Love can be tough. That's especially true out here in the cornfields, at least for a polyamorous guy such as myself. There's not exactly a lot of poly folk out here, and so far I'm not so big on the conversion front. Kate, my ex who was mentioned a couple of posts back, was and still is definitely monogamous. She's also the person I've easily been in a relationship with the longest; coming in just a day under 6 years. I definitely learned a lot about dating with her, but every now and again I find myself hitting a bad habit or something where I'm still learning how different partners can be. It's been a little over a year since that break up, and I'm still learning about this.
I have one partner who is teaching me just how different two people can be. Kate was at least understanding of me being polyamorous for the last year or so that we dated. Towards the end of our relationship, I was dating someone who I'm back with now: Susan. Susan has, as far as her and I can tell, always been poly, but she hasn't always had a word for it. When she met me, I had just started being open about being poly, and had a bit of a crush on her. When she saw that I was open about it, I think it may have shaken some things up in her life. There was some mutual interest, which we both divulged after a bit TOO much liquid courage, and we dated for a bit. Things ended up not going so well, with lots of stress in her life and in mine, and we broke up.
Fast forward to a few months ago, and now Susan has moved a bit closer to where I live, and we started dating again. Dating a polyamorous woman is very different from dating a monogamous one. Two big things I've noticed that I wasn't really prepared of: First, I'm not as impervious to jealousy as I once thought (you mean, I actually have to work on that? Where's the fun in that?). And second, it takes a little while to get used to being encouraged to date around. Getting used to being encouraged and not having it mean “you should move on”, but actually being supported in dating outside of our relationship.
Susan and I quickly went from being lightly interested in one another to a primary type relationship over the course of the past few months. We stayed close friends after our initial break up, and we've known each other for a couple of years now. It occasionally feels like we're moving too fast, but it also feels pretty right. We have very similar tastes in a lot of things, and a lot of the stuff that made Kate and I work well together is also there with Susan and I. And to make things better, a few other things that Kate and I didn't have are there with Susan and I. It looks and feels like a very good change, and while there are some new things to get used to, I'm really excited to see where this leads.
One of the best things about being with Susan is simply being with another poly person. Kate has a lot of wonderful traits. She did, to the best of her ability, support me being polyamorous, and my having interest in other people. But being a monogamous person hampered that just a little. She really seemed happy for me just being happy with someone else. That feeling of compersion didn't really seem to exist with her, so I always felt a little guilty spending time with any other partners. Susan does feel compersive, and she lets me know. She's genuinely happy to see me excited to date someone else, and I'm only now starting to get used to it after a few months.
Speaking of that, a couple of months ago I met Bunny. We met at a munch and have been talking for a while since (for those of you who don't know what a munch is, basically it's a dinner and conversation thing that a lot of alternative sexuality groups do). We haven't had many good chances to meet up, though, since she went home over the winter break for college, and me generally having a hectic life. This past weekend was the first time we got to meet up, and it was wonderful. It likely helped me feel comfortable knowing that Susan was with another one of her partners at the time as well. It was, and still is, that feeling that I've well and truly crossed the boundaries of “normalcy”, and have moved into something new and different. And that's a place that I like being, even if it's a bit new and scary.
Out here in the cornfields, it's good to know you're not alone. Finding Susan has really helped, more than anything else, in feeling that way. Dating her has had it's ups and downs, as all relationships do. But having someone who supports me in something so important to who I am is wonderful. Having another person who supports me like that, in Bunny, is icing on a pretty awesome cake. Things aren't always so isolated out here in the cornfields, and finding these people has really inspired me. And if these two are out here in the fields, who knows who else I'll find? I look forward to seeing what all is out here.