Just because you can date everyone doesn’t mean you should

*originally published Friday, February 24, 2017

Since I last wrote, I’ve stumbled across the most magnificent way to live and love. It’s called ethical non monogamy, sometimes polyamory. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and I’m still defining exactly what it means for me. But it has changed everything.

Spouse and I are dating again, in this format. For me, that means I am also dating other men. For us, it means the pressure is off and we can begin to repair and rebuild our relationship in a way that is safe and comfortable and truly meets both our needs.

The way that Spouse and I are dating now feels a lot like when we were first dating. We had recently left Mormonism and so every relationship decision was no longer dictated by an outside force. We could decide exactly how we wanted it to look. Sometime along the way of our four-year traditional monogamous marriage, the intentionality we brought to our relationship was not so present. We fell back into bad habits, old patterns from our upbringings in our families of origin and our conservative culture. We just got lazy.

But now, we’ve agreed to throw out all the rules and redefine our relationship just in terms of one another. It is freeing and comforting and exciting. I’ll tell the story of how this happened another time, but tonight I wanted to tell you about all the wonderful men in my life. It appears I have a type. Dark hair, beards, very intelligent and nerdy.

There is Spouse, of course. He knows me so well and we truly are best friends. We are working to rekindle the romantic part of our relationship and heal some of the damage done. He is a physician and excellent amateur chef.

Then there is Feathers, who also does the non monogamous thing with a primary partner. He’s confident and curious and laid back. He’s also a big dork. He remembers everything and likes to classify plants and birds and insects. He works at an elementary school for disabled kids, teaches after school painting classes to underprivileged kids and is working to start up a natural perfumes company (chemistry and physics are his favorite challenge of the moment). He makes me smile and is a big help in navigating this new lifestyle.

There is also Storyteller, who is a PhD in human-computer interaction. He’s also in an improv troop and writes poetry. He reads me poetry to fall asleep and is very emotionally intelligent.

The newest who I’ve only seen once is Urban Planner, he’s a comic book, political and trivia dork. Fabulous conversation. Similar interests and very laid back demeanor. I’m hoping to see him again and it seems he’d like that too, but we shall see.

Last but not least are the purely sex men. One is the person I dated for a while right after the split, Barista. I had many firsts with him. Sexual and otherwise. Breaking up with him was hard and now he’s come back into my life as a friend and occasional hookup and it’s a beautiful thing. The other is Chef, a very new find where the expectation is very clear, we will be fuck buddies and that’s all. This is who I really see myself exploring my sexuality with.

And if you’re thinking this sounds like a lot, you’re right. It is. And that’s why I’m home on a Friday recharging my social batteries. I imagine some of these will fizzle or end and I’ll find a nice equilibrium.

For now I’m really excited about embarking on a path that feels really true to me. And I’m excited to have found a way to share it with the world, albeit anonymously.

Questions? Email me at patternsandroutines@gmail.com and I’ll answer at some point.

*names changed

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