the story of a secondary


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So glad to read your update! Between this and Phy's twins, it made my day :)

I too can no longer read beyond the titles of the problems in the Relationship Corner...

I'm glad you're feeling at peace with your friendship with Gia, and I'm glad you're still close with Davis. Allowing a romantic/sexual relationship to transition into a deep friendship is a central tenet of my approach to relationships. Sexual chemistry can be fleeting and arbitrary.

For me, part of being solo poly means that I can let each relationship fall into place naturally, whether as a long-term lover, a fling, an ex that is a best friend, or a serious partner who will never share domestic space with me. This works great for me (so far!)

Best wishes, and glad that you still check in once in a while!


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Thanks, MR. :) Your way of doing solo poly sounds very much like mine.

The night before last, trying to distract myself from fretting over Pike, I reached out to Clay. Normally Clay and I schedule our dates in advance rather than getting together on the spur of the moment, but it turned out he was free, so we spent a very pleasant night together. It was a perfect illustration of how poly often means that someone else can be there for you if one person can't be.

The next day, I had a date with Gia. We made food and snuggled on the couch and watched cartoons, it was very relaxed. Pike had said that he wanted to get together later in the evening, and I was very excited about that, of course, but was determined not to rush my time with Gia, since she and I don't get that sort of time very often. Eric was out with Bee while Gia and I were having our date. When the boys came home, Bee went right to sleep, even though it was pretty early in the evening. It was an unusual stroke of luck for us adults, to be toddler-free that early.

Eric collapsed on their bed, clearly worn out from his day. I wanted very much to be close to him, so I asked if I could cuddle up to him for a minute. He said "sure", and I tucked myself against his side, under his arm. It felt like forever since the last time we'd been physically close to each other like that.

It felt so, so good. Warm and right, familiar but rare, a place I didn't want to leave. He held me close and nuzzled at me affectionately. Gia came over and curled up on the other side of me, and being held between the two of them was even nicer. After several minutes of that, Eric sat up and said "Anna, if you don't have to go anywhere yet, do you want to fool around?" I looked to Gia to get her opinion. She looked a little anxious -- she usually does when it comes to sex -- but said that, yes, she'd be down for that.

And so we had the first threesome we've had in a LONG long time, well over a year. It was also the first time Gia and I had had sex in many months. Despite her initial nervousness, she relaxed quickly, and took the initiative in some delightful ways. I won't go into details except to say that it was highly, highly satisfactory.

When it was over, I messaged Pike to check in. He was out with friends, enjoying his night, but still wanted to see me. After some long goodbye kisses, I took my leave of Gia and Eric, and drove to the bar where Pike was doing karaoke. I sang a song, he sang a couple, and we left when the bar closed.

Back at my place, things between Pike and I felt just as they had a week and a half ago, before he'd gotten distant. Our dynamic just snapped back into place in a way that I'd been very afraid might not happen. He apologized, told me he loved me. He said that he still didn't know why exactly he'd felt the need to pull away, and that he'd try not to do it again any time soon.

I put on a brave face about it. I didn't act like it hadn't hurt at all, but I assured him that I was glad that he had done what he needed to do to take care of himself, which was true. We had some great sex, and when it was over, I cried just a little in his arms. It was cathartic to let go of the worry and sadness that I'd felt in his absence. He apologized some more and kissed me a lot. We fell asleep holding each other, and made love again in the morning. I made breakfast, and then he headed out to meet up with some friends.

Shortly thereafter, Davis came over. We'd been planning to spend Labor Day together hiking, but I'd twisted my ankle, so instead we just laid around the house together, reading and listening to podcasts. We went out for Mexican food, and when we came back to my place we were at loose ends. I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said that he wanted to be intimate. I told him that I didn't want that, which I've been very clear about recently, and he said that he knew, and that he was sorry, but that he couldn't help asking.

He looked sort of blank and worried. I asked him a question and it didn't seem to register. I asked again, and he said that he thought he ought to go for a walk and come back. I told him that I needed to know what was going on, and that maybe we ought to just call it a day altogether if he was having such a hard time being around me. He managed to explain that, while most of the time he's ok with the change in our relationship, sometimes it's very hard and scary for him to think that we'll never be physically close again, and that he'd basically just had a mini panic attack. I told him how sorry I was about the mismatch in our desires. He told me how important I am to him, and how committed he is to staying in my life, whether our relationship is platonic or not, even if it's difficult. We hugged, and then he went on his way.

