When this journey first started, it was all roses and unicorns, but as noted, lately, there have been many ups and downs, so my outlook has become decidedly less rosy. Instead, things have become more challenging as we maneuver the complexities of being in a polyamorous relationship.
Our initial foray focused on a simple opening up of the marriage – with ethical non-monogamy, but no emotional attachments. Then, Jon mentioned the idea of falling in love, which prompted a series of conversations with Viktor and sparked my desire to find a boyfriend. I observed that the situation seemed to work well for Matt and Gary, who each had a wife and girlfriend.
I also thought such an arrangement would eliminate the never-ending flux of situationships, which left me feeling, at best, like a revolving door, and, more often, abandoned for a myriad of unknown reasons as many (not all) men behaved very badly.
Now, almost two years in, Viktor has such an arrangement with Justina and, while it is a little less intense these days, it is no less emotionally connected than when he first told me he was in love with her. In addition to him being in love with her and loving her, they plan lots of dates in advance and text on and off in between dates. And, because they are both active in the music scene, they often see each other at events, even if it isn’t a scheduled date.
In truth, I am happy for them. I envy what they have, but I no longer feel jealousy because I trust Justina and Viktor and I don’t fear that she is a threat to me or our relationship in any way. Yet, I still feel like crap, a lot of the time.
Some of that has to do with the fact that I have been actively trying to find a boyfriend since August, but without success. This fruitless search has left me feeling bereft at times; occasionally less than and even unwanted. Yes, I know that my worth has nothing to do with anyone else, but it is hard to not take such things personally sometimes.
Given all of the angst associated with dating recently, a big part of me wants to simply give up and stop. But another part of me feels that I will not feel whole again until I have balance – me having a boyfriend to balance out the fact that Viktor has a girlfriend.
While I know that Viktor doesn’t love Justina more than me, lately I feel that he loves me less than he used to. I don’t actually think he does, but I definitely feel he does. We have talked about this at length and he has promised to do better to make me feel more loved and to know that I come first. But, I wonder, if we have an abundant supply of love to give, why does it feel so scarce these days?
And, while I know this doesn’t make any sense, I somehow feel that I need to find someone to replace the love that Viktor has taken from me. I think this is what has pushed me to be so focused in my approach to dating. Logically, I know that Viktor’s love should be sufficient. Moreover, I intuitively know that I need to fill my own tank with self-care, sleep, self-pleasure and self-love. But, in the meantime, I still feel the loss none-the-less.
As a result, I am really struggling with whether or not I want to continue to pursue a poly lifestyle. The intricacies of full-blown, emotional relationships can be very rewarding (I think), but at what cost to my emotional health? Right now, it is difficult for me to simply date to enjoy the journey – I feel driven to succeed in my goal. Can I step back and re-frame, reassess and reclaim the fun? I want to.
I want to be able to savor what I have in the here and now and not worry about what will or won’t develop. Easier said than done (at least for me). The relatively safer path of open (but not poly) beckons, but I am not yet decided.
As has been our practice throughout this adventure, Viktor and I will continue to talk and evaluate where we are, what we want and adjust accordingly. I am cautiously optimistic, but will wait and see. The scales have fallen from my eyes and I am no longer a Pollyanna; I have not yet left the building, but I am eyeing the exits.