I Admit I'm a Bad Poly Sometimes

Alright.  I admit it.

I just read a blog post by Ginger at Poly Nirvana, called Pout.  It’s here.

She’s talking about her “less than perfect” poly feelings as her love is dating and with this other new girl.  She was sort of sharing and admonishing herself and owning up to her stuff.  That’s always kinda rad.  I am a huge believer that what comes from the heart reaches the heart, and such honest sharing is so useful.  When we pour that stuff out people can relate to it.  It’s human.  And of course, it got me thinking.

tiny home in a clearing made of stone and wood

tiny home in a clearing made of stone and wood

It’s not a pressing matter this second, but I’ve been working on preparing for Traveler to find and date and be with others again.  As far as I know he’s not madly searching for new connections, but I know he’s open to the idea and I think he’d like it.  We talked about it a couple of times and I flipped out about it…twice, sadly.  (I despise that by the way).  Traveler has always been unflinchingly supportive of my dating and sexy exploits and whatever.  He trusts me and supports me, and it’s beautiful.  I want to give him that.  Sometimes I do give him that.  He’s so beautiful, so kind, so sweet and passionate and loving, and he has a special gift for loving that honestly I don’t think it would be right to jealously guard it.  I love him loving his wife and I used to love him loving Peaches.  And it’s a precious thing, to love someone so much that their happiness fills you with joy.  He talks about Quinky Girl sometimes and I just overflow.  He SHOULD have that and she should too.  It’s beautiful.  I love that my love for him includes that.  I love that my love for her does too.  It feels very right.  I feel the same about Cleveland and his wife.  I love my men in part because they are good men that know how to love.

But wives don’t scare me in the same way.

A beautiful old claw foot tub in a window

A beautiful old claw foot tub in a window

Quinky Girl and Cleveland’s wife are established loves.  I don’t fear that Traveler or Cleveland will lose his mind and run away with them and hurt me.  I have worried their wives might ask them to dump me, but that’s a different thing.   I don’t worry that my love will get so entwined with their wife that they’ll never have time for me or replace me.  My loves other loves were there before me.  I fear the new women because they are the unknown.  I feel what Traveler and I have is awesome.  I feel like we get enough time and it scares me to think we could go back to how things were back in the day, when I saw him once every two weeks or once a week.  (it was in the beginning and while he was traveling all the time).  It’s not enough.  It also scares me that maybe he’ll fall so head over heels for a new girl so quickly that he acts impulsively.  He was very careful with Peaches and I, but he won’t have the same constraints now that he did back then.  It’s not his general way of being, but it’s not unheard of.

And worse yet, what if he is like Hubby?  What if Traveler doesn’t want me anymore when he has some new thing?  What if he also becomes mean?  What if that new girl sucks up all the time?  What if he and I can never connect because he and the new girl never let me have time with him that is mine?  What would happen if I sat in a car with Traveler while he explained that there isn’t anything left’ for me?  It took a year for the memory of Hubby saying that to me “This thing with RollerGirl is just too much, and it’s everything.  I just don’t have anything left for you” to not make me want to curl up in a fetal position.  I’m not sure I could take that again.

Luckily the likelihood of Traveler saying what Hubby did is pretty small.  I mean he’d pick different words, wouldn’t he?  And he isn’t Hubby.

But the answer to this stuff is complicated.

Tree House

Tree House

As for “Will Traveler be like Hubby?  And if he is.. what then?” is that well.. he might be.  Traveler might start dating someone and replace me with them.  He might be a selfish mean prick who lies and breaks agreements and does whatever he wants whenever he wants.  He might sneak around dating someone and not telling people.  He might sneak girls over when he has dates with me later that night.  He might break agreement after agreement and tell lie after lie.  He might.  Love is a risk.  Traveler might very well break my heart some day.  I hope he won’t, but he might.  I like to think he won’t, but he might.  This is the risk we take in loving someone.  We might trust someone and have them honor that trust or they might break it.  We make the best decision that we can and walk forward with hope, or we choose not to risk and don’t invest in people.  Because investing in people while all the while living in fear doesn’t work.  I’ve tried.

I trust Traveler not to be so unkind.  I could be wrong to trust him, but I feel this love is worth the risk.  So I give him my heart.  I trust him and build this thing with him and I hope that all of our dreams and plans come true.  Because he also might be everything I think he is and we might have everything I think we do. He might love and date others and still love and treasure me and Quinky Girl.  He might have amazing sex with others and still want me.  I might be just as important to him as he is to me and he might always make time for me as I would for him.  I fully intend to date and love and fuck other people and I want to always love Traveler too.  Amazing sex with others has NEVER made me not crave my dear sweet Traveler or my Cleveland.  When I had ridiculously excellent sex with Boss I wanted and loved and needed Cleveland and Traveler just as much as ever.  My heart is large and my passion too.home fancy

