Thoughts on this journey

Isn’t hyperfocus fun? (There are several of us here, unsurprisingly - if you hadn’t noticed, I think the Venn diagram of adhd/poly is damn near a circle…)
I think you're right. And from my experience, the kinky, genderqueer, and software developer circles share that overlap, too. At least when brains are unconventional, they're often unconventional in similar ways... it's sort of comforting. 😆
My partner pixi recently saw an article about a new study showing that people who have genetic dispositions towards risk-taking are also more likely to be bisexual (pansexual, etc.). The fact is, hetero risk-takers are more likely to have more kids (more partners, maybe more sloppy with birth control), so our bodies have adapted to having more gay sex if we are risk-takers, thereby reducing the amount of kids we have.

You will pass the queer and risk-taking genes down to your offspring too.
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.
Still pretty much feeling like this. 😂

Some interesting conversations going on today, though...

So aside from this site, the other places I've been poring over compulsively are the /r/polyamory and the /r/relationship_advice subreddit. I tell ya, as much as people read the former and remark that it makes polyamory sound like a terrible idea (because so many of the posts are people in bad situations asking for advice), latter can get depressing af. Of course, who reads it and thinks, "monogamy is the problem here"? The conventional is strong. 😜

That said, there are a lot of common bad patterns I see in people's expectations for relationships, expectations about the surrendering of autonomy, like
  • Though shalt never interact with others with whom you are hypothetically romantically/sexually compatible in any of these (more or less restrictive) ways
  • Though shalt never have any expectation of personal privacy (e.g. we have to give each other complete access to our smartphones and track each other's locations)
  • Though shalt never have sexual thoughts about any other people, ever, especially when you masturbate, which is also pretty sus I mean I'm right here why would ever touch yourself unless you don't actually find me attractive or you're still hung-up on your ex
For all that younger generations seem to be more open-minded and progressive in some ways, an awful lot of people in their early 20s especially (and so, inexperienced with relationships) seem to struggle with the above. I don't envy them their belief that only ceasing to be individuals can yield the lifelong happiness of which they dream.
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Well, I must admit I'm a little upset that the thread about AI — as silly as it was on its face — was deleted. I put a lot of effort into my posts in that thread. More effort than the OP deserved? Maybe. But the actual topic brought up a lot of interesting philosophical questions, and I enjoyed exploring them. But now the things I wrote are gone, and I wish I'd written them down somewhere else, that I control.

It makes me hesitate to participate here in as much depth. Or, anyway, reminds me to compose my posts in a different app before I post them, which was a lesson I thought the internet had taught me 25 years ago. Oops. 😆
(Cool talk, folx; now back to my blog. Happy to discuss AI/ethics/nonsense in other threads!)

Good therapy call today, about my drive for autonomy and how that shows up in and shapes my relationships (and why the ideal of "two people creating something called a Relationship that's bigger than either of them" just doesn't work for me).

And a bit of good vulnerability with Maple—I can tell I'm getting emotionally attached when my anxiety starts to show up. In previous relationships, I suspect this is when I'd have a bit of a freak-out and get avoidant. Now I'm finding it much easier to just treat my feelings as information—and to interpret that information correctly, to wit:

I am feeling anxiety about this person, which doesn't mean they'll leave me, and doesn't mean they will threaten my autonomy... it simply means I'm getting attached, and that can actually be quite nice.

What happened is, they invited me to an event. I agreed, let's go! Then I realized there is a slightly higher than usual chance I might run into Ex that I'm Still Interested In there. Which is unlikely, and would probably be fine... but the idea of running into her while attending with Maple still made me feel a little weird. It's a situation I haven't yet had to navigate.
Instead of sitting on this, I explained it to Maple, saying I just wanted to give her a heads-up. She appreciated that, and confirmed it was no big deal.

