The Stress of Evolution

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Recently, I’ve been exploring a little more into the realm of polyamory, rather than the Friends With Benefits (sexyfriends) relationships I’ve primarily had since Flick and I opened our relationship just over a year ago. I was looking for a little more connection than I was getting from my sexyfriends, but in a classic case of careful what you wish for I’m finding it…stressful.

There are so many awesome things about a closer connection with my partners. I really like chatting daily and knowing the minutia of what they’re up to. I dig being part of their lives rather than getting the Cole’s notes version (er, Cliff’s notes for American readers) every few weeks, but with that, I’m feeling the obligation to be engaged and engaging. I get the feeling that maybe I’m supposed to want more than I do, more chat time, more skype time, more date time.

With my sexyfriends we chat every few days to week to weeks. Once I realized it wasn’t a sign of disinterest, I settled really well into that low-pressure type of communication. The occasional check in, saying hi when we felt like it, sending dirty pics, sexting a little, briefly finding out what was happening in their world, and setting up a meet where we get to talk about it in person, after the naked time.

With my poly partners I’m constantly trying to come up with interesting things to talk about and on days where I’m not up to being social, I get stressed about either trying to fake being a social being, or having to explain that I’m just not in a social space that day, followed up by reassurances of my interest. It’s kind of exhausting and I’m sure my partners are sick of hearing about my anxiety and introversion, but I feel like I need to regularly remind them that my wiring leads me to need to be alone a lot.

It always gets a lot worse when I’m feeling overextended and that has been what has felt like my permanent state of being recently. I can’t seem to figure out how to truly get myself unwound, though I do yoga and meditation and copious masturbation. My “down time” alone time is often filled with tasks or communication, so I keep seeking more alone time to try to find that elusive recharge that I’m supposed to get from peace and quiet.

It may also just be that the poly thing is new, and I always freak out as my initial reaction to anything new before I’m able to find my way to acceptance and enjoyment. I haven’t done it before and I don’t know how to do it, and I don’t do well when I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. My partners have been really understanding and keep assuring me that going at my pace is okay, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing it all wrong.

I’m also so focused on doing it all with a healthy, accepting mindset even when I feel burdened or jealous or heartbroken by circumstances that come up in my relationships. I’m trying so hard to behave like an enlightened, grown-ass woman, when sometimes I want to throw such a wobbly, make unreasonable demands, and go on a rampage over the unfairness that is inevitable when you share partners with other people. (Lana, I said it was going to be a rampage!)

Maybe I’ve just taken on too many things. With two jobs, a business to run, a house to keep from falling to pieces, and a marriage to keep fun and sexy and supportive and healthy, maybe I need to give myself a break and not attempt to dive so quickly and deeply into the style of relationship that requires ‘more’. The thing is, I really like the guys I’m seeing locally and long distance, which drives me to want to provide the intense connection they’re looking for.

Though as I typed out the last line, I realize that what they’re looking for is a version of me who is happy and relaxed, who is really present when we have time together, and who is able to express when she needs to grab some more space for herself to help all of the above happen.

Goddamn it! I’m going to have to use my words again, aren’t I?

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About Author

Kat is a sex-positive, geeky, Canadian, pansexual, deviant, slutty, feminist pervert who came to ethical non-monogamy 21-years into her relationship with her husband. After a quick toe-dip to test the waters (and hours of obsessive reading and podcast consumption), they dove in and she almost can't imagine they ever lived any other way. Labels never give a totally clear picture, but she considers herself non-monogamous and polyamorous, though she occasionally swings. She's also a podcaster and audiobook narrator. onthewetcoast.com @WetcoastKat on Twitter.

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