Where have I been? Where have a come from? These are questions I think about sometimes, trying to see the past so that I can make a better decision about the future. Sometimes it helps, and other times it just lets me know that even though life isn't always easy, there have been plenty of good times to be had. And there are always lessons on things I'd done or I wish I had done.
So, where have I been? How did I know I was poly? Well, let’s see. I was a late bloomer in the dating world. Hadn’t had my first girlfriend until my second semester of college; and while I had certainly fooled around a little before then; with a random makeout here, and a particularly fond memory of fingering a lady-friend in a parking lot of a certain big retail chain; I wouldn’t say I was experienced. I had a fairly religious upbringing, and seriously stayed true to it in high school, to the point of even considering the priesthood. However, I was college bound, and I finally met my first girlfriend. We’ll call her Kate*.
She’s been a wonderfully understanding person. We dated for 6 years, one of those while being engaged. She was the person where I discovered a LOT about myself, including my being poly. Recently, I went back, reading some journal entries from the earlier days of our relationship, and while I didn’t have a word for it then, it’s funny to see that, no really, it had been there since the early days. But, thanks to the joys of the internet, I know I found the term polyamory; and after having a very hard heart-to-heart with a friend about my bringing it up, told her.
It definitely led to some bumpy times, as she’s one who likes being special, and likes being held in some place that no one else can be. This, among some of the other things, led to the eventual dissolution of our relationship, though thankfully not our friendship. She’s still a semi-active part of my life, but that’s starting to fade, as we look to explore the other avenues and paths in our respective lives.
About two years ago though, I met someone who left an indelible change on me. And even though she might not know that, or worse, thinks she changed my life for the worse, I couldn’t be happier with it. I’ll call her Jane*; she was part of a couple I knew here. Well, Jane was VERY open about her sexuality, about being polyamorous, and about definitely doing the swinging thing from time to time. To the point to where she and her guy asked Kate and I if we'd like to give it a shot. Swinging wasn’t, and still isn’t, Kate’s thing, and she wasn’t really attracted to the other Derek, so we declined. But there was still an interest between Jane and I, and I was given permission to explore it.
Not much came of it, except a lot of talking, but it made me realize just how much more central to a part of my life I wanted to make this. Things ended up going south between Jane and her then fiancée a few months later, before anything physical really happened between her and I, and she moved out of the corn fields and in to the Big City. I was definitely hurt, but got over it with time. I’ve since met a few others out here, and I’ve learned a lot about how polyamory does, and in some cases doesn’t, work for me. While it’s been there as long as I can think of it, I feel so grateful to Kate and Jane for taking the time to help me grow, and become the person I am today. I like who I am, and while I’ve made the decision to change and grow and be the person I want myself to be. If it wasn’t for those two, I may never have taken the first big steps out here in the cornfields. And for that, I'm very thankful.
*Names have been changed to protect people.