And what about my fears that I won’t get what I need?  Well.  I talk about them.  I told Cleveland that I don’t think our relationship would survive with less than where it is now.  I need to see him once or twice a week for it to be a relationship for me.  And I told Traveler that I want and need time with him and that I can’t go back to once a week and very infrequent contact between.  I need us to have our days and our little whatevers.  I told him that I still wanted the stuff we talked about.  I still want to live with him in some fashion.. nearby or sharing time or whatever (yes.. including Quinky Girl of course!).  I still want our family.  And he said he still does too.  We’ve only been together 2 years and we’re moving slowly and well, but that’s something for someday.  Quinky Girl and I were honest with each other about our desire for that too.  I am afraid of them not wanting that with me if a new woman changes things, but you know.. that’s the risk.  Sometimes love changes the plans we made.  Quinky Girl could decide to change and so could I.  I don’t love it, but that is the inherent risk in living openly.  Hell.  It’s the risk of LIVING.  We absolutely can honor our commitments and I’m not saying this as a “get out of jail free card” and giving some excuse for tearing though people’s lives like a cyclone because you’re “just following your heart” while drunk on N.R.E. (infatuation and new relationship energy).

I’m just saying that love changes plans sometimes and I am trying to remember this and to be flexible.  It helps that I don’t have a super specific view of how it will work beyond that I would like to someday live (at least part time) with or in proximity my love or loves and be a bit intwined.  Quinky Girl might end up wanting to split time living with Jonah and Traveler.  She might meet a third amazing love and live with Traveler forever and have three main partners and I live in their basement.  Jonah and his partner might decide they want to be part of any family Quinky is in and we might all live in some kind of rambling apartment house.  We might feel that our family looks like almost anything.  You never know.  It doesn’t make more sense to fear just any girl Traveler dates because she might alter the plan.  We all might alter the plan at any time.. and that’s true even if we’re not poly.  Marriages end all the time.  People marry all the time.  People move in and out and around all the time.  Life is utterly non-linear, messy, and wonderful.

So.. still.. I’m still me.  I DO fear it, though less when I talk about it, so what am I gonna do?

Large and inviting bed with white pillows and linens in the sun

Large and inviting bed with white pillows and linens in the sun

I’ll deal.  I love Traveler and Cleveland and Quinky and it’s important to me that I support them.  I want this open relationship, and I want to give the freedom I cherish so much, so I’ll hope my love is honest and forthcoming and clear with me and that I can create an environment where he is safe to talk to me.  When I’m upset and  have my little or big “bad-poly” feelings I’ll work out and bake and paint and walk and blog and talk to friends.  I’ll try to remember his good intentions and do self-comforting things like progressive muscle relaxation.  I’ll ask for cuddles and hugs and sweet words when I need them and I’ll admit and be honest when I’m struggling and hopefully own it.  And I’ll keep reading and reasoning and thinking about stuff like this.

There are some people that this is really natural and easy for, and then there are those like me where some of this stuff is natural and easy and some of it takes a lot of work and self reflection.  Sometimes poly is hard.  The sex stuff is easy for me the vast majority of the time.  If my loves hook up I kinda cheer that on.  I like to watch my partners have sexual pleasure from pretty much any source, but I worry too much about losing my place in their lives with the love stuff.  I get really insecure.  It’s okay that I am a little high-maintenance if I’m willing to do the maintenance.  Right?


  1. This is one of the best blog posts I’ve read from you, and that’s saying something. i just wanted to throw out that this resounds on many levels for me with where I am in with my relationships right now, and I really appreciate you writing it.


  2. It’s okay that I am a little high-maintenance if I’m willing to do the maintenance. Right?

    Definitely! I think that’s actually something to be admired in you that you can do that maintenance without relying on others to do it for you. I’ve met plenty who can’t…


  3. I relate to this SO much. Thank you for writing openly about your fears. I love poly; it’s the perfect lifestyle for me. But it doesn’t at all come easily (at least as far as insecurities go) and it’s nice to read I’m not alone. Sending you e-hugs.

    I feel like I’m high maintenance but my partners think I’m doing just fine since I own my emotions and let them enjoy their freedom. So far they’ve been willing to provide me endless reassurance, hugs and kissing my tears away.


  4. To be very honest, I don’t know how you can prepare for something like a partner dating and falling in love again. Fuck this bad poly/good poly shit. Who gets to set those standards, anyway? Measuring yourself against other people (or the idealized self that other people sometimes portray in their blogs) has to be exhausting! We *all* have our insecurities, but constantly worrying at them like a loose tooth robs you of joy in the present moment. I have no answers as to how you get past the worry that one day you’ll have less time or less love than you want. I feel for you that you can’t help but worry. Somewhere with in that big, loving brain of yours, the answers are there! Big hugs, and we’re not going anywhere!


  5. Change – in all its forms – is a scary, strange, wondrous, beautiful thing. And it’s easiest to embrace change, especially in relationships, when the change is self-directed. When we’re “in charge” (so to speak), we can make the earth move. However… When it’s the people around us (or attached to us) who are initiating changes, we can get knocked on our ass when those tectonic plates shift. Knowing that an earthquake is coming, but not knowing when or how high on the Richter Scale it will register… Well, let’s just say it’s a fine time to inspect your foundations. And for what it’s worth, I think yours is pretty solid.



  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one! It’s downright hard sometimes. I wonder how much if our early programming has to do with it? From as long as I can remember whether be it from society, school, movies or family the message was the same. Monogamy, one woman, one man, kids and a white picket fence until the day you die.


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