Thoughts on this journey

Initially I just replied to the logistical parts of the email and left it at that... but a day later I replied again, said I heard her and was sorry... but also asked her to please not send an email like that again.

Good for you. Setting a personal boundary.

We broke up, it's over, I did my share of the emotional labour and don't owe her any more. If she needs to express her hurt now she has friends and family and therapists who can listen.

Yup. You are the ex now.
'Tis the season... of sickness. 😆 I had dates with both Maple and Juniper this week and it's possible neither will happen — they've both been sick. Knock on wood that I don't come down with something!

If dates have to wait, that's fine. I'm in no hurry, and as it is I'm ending up with more plans than I usually prefer. This does tend to happen to me when I date: no connections for a while, and then suddenly I'll realize I have four dates with four different people in one week, and ☠️

I mean, it's a good problem to have, but still. And pursuing polyamory means it's likely to continue like that, to some extent: instead of narrowing down the dating pool to the one person I want to keep spending time with, I will potentially keep spending time with as many of these people as feels good to.

We'll see how that goes — I am curious to reach the point where these various people and I compare what we're actually looking for, and what we want to do with each other. Where my saturation point might be.

Meanwhile, having fun texting with M & J, finding more things we have in common, and anticipating our eventual dates. Feels like I'm turning to my phone wanting conversation a bit too much, though. Might be good to give myself more deliberate Do Not Disturb times.
This is what you would have called a "subtweet" on twitter when it still existed, I guess, but the more stories I read about mono/poly people opening their relationships, the more glad I am that we ended ours instead.

It feels like a much better position to me to be, "I'm solo right now, I don't owe anything to anyone. Now, cute person I just met, let's you and I discuss what we each want, if we're compatible, and for what."
Settling down a little bit: took Bumble off my phone, put my profile on indefinite snooze. Of the four people I connected with, two of them decided they didn't want to continue—door is open to be friends or reconnect with them in the future, which is fine. I'm continuing to date Maple and... oh my, we really like each other!

Juniper has been travelling but sending me the occasional text, so I reckon she wants to keep dating once she's back — this weekend or next week, perhaps I'll see her. The two of them are both very different in style, and perhaps in values, but I like them (and they both seem sweet, sexy, and kind, regardless); with any luck, I will give this polyamory thing a try with these two people. 😄

And if not, that's okay, too. I am trying to remain unattached to the outcome, just exploring what shape these relationships want to take.
A thought from my journal this morning:

What do I want from an intimate relationship if it's not "partnership"? One thing that occurs to me right away: I want to uplift others and be uplifted by them.

My inner copy editor would probably make that "lift others up" instead of verbing "uplift", but the nice thing about journals is you don't need to edit them...

...til you share them on forums. :sneaky:
To me, there no is conflict between being in a "partnership" & what you say you want; in fact, I feel that the definition of a good relationship is that it lifts me up instead of tearing me down & my partner/s feel/s the same.

Many people in an established partnership get complacent, but I feel that complacency & people pleasing (as you mentioned in a post) are often death to true partnership. To use the words of Barry Goldwater, I feel that eternal vigilance is the price of a good relationship, especially a polyamorous one. Also, deep honesty with self & others--never harsh or cruel, always loving, but always honest. Between the two, problems can be addressed when they are new & manageable, & with luck a solution can be found that pleases both/all people involved.

I do think that longevity in established relationships & total freedom in creating/maintaining new relationships are two poles of a continuum. Imo, it's probably impossible to maximize both, but each person can choose the combo that for them is optimal. Different people will have different sweet spots, & all that matters is that the people involved are close enough to be compatible.
Having had a few dates, Juniper and I agreed we just don't have the right chemistry between us, so we're going to stop dating and, perhaps, stay friends. It's fun to take her to dinner once in a while, but we're just not a good fit for more. I feel good about that — there was this level of stress associated with dating her that I didn't feel with other people I've dated, and it's a relief to have it gone. I'm glad we tried each other out, anyway!

Meanwhile, I continue to get closer to Maple, I really like our connection. I'm happy to just date her for a while, and let things in my life settle down a bit for the next few months. I intend to stay open to new connections, but I'm probably not going to actively seek them out for a while.

Things are good.
This is me "subtweeting" again, but I see so many stories that go like "my spouse cheated on me and now we're trying to be poly but it's really hard", and it's like, yeah, that's because what you're doing isn't "polyamory", it's "avoiding divorce while your spouse enjoys themselves at your expense". 😑

...Probably time to take a break from browsing /r/polyamory so much... 😜
Please don't go :) Yes, common themes show up with new accounts, but I reckon it's still worth sticking around for the community that is the regulars.
Pardon my melodrama, I'm not going anywhere. And it's mostly on Reddit I read these tales of terror. 😝 (hence the reference to /r/polyamory)

I'm just venting my dismay at all the people trying to drag their partners through an emotional Bataan Death March instead of openly saying, "It's been a great nine years, but I'm kind of done with it and want to fuck my hot coworker now. Let's talk about how to amicably divorce."