So. Quite a busy three days when it comes to interactions with the people I'm close to. I feel ridiculously lucky to have all the love that I do, and also just a bit overwhelmed. I worry that maybe I ought to be focusing on other things, self-improvement or something like that, rather than pouring SO much of my free time and focus into relationships. But would I willingly let go of any of these people, unless they wanted to go? Hell no. I just have to make absolutely sure not to get entangled in anything new for the foreseeable future.
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It was great to read your latest update, even though it's over a month old now. I struggle with the same things that you mentioned in your last paragraph, feeling overwhelmed and grateful of all the great loving people in my life but at the same time wondering if I should put my energy into other things as well. I've also taken a strict policy of no new partners as long as I'm in my current situation.

It was cool to read about your and Davis' interaction now that you've moved to a platonic relationship - I know it can be hard to take a step back like that, so I hope Davis continues to be okay with it even though he sometimes struggles. I was also glad to read about the threesome with Gia and Eric. That seemed to make you so happy. :) Seems like things are on track now with Clay and Pike, too. Good luck with everything and I hope you update us every once in a while, I like reading about your life. :)


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I've been feeling even more that Gia and I are just very close friends now. We haven't been physical at all since my last entry, we rarely even snuggle these days. I still haven't talked to her about how my conceptualization of our relationship has shifted, though. I feel a bit like a coward for not saying anything. But then I think, well, why exactly should I, when I'm not asking that we change anything? Does what we call ourselves really matter? I don't know.

Predictably, Davis and I have swung back towards occasionally being physically intimate again. I just can't settle into a stable way of relating to that guy. We're both pretty chill with where things are between us right now.

Things have been nice and pleasant and mellow with Clay. I feel like the last of the NRE has worn off. We're very comfortable and loving together. I do sometimes miss the passionate newness that we used to have. I should talk to him about how we can reinject that into our relationship. But truly, no complaints there.

And then there's Pike. Things between us have been humming along since I last posted here. It's been downright wonderful, in fact. Passionate, mutually supportive, playful, meaningful, loving. And without any particular drama! Until last night. Which, of course, is why I'm posting now. It's always easiest to write when there's something to write about...

He's been seeing someone new. I'll call her Tarryn. This is the first new person he's gotten entangled with since he and I have been together, although he's had a couple of interests that didn't lead anywhere.

It's only been a couple of weeks, but it's made a big impression on him. He develops feelings for people quickly. I was very happy for him and excited at first.

The problem is that she says she "doesn't like to share." She'd prefer to be monogamous with him. At the same time, she still has an "it's complicated" thing going on with an ex. I guess the implication is that she'd cut the ex off if she and Pike decided to become serious?

At first, he assured me that he'd never break up with me for her, and instead would try to work out with her whether non-monogamy was, indeed, a deal-breaker. I felt confident, unthreatened by Tarryn. I wanted to meet her and talk to her.

Last night, Pike and I were out together, hanging out with friends. They split, and he and I were alone. We were talking about hitting up one more bar, to see some other friends, and then turning in relatively early. I suggested that he come back my place. He said that, actually, he was thinking about trying to see Tarryn, so they could talk.

This led to a long conversation. I asked that he not leave me hanging after we'd spent all evening together unless it was important. He admitted that she was weighing heavily on his mind, and that he felt strange going from seeing one of us one day to another the next day. He said that he thought he might need to pull back a little, to get his head clear.

I asked him if he might, in fact, leave me for her. He reiterated that he wouldn't, but seemed conflicted. He said several times how new to him this all was. I cried a little, we hugged and kissed, and then I went home alone. He went home too, as it turns out. He didn't see Tarryn that night, though they did talk.

Today, I texted him asking about something he'd said last night. He said that seeing me had made it impossible for him to see other people. In my text, I said, "Well, wouldn't that be even more true if you were dating someone who's not poly? What's the real problem here? Is it that you want to play the field more before settling down? Or that you want to find someone who can give you a full-time relationship, and I'm holding you back from that?"

He said it was the latter issue. He doesn't want to miss out on what could be a great primary relationship -- if not necessarily with Tarryn, then with someone else -- because they can't accept me. He says that while he's not very focused on it, he does want to have a full-time relationship again some day. But he also doesn't want to give up something that he knows is very good (our relationship), even if it doesn't meet *all* of his needs, for a relationship with someone else that would be a complete unknown. He told me again how much he loves me, how special our connection is.

I feel kind of numb about it. I cried in the bathroom at work, only for a couple of seconds, when I really thought about losing him. But mostly I'm trying not to let the impact of those thoughts hit me.

I still don't think I'll lose him over Tarryn, not really. But I do fear I'll likely lose him some day, if not to a particular person, then simply to his desire to be available to people seeking more traditional relationships. Our time together has been so precious to me. If/when he leaves me, I don't feel like I'll be shredded in a dramatic way, more like I'll be quietly sad and regretful for a long time.
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I've done a lot of thinking and processing the last several days. I had begun to make peace in my heart with the thought of transitioning to friendship with Pike. But then...

