So, things with Cleveland reached a razor point. For the first time since we’ve been together I could see that we might not last. Things have changed for both of us, and some of that is solvable, maybe, and some of it isn’t.
When I first met Cleveland we were both polyamorous and both open to dating and forming a relationship if the connection was there. He and his wife had no veto and he said he didn’t agree with hierarchal poly or keeping people held secondary. Relationships were allowed to be what they were. I asked questions. Overnights? Sure. Weekends? Sure. Trips away together, of course. Good. We also both had other important things in our lives and didn’t want to and couldn’t spend all of our time together. Perfect. Chemistry? Check. Common interests? Check. We began to date.
Very quickly into our relationship Cleveland said he loved me and a not terribly significant amount of time later I told him I loved him too. We had a lot of dates, at least once a week and sometimes more. We built bookshelves together and went to trivia and podcasted and did little projects together. Then weekends became off limits somehow. It was never stated, but he and his wife were busy every weekend. More and more he said he was falling for me and things got better and better, but the weekends never came back. He stayed a few nights and then not again. Nothing was said and there was no explanation. I stopped asking for overnights and weekend and they just seemed off-limits. It started to really bother me. And eventually I talked to him about it. It’s weird that I was never allowed to talk to him during the week on nights I didn’t see him, and that there were no overnights or weekends. It started to feel really bad. I told him, leveled and said it wasn’t working for me. And he listened and was cool about it, admitted he missed the good time too, and said that things would change.
About a month later there was an upset in he and his wife’s life and we agreed that in order to be supportive that we would hold off on the evenings and the weekends and kinda tiptoe around his wife while they dealt with this thing in their lives and she went through a tough time. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable concession to make. Six months later it’s only more clear that things are still very limited, maybe more than ever and I’m so often unhappy. We have a series of Tuesday night dates where we eat and fuck and it feels like someone should leave money on the nightstand. Our trip away for our anniversary only makes this more stark. He either can’t or won’t have much of a relationship with me. And I start thinking maybe we should call this what it is. Maybe I should stop calling him my boyfriend and making him a priority for time when I’m clearly not a priority to him too.
And we have a series of tough talks.
I love him. But I can’t live in this box anymore. I want to see my boyfriend. I want to do things with him other than eating and having amazing sex. I want to relate. I didn’t want to demand anything specific because it’s not just the things I want and miss.. it’s that my relationship is such that these things are off limits.
And we talked again last night because things are weird with us. He has agreed to “meet my demands” and have occasional weekend time and the occasional overnight and you know.. that’s not what I’m really looking for. I wanted our relationship to change, not just the days of our dates. I want to be with someone who wants to and can give me some of their time. I want him to want to see me and to want to do things with me. I want a relationship. He never told me that overnights were off limits or that he’d agreed to that with his wife. I just got no and no and no. And then he’d been frustrated with me, and explained why he couldn’t be my primary.. a thing I’d never asked for, and don’t have space for. But in it he said stuff that kinda let me know my place. And can I be happy there? Is it enough? I want a man who is free to be with me and who wants to be with me. And if he is “meeting my demands” is he wanting this relationship too or is he complying with a sex partner to keep things cool?
I felt so far away from him.
And we talked and talked. And he understood me more and I understood him more too. He DOES care about me and I care about him.. but he wants a side relationship. And I’m left thinking. I don’t want to break up with him. I don’t want it over. But what does this mean ultimately? Am I okay being a side relationship? Is that fulfilling to me?
You know.. I am okay with friends with benefits if the friendship is good. And I’m good with the fact that Cleveland and I have a connection that is really different than my connection with Traveler. I totally get that not all my relationships will be big relationships. They just won’t. But I thought he was. I resent being ranked and I really rankle at the idea of forever being less than. I’m just not wired for that. Maybe it should and maybe it shouldn’t, but it will ultimately bother me. I can’t be with and invest in and build a relationship with someone that will always.. always.. no matter what.. make or think of me as second or third or last. So.. I got him and I think he got me. It makes me sad, but it’s reality and it’s nice to acknowledge it.
Where does that leave us? Well. I’m pulling back a bit. I won’t fully invest in a side relationship. I’ll give it time and attention but it won’t get priority and I will understand that this will likely be a relationship that runs a course. If there isn’t room for big love or for all of what I have to offer then it’s temporary. It’s okay. Most relationships are temporary. And I aim to enjoy it while it lasts. I don’t want to part right now and we’re on the same page about what is what. And for now it’s good.
In other news, tomorrow Traveler and I take off on a 5 nights and 4 days trip to Canada. I can’t fucking wait! I just love the idea of us in our little rented carriage house by the lake, grilling delicious things and sipping on our new Canadian wines, kissing and laughing and playing games, spending nights curled up and reveling in touch, passionate times and sweet times.. and time.. time time!!! Such precious time with my sweet sexy man that my head is spinning. In fact I better run. I have grocery shopping to do. All those fabulous meats and fixings aren’t going to buy themselves.
So, things aren’t sometimes what I thought they’d be and maybe they’re okay anyway, and sometimes they’re my fondest dreams. Don’t get me wrong.. I’m disappointed with where things are with Cleveland. But I love him and I love being with him, so I’m here as long as it works, and for now it does. And no, having such amazing things with Traveler doesn’t replace it. People aren’t interchangeable pieces. Here I am again in poly feeling 47 things at once. Tonight I’m packing though. I had a nice time with Cleveland and I’ll have a beautiful week with Traveler. Let’s get go ready. 🙂