I mean, I realize almost no actual humans, myself included, operate that way. But still. What if we could?
Oops, I did miss the reddit reference first time around. Gotta admit though, I am a fan of the "honey, I want to fuck my coworker/friend/whatever so would you be open to breaking down the societal conditioning of monogamy and reclaim our autonomy while maintaining our working relationship" conversation. That's actually not too far removed from how Adam and I reopened our relationship after marriage, and if we permanently separate or divorce it won't be because there's someone waiting in the wings, it will be because our relationship is no longer working.
I am a fan of the "Honey, I want to fuck my coworker/friend/whatever, so would you be open to breaking down the societal conditioning of monogamy and reclaim our autonomy while maintaining our working relationship?" conversation.
Ok, yes. If people feel this way they should have the conversation! I guess the scenarios I keep seeing (and I realize I'm reading what are basically advice columns; people don't go there to report that everything is going great) is that couples have the conversation, but one or the other decides to grit their teeth and put up with something they don't really want, instead of recognizing that they've become incompatible.

Anyway, I guess I'm extra sensitive to this pattern, because I feel like in my last relationship we (eventually) did that correctly: I realized I didn't want to be monogamous. My partner didn't want to be polyamorous. We broke up. It still sucked, a lot, but I think staying together with her grudgingly trying to accept me dating other people would have been a lot worse.
Did some travel this month, and was thinking of visiting a friend overseas in December. This friend is a person with whom, given the opportunity, I might be more than just friends, but time will tell. Bottom line is, I realized I didn't really want to take another trip a mere 4 weeks after my last one (which was a mere 6 weeks after the previous trip, which, oh yeah, was immediately after a prior trip... Jesus, no wonder I'm travelled out 😆)

...and, anyway, my friend was very supportive, and is in a similar space of being in a hectic period of life and just wanting things to chill out. When you're afraid of disappointing someone (as I was), it's always nice to realize you're actually on the same page. ☺️ Hopefully I'll be in a space to visit her in the spring. That would be fun.

Speaking of which, I just spent the weekend with Maple, and it was very lovely (before this we'd only done overnights and the occasional weekend afternoon + overnight). Still don't know where this relationship will go or how it will shift when either of us wants to date other people again (that's more likely to be me, so I'll be interested to see how she feels)—but, I'm in no hurry to figure it out. Better to just experience it.
...I gotta up my game in here. I've just been posting occasional reflections on my personal relationships, when I could be posting incoherent diatribes.

This one time, at band camp...
I swear my high school stories end up sounding like that…
Blogs are for subtweeting*. 😏

But as for an update: I'm still dating Maple, and it's still super great. Our brains work the same way, we have really compatible alignment about what we want right now, which is seeing each other about once a week, sometimes spending a weekend together but not always.

We'll see how it goes when the rubber (of me wanting polyamorous relationships) hits the road of actually dating other people, but our discussions thus far leave me hopeful.

I'm in no hurry. Probably what I will want to pursue the most in the near future is new people who share my kinks in particular—I've never really invested much energy in the local kink scene, but I'd like to start. Happy to just chill for the next few months, though. Maybe in the spring.

*Well, twitter's dead (RIP 🪦) but I still like the word for commenting on something that was said "nearby" instead of replying to it directly. What do you call that on a forum? Subposting? Subthreading?
Confirmed: my last post from the 26th of November said almost the exact same thing as above. Heh, I'm fine with that: it's nice to see my life actually fucking stabilizing for the first time in a year... 😆
there was this level of stress associated with dating her that I didn't feel with other people I've dated, and it's a relief to have it gone
Reading back over my previous posts, there was this (about Juniper). I was talking with Maple about this today, and we agreed part of this feeling is a certain amount of "masking" she and I both end up doing in some situations, especially with neurotypical people. I hadn't really thought of it that way before, but there's something to it: the difference between feeling like I can "be myself" around Other Person, and feeling like I'm performing "Albert Ross Goes on a Date".
Happy New Year, Internet forum!

I haven't had much to write in this thread, since I haven't had much polyamory-related stuff going on. My thing with Maple continues to be great, and for now it's plenty. I have a feeling I'll want to start dating again in the spring... and it's nice to feel like that's ok, even though I'm in a relationship.

I've been spending a lot of time on the polyamory subreddit, starting to reply to posts instead of merely reading them; it feels good to share what I've learned, though it also feels a little obsessive—I think that's just ADHD for you. My brain gonna fixate on what it gonna fixate... uh, on.

Hope y'all had a lovely holiday. Here's to better relationshipping in 2024. 🥂