[copied from my post about this situation on the Poly Relationships Corner board]:

Things have taken a rather surprising turn. Pike and I saw each other last night and spent the evening eating, watching Xmas specials, cuddling, and talking. I told him that I saw four options. We could:
- Become just friends.
- Keep everything exactly the same
- Scale back to be more like FWBs, see each other less frequently, be less intense about each other, and plan to split up once he found a mono partner
- Get more serious, to try to better meet his needs within the existing relationship.

I know I had said that #4 wasn't an option, that I couldn't offer primacy. And I've been so comfortable being solo for so long that it was very hard to picture myself being that way with someone. But this situation has forced me to think all of that through, and I think I really may be able to offer a relationship that's more integrated into each other's lives.

I don't intend to stop seeing my other partners or to set up any sort of formal hierarchy. And I don't intend to mingle our finances or move in together in the foreseeable future, if ever. But I care about him so much, we're so compatible, that I want to try to move this forward, to proactively offer a relationship in which he feels partnered in a way that's satisfying to him.

Maybe if he meets my parents, is invited to my work holiday party, we see each other on a more regular basis throughout the week instead of just on dates, he's made aware and has a chance to give input before I get involved with anyone new (which I'm not planning to do, I'm seriously saturated, but in theory) stuff like that, it will be enough, especially if he does eventually find another partner who's cool with poly. Or maybe not. Neither of us is sure.

We didn't commit to anything firm. But he listened to me and is thinking about it, and it seemed to me that we both felt very relieved to be close and comfortable together again. Things don't seem to be working out with the girl who wanted monogamy, so there's some time for us to think this through, maybe give option #4 a try.

We'll see. And we'll both be ok, either way.


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And now a snippet of pure sweetness:

I was hanging at Gia and Eric's for Gia's birthday the other night. Also present was Thom, the friend who's babysat Bee the most after me. Bee was babbling about something grown-ups can do, I honestly forget what, and he said "Uncle Thom can do it, Anna can do it, Mommy can do it, Daddy can do it -- all my moms and dads can do it!"


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No major changes in my relationships with either Gia or Clay.

Davis and I are taking a break from sex. I started to really not want it with him, and he respects that, even though it pains him. I have NO IDEA why my body and heart are so schizophrenic about that boy. I've often told him that I think he might well be better off without me in his life, but he won't hear of it.

Pike's brief relationship with Tarryn, the girl who wanted him to herself, ended amicably. He quickly found someone new, a girl I'll call Elle. They met online, and then fell into a passionate connection. Their very first date took place in part at a party which I was also attending, so I got to meet her right away. She seemed cool, laid back and fun. Things went smoothly for a couple of weeks, but then one night, while tipsy, they got into a minor argument and out of nowhere she told him that she couldn't deal with having to share him with me (she has a long distance relationship with someone else, for the record) and walked away. He was baffled and very hurt.

They talked the next day, she said she was confused. They agreed to dial things back a bit and not have sex while they figured out if it could work between them. They went on a date tonight, and I'm very curious how it's going. I would LOVE for him to have another partner, but I wish he could find girls who are actually ok with poly????

And then there's a new boy in my life. I'll call him Joel.

Joel. He's been all I've been able to think about lately. He was directing a play that I was in, which recently ended. I know him from our local kink scene. Throughout the work on the show (in which I had a very minor part), there was a lovely unacknowledged closeness between us, which felt like it could turn into something more.

Then, last weekend, I stayed late after the show to help clean up. It was just the two of us. We got to talking. Then we got to kissing. Then we got to biting and hair-pulling and wrestling for control. And then sweetly hugging and kissing again. It was wonderfully sexy and natural and playful and fun and satisfying. I felt SO very close to him, even though we'd only known each other for a short time. He's a deliciously sweet and awkward and vulnerable person, and then at the same time he has this fierce side.

The problem is that both of us are completely polysaturated, not to mention busy in the rest of our lives as well! We've agreed that we very much want to get a drink together soon, but we haven't been able to find the time yet. Maybe next week?? I really hope so. Neither of us have the capacity for this to be more than a very occasional thing, but I'm feeling some serious infatuation.

I have to be careful not to let myself fall into the trap of NRE. I've already caught myself twice prioritizing the possibility of seeing Joel over opportunities to spend time with my established partners. Each time, I've consciously stopped, reflected, and made the choice to offer my time to my established partners instead. But god, I just want to hold him in my arms again. I want to touch his hair and trace his skin. I want to hear him tell me about his other lovers, about his dreams and plans, about his darker desires. I don't even care about fucking, I just want to *know* him, I want to be close and intimate with him, I want to press myself against him and listen to him. Want want want want want.
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I love that you still update here occasionally, even though I sometimes takes me an age to get around to reading it. Thanks for checking in.

NRE is so heady, right? It demands to be unfettered.