We returned home more than a week ago from our vacation in Costa Rica. I’ve been slow to post on the continuation of our Poly journey for a few reasons. It essentially boils down to a combination of my schedule and also the time I need to process and reflect on my experiences. Even when things are going well (which they are), I tend to analyze situations and interactions from a variety of perspectives; most often as a way to understand what works and what I can do differently or better. I want to make every effort to be a good partner in my relationships. This is just one way I go about it.
Mostly, I wish to mature and evolve, just as my relationships do. A focus on personal growth is one of the many beautiful things my husband, my boyfriend and I share.
Our vacation together had its share of awkwardness, despite our relative maturity and self-awareness. It was the first time the three of us were all under the same roof for more than an evening. A lack of familiarity with this dynamic caused me to waffle between relating to my boyfriend as a boyfriend, and then as a guest. And, as is my habit when I feel uncertain, I clammed up.
In the past, we’ve always tackled the proverbial elephants in the room by calling them out, thereby helping one another acknowledge our own feelings. There is such liberty in merely admitting, “I feel awkward, and I’m not sure how to go about this.” But, as I said, I failed on this one.
Fortunately, my boyfriend stepped in. He sat with me for a few minutes before bed one night and asked for clarity. My waffling left him confused about my intent for the time we shared: was he there as my boyfriend or our guest? His question cut right to the heart of the issue, and I admitted my awkwardness and the fact I should have communicated that earlier. My response seemed to confirm his own feelings. This is new territory…we need to talk about it. What do all of us want it to look like?
That loving nudge from my boyfriend then fueled a conversation with my husband, to convey my hopes and concerns; and to get his perspective, concerns, and needs. Here is where I also fall into bad habits…my husband is so easy-going by nature, and always fully supportive of my needs, I find myself slipping into “Cruise Control.” I need to remind myself to seek out his voice. He might not make a point of letting his thoughts be known, but I still need to ask. Complacency is the death of any relationship.
Because I am the ‘lynch-pin’ in our Polycule, I am responsible for ensuring we all have a clear picture of our collective Happy Place, even if the steps to get there are still fuzzy.
Which brings me to a recent development; I’ve started chatting with a new acquaintance. He’s just a few years older than me, and his interests align well with mine, and my hubby’s and boyfriend’s, too. It’s all been by e-mail so far, so we’ll see how things go once we can meet face-to-face. I’m cautiously optimistic.
I will say, I found it refreshing when he told me he could see us, minimally, being good friends. It struck me as remarkable, really. As an INTJ, I struggle to form friendships with other women because I’m so dissimilar to them. I can relate far more easily with men. But there always seems to be this catch that guys can’t be ‘just friends’ with a woman; that it always has to be sexualized. It’s such a relief when a man is willing to invest in me as his friend. I think female friendship offers men many things the male counterpart can’t, so I wish more guys felt safe with this type of relationship. And, I wish women weren’t always so damned competitive with one another that they could embrace the concept, too. Win-Win.