasting though here.

He's on holiday trigger again. Birthdays, Christmas, he'll start thinking nostalgia things and feel bad and then email. And I'm boring, flat, and pleasant. I don't really engage because I have a boundary: I cannot be around unmanaged mental health people who don't do their patient plans. I have enough with the dementia elders, I don't need bonus work.

Then my fav ex emails to say hi and see how we are in pandemic. That's another holiday relationship but one I like. Told him we are all laying low, masking, distancing, got our shots, etc. They are doing same. He mentioned his wife has relatives near here and maybe when this is over and they visit the relatives, he can swing round to see me and catch up. I said pleasantries like "Oh, that would be nice. Maybe we get there. Crazy pandemic."

But really I was thinking several things at once.

1) WHY? I like our holiday cards type relationship. Bdays, xmas, usually me starting the email howdy. Why change it now after like 30 years?

2) Would I even like the YOU you that you are now? Cuz most of our holiday relationship is just pleasant nostalgia. But neither one of us really KNOWS the other one where we are at NOW -- this middle aged place.

3) WHY? I barely spend enough time with my spouse, friends, and family who are in my inner circle. Do you even still RATE for in person gatherings? If you really want to catch up, can't it be a phone call or video call first? Where I can also be cooking or folding laundry? Or bail if I have to (or you can bail)? Cuz an hour at a restaurant -- can't bail as fast on that.

I tried to tell DH all that but I don't think he understood. He was just Mr. Supportive like usual.

DH: Oh, that'd be nice for you. Well, let me know if it comes to pass and what you want. I can come, I can stay home, whatever you need.​
Me: I don't think you get what I'm saying. And decades later you and him finally meet in person , the two arms of a long ago V? Weird. But thanks for being supportive.​

What I was trying to explain to DH is that I feel like my TIME is precious. Pandemic conditions, and then my own spoons...

It's not like I can't be arsed. I can.

I just have become REALLY PICKY.

If a thing doesn't really bring me joy? I just don't want to waste my time on it.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
LETTER OF THE LAW AND SPIRIT OF THE LAW

Wanted to save this from this thread.

Thank you both for the wonderful advice about revisiting our agreement to make sure it actually works in the field. We did decide that we will be revisiting our agreement. I do think we were both looking at the agreement in a more rigid manner that is necessary. It's not that important that we don't sleep over. It's important that things be predictable. Appreciate you both pointing that out

Glad taking some time to reflect, cool off, regain bearings, etc proved to be useful. I know it takes me at least 3 days to clear any stress adrenalin dump.

Glad that you are both on the same page now and agreed to just put a pause on things til you get to the therapist appointment where next steps can unfold under guidance. I think that's a calm, sensible approach.

Also glad you can tell now that agreement making might be a process. What sounds good at first might not actually work "out in the field" and best to just bring it up if it pinches and examine and adjust. Ask things like "Ok, what's the actual need? How are we trying to solve it with this agreement? Can it be solved another way? With another tool?"

Once it shakes out, OK. NOW it is the actual agreement, and that can be kept until it no longer works or if conditions change significantly.

But there could be some "buffer room" between agreements "made on paper" and then trying the agreements "actually out in the field." Like some time to get the reality check. A grace period.

I do think we were both looking at the agreement in a more rigid manner that is necessary. It's not that important that we don't sleep over. It's important that things be predictable. Appreciate you both pointing that out

Glad you see that it maybe was too rigid and "letter of the law" ish.

Maybe you two could also have a conversation about "spirit of the law (or spirit of the agreement)" and "letter of the law (or letter of the agreement)" And how to do healthy conflict resolution. Maybe the therapist can help with that?

I watched some rerun on Netflix the other day that kinda illustrates this. Military guy was on trial for going AWOL. Did he leave without papers? Yes. The "letter of the law" dude was all about the AWOL. He broke the rule! Punish him!

