No In-Between

I feel funny writing this, but I know more of what I want.  As we grow and have experiences and do stuff, we learn ourselves better hopefully.  And I made an interesting discovery.  I don’t like the in-between.  

I like casual sex.  I like fucking and fun and kinky play partners and FWB’s, even if I don’t often have any of these things.  But even then, I like to be friends.  I have to like you to fuck you. Novel damn concept, no?  I like to like the people I hang with in really any capacity and that includes people I have naked fun with.  I don’t like counting the minutes until you finally fucking get naked.  Cool.  I figured this out a while ago.

Julia Fullerton-Batten's "In Between".  The sketch of a layout for a beautiful photograph of a woman falling in a bedroom, caught ethereally mid-air

Julia Fullerton-Batten’s “In Between”. The sketch of a layout for a beautiful photograph of a woman falling in a bedroom, caught ethereally mid-air

I like love.  I like trust and connection and chemistry and understanding. I like really communicating and sharing life with those I love.  I dream, and finally admit it fully, that I want to share my life with the people I love.  I want to run errands and do activities and have hobbies and curl up in the middle of the night and sleep twined with you.  I want to fuck you silly and observe traditions and make new ones with my big loves.  I want to build things together and teach each other stuff.  I want to laugh and I don’t really want to cry, but if we do, I want to do it with you.  I want to be that person you cling to when it all falls apart.  I want to be that for you.  I want you to be the person I run to tell things to because I can’t wait to see your joy or get your counsel.  I want to love the people that you love and support them too.  I want to collaborate in love and share love and I want to be a big mushy mush ball in a little family of mushes like me.  I want it deep and strong.  

What I don’t want is in-between.  That sometimes happens on its own, and maybe that’s fulfilling when it does because it’s what works for us, but I don’t want to seek out life in a little box.  

I started dating this guy.  He is cute and funny and smart.  We had a wonderful first date and we’re good in chat.  Clickety clickety.  Nice.  So we had a few dates that were pretty darn good and a lot of talking.  We had similar naughty interests and he was looking for something more than an FWB.  Excellent.  Thing is.. I just kept thinking.. I was signing up knowing from the beginning that it would always be limited.  And limited is fine in a fuck buddy.  It’s not his fault.  It’s just reality.  He’s married and have two young children and responsibilities.  Of course his time away from home and his family would be limited and they would always come first.  He’s not a flaming asshole, so this is the natural order of things and frankly I wouldn’t date a father who felt differently.  This means though that his time with me will always be limited unless as things develop we go on dates that involve his children too.  Or I come to dinner with him family.  It’s a cool thing that these are eventual possibilities but they aren’t for me.  

I’ve been a stepmom and helped raise my girls.  I’ve done the pony rides and the temper tantrums and the ice-cream cones melting in the car.  I’ve done the sloppy kisses and the lovely childhood drawings and I’m done.  I would not sign up for it again.  I love my girls, all of them desperately and fiercely, but I’d never do it again purposely in another situation.  It’s just not where I am in life.  

And here’s the part that makes me feel a little bad to say it, but I’m not interested in being another person’s forever number 2.  A man with a family is what that is no matter how you slice it and if I’m in love with you and wanting a shared life with you I can’t alway be number 2.  There are lots of people who are fine with this, and maybe that’s evolved.  Maybe I’m selfish or wrong to say that I want my big loves not naturally limited, but it’s how I feel. I’m NOT saying I have to always be number one or that I want people who don’t have other important partners, or even that I wouldn’t spend years rightfully number 2, but I can’t be that FOREVER.  

An ethereally beautiful photo of a woman caught mid air, floating or falling.

An ethereally beautiful photo of a woman caught mid air, floating or falling.

I’m number 2 with Traveler because we’ve only been together just under 2 years and he’s been in love with Quinky Girl for something like 14 now.  They’ve built a life together and share a home and finances and all of that.  They don’t necessarily do the whole primary/secondary thing, but by nature of life, love, experience and commitments, they are for now held in a special place with each other.  But… but I’m not forever denied this.  Over time I can create experience.  Traveler loves me and is in love with me and I can be important to him and have access to time with him and life with him, more with passing time and experience.  We’re building something and it’s allowed to be what it is.. whatever that will be.  Obviously I won’t ever be number 1 here because there will always be Quinky Girl, but I won’t always be number 2 either, and I am less so all the time.  Quinky Girl has two full partners, and Jonah is more full all the time.  You can have more than one great love.  And that is what I want for my loves.. I want great loves.  

I feel this kinda pull back as I say this.  I feel like it might come off as being a little… something.  But I don’t do myself or anyone else any great service by not being true about this.  I don’t like being super limited or held falsely down.  I don’t want my love cut off.  I don’t want to need 4 relationships to make one whole one.  It’s partially time and attention but it’s something else too.  I can’t give my heart fully to someone that can only give me the leftovers of theirs.  It’s too hard.  It hurts too much to love someone like that and run up against “I love you too.. but only this much.. only ever this much.. no matter what”. 