Well, good. I rather hope I do run into EISII (maybe her pseudonym should be Elsie :sneaky:)—but I know I'll be fine, either way.
At last the metaphorical rubber meets the proverbial road in my experience of polyamory: Maple went on a date with someone new. She checked in with me first, to see how the idea made me feel, and I said I felt fine.

And I mostly did, aside from some fairly primitive rejection/abandonment fears; I had a weird dream after she told me, and pondering it in the morning it sure felt like a childhood-abandonment-fear dream. 😆

She and I spent most of the weekend together, and I was getting a little up in my head about her going on that date, plus a confluence of unrelated factors that meant we weren't quite as intimate with each other as we have been. Yet I was generally able to manage my own emotions: I know our relationship feels solid, regardless of some reflexive and uneasy feelings. Better still, though, we got this out in the open this morning when I finally asked, "So, did you actually have a date?"—because she hadn't confirmed or mentioned it further, and I hadn't yet brought it up.

We discussed how we were both feeling, and why, and how we want to navigate telling each other about the things we do with others. Long story short, we remain delightfully on the same page and good at communicating with each other. 🥰

I'm running out of steam for typing details, so that's enough. Meanwhile, I have a few people I'm chatting with on the apps. The conversations are going fairly slowly—people are busy and so am I—but perhaps a couple of them will result in dates. I'm in no hurry to achieve anything in particular. Right now it's a very nice feeling to both have a loving, supportive relationship and to also be exploring exciting new connections without feeling any "I want to be in a relationship plz" pressure within myself.
Sigh: after pulling back a bit over the past week or so, Maple broke up with me today. She's not in a place to be in a relationship, and doesn't think she will be for a long time.

Meanwhile, am in the midst of making first date plans with a couple other people. Am tempted to vanish into thin air, but may just keep 'em—though regardless I am not in a hurry to get into any particular sort of relationship. And maybe I should take the opportunity I never quite bothered to when Aspen and I broke up... and just be by myself for a while. I think I'm doing a pretty good job of centring myself in my life, but... then again, am I?

Anyway, I have a loss I'm going to grieve no matter what I do, so gonna try to just let that happen.
I'm sorry, Albert, that sucks.
Thinking about compartmentalizing:

I've made plans to meet several people for coffee for the first time next week. I didn't do this in response to being broken up with; the plans were underway.

I think I'll keep those plans, and simply be forthcoming about what's going on in my life. My intention hasn't been to get heavily into dating new people, anyway; it's more to make new connections, especially with polyamorous folks, and see where they gradually go.

We'll see how that plays out. Maybe I'm fooling myself, or soothing myself in less than healthy ways, without consciously meaning to: getting together with Maple right after breaking up with Aspen, getting together with new people right after breaking up with Maple. In both cases, the getting together felt/feels coincidental, but am I missing out on an aspect of healing by not letting myself be entirely single for a while?

Guess we'll find out.

Of all the times to have your therapist be unavailable for like two weeks. Well, we'll have lots of talk about next time. 😏
I'm sorry Maple broke up with you! It's odd she decided she wasn't able to be in any relationships right after she had a date with someone else... If I were the suspicious type, I'd go hmmm...

As to whether or not to keep getting out there after 2 r'ships ended, who knows? You might miss out on someone really great who ends up being a long-term runner. But then again, if you're feeling burnt out and jaded, there's nothing wrong with taking a break and just enjoying your me-time and your hobbies and platonic friendships and the coming warm weather.
If I were the suspicious type, I'd go hmmm...
As my brain tumbles about the various stages of grief, I have spent a non-zero amount of time thinking stuff like this, when I need to feel angry for a little while instead of sad.

I'll just say I strongly doubt it until shown otherwise.

She expressed a desire to be friends in the future. I'd like that—I have never managed to stay friends with exes and I think that's a shame—but certainly if I reach out in a few months and find out she's in a relationship I expect to feel too betrayed to continue.

If you wanted a relationship, what was wrong with this one? You know??