Had the guy submitted leave request? Yes.
Did he have permission from his CO? Yes.
What happened to the papers? The CO forgot to sign it right so they weren't processed right. Clerical error.
Dude goes home to see the birth of his first child.

"Spirit of the law" people were like "Yes, technically AWOL but WHY? Look, he was trying to do the right thing and get his leave papers processed. He had permission from his boss. But he has no control over the CO's behavior or the clerical processing. Plus extenuating circumstances. Punish the guy on a technicality? Just because he wanted to be there for his wife and baby? Dude isn't deserting or doing hinky things. The INTENT was there to go on leave properly. Spirit if the law is here trying to be observed. Where is compassion?"

Galagirl

I think good agreement keeping needs to be negotiated and revisited. And reality checked. In terms of poly skills? For me they go hand in hand with conflict resolution skills.

Like you make well designed agreements to minimize conflict. Then you do healthy conflict resolution to deal with whatever comes up.

I think sometimes "letter of the law" people are either at a different place on Kohlberg's moral development stages. Or maybe they want it "solved fast" so they don't have to sort through nuances?

"Spirit of the law" people are more willing to weigh in all considerations. I try to do that.

But OMG. The one thing that that is a huge turn off of me is lies.

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
WORK VENT

I'm not going to get into details. But I will say this. Every once in a while I have to work with an Eeyore. One of my least favorite types to train or manage. Everything is doom, everything is bound to fail, everything is soooooo hard.

Yes, sometimes there's legit people blocking you, not enough helpers, not being resourced enough, needing time to grow some skills, etc. When I remove all obstacles possible and smooth the way? Eeyore just finds something else to complain about.

"I can't do it because X, Y, Z lalalala."

All this slippery-fish behavior, deflecting, obfuscating, squirming about? How about you didn't do the job because you just didn't? Like plain statement of fact?

Cuz I don't really care. I'm not your mom. I just want to do my job. I don't want to hear a long song and dance. I just want to know what's going on, and if this is the wrong assignment for you at this time, just say so PLAIN. Give it back. I'll give it to someone else and we can all get on with our life. Skip this loop-de-loo.

It's like the Eeyores live to complain though. Loop-de-loo is where they want to hang out. So tiresome to be around and work with.

I might have to put up with it sometimes at work but I def would not want to deal with an Eeyore personality in my dating life.

Bleargh.

Grateful the day is done. People underestimate "agreeableness" as a character trait.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
SLOWLY BETTER

Did a good workout. Cooked meals ahead. Then I made some calls to arrange for my defrazzlement.

Step 1: Brain Break.

I took Daisy to lunch yesterday. She is terrible at sharing conversation space initially. If I haven't seen her in a while she doesn't even notice I struggle to get a word in edgewise. It's like I have to clock an hour or two of just her unloading her stuff first. Because pandemic cabin fever makes her so pent up. Then she comes to a place where she can listen to me and we can have actual back and forth conversation. I know this about her though, and I was prepared to deal with that. Because I wanted to deal with my OWN pandemic cabin fever, being sick of working from home, and dealing with the computer people. Daisy is great on short notice plans. She's less good with planning ahead. Once she's done unloading she's usually great at general chitchat that is interesting to take my mind off my problems. Books, movies, video games, what she thinks about the news, etc. I go to her for a general airing out on short notice. Not actual help with my problems, but a pleasant brain break. A time out. Stepping away for a moment before stepping back in.

Step 2: Fast Problem Solving.

I called up Rose last night and we talked for like 45 minutes. She's great at cerebral deep listening. Like "Aw, man, that sucks!" validation combined with crone-y "I'm too old to give a fuck about stupid shit" energy. She's also good at helping me solve my problems in the fast, direct way I like. Gives good ideas and no BS. She has to train and manage people too at another place so she gets what I'm talking about quickly. Rose is busy though, so she is not great at short notice stuff. I have to catch her as I catch her. Best on phone for short notice/medium notice. In person takes planning.

Step 3: The Next Work Meeting.

