Well, it’s a little later than I’d like it to be and not as close to the end of the quarter as I usually like to make these updates. But I think having a total knee replacement surgery (and a few other things you will see in the notes) will allow you to forgive me for the lateness. As you can see… the polycule is super slim! Like sadly so, and much of that is recent, which is another reason why this was late. FEELS. Ok! So, let’s get started!
As always- we start with Stefan because he is my one constant. Though even that has changed a bit over the course of this year. Stefan and I have been in this relationship for six years (on August 10.) We met in my favorite city in the world, Berlin. He lived there in an awesome neighborhood in the middle of everything. He introduced me to non-monogamy, and I introduced him to the language of polyamory once I started doing my research to find out more.
He still has the apt (though he has moved out to the countryside), and we have been planning that when I visit Berlin, I stay there. He picks me up from the airport, takes me there, gets me settled, and then we commence our regular weekly visits. That’s how last summer/fall went, and it was wonderful. I spent two months there, and we saw each other almost weekly. (Even when I lived there too- our relationship was weekly visits. If either of us had time or inclination, we could always see what the other was doing and visit. But weekly- Thursdays, were our date night.)
This year he has a family of Ukrainian refugees staying there, so as much as I relish being there for both the amazing hip neighborhood and the privacy we have because it’s just us in the apt, I won’t be able to stay there. He told me he wasn’t 100% sure when they will get their papers to move into their own place, so I needed to have a Plan B. Bummer- but totally understandable. It does make our assignations a bit more difficult to plan, as I will be staying with a couple of girlfriends for the five weeks.
However, he has been very chatty about seeing me, having stories to tell me, and planning our “props.” (If you have read some of the erotica I write- he tends to be a central figure- and our sexual relationship is almost as alternative as our relationship!) As the date comes closer- I am sure we will make more solid plans, and I suspect a hotel room or two will be in our future. I mean, who doesn’t love hotel sex!
HA… I just realized all of that is future tense and not about this past quarter. Well, that’s easy; it’s because we don’t communicate much until the one time of year I get to see him. If you’ve read these “evolution” posts before, you know we have a very casual communication style and sometimes go two or three weeks before we reach out and check in with each other. It works for both of us, and we always reconnect in person as if we had just seen each other the week before.
BUT that does bring me to a change in how I perceive our relationship. To be honest, he and I never talk about our relationship. We just do it. So when we talk, I’ve called him anything from boyfriend to partner, lover, to friend… and all of those sit comfortably for us when we’re together. We have so few (zero) expectations. Our only relationship rule is “Don’t die!” I know I can count on him to be there if I need him when I visit. He is totally dependable and there for me in that way.
However, if I am honest with myself. Now that I no longer live in Berlin and have moved back to the US full time, he isn’t my boyfriend or partner. He is still a lover and friend for sure. I realized that, really the best word to describe our relationship at this point is COMET. I didn’t actually like admitting that; it almost felt like I was downgrading how I felt about him. But it fits well and feels right once I let myself be real. It doesn’t change anything. Comet is just a better reflection of the reality of our relationship than Partner.
A comet relationship is a romantic and/or sexual connection that passes through one’s life in an intermittent way…. Typically, they live at a distance from one another (although this isn’t a necessary component of a comet relationship) and have busy full lives.
But when they do connect — whether that’s every year at a certain event or even less often, comet relationship can be just as deep and meaningful as relationships that are higher entanglement.- Polyland
You will see there are a lot of other changes… I mean… I don’t really have ANY other partners right now. None. Zip. Nada. Just three months ago, I was so happy and felt like my Polyamory World back in the US was finally coming together. Today, I sit here with my relationship card making cricket noises when I open up and look. Let me regale you with “what’s up with that!?”
He was TBD in the last overview but he quickly became a boyfriend. At our first meet-up after we started dating (we met the month before at the same Polyam meet-up), he introduced me as his Partner. That was a bit of a surprise to me, but I really liked him, so I was ok with that. (First error! We did not really talk about expectations and what we wanted. To me, it felt like it was flowing naturally, and I was content with where we were at.)
In the beginning, (like most relationships), we spent a lot of time together, a few times a week, even if it was just him stopping by when he was in the area. Seemed like those first few weeks he was in the area a lot! Eventually, one night while his wife went out of town for the first time with her boyfriend, I went and spent the night at his place. We worked together during the day, snuggling and talking between bouts of serious work. I loved waking up next to him in the morning. The next night we stayed at mine after we went to an 80’s party with the local Swinger group. Seems like this was really working.
I honestly didn’t know it wasn’t working until about a week after my knee replacement when he was acting a bit distant. It was really another week before we talked about it. I had mentioned things seemed awkward, but I chalked it up to being an invalid girlfriend and needing to get back to being a sexy girlfriend. He never really said anything until I finally outright said, “So, what’s going on?”
That’s when he told me he wasn’t feeling the same way I was. That he could tell I loved him (Geesh, thanks for letting me actually tell you that first!), but he wasn’t feeling that way. OK, I can handle that. I am comfortable saying how I feel and knowing maybe my partner is not there yet, but this wasn’t that. He added, “I’m not sure I will get there. I am not sure I am still feeling the romantic sexual side of our relationship.” This was from the man who was seemingly just as hot for me as I was for him just a week before my surgery!
I think I need to write a whole post on this. Stay tuned for that.
Anyway- long story short- Even though he asked for some time to “figure it out.” In hindsight (I did a LOT of thinking and reviewing over the next two days), it was obvious that he had actually let this go way longer than he should have, and he had already made his decision. Now he was asking for “time” to be nice or make it easier. Whyever it is we do this particular thing. (I don’t believe there was any maliciousness in it at all.)