I’d be easier and more accommodating if I said I didn’t care, but I do.  I’d seem breezier and nicer and be more datable by more people if I wasn’t honest about feeling this way.  But I do.  If I fuck you, you aren’t mine.  If we love each other you are.  And if we are, I need you to belong to me too.  You don’t have to belong only to me, but you do need to be mine to be mine and I need to be yours too.  

Cleveland and I are figuring this out.  It’s difficult but possible. It is within the realm of possibility that we find a way that works. With this man I had just began dating, it just isn’t, at least for me.  The only way it would not be very limited is if I someday did more things with him and his children, but I don’t want to bond like that with children again.  I’m done with that kind of family life.  So.. it is what it is and we parted ways early here when it didn’t hurt either of us much.  It just wasn’t a good fit.  We’ll call it a failure to launch.  It’s rather too bad, but I did define more of what I want.  So there’s that.

I suppose it’d be different if things just turned out that way, but I just don’t want to sign up purposely to always be less than.  Right wrong or indifferent it’s
just something I’ve learned about me.  Good to know.


  1. That’s actually a super awesome thing to have learned about yourself. I’m also a fan of casual or serious but not the in between, for the same reasons you give. Time is finite after all, committing a regular chunk of it to somebody (friends or lovers) means it’s OK to want them to be the sort of people who would be there for you, and not people who won’t be available. Relationships need to be satisfying whatever needs a person has, and your needs are well articulated, which are the best type of needs there are!.

    I’m well aware I will come second to one of my anchor partner’s kids – less so in a decade when they are grow up, but I wouldn’t sign up for dating somebody with kids again either. You really shouldn’t feel bad to clarify that at all, it can save yourself and other people wasted time and heartache in the long run.


      • It was the kids. Unless you are doing things with the kids (very small kids here) you will always be a very limited side thing. That’s not bad if you like being a side thing. Many people do. I’m coming to understand that I don’t want to be a side thing. Naturally taking time to let your relationship develop or not is great. I love that. And I get that not everything will be big loves. But I don’t like starting out knowing I’m signing myself up to be unhappy if it does grow because it can’t ever be a lot of time and access with small kids unless you obviously include the kids. And I don’t want to do the kids thing again and I don’t want to start off purposely being a side relationship. Does that make more sense?


      • I spend most of my nights alone. I don’t like it like that forever. I want my relationships to be free to grow. I want overnights and random Saturday afternoons and regular access when I’m in love with someone. It’s part of the challenge with Cleveland. It started out like that and stuff changed with his situation. We’re figuring it out… But I just didn’t want to start out purposely building something that would always be less. Like I said… I don’t need number one, but I need to not ALWAYS be second, no matter what


      • I don’t really want a “primary” and I guess I’m discovering I don’t want to seriously date anyone who has a “primary”. I don’t like hierarchal poly very much. I think it’s hurtful at best to stifle whatever is growing between two people. If someone was married and/or had partners that they were very serious about that is awesome.. but if those partners demand they are “primary” and that everyone else forever and always is held below them, I’m finding I don’t really want to be pursing that. And I think someone with small childen might also fall into that. Basically I just don’t want my relationships to be super limited by design or by dating people who just CAN’T be that available.


      • Understandable. Hierarchial poly isn’t that bad; you just have to have your mind in a different poly place and, of course, surround yourself with partners who aren’t so “monogamous” in their thinking, if you know what I mean.

        I know that being in close poly setting, whew, it’s complicated enough dealing with the individuals and if children are involved, that compounds the difficulties. I learned that if you invoke certain rules of monogamy, that “Who’s on first?” thing will always come up, like, when a husband and wife expand their relationship to include one or more people (with or without children). Monogamy says that the husband/wife comes first and everything else is secondary… but that doesn’t work well and it took me a couple of years to get my poly “wives” to stop thinking like that so that we thought more about “us” than we thought about “me” and, trust me, it’s a daunting task.

        Between the four of us, we had six children and I got to be Dad to all six of them while the kids’ natural mothers got to be both Mom and Aunt, even the one woman who had no children. Getting them adjusted to the new relationship dynamic, actually, wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be; they were all old enough for me to explain what was going on in simple yet concise terms and while it took them a little bit to get used to each other, in the end, it worked out rather well.

        And I so very much loved having my white kids introducing me as their father; oh, the looks on peoples’ faces was beyond precious!

        Doing it like this is harder so I understand why you’d not want to be bothered with this because, at some point, we still retain that desire to ‘belong’ to someone even when, in practice, we really belong to everyone involved. Doing it your way requires time management skills that are beyond most people – it’s just too much to keep track of and a lot of people actually use time management tools to keep dates, vacations, etc., straight and as trouble-free as possible.


  2. I love this post and how eloquently you are able to state your thoughts. I especially about like how you talked about how you don’t want to have to need four different relationships to equal whole one.

    It’s so hard to figure that part out sometimes…


    • awww.. you guys are sweet. Thanks for getting it. Funny.. I’m reading Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert’s new book on poly and they talk about this tendency.. as a thing to avoid.. cobbling together bits of unhealthy relationships as “frankenpoly” or “pokemon poly”. Heh. We ARE pioneers, figuring this stuff out sometimes, but there is a lot of good experience out there.


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