I can come into it with thoughts in better order, and Eeyore strategies.

Step 4: Aftercare

I also emailed EarthMama and made a lunch date with her next week. She's the one who is great at emotional deep listening with a lot of "there, there" mothering kind of energy, hence her alias. And the exchanges are even. She takes turns sharing the conversation space. She's good for commiserating after I solved the thing. Like "WTF!? I had to go do all this stupid. Can you believe this?" and she will comfort me and then remind me other people have problems too so maybe they weren't at their best. She restores me to kindness, forgiveness, giving people grace, etc. She's like me though -- dealing with finishing raising kids and eldercare and work and... so she's NOT good for short notice anything, not even phone calls. Best over email when she can get to it when she can get to it. And plans are always penciled on the calendar... check in when closer to see if it is actually a go or not. Because kids/elders exploded or something. I get that. It happens here too.

DH took a day off and I'm shifting my work schedule to take it off with him. Cuz friends are great, but I also want some romantic attention. My life just cannot be all about work, kids, and elders. Ugh. I need space for friends and lover too.

Each one is good for different things. I'm grateful to have them all in my life.

I sometimes think that if "detangling" is the most skipped step to polyamory?

Then the second most skipped step is creating a support network of friends/family that you are out to, understand the phase of life you are in, and what you deal with. All these friends have known me for decades, know I'm bi and poly, know we've been closed thru parenting and eldercare, and would talk with me if I had something on my mind from that area of life. Not just only for "Work makes me crazy!" area.

But yeah. Work makes me crazy sometimes. Most of the time I love it. But every once in a while....

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
BOTH SIDES

Wanted to save this from this "both sides" thread.

I'm not one of the "after marriage" people. I was way before.

So I think that plays into it some -- it can feel more intense or shattering for some of the "after marriage" people. And depending on what those marriage vows were? Ends them. So then it's marriage over. Now what? Reboot with new agreements or just be done? On the Stress Scale, it hits some major points.

Me? He was a cute college guy I met a few months earlier that I'd become friends with. And we were both horny one night. So we shared casual sex and it was fun for both of us. Next day asked him if he wanted to leave it there at one time only, wanted a regular FWB, thing, wanted to date, or what. I said I was up for any of those. But if we did agree to FWB or date he needed to know I didn't want to be exclusive and was not esp into monogamy. I wanted a relationship of the present, and I didn't want to talk about some big future. ( I did not have the word polyamory back then and there wasn't internet or books like today. )

I didn't have a hard time telling him. Frankly, at that age? It wasn't like we had this huge history together, obligations, or entanglements.

He thought I was refreshingly direct. Though I was his first encounter with it, he had no issues with ENM or poly. He was up for it. So it started FWB, we both saw other people, and it eventually I settled into a V with him as BF1 and I also had a BF2. That was a lovely time for several years.

Mostly how we went forward at the beginning? We agreed to use condoms and safer sex practices. I don't need to know or hear about his people unless he wants to tell me something. Same the other way. BF1 and BF2 knew how to contact each other if there was emergency about me, but really they didn't talk much and both knew up front what the deal was.

"Newsworthy" to me was if someone was looking to go lover or had become a lover. I wanted to know so I could decide to continue with him or not and come to decisions about MY sex health hygiene from an informed place. Same the other way. No dating each other's relatives. Too messy. We both thought that was fair.

I asked him last night how it was as the listener and he said initially interesting/different because it was his first exposure, but over time not any different than anything else about getting to know me more deeply. Plus, if he didn't like the deal, it's not like he couldn't have said "No, thanks" and just moved along.

I think that's still true even if the poly thing doesn't come to light until after marriage. ANY TIME -- a person can say "Nope. No thank you. This is not for me." Because their consent to participate in things or not belongs to THEM.

