I think that certain milestones are lovely lovely things that require a bit to navigate when you are in multiple relationships.
The poly boards and discussion forums and Facebook groups are full of these compersive saints that are all super thrilled every time someone they love gets some, but I’m thinking reality, or at least my reality, is a little less rosy.
Being compersive, or having compersion is feeling joy at your partner’s joy. It’s being happy and giddy with their happiness and giddiness.
The first hurdle is dating.
When Great Date began dating again I was happy for him and pretty compersive, sure.. but there’s also that part of me that was scared. I needed reassurance that we were good and this would be an addition and not a replacement. I was pretty excited for him, until the first time he had a date scheduled and told me she had sent him a really sexy text. He was excited for tonight. It was REAL. I’m poly, but dammit I just felt a little off. I felt fears come up, some of them things I thought I’d worked through already. I had visions of how mind-blowingly better than me she was. Like John Cusak’s character from the movie High Fidelity, I knew that no one in the history of the Earth had ever had sex as good as he was (going to be) having with her in my head.
I handled my shit. I told him to have fun and I stayed busy. I talked to a friend and cleaned my kitchen. I worked out and probably wrote an angsty blog. (sorry) And you know what? I was fine. It wasn’t even like it was that terrible of an evening. I had some feelings and I dealt with them. He’s been on a few dates now and they are okay. I still get the occasional pinch or twinge, but I haven’t reacted that strongly again so far. He’s good about telling me when he’s chatting someone up and when he has a date scheduled, and that makes me feel included and safe. I get lots of fodder for compersion and only occasional fodder to fret. The sky didn’t fall and he still wants to be with me. I don’t feel like he’s cagey or lying and there is little to tweak me. I know he loves me and values our time together and he is not pushing me aside for better game. He wants some love and companionship and fun and I want that for him too.
So.. that’s the first hurdle. They are dating again or going on that exciting date. One of those early times is a real bitch. Maybe it’s the first, or maybe you prepared so much it’s the second. Whatever. I can think he’ll do it better than Hubby did. I can think he’ll still love me if he dates her, but until he does it, I can’t KNOW. And I run across this with my partners too. Until they see that I can navigate it well, I just don’t have trust. Trust is based on experience and time.
The next hurdle is having sex.
When Hubby first had sex with RollerGirl I was very compersive. I was shocked how little that bothered me and how happy it made me. I was pretty stoked. I even gave Roller Girl tips. Later, when he did things with her he wouldn’t do with me and rubbed it in my face… um.. less so, but still, pretty happy for him. Sex is easier to take than feelings most of the time. I feel much more secure about sex. I totally get it that I can love having sex with you and you and you and you. It did throw me for a loop when Great Date surprised me with a sexual partner, after they’d fucked, but since then it’s been good because the communication is good. I was okay with him having sex with Not Hawaiian Girl.. a sexy exotic woman 14 years my junior. It pinched for a minute or two.. did she have to be pretty, nice, young and exotic? But really it was okay. I can easily see the desire for sexual variety. I just understand that so easily. That doesn’t mean I’m never tweaked. I am. But it’s really the least tweaking to me.
I remind myself of really true things and feel better. I fear that they will love having sex with them more. Why does it have to be more or less? Can’t they just enjoy sex with both of us? Will enjoying fucking her really mean that all we are means nothing? Touching any other pussy, even a really great pussy just erases me? If a person has sex with someone else then our whole relationship is void? No. That’s silly. I love sex. I love sex with lots of people. Having sex with someone else would never replace all Hubby or Great Date or Traveler are to me. Hell, it doesn’t replace what they are to me sexually.
Then comes the hurdle of love.
Here is where it gets more sticky for me. Here is where my deeper fears lie. I know that you can love and lust for more than one person. I know it because I do it. I love Hubby, even after everything. I’m not sure I could ever fully stop if I wanted to at this point. I love Great Date. Stop it! I know!!! I’m talking all mushy and committed. EEEK! Seriously though.. I love them both and I have for a while now. I love them differently and deeply. When I dream of designing my perfect future.. like if I had everything I ever wanted, they are both there. And I love Traveler. I love him differently too. It’s an adjustment for the people I already loved, and it will be an adjustment for me too as they love new others. Sometimes we are happy to see those we love happy. Sometimes I just feel warm and amazing to see a person I love being loved, and I want that for them. I want every happiness and every love for them because they are special to me.
When I am full of fear and doubt though, and when I am feeling replaced and cast aside, and when my old tapes and my insecurities play… well.. I have to find a way to communicate about it well. I have to avoid resentment and comparing. I have to accept the risk and decide to be okay. I have to stay out there, vulnerable and present and hope that they are worth my risk and that we can build this trust. I have to avoid pulling back and pushing them away to placate my fear. It’s just HARD. Nothing really valuable is easy though.
Eh.. we’ll get through it. I’d like us to sail through gracefully with our heads held high, exuding confidence and compersion. But, I live here in reality. And reality is that it’s just gonna be a little bumpy, baby. We’ll reassure each other and make the promises we can honestly make. Hang in there with me. We’ll get there if we try.