This is one of my all-time favourite love songs. It popped in my head this morning as I was contemplating the benefits of going vertical to make coffee vs staying horizontal (coffee won, for those of you keeping score at home).
The concepts have been spiralling through my head and my heart for the past few weeks as I navigate the choppy waters of polyamory. Some bits of poly are strikingly simple to adopt. Love is love. Romantic love isn’t higher than friendship in the hierarchy of intimate relationships. Considering the experiences I’ve lived, it just makes sense that one person isn’t going to be the be all and end all in my life. I gave up on the idea of that one perfect love a LONG time ago. All sorts of wonderful people have come along with spackle and patch kits and crafty ideas to fill and close and repair various gaps and voids in my life.
And yet. A friend I’ve been flirting with pretty hard-core told me recently that she’s glad we can be platonic friends that play sometimes … and I’d be lying if I claimed not to be disappointed. That said, after the initial pang I could easily admit that she’s right. It’s fucking fantastic that I have amazing friends, that I’m finding my people, and a bonus that sometimes my friends are fun to make out with too.
Maybe it’s just that these ideas we’re socialised with are so deeply embedded that, even after we’re sure we’ve gone through ourselves with the deepest of soul searches and eradicated that horseshit, traces of it pop up randomly and we’re stuck playing this reactionary game of ‘whack a mole’ with the things we don’t want instead of proactively going after the things we DO want.
I love HG. More – I’m in love with HG. Starry eyes, butterflies, the whole nine. Yet the entire time we’ve been involved, I haven’t wanted to call him my boyfriend. It just hasn’t felt right and I’ve been a bit confused about why. Well, to keep it simple, it’s cuz he’s not. At this point, that feels like more than a little bit DUH but it’s something I seriously needed to own. There’s a part of me that keeps expecting him to show up in the way a monogamous new love would show up and when he doesn’t, I fall all over myself to give him support and opportunities. Then I’m confused and resentful when he doesn’t take them. I’m confused by his seeming apathy when I know he cares about me.
At the end of the day though –> he’s not my boyfriend and he won’t ever be. That’s not a part he’s looking to play. He’s NOT my best friend with benefits. We have a strong connection that went super deep and intimate super fast and, for all that part of me recognises that I DON’T want Prince Charming to roll up on his white horse, there’s a part of me that’s confused by why he isn’t acting like my Prince Charming.
I just want him to live up to the image of him I’ve created. I love him, the real him, but the image is there and fucking with me. He’s wonderful to talk to and to play with and to fuck but – for all that we can have these incredible conversations about life, the universe, and everything – we have core beliefs that are too fundamentally opposed for me to allow myself to keep him on the ridiculous pedestal that I seem to have elevated him to. He doesn’t want to be there and – the shit that kills me – I don’t want him to be there. Yet I keep rein-fucking-forcing the gd pedestal.
One of my best friends straight up asked why I’m trying to force this to be something it isn’t. Part of it is that he feels like home. My soul recognises something in him. My fears surrounding intimacy and abandonment are easily triggered by some of his behaviours and, in my more cynical moments, I attribute that to the warped ideas of love that I learned in my family or origin. That isn’t fair to him though. He doesn’t make me feel the way my family does. He makes me smile. I may be shaking my head at the same time, but the smile goes all the way to my toes. When I’m hurting, I want to reach out to him. I don’t, generally, and that’s not on him either. I don’t believe that he can be there for me in the way that I want him to and so I’d rather not give him the chance to disappoint me. When I do reach out, he does try to be there … but his definition of there and mine aren’t the same and so we’re both left somewhat dissatisfied with the experience.
Another best friend pointed out that my head and my heart have been trying to get on the same page about this for awhile. The whole not calling him my boyfriend was a big red flag. Poly people use that term all the time so why have I consistently rejected it so vehemently? Cuz it doesn’t fit and focusing on the title being applied while trying to fit the same square peg into the same round hole is an exercise in futility. The worst part is I’m pretty sure he’s said “nope, I’m square” more than once and, while part of me heard it, part of me was so engaged in solving the round hole conundrum that I didn’t process it.
I’ve been telling people that what I need in my life is a business casual cock – someone I connect strongly with, that I don’t need to do romantic things with, that I can fuck on a fairly regular and yet casual basis – and this morning it finally hit me that with HG I already have a business casual cock. What I don’t have is a boyfriend. What I DON’T have is a partner. And I can’t make him into something he’s not.
So … what does this mean? I don’t know. I don’t want “us” to be over. I can’t count on him as more than a business casual cock and I don’t know if I’m ready for that to be his role in my life. He’s asked for more and right now I’m furious that he’s asked but never acted. I don’t know what he wants, not really. I know he doesn’t want us to be over. I know that I’ve hurt him and I wish I could soothe that hurt, for all that the cause of his injury is a bone of contention between us.
We’ve been through a lot in the past few weeks. I’m finally getting to the point where I can be myself again and it HURTS that being myself again means acknowledging that I can’t lean on him in the way my heart yearns to, due to both my fears and his actions. It hurts knowing that the leaning on him I’ve been doing has put strain on our relationship, maybe even an irreparable strain.
Here we go tumbling head over feet.