When I fall for someone at first I can be really awkward. It’s a thing that has happened the few times I’ve fallen. I’ve thought about this a lot, of course. Yes, part of it is that I have a fear backlash that kinda occurs. I love them and want them and am excited and happy and this thing rises up in me that is hyper sensitive and strange and worried and scared.. “oh god.. what are you doing!?!?? You trust this person and love them and want them and think they love you… eeeek… oh man, you are probably wrong. You are an idiot. Look for signs and react like a weirdo to things.. yes.. that will help and will keep you safe!”
This, of course is really odd and confusing and sometimes hurtful to the people I love. It comes off like I don’t want the relationship we are building or like the loving things they are doing.. that I love.. are not as welcome as they are, and contributes to awkwardness at a time when people are already vulnerable. It comes off in all kinds of unique and awful kinds of ways. It is thankfully short lived, but I wish it was not-lived. In rare occasions I fall in love in friendships too, but this behaviour has generally been confined to more romantic relationships, which thankfully I have not had cause to fall in love in TOO much.
I did this with hubby. We nicknamed it the cynic. When I fell in love with Traveler I was awkward. I put my hand over his mouth when I told him I loved him and hid my face when I said I liked him. On a date when he first opened up to me I got weird. I did it a little too with Quinky Girl and it surprised me. I wasn’t looking for it and it contributed to a bit of awkwardness. Some of this is that this is a new kind of love for me and one that I am navigating. We aren’t having sex, but she is more than a simple friend to me. I know it’s precious and I have a lot more trust for her than I generally would in a sexual relationship at this point, and the way that she loves is so real and so genuine and authentic and without artifice that it contributes to that trust, but yeah.. I guess I’m awkward just a little still. Some of it is that there aren’t models for this. When it comes to love stuff I like knowing the realm of possibility so I can gauge my reactions. This was a challenge for me in polyamory. There aren’t rules or expectations that everyone knows. Relationships can be really almost anything. Yes.. I know it seems like I’d just do what I do and that would be the best thing. But if people are used to a certain realm of behaviour and they are vulnerable and you are bizarre… well.. it can really come off in ways you don’t mean. It can mess up and lead people to think I mean the exact opposite of what I do at times. It can read like they shouldn’t invest in me or trust me. It can be hurtful or misunderstood, and the only thing worse than hurting someone you love is hurting someone you love by totally making them misunderstand you.
Some of this is natural growing pains. There isn’t a clear set of ways that metamours or polyaffective people act. Are there things we shouldn’t share? What is okay/not okay to talk about? How do we respect the person we both love while being open with each other? And just a million more good questions. I’m not sure how to do this, but I take a lot of heart and I’m building so much trust that she is going there with me. We’ve had a couple of difficult conversations and my awkwardness lately and my sort of scared squirrel skitter may have added to the difficulty and created confusion, made me seem less okay than I am with what I crave more than anything… her real and honest love. It’s hard as fuck to put things out there, to be really real with those we love, to give them our honest and straightforward view, especially in things that are hard to talk about, and harder still if they react weird. Can you imagine?!? She let me explain and understood that I love the way she loves me and I love her honesty. It was everything I crave, but I reacted strangely for a minute. She could have recoiled and said nothing.. decided I couldn’t be trusted.. but she talked to me. She had the awkward conversation. She talked to me and let me explain.
She promised that she would give me another shot and not take away that honesty and that trust yet, and I could have so easily ruined it. I’m not an easy person to love at this stage. It is thankfully short lived, because it’s a really maladaptive defence mechanism. I’ve made so much progress on this, but I have a way to go. It showed up in those few sentences in my blog. I’m thinking a lot about another suggestion too.. to love these little parts of me that I am ashamed of.. my spinning and worry that I am feeling and thinking too much.. isn’t it always “too much” with me? I jumped to the conclusion of “too much” that night in the bar, before I understood. I heard her, even that night telling me no, that she wasn’t saying that.. and it helped so much. It was amazing how well she understood my reaction right in the moment, being a girl maybe who’d felt and heard “too much” a lot too. And then later, in my blog, when I was trying to talk about how much I loved it and how much the conversation had meant to me, I sloppily made it sound like I wasn’t okay with the very thing I was praising, that fear working into a few sentences, when what I was trying to say was how much I appreciated and recognized the specialness of someone being so real with me. Do you know how rare that is? She asked me about it. She admitted it made her reluctant to be blunt and honest like that with me. I explained and she promised me she would not withdraw that honesty. Can you imagine the courage that takes? it’s hard to explain, but it’s being loved FOR who I am, not IN SPITE of who I am and being willing to work out the awkwardness with me. Some of this is me and some of it is the uniquely wonderful place we find ourselves and some of it is the simply imprecise way humans communicate. There aren’t any models for this love, but I have to imagine being willing to keep asking ourselves questions and willing to talk about things should really help.
I don’t know if any of this makes the slightest bit of sense to anyone outside my head, but I just woke up feeling utterly grateful and hopeful and good. I know it’s been a few days of this, but I have to say… so much love! Thank you universe for this amazing woman! I will do everything in my power to process my defences in healthier ways and to communicate more effectively and accurately and to listen with more trust. It’s an amazing thing to find that rare person who can go there with you. Who knew it’d be my boyfriend’s wife??!?