But I also think people get really comfortable where they are, don't want to think about changes, maybe don't have a savings account with their "fuck this shit" money already lined up. Maybe haven't really thought about love and what they believe. Maybe walked into marriage on "auto pilot" without really doing the work of engagement. Maybe they aren't used to really talking to their spouse up front and honest. Maybe didn't really know their own selves til later in life or are carrying personal baggage. Lots of things that will compound a poly revelation if it comes AFTER marriage. Esp a marriage with kids, because without? One just walks away. With? You are there still being coparents.

Dissolving a marriage is more complex than dissolving some college hook up. That is just "Ok, had fun. But no, no thanks for more." Dissolving a marriage or rebuilding it around different vows/agreements -- that's way more work. Esp. for the people who build their identity around being married. Major stress.

What is/has worked for you to improve your relationships? How are you making things better?

Not being one of those CoupleBlobs who are joined at the hip. But also not taking for granted and maintaining connection.

Building a support network of authentic friends and family. I think people skip that part when they try to poly discreetly. Then they have nobody to talk to or help if/when things go wahoonie.

Knowing that certain chapters of life? If the poly people aren't here already? It's not the time to start new relationships. I cannot imagine starting again when I was pregnant or when I had 5 sick elders to deal with. Some chapters are/will be better than others.

There's always been a basis of honesty, taking personal responsibility, and working things out. But this extra stressy chapter of raising kids AND doing eldercare was REALLY argh at the start when we didn't have caregiver skills yet. We were starting to pick at each other so I suggested taking a Non-violent Communication class which helped a lot. And if that wasn't enough, to go see a couples counselor.

Galagirl

I was thinking about James this morning and hoping he's doing better with his new GF now that it's been a few years together. He's a friend who tried poly and it just ended up exploding the marriage. So now he's coparents with his ex, and both of them moved on to other relationships. I don't know all the details of it, but I know Jame struggle with the "joined at the hip" thing. He also struggled with having a "firm no" because he was a people pleaser. If I was going to add to the post above, I would have added that. People pleasers are going to have a hard time if their spouse wants to do poly and they are on the fence because they will be tempted to please the spouse to their own detriment.

Galagirl
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
ARTICULATING PERSONAL BOUNDARIES

Youngest DD came home both annoyed and pleased with herself. Some dude is.... something... at her. She can't figure out if he thinks they are friends just because they are in the same class or if he's getting around to asking her out in a super slooooow and awkward way, but she doesn't want to have any truck with him.

DD tells me she had to use her personal boundaries because they are NOT friends and she is NOT interested in dating him. He is ONLY a classmate. She'll do "polite classmate" IN CLASS but on her personal time, shoo!

Her plan for lunch was to eat alone and take a brain break before heading back to classes. He just walks up and sits down without even asking if he can sit there. Then he starts talking boring at her. Just assuming she's up for being his captive audience.

Me: What was it?
DD: I have no idea. I cannot remember. It was THAT boring. Call it golf.

So she more or less told him "Dude, I'm not the right person to talk about golf with. That's not my thing. I'm not into that. If you want to talk about golf, I suggest you go over there and try Bob or Sally's table. They LOVE golf. Now if you want to talk about X, Y, or Z? I'm into those and could talk about that over lunch if you want to sit here."

She asserted herself without being rude about it and gave him some options. She's sometimes too shy so I'm glad she's speaking up.

She said his face was priceless because he obviously is used to just having his way all the time and hogging spaces. And while he didn't say it in those words, she thinks she got the "bitch moment."

Where some dude thinks she's a bitch or actually calls her a bitch because she doesn't want to do work he wants her to do, she calls him into account for poor behavior, or she asserts her personal boundaries.

She said she enjoyed watching his face while thinking "Whatever, dude. Lose the golf and stay or get out of my face and go golf elsewhere. I don't care. I have a sandwich." What's he gonna do? Go complain at a teacher that she told him she doesn't like golf and she likes XYZ?

(Where do these boys come from? What manners are they learning at home? Unchecked they grow up to be obnoxious men.)