So, we agreed to try to be friends. But honestly, I don’t think that’s going to take off. We bought season passes (HIS idea) for the classical series at our local amphitheater music venue, and we’ve been to two ballets together. They went fine. We are good companions. We have four upcoming orchestra events as well. I think we will continue with those. But after that, I don’t expect our relationship to continue in any other way than to maybe text and say hi, or see if either of us is going to the local meetup. After looking back and how things went down and realizing that he really held a lot back, this should have ended or changed tracks long before I fell in love. I struggle to feel like this is someone I can trust as a friend. So, there is that.
Review Bae- HESS
Hess was the first to sign up to help me after my surgery, and he spent that first night with me. I had to wake him up to help me get out of bed to go to the bathroom and then to cry because it hurt so much I needed my meds and a snuggle. He was great and totally there for me. He spent the whole next day with me, too. He opened all my Amazon packages, put everything away for me, set up my new lamp shades, made sure I had dinner, AND helped me find a way to get myself out of bed without help before he left. He really was great!
But as a partner/FWB polycule participant? That side of our relationship has been missing for a while- probably since at least before the last “evolution” write-up. I asked him sometime before the surgery if he was interested in continuing our romantic/sexual relationship, and he said he was. But it’s been months, and he hasn’t asked for a date or checked in. I think I text and connect with Stefan more than Hess, and Hess is more or less local (especially compared to Berlin!)
So maybe we’ll still have a date sometime in the future (I’m going to Berlin in a little more than a month, so time’s short for the summer), but as far as considering him a solid part of the polycule, I took him off that list in my head and in the polycule image above. Sure, if he wants to hang out again, I will. I enjoy his company. We have fun together. I’m gonna miss doing our erotic toy reviews together. But I no longer count him as a regular relationship.
Luis was a Berlin FWB. I had him on the list because, surprisingly, until about three months ago, we had stayed in very regular contact, and I thought- cool, I have an FWB to connect with when I am in Berlin! But over the past three months, our connecting, texting, etc., have completely changed. So, like Hess, I will if I get to see him in Berlin- I will. But he def doesn’t get a seat at the kitchen table.
I left Dex on the list as a friend simply because it is an ongoing happy ending (no, not THAT kind of happy ending!) We broke up (for the second time) because I had met Louis, and Dex was uncomfortable with me adding another relationship to my life (Dex is monogamous.) Right after, he met a lovely woman with whom he jumped headlong into a happily monogamous relationship. This time, unlike the last time we broke up (for similar reasons- you’d think we’d learn!), we have really worked hard and managed to stay friends. Of course, it helps that he was open with his new girlfriend about our friendship from the start.
I am not 100% sure she is fully on board that train, but we’ve all been making it work for the past three to four months. I even met her the other day at his son’s middle school graduation party. I hung out with his friends and family and had a chance to chat with her a bit. She did ask him again after that day, “How long did you two date?” I wonder what her thoughts are. But she has not asked him to restrict seeing me in any way. Probably because we don’t actually see each other very much. He is conscientious about not doing anything outside his (very narrow) views of what men and women can be to each other.
The thing about Dex is I would just rather have him in my life than not. He feels the same way. Our friendship has always been the best thing between us. Really. We probably should have tried that from the beginning, but that’s not how it played out. I still adore him, and I am glad we successfully made the transition. (Hmm, for all the blog posts out there about our relationship- I should probably write one about this too… Food for thought.)
As always- a shout out to my BFF. We hit a rough patch this quarter, but we’re coming out of it. Thirty years of friendship is worth working on, and you can’t be lifelong friends and future long partners without figuring things out. So we shall. I cannot imagine her not being a central part of my life. I just can’t. Thankfully, I don’t have to.
Before I finish this quarter’s “evolution” post, I do have ONE new addition to the ‘cule. It may be too early to add them, but I am eternally an optimist. C&C are a lovely couple I met on Feeld. Well, I met him first and we had a nice date. Some wine and chit chat. Eventually I connected with her on the app and we hit it off right away. Lots of flirty fun between us, as individuals and as a threesome. One night before my surgery Louis and I met them for dinner and drinks. (He and I were exploring swinging together.) I really enjoyed both of their company.
Unfortunatly C is VERY pregnant and it’s a high-risk pregnancy at that. So we have had to put any sexy meetings on hold until later in the summer. But we still text- all three of us- regularly. We are building a nice friendship. We have envisioned evenings on the deck, drinking some adult beverages and cooking on the grill, putting their kids to bed and having adult time! I am hopeful we can make that really happen when I get back from Berlin. (Before it gets too cold!) In the meantime, I have enjoyed getting to know them and I’m content where we are until things change.
OH one thing… It’s annoying. Louis and C were all set to help make my 50th birthday DREAM of a MFM threesome happen. But now Louis is out of the picture. I even asked him if he would still do the threesome and he declined. So no birthday threesome sexiness for me. I am really bummed.
There we go. Another installment of the Evolution of a Polycule. You can see that polyamory has its up and downs. Sometimes when it rains, it pours (this quarter, it was a storm of break-ups and changes- hopefully soon, it will be a deluge of love!), and sometimes it’s a drought! You have to go with the flow and be flexible.
One of the things about polyamory is there are always SOME kinds of feelings to deal with. Happy, sad, love, pain… and all too often, you have to contend with too many of these feelings at once. This has been one of those months. Along with my knee surgery totally knocking me for a loop, my heart and brain have been on a bit of an overload. My mental health has been a bit shaken, but I am ready to go on! Berlin in just over five weeks! Seeing my girlfriends and Stefan is always a great pick-me-up!
You can read previous Evolution of Polycule posts here.