I think the heart of the reason why polyamory appeals to me is that I am a person who derives the majority of the meaning and joy and pleasure in her life out of her relationships with other people, so on a conceptual level, the ability to pursue romantic/sexual relationships with multiple people at once has the potential to be hitting all sorts of fulfillment jackpots.
For a while there in late 2013/early 2014, it sort of was.
But now here I am only dating one person, who is dating three people, and quickly coming to realize that I need more relationships of substance anywhere along the platonic/romantic spectrum with people who live in my city. This is a void in my life that I’ve been talking about the struggle to fill ever since I graduated from Princeton and moved to a city I had all of one friend in. I had lost the urgency of that need for a while there, back when [Buddy] and I became pretty good friends as a direct result of the fact that we were fucking, but now I’m facing two whole days of no reason to put real clothes on or leave my house, which means the need is back and urgent like a motherfucker.
Let me be clear about what this problem is not: this problem is not me being upset that I don’t get snug-time with [Booskie] this weekend. I’m actually really pleased with how our conversation about whether we were getting together this weekend went. I feel like we successfully navigated the issues of he has a lot more going on relationships-wise than I do and he values his alone time more than I value mine, while still setting clear intentions of seeing each other again soon, and there were pretty equal amounts of asking/offering in that negotiation. I am quite happy with that.
What I don’t like is that I’ve fallen into a sort of life-space where not seeing him in a weekend basically means I’m not doing anything. I have a lot of books to read and blogs to catch up on and stuff to entertain myself, I guess, but I know that by tomorrow afternoon or so at the latest, I’m going to be feeling lonely. Part of that is a function of the fact that KS was here last weekend, though; I get so excited that he’s coming and I love having him here, but after he leaves I always get a little depressed. This happens whenever I go back to campus, too–Reunions is the best thing on the face of the planet and the week after Reunions is sort of hellish. I settle back down into my regular life without the excitement of these things to look forward to and remember that here in DC I have a bunch of friends who would come to a party if I threw one, but almost no one I could call to come over and play a board game or watch a movie or grab dinner someplace on a random Wednesday night. [Booskie] is the only person I can just hang out with, and KS having been here always exaggerates my feeling of not having people.
I would like to develop more people I can hang with. It would be cool if that hanging out could also involve sexytimes, but that’s probably bonus points for me where I am right now. Maybe hooking up with people I am or want to be friends with is part of how I keep losing friends? Iono. I’m in this place where I feel like dating another person could be nice. More snuggles is always a thing that I’m about. I was complaining to EY last night about the degree to which I forgot that OkCupid sucks–[Buddy] is the only OkCupid person things have ever really worked with, remember–and she asked if I’m looking for another relationship or if I’m just looking for more sex. I told her that I’m looking for something that will last longer than a couple of weeks; heavy emotional investment isn’t a requirement, though I am interested to know if that’s a thing I could be about while I’m heavily emotionally invested elsewhere. I think that I would like for my involvements to have relationship-like elements, such as I would actively want to spend both naked and non-naked time with this person, and we have good communication, and there’s a decent degree of trust, and stuff like that. But I have no suitable people I actually want to spend that kind of time with anywhere on my playing field at the moment.
Then there’s the sub-issue of the fact that mediocre not-super-into-it sex isn’t really a thing I want to be bringing into my life these days, and I can’t quite tell if that’s a good thing or not because most of the first-time-I’ve-had-sex-with-someone sex I’ve had in my life has been well-here-you-and-I-are-in-this-situation-where-sex-would-be-appropriate-so-why-not sex, as opposed to I-really-want-you-and-specifically-you-inside-my-body-right-now sex, which is maybe not the best thing? Not in a self-slut-shaming way, but more in a self-caring way, en route to living deliberately and whatnot. I think that I would like to move into a place where I have exclusively or almost exclusively the latter type of sex, but EY said that if I’m jumping into bed before there’s any feelings, she doesn’t know that there’s a solution to that issue. I replied to her, “But I mean, that’s what I’ve always done. I have no idea how to do anything that is not that. Besides KO which doesn’t count because we were both virgins, I have literally never waited beyond the second date to sleep with someone.”
And I’m not quite sure where that leaves me. I’m probably not going to be seeing anyone else for a while, and I think I’m alright with that as a fact. Developing something new was like top priority right after [Buddy] things dissolved, but since then I’ve remembered how much I absolutely hate this kissing frogs stage of developing new things. It drains me. I would like to develop real deep and meaningful friendships with more people here, but I am completely out of ideas of how to do that in ways that don’t involve me pretending to be someone I’m not, which proooobably isn’t the best way to get at the deep and meaningful bit. A few of my closer coworker-friends are leaving me for grad school in a matter of months, though, and so I need to come up with new ideas quick or things are going to go from bad to worse. I am a person who needs people, and sometimes that makes it really really fucking hard to feel self-sufficient.