The other dude who was hanging around? She reports that after she declined to date, he's moved on to some other girl in the class and is bothering her at her lunch table. DD thinks he's looking for a mom, not a dating partner. And that's not her. So now it is the other girl's problem to deal with however she wants.

She reminds me of me around that age -- just wants to deal with classes and focus on grad. The dudes left in her friend circle? They were interested but she is not. She already had the dating conversation with both of them and declined so they all agree to be just friends. And they actually do JUST FINE with personal boundaries articulated. She says their relationships got BETTER with clear lanes. In fact, one of them told her he's going to take a page from her book and just be clear because it just makes life a whole lot easier. This is my lane. This is what I am for. This is what I am not up for.

I told her I was dealing with similar with my Eeyore today. Clear lanes.

I had several work meetings with others on this project and did a training. And you know what? Several thanked me for being so clear. One said it was the best training she ever had and she wishes all her trainings were like that. Another one told me they felt well supported in the job and like they could now move on to just do it. Others struggled at first but then got on the same page after I redirected and pointed in the right direction without giving me some big ego thing. Others struggled with the idea of being in charge. Like yes, really and truly. I've assigned you this thing, run with it! Be in charge of it! No, you do not have to check in over every little thing. I trust you. That was new for them. One told me he can't do short notice, so needs a longer heads up for trainings in email. I told him I wrote it down, but sometimes I can't help the short notice because I get short notice too, but I will try to call rather than email on those times.

So I KNOW it is not me nor my management style. If my worst complaint is "I need more notice if possible?" Pffft.

And then came the next meeting with Eeyore. He still wanted to do his Eeyore thing but I decided to lead the stand up meeting this time rather than my co-lead. I've been letting him do it for the practice and he's coming along well. He's a nice guy but he sometimes rambles or let's other people ramble too long. That would be my only feedback for him. Tighten up the stand ups. I want to be in and out of there in 30 minutes. It's just the weekly update on the project for whose doing what and doing the SWOT. It's not a long training or a novel.

So in order to model what I want for him to do and to cut Eeyore off at the pass if he starts again? I led it this week.
  • Stuff we already covered? I did not cover again.
  • Stuff that changed this week? I updated the people.
  • Stuff that's coming up in the next week? We SWOT-ed.
  • Stuff that's further out? Too far ahead. It can wait.
  • People who missed the stand up? No problem. Unless you are on the brink of explosion and need to wave a red flag? Catch it next week and update us on your area then. Not the end of the world that you missed this one.
  • Everyone back to work. Get on with your life. Yay. Cuz nobody wants or needs more meetings than necessary.
Out of there in 35 min, because someone wanted to hang back and ask me a question. MUCH better than last time.

I only had to listen to Eeyore start to complain at me once. I've already heard about that one many times so I cut him off. He IS getting some crap, and I'm working to clear it. Just not gonna be insta-clear, dude. Keep your shirt on. Did some "There, there poor baby you are so misunderstood" Eeyore ego strokes and just moved on to the next person checking in. What's he gonna do? Tell HR he didn't get a turn? He did. Tell HR I wasn't nice to him? I was. Tell HR I'm not working to clear his obstacle? I am.

I do project management. The other crap is self manufactured. I can't help him there. He can go take his complain-y to a counselor. I'm not talking about "golf" with him. My lunch table is only 30 min big and I have other people to serve.

I don't care what relationship model it is. Work. Family. Friendship. Monogamous dating. Poly dating. Something else.
  • Be firm of purpose.
  • Have clear, realistic, rational, reasonable expectations.
  • Have some clear, articulated personal boundaries.
  • Right person, right time, right place, right tone/method when you communicate.
  • Do your best. And it's ok if your best in an ideal world is not the same as your best when you are sick or don't have all the pieces or whatever. Just do your best.
But OMG. Golfers.

My TIME is really precious to me right now. If a thing doesn't really bring me joy? I really, really, really just don't want to waste my time on it.

Why on earth would I spend it talking about "golf" more than I have to?

Galagirl
 
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