It’s been a fucking shitty fucking week. On Tuesday something happened which I’m advised by my redoubtable therapist not to discuss (we’re working through it in a focused way and it’s all good and positive, but I can’t go into it in any way that would currently be productive). Last night, not quite out of the blue, but very nearly, my girlfriend acknowledged to herself and to us that she couldn’t do a polyamorous relationship with me.
Her reasons are her own, and I care about her too much to ask her do anything that would cause her unmanageable pain- I know what it feels like when a polyam dynamic isn’t working, and I know it’s a uniquely excruciating sort of emotional torment.
But I got dumped. Nicely, but dumped all the same. Shortly after this revelation I found myself running out of a showing of Hedwig and the Angry Inch to cry about being dumped by my girlfriend, and if I literally ever do anything gayer in my life I’ll be sure to let you know.
Although she said she was willing for our boyfriend to carry on seeing me, it just felt like too much of a risk. If it turned out in a couple of weeks or months that she couldn’t handle that either then the inevitable next step could only be a veto, it felt like, and I was already in too deep emotionally for that possibility to be tenable. So… We’re done. No boyfriend, no girlfriend, all over, finito.
If at any point in the future I mention the possibility of pursuing another polyamorous relationship, please, do me a favour: punch me in the fucking face.
I know, I know, we’ve all been watching and reacting to Louis Theroux this week- polyamory isn’t the problem, the relationships are the problem. A breakup is a breakup, I know, I know. That’s easy to say when you haven’t just made yourself doubly vulnerable, when making yourself vulnerable to one person is an epic enough endeavour as to have been avoided for most of one’s adult life.
I need to stop trying to have non- problematic polyamorous relationships. I don’t believe such a thing is possible for me. It’s not that I’m too naturally jealous- contrary to previous experiences I was very rarely jealous in this relationship, and when I was it felt entirely manageable.
This was generally because I felt so secure in their affections. I adored sloshing around in the run- off of their over- flowing love: having only ever felt something adjacent to compersion in the past I discovered that it’s a truly enchanting sensation, and one I’d be happy to experience again if I didn’t have to be in a polyamorous relationship to do so.
So it’s not jealousy: it’s that I fall for people too easily. I get so caught up in excitement and lust and NRE- like a toddler running across a lawn faster than her feet will carry her, I run run run and then slam! Flat on my face.
I have a lot of feelings, I generate feelings at an astonishing rate. NRE feelings are heady and intoxicating and gorgeous, but the problem is that I don’t know how to parse them, or shrink them, or hold them at a judicious distance. I don’t know, I’ve never learnt. I may never learn.
Not to mention the fact that I tend to fall for types similar to me: feelings generators, Experience Junkies, People who invest a lot of energy in high- intensity sexual connections. People with, perhaps, shall we say, mildly compulsive natures. And so we’re swimming in all this lust and fizzy fuzzy fuckery, mooning and spooning left right and centre, when up pops a problem. And this’ll tend to happen quickly, because polyamory.
And we haven’t learnt how to communicate. We haven’t worked out what we want to communicate. We don’t even want to communicate, because communication takes up valuable time that could be spent fucking and mooning and spooning and time is limited- love is infinite but Jesus, we’ve got jobs and kids and blogs and metamours and God knows what else we need to be focusing on, time is so fucking finite. So we don’t talk, or I try to suggest talking but am not met with the same willingness, or we pay lip service to talking before… Well, falling to fucking again.
(I guess maybe I can imagine doing polyamory successfully with someone I didn’t desperately want to fuck all the time, but… Yeah. It does complicate matters).
And the real problem is that even if I eschew non- monogamy and only pursue one- on- one things, I’m probably still going to run at it shouting and flailing happily until I meet the first hurdle. I’m probably still going to pick another impulsive experience junkie. I’m probably still going to find myself frustrated when or if my desire to discuss incipient problems is not met with the same enthusiasm. That’s the shit I need to work on.
Anyway. So. I’m a bit fucking heartbroken. I fall for people too easily and I don’t want to have to do this shit again already: all the blocking/ deactivating/ crying in public/ hello have you seen my feelings OH HERE THEY ARE AGAIN ALL DOWN THE FRONT OF ME bullshit so fucking unbecoming in a woman of my age and stature. It has to be done. As does therapy. As does a shitload of yoga. As does a lot of writing, and a lot of sleeping, and a lot of reaching out to the friends who won’t be sitting there nodding sagely and sympathetically whilst thinking it’s a fools errand, this polyamory lark.
They’re right. For me it is. I’m sure it works for some people. But I’m done.