Life Changes and Life Stays the Same

I don’t talk much about relationships and my love life. That is mostly because, for the past… 24-ish years of dating… I’ve had all of 6 relationships. 2 of them lasted a year each, the rest 3 months or less. So I don’t have the best track record. People don’t generally ask me out, and the ones I show interest in usually run the other way, leaving a person-shaped puff of dust like a looney tunes character.

So all of that said, this year has been quite a year. I turned 40 in February, and honestly it’s been the best year yet (of the ones I’ve spent Stateside, anyway). I’ve started an actual plan for moving TF out of CNY. (seriously, fuck this place. Moving back here has solidified my utter disdain for this place and its emotional and fiscal suckitude). And I’ve come to the realization (to myself, apparently everyone who knows me has already known) that I’m poly.

Polyamorous. Such a funny word. I imagine it calls up some swinging 70’s visuals, keys in bowls, sketchy guys in low cut shirts with chest pelts on display trying to pick up multiple women to come back and look at their etchings.

Maybe that’s just the misconception I had.

All it really means is that I have the ability to love multiple people concurrently. Which, honestly, for someone who is an agapist this really shouldn’t have been such a surprise. As a single-poly I am also open to casual things, as long as I know I can trust the person (really I’d like there to be SOME affection involved and not get ghosted once someone gets what they want).

And yet… it was. More than a surprise. A total shift in the paradigm. I can and do and it’s a bit of a tapdance, and a little complicated, but oddly enough not actually difficult to deal with.

What’s hilarious, though, is after turning 40 and hitting this shocker of a life change, the menfolk seem to be coming out of the long-distance-crush woodwork, in more ways than one. I now seem to have acquired 2 definite situations and 2 more potential ones, plus a MULTITUDE of flirts.

It’s a lot, it’s more than I’ve ever had. They’re all guys I’ve known for at least 15 years, and I trust them all. They’re all guys on whom I’ve had crushes for that entire time, so it’s full of ‘WTFBBQOMGMEWHATREALLY??’ moments.

Of these, only one and I so far have expressed love to one another (he’s my ‘it’s complicated’) and we haven’t had much in the way of physical expression (but what there’s been has been so sweet). His wife is lovely, a good friend. I don’t know where or how far it will go, but having someone I love tell me he loves me is a feeling my heart has needed for such a long time.

The second is a friend that’s one of my ‘holy fuck I want you so hard’ crushes, who I never even dreamed was free to play. There’s a funny story behind it, but it boils down to his wife is also wonderful, a great friend and gave me tacit permission, while HE shared the situation with me (which is something he almost never does so, yo wat). He’s my ‘occasional arrangement’ and we’ve had a night together so far. And that, can I just say, was a fucking revelation. Made up for years of disappointments. I am also utterly crazy about him, but I will probably never tell him that unless he’s allowed to say it first. (It’s not part of our arrangement. 😉 )

The third is someone that he and I have been dancing around one another for years. Friendly, flirty but nothing more. We haven’t had the official conversation about boundaries, expectations or hopes, so I’m not sure how his fiancée feels about he and I yet (but she’s lovely and wonderful, and I know they’re open so I’m just letting things simmer for now).

The fourth, though. He’s the second ‘I want you so hard’ crush, who I’ve wanted harder than the other one for as long. He’s… my stars he’s a beautiful man. He’s also single. And last month he made it clear in no uncertain terms that he was interested…. physically. We’ve talked almost every day since then (more than we’ve spoken privately in the last 15 years). And I have no idea how much more beyond FwBs he likes me. I’m so afraid he won’t want me for more than a booty call. I’m so afraid I’ll hurt him if he’s more interested and is a monogamist. I have always liked him. Totally crazy about him. Love? Not sure yet and I don’t want to let it go any further than that if I know I’ll be hurt. But for now… I get a real thrill whenever he messages me. I’ll leave his little chat bubble up on my phone even if I haven’t heard from him in hours.

Choices and challenges.

Life is a funny old thing sometimes.