The latest post in an ongoing series updating how my polycule has changed over time. I thought when I started this series I would have lots of exciting adventures to share with you all, but in real-life fashion, things rarely ever go the way you think they will. However, I have enjoyed my journey, and I love the way my life is working out overall. So, read on for the latest update. (See the end of this post for a link to previous updates.)
As usual- let’s start with Stefan. My longest term partner and my least traditional relationship. We met in Berlin over 4 years ago and have somehow made things work in a way that works for us ever since. I have been away from Berlin more than in Berlin for more than half that time, which means our relationship is a pretty seasoned long-distance one.
Now that I am living full-time in the US again, the chances of us seeing each other this year and probably a good portion of next year too are slim to none. (Both for settling in here and COVID-related travel restrictions) It makes me think more often about the structure of and what this relationship means. It has never been a traditional one where we make plans and share our lives together. He does that with his other girlfriend and their young daughter, and I am perfectly ok with that. We communicate infrequently but have always managed to support each other in a variety of things both emotional and tangible when it comes down to it.
But how long can you sustain a “romantic” connection without seeing each other? November will be one year since I’ve seen him in person. Then again, why does it matter? I chose this relationship, and there is nothing about it that doesn’t work for me, nor for him. We have grown to be such good friends over the years, and even with the distance our interactions are fulfilling. There are moments when he is especially flirty it makes me feel good in a more romantic way too. Sometimes he sends me sexy pics or vice versa, even though that part of our relationship is on-hold (we have never been ones to sext or do sexy Skype calls etc.)
As this year goes on and the prospect of a physical distance continues into our future, our relationship is evolving to meet that fact. I believe relationships can and should change and find their level, sometimes over and over again. My relationship with Stefan is something I am 100% sure I think about more often than he does, not that he doesn’t think about me, I am sure he does, but he doesn’t sweat the details. That makes it easier for me to let go of some of the more traditional constructs around relationships and just let this one be what it is.
So, in our fifth year together, I am committed to not overthinking it. The world is a very strange place these days; who knows when travel will be permitted again, who knows what will happen when it does? In the meantime, he and I are always connected. We’re committed to doing “this thing” that we do until such time as it doesn’t work for us anymore and then it will evolve into the next thing and we’ll figure that out then.
The biggest change in my relationship with Said is that I live in the US and I am currently making plans that will tie me here longer than I expected when I left Colombia. He just moved into his own place in Medellin, started driving for Uber-type services, and is now settling into living alone too. He has a newish girlfriend he started seeing when I was still there and they are figuring out what their relationship looks without me there too. Neither one of us planned for such a drastic change in our relationship, but here we are.
The quarantine restrictions in Colombia were very strict and changed all of our plans to spend time adventuring around the world together. It was very difficult for both of us. We hadn’t planned to live together full-time and after 7-months of pretty much only seeing each other, it just got to be too much for us both. Well, truthfully maybe it was me. We were fighting all the time, drinking too much, just not getting along and that has always been difficult for me. I internalize conflict, I feel at fault, I start to make myself small so my person can feel better about themselves, but then I feel not so great about me.
It was kind of a mess. A beautiful, wonderful mess because good lord as difficult as it was, I love him. I enjoyed so much of that time and feel blessed that we had the opportunity to spend so much time together. We learned about each other and grew together in ways we never expected. But we also grew apart, learned the bad things about each other, the tender spots, the mean spots, the insecure spots.
Quarantine! Now we were doing all this in a place where I didn’t have any friends. We didn’t have other people to go to and rely on, just like the rest of the world in quarantine, I suppose. But it just didn’t work for us. Drinking and fighting became too regular. Hurting each other and being mad for too long, became more and more regular. It was not a good thing.
Yet, there were so many wonderful sweet and smoking hot moments! Oh, that man holds such a big part of my heart. I cannot let him go, even though I left him to come home to the US because I just couldn’t see a way out for us while living there. I didn’t ask. I decided. We didn’t collaborate or discuss. I bought tickets, informed him, and went. That felt like the only way. He would have convinced me to change my mind, and I wanted to change it on some level, but I also knew if I didn’t go, our relationship would never have a chance to grow into something beautiful again and I would not be ok. My mental health was at stake.
So, that happened. (Sigh) We are now trying to find our way to a new normal. Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I feel like we are killing it, other days he feels far away. I am pretty sure he feels the same. I cry, a lot. He says he does too. As my relationship with Stefan, mine with Said is now long-distance. But unlike my relationship with Stefan, we planned for a life that was very entwined and to grow old together.
These days, we check in every day, do frequent video chats, discuss life things, like we were doing before, just now, from a distance. That has to be enough. I am hoping to get down to Colombia and see him again, but when? I would love for him to come here to see me, but Visas to the US are not a simple process. So, for now, we’re figuring it out.
NEW and EXCITING
Now, while all that drama and emotion is going on under the surface in my relationship with Said, I’ve been trying my hand at Tinder and some of the other dating apps. It’s been interesting dating in the US again. Not sure if it’s really that different or if it’s just because of the global pandemic and dating, in general, is more difficult than usual. I suspect it’s the latter not the former.
I am currently texting with two married guys in open-relationships who are mostly looking for friends with benefits, but I’m not a fan of text only relationships. Normally I wouldn’t let them to go on quite so long, but I am allowing for pandemic reality. I think both these guys could be fun friends with benefits if we ever get to the point where meeting for sexy times is a “thing” again.
I am also talking to a super sweet and gorgeous couple who live about 45-minutes way. She is a doll (and sexy!) and definitely makes it clear that she wants to find a way to meet me in person and get to know me better. He is quite handsome and funny and checks in on me often. There shouldn’t be any reason why I don’t want to hang out with them, but something has been holding me back. Not sure what that is.
We did a Xoom call the other day and that helped make things more comfortable. I think mostly it’s because it’s just not convenient because they don’t live here and they have kids and schedules and… LOL, I am just me here alone so things could be so easy if it were easier LOL. They told me this week they have a baby-sitter available for the next two weeks, and Monday is a holiday here, so they might come my way and we can all go out for dinner and a cocktail and chat in person. That might be really nice. We’ll see. I do love the idea of having a woman in my bed again, so we’ll see how it all goes.
There is also a nice polyam guy I have been on two dates with. He already has a blog name, so I guess I’m hoping he’ll stay around. Dionysus lives over an hour away, so making arrangements can be a little complicated with him too. (Apparently, that’s a theme in my new dating life, people just not super close to be convenient. LOL)
He already has a few partners and has been polyam for a while. I like that he already gets it and the way we both prefer to practice our polyamory is similar. It’s easier than having to explain it every step of the way! We are currently discussing our third date and the possibility of it being an overnight one. Once I have my own place (coming soon!) it will be a lot easier to arrange these dates if we decide to continue in this direction.
It can feel a little discouraging, dating right now. I worry about what’s going to happen this winter. Today was our last nice day of summer… I am sitting on my front porch in a cute knit dress, drinking a cocktail, and enjoying the warm air (getting colder by the minute). But once winter sets in, the Northeast of NY is a cold cold place. Coronavirus is not going away and I think another lockdown is inevitable. I miss having Said around, it was lovely to have a companion. I still hope I meet someone a little more local before winter hits, but at the same time, I am truly enjoying my autonomy and more than anything, loving every single moment I am spending with my BFF.
Check out the other updates in this series.