Sometimes you end up having conversations about something with everybody and you see it here and there and it’s just everywhere? Synchronicity!
This week it seems to be musing about the benefits of being open. Traveler and I were talking about the education we end up giving people on OK Cupid (a free online dating site popular with the open and polyamorous set). I had a guy write to me (with realllllly bad spelling and grammar btw) asking me if I ate paint chips as a child because I don’t make sense when I say I don’t date cheaters but I’m a cheater and I say I don’t want sex but I want sex. Sigh. I sent a very nice educational message.
Traveler and I (and most poly and open folks I think) tend to do more of the more welcome “what the holy hell is poly?” or “how does being in an open relationship work” kind of education. He now has a canned phrase he uses to explain how and why he and his wife are open and I asked to steal all or part of it to streamline my own answer and he said it’s mine to pilfer. My answer to this is still sometimes a little wordy. Part of his answer was something I’d just been discussing with Hubby and later discussed with Great Date too, all conversations I didn’t bring up but that my loves were all talking about:
“[it’s] challenging at times, but also extremely rewarding. The really great thing about it is that we have opportunities to meet different people — people who have had different life experiences, different interests, different skills… it means we’re always learning new things… about ourselves, about relationships, about emotions, about life… and so we continue to grow, improve, and evolve… both as individuals and as a couple. Sound kinda cheesy? Sorry. It’s something that’s made a big impact on my life, so it’s hard for me not to get a little poetic about it… 😛 “
There is a strange and wonderful side effect of poly or open relationships. Beyond the love, the sex, the companionship, the affection, the acceptance, the support, the fresh energy, the sexual and emotional exploration with your partners, and beyond all the communication and processing and dealing with your own stuff and that enormous impact on life and relationships.. there’s this other benefit.
Living openly in your relationships requires a bunch of other kinds of being open; open thoughts, examining for yourself what certain words and rules mean to you and choosing to keep or discard them, openness in your communication, in your willingness to embrace new people and situations, an openness to looking past how things should be and well.. a bunch of other stuff. This openness ends up paying off in a plethora of ways.
I really am learning new things about myself For example:
- I’m learning what is at the root of almost all of my jealousy and insecurity (I am afraid I’m not good enough for someone to really love and sustain and that everyone you care about too much will leave),
- about relationships (that absolutely nobody is ever absolutely everything to anyone else and attempts to make that be the case often result in a great deal of pain for all involved),
- about emotions (just because a fear is totally irrational doesn’t make it less powerful. I have to get in there and untangle that stuff to really understand reality on a deeper level)
- about life and it’s infinite possibilities.
I’m still such a newb to being open but already the effects are so vast. I have become very intimate with a really interesting array of people since we’ve been open (and no I don’t only mean sexually intimate). I get why Traveler gets a little poetic about it. I say all the time “Poly brings out things in people and relationships” and that’s utterly and completely true. But it’s more than that too.. being open brings up so many more alternate universes and so many more choices and paths. Being open to possibility and connections being what they are is an amazing gift.
I like to think I was never easily boxed, but I think that’s becoming even more true now. My interest and exposure is expanding. I have so much curiosity and am learning not only new answers, but learning there are vast oceans of questions I didn’t even know existed. Both the way I think and my thought content are changing.
I love this quote, “Face your fears and doubts, and new worlds will open to you.” -Robert Kiyosaki