The first post with real substance


Here's what's been going on in my life so that you have a sense of where I am right now.

I have been dating someone for about 2 months, almost 3. Let's just call him Tom. Before this, I had been single for 2 years, and hadn't had sex in 1. I was actually doing just fine like that, albeit a bit lonely. I moved to this city after getting a work permit and wanting to be somewhere new and really find myself. That sounds horribly cliche, but it's the truth.

So, I started going to a meetup, and met Tom there. We had a few exchanges before he asked me out. And things have been rather rocky, and it's not because I don't like him or want to be with him.

It's because I wanted to be with him too much. This is what happens in all my relationships. I get attached really quickly, and soon I feel like I'm in love. (Hands up, ladies, if this sounds familiar.) I mean, it had been a month and a half and I was already there.

Or was I really?

I have been seeing a therapist for a few months now, and she's great. She actually told me that I should be writing to work through things. She reminded me that you can be with someone, have fun, go out, have sex even, and it's not necessarily love. (Wait...YOU CAN??? Why hadn't anyone told me this before? No, seriously, I just don't know if I've ever felt this because I get attached so quickly.) 

But she also reminded me that women nurture, and we care. And not very long into this relationship, my boyfriend experienced something that turned his world upside down for a bit, and his problems with anxiety that he has had for years came back (I guess they come and go and are triggered by trauma sometimes). So what did I do? I nurtured. I took care of him. And I thought I was in love because through that, we felt more connected.

I'm not saying we weren't connected on a deep level. My boyfriend even said at one point he thought he was falling for me (in response to me saying I was in love with him). And recently he told me he had changed his mind, basically.

See...From the beginning, we've had an open relationship. He started dating another girl, and I went nuts. I thought I was ready to handle it, but I was having a very hard time with it. There are deep rooted issues inside of me from the past that are keeping me from being able to let go and not be possessive of the person I'm dating (I'm not saying that people who are in open relationships never have these feelings, but I think there are people out there who are way better at managing them than I am at this point). And it wasn't just that I was jealous or worried he would leave me or anything like that. 

I realized that I lost myself. I thought we had a strong connection, but I was also investing too much of myself in it. And I thought we had a committed relationship. And I was wrong. He wants to "play the field" and he's not at the point of loving me yet. I'm not sure what changed his mind, but it changed.

And I realized that when I am in a relationship, that is my identity. It is a part of me. And that is not really a good thing, because...when something goes wrong, if we break up, I feel like a part of me has died. It sounds so horribly romantic, and that's the problem. We've grown up, as women, in this society that tells us we can have our knight in shining armour, that we'll be swept away and always protected, that as long as we have that person, we'll be ok. It's a total bullshit fantasy. Instead of teaching us that we are ok, and we will be ok, and it will be hard, but we will survive, we learned that we can't be ok on our own. And this socialization has become such a deep part of me that this leads to all these problems.

That's not to say that some women who have been socialized this way don't have wonderful experiences with their boyfriends, husbands, spouses, girlfriends, wives, whatever. Because there are plenty of people out there who are doing just fine with their "significant others" (I like saying that more than "better half"). And I know they have had realizations about themselves, whatever it may be, that have changed their worlds and rocked their boats. Because we all do.

In any case...The fact that I have such high expectations in my relationships, coupled with all these bad experiences I've had with guys in the past (and I'm sure you'll hear about them sometime, reader), has suddenly become totally apparent to me. And I need to go through the pain to heal from it.

So my boyfriend and I are taking a break. And I want to step back, rein everything in, go on dates, have fun together but not get serious, and take it easy. This is going to be extremely hard for me to do, but it's necessary. I have to believe that if things don't work out, I will be ok. My identity won't be damaged. I will still have all my parts. All my fingers, toes, my whole heart.

And it's also necessary for me to dig into these places deep down so that I can try this polyamory thing, really try it with all of its emotional components and crazy moments, but without feeling like the world is going to end when things are rocky. (There will be more about polyamory later.)

Thanks for reading my first post. If you've read this far, I'd love a comment, anything at all, so that I know people are actually reading! Thanks! :)


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