Happy New Year, wonderful readers! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and that 2012 is treating you well so far.
So, having returned from America, (boooo, I wanted to stay! Nomad practically had to shove me onto the plane!) – I would be rather remiss if I did not document the various poly-related experiences of the trip.
First, this trip was joyfully Drama Free. Bounce! Not to say that I was really concerned about drama potential, but it’s always a nice thing when the Llamas stay firmly locked in their pens.
So without further ado, here’s my account of some of the poly happenings of my two weeks in the lovely US of A.
Part One: Meeting a Casual Partner
So this trip I met someone who Nomad sees on a casual basis for the first time. I’d heard plenty about her over the couple years he and I been together, but this was the first time we’d been in the same place at the same time (not hugely surprising when one’s partner is something of a globetrotter and has sweeties who live on different continents!)
Anyway, I’d been feeling a little nervous, as I generally tend to do when meeting a partner’s partner for the first time. Nomad tried to reassure me (isn’t he the sweetest?) but, as is so often the case with these things, just going ahead and doing it is often the most reassuring thing. So we met at her workplace, introductions happened and we all chatted for a while. There were hugs. I felt more at ease. Later that night, she and another friend came over for games. Everyone got on great, and everything was shiny. We spent time together as a group more than once during the few days in Chicago, and I felt really good about the whole situation. (Well, except that they kept slaughtering me in games – grrrr!) :-)
Part Two: Spending Time with a Metamour
I really wasn’t worried about this part at all beforehand, but it deserves documenting anyway. So Nomad’s more serious sweetie A drove down to Chicago to visit on Saturday and stayed through until Sunday. I’d met her before about 10 months previously when she was visiting the UK and got on just fine, so I was also quite looking forward to spending time with her again.
There was hanging out, there were games, there were three-way snuggles, there was delicious breakfast, there was a trip to the local Arboretum, and lots of fun. Once again, A was absolutely lovely and we seemed to get on fantastically! But the best part? I felt nothing but joy watching her and Nomad together. No jealousy, no insecurity, just….. awwww, they’re so cute! I felt able to be physically affectionate with him as well (which is important to me and something I struggle with, after a bad experience with a metamour who effectively demanded I keep my distance from our shared partner when they were around.) He was happy, they were happy together, and I was happy watching him be happy, secure in the knowledge that I was also loved and wanted.
Part Three: Friends and Flirting
Nomad has one particular group of friends, with whom he has a very….. flirtatious friendship. My first meeting with them made me feel very overwhelmed and a little insecure. Quiet, shy little me…. thrown into the middle of a group of some of the most outwardly confident people I’ve ever met. Eep!
(….What? Yes, I’m quiet and shy at heart! Don’t believe me? Ask Nomad.)
So my first reaction was that I wanted to run and hide. Not because they weren’t nice, because they really were…. but because I didn’t feel confident or sexy or extroverted enough to fit in. I felt like the proverbial field-mouse. My second reaction was to think, holy crap… if this is what my boyfriend likes, how can I ever match up?
Yep. Very silly. Probably not entirely unexpected, having come from first a very monogamous background and culture, then an exclusively monogamous relationship for several years, then not one relationship, but two, in which I was repeatedly compared to everyone else around me and expected to compete with and match up to them.
So I started getting far more scared than I reasonably needed to.
I also have to say that I am, overall, pleased with the way I handled it. The old me would probably have either A) asked my partner to tone down/change their behaviour, B) either insisted we leave early or left by myself, or C) completely freaked out in terror.
I don’t like who I used to be very much. Thankfully, the new me knew better than to do any of those things. When I started feeling my reactions beginning to get out of hand, I managed to reign them back in and keep them in check. Once I managed to relax, I had a really good time, and of course it was great seeing my Beloved being so happy.
Part Four: Awesome Discussion
Two of our hosts during the time we were Stateside were an awesomely lovely poly couple whom Nomad has known for many years. The night of New Years Day, Nomad and I stayed up very late with them having a very frank, very open and at times painfully honest discussion about polyamory.
I won’t go into details here for the sake of privacy, but suffice to say it was brilliant and gave me the kind of boost of hope and validation for this lifestyle which I need every now and then. As someone who’s relatively new to poly (coming up to three years is nothing compared to those with decades of experience!) sometimes I find myself doubting, being afraid, wondering about or questioning things which I can’t possibly know or answer. Seeing real, happy, long term happy and stable poly and talking to people who have been through all the ups and downs of this life is tremendously powerful. It helps me to believe that the kind of life I eventually aspire to is indeed quite possible and sustainable.
So those were my poly adventures in America. All good and positive experiences in their own individual ways, I think. While writing this entry, my thoughts kept meandering off on tangents (as my thoughts so like to do!) and I now have ideas for another two or three posts! Stay tuned, more soon….