But that hasn't happened yet. Gotta be careful: sometimes negative fantasies about the future are as seductive as positive ones.

As for other dates, I'm planning to meet up with a few people for coffee over the next couple weeks. This is one of those things I've always experienced with online dating, where you have no connections for a while and then suddenly like six at once. This isn't the ideal time for one of those waves to come crashing in!

But I'm just going to take it slow, be honest and authentic, and either some new relationships begin to form or they don't. I'd be happy to merely make some new friends who are polyamorous. And I'd be happy to be single for a while, I think. Not even so much because I'm burned out or jaded on relationships, but because I feel the need to centre myself in my life and I seem to have a hard time doing that while dating someone...
The person I was going to meet for coffee tonight canceled, and I'm extremely fine with it. This is the second person I've been talking to who's needed to put off meeting up for at least a few weeks, but is interested in doing so in future—and that actually works great, because I just want to stay in my cave and play video games. :LOL:

Got one other coffee date still planned for tomorrow, which is fine. I think I will simply not make any more moves to engage with my matches on dating apps. If they speak up, I'll reply, but there are a few people I already feel like I've had to chase, and I don't have the energy or inclination.

Sigh, as for Maple. I had a terrible night last night perseverating about this breakup, but felt a bit better about it this morning. But I also looked at my calendar after work today, and noticed the big gap on Thursday night where we'd had plans to go to a fancy dinner, and...

I invited her to this thing a few weeks ago. Booked us tickets.

One week ago today, she was telling me how excited she was to go to this dinner with me.

Two days later, I met her and a friend for a drink, and we kissed goodbye, and did she seem a little wistful? Maybe I'm just projecting that based on what I know now.

Two days after that, she broke up with me.

Ugh. I canceled the dinner reservation. So here's me looking at that gap on April 4 and wishing she would text me to say how sorry she was that she put the kibosh on our plans... and how much she misses me. And how weird it is to go from texting someone every day for seven months to being totally out of touch.

I don't really expect that to happen, though. Haaaahhhh! This feeling sucks! 😝🙃
So I did go on a date with a new person last night, and it was very nice! Looking forward to seeing them again.

Almost talked myself into contacting Maple today, but the better (wiser?) angels of my nature had me run this plan by a friend first. She rightly pointed out: way too soon. I'll revisit that idea in a month.

Lastly: feeling pretty ill right now, hoping the stress and social contact doesn't have me coming down with something. Gonna try to take it easy the rest of this week. 😑
Fingers crossed for you that whatever it is passes very quickly.
(Since the symptoms haven't returned and I've been taking allergy meds, I'm assuming it is, in fact, seasonal allergies. 😤)

I am gradually coming to terms with the fact that, regardless of Maple's reasons for breaking up, they are her reasons and don't really have that much to do with me. I am slowly healing and hope the day comes soon that I can seek her friendship while accepting that we may never be lovers again.

But waiting at least a month for that day is still the smart thing to do. 😏

Got therapy a week from today, looking forward to it. Meanwhile, the other parts of my life are going fine, I've just added some long-awaited furniture to my apartment so I can finally reorganize some things... and am continuing to remind myself to do these things for myself first; I don't like my tendency to wait until I'm in a relationship to feel motivated to make changes.
So, my impulsivity won out and I texted Maple last night—but it was a text saying, roughly "I understand you have your reasons for not wanting to continue our relationship, but that you want to end up as friends. I do, too. As much as my brain wants to jump right in, I know we both need time. How about I check in in a month?"

She sent a kind reply, agreeing with that idea. I'm pleased with this: I think if I had just forced myself to maintain no contact for the next several weeks, I'd have had a worse time obsessing over her. Now I feel like I can take my time and let my emotions slowly unwind, until I'm ready to come correct.

Did some more reorganizing and cleaning my place today. Friend's coming to town tomorrow to hang out. As much as I want to keep dating, keep finding lovers... I do really want to centre myself in my life.