As many of you know, I have been living a polyamorous lifestyle for over two years. I am confident I could write a best seller detailing the highs and lows of my journey. Some days it is an adventure, unsure what lies around the next corner. Never quite secure beneath the multitude of unknowns.
When asked “what is the purpose of life,” I speculate most would answer “love” or something similar. My unwavering reply encompasses more than love. My purpose in this world is to live my best life. And for that reason, am continually evaluating my overall happiness. My needs, desires and fulfillment. Besides a few days of hormone induced irrational behavior each month, my mood is generally predictable. When I feel off, I pause to ponder, identify the cause, and take action.
Recently I had felt restless and irritable. I was finding less joy and more annoyance in my daily endeavors. My kids will confirm that our morning routine consists of me making lunches while singing and dancing to reggae, pop or country. But during this noted change in mood, I found myself smiling less. My typically excitable demeanor shadowed by feelings of blah. Life felt so…normal. I don’t do normal. At least not long term. It is worth noting that my contentment with enduring the daily grind is shorter lived than the average person. When the boredom of routine sets in, I flail. I am effective at creating excitement for myself. Social events, swinger parties, date nights, girl’s nights, home projects, weekend trips. But the conquest is continuous. I aim to fill my calendar with the unordinary. As comforting and necessary as they are, homework, dinner, work and parenting do not provide that feeling of being ALIVE that I absolutely live for. I contemplated my recent life events and social happenings to determine which areas might be contributing to my funk. I had several girl’s wine nights in and dance night out with my favorites. I had attended a swinger birthday party hotel orgy. (I didn’t end up playing, but the fun flirty atmosphere and sex show were entertaining.) I brainstormed a complete revamp of my son’s bedroom and, with the help of my handy husband, brought it to life. We spent family time camping, bowling, and at car shows. My husband was feeling a lack of quality time alone, so we shared margaritas and planned a beach weekend away in the month ahead. (The variance in our love languages became evident when he expressed that unmet need. Between our TV couch cuddling four nights a week and three to four weekly sex sessions, I did not share his feeling of disconnection.)
So then what, I wondered, was missing? And I realized, for the umpteenth time, that the thrill of passion from a secondary meaningful relationship is a crucial piece of my overall contentment. Over the last two years J and I have been fortunate enough to spend time together every two or three months. (Except for one five month span that kept us apart.) After a few days of physically reconnecting with J, I am stimulated and fulfilled. My mind races, replaying the details and envisioning future endeavors. It is a natural high that satisfies my extramarital needs. So much so that when I do attend swinger events, I rarely participate sexually. I listen to my body, to what feels right. Is there a natural genuine shared attraction? Does he make me laugh or inspire me mentally? Essentially, do we have a connection? It doesn’t have to give me the butterflies of a love connection, but I must feel something. Unintentionally and unfairly, I compare all of my potential fuck buddies to my boyfriend. I would be content with my husband and J being the only two men in my life. No one compares to my devoted husband who consumes this beautiful life we’ve created. And no one compares to my boyfriend and the unique multi-faceted connection we share. Each relationship presents its own set of hurdles and my secondary is no different. It doesn’t matter that I speculate contentment maintaining my two current loving relationships. That prediction is based on a fantasy world that will never be. We live 824 miles apart. In a perfect world I would see him weekly, in a hopeful world every two to three months, but our reality is there is no guarantee. For a variety of reasons. And there is no promise for a next time. Four months have passed since we’ve spent time together, without a date in the cards. Desiring something so deeply that it feels like a need, yet being unable to obtain it, makes me feel helpless. Some moments this love causes more despair than joy. Countless thoughts and emotions surround it.
At about the two month mark I begin feeling antsy from the need for an adrenaline rush, which makes me a bit reckless. Often I’ve uttered the words “Good GOD I need excitement, let’s go fuck some dudes” to my bestie Sara. And we do. This has been proven multiple times. Two months after a visit with J when Sara and I fucked a 26 year old in the back of a rented minivan on a girl’s trip. Again two months later when we shared a hot single dad on a random Tuesday night. And again, two months to the day after a memorable weekend reconnecting with J. It’s like I have a timer, the hourglass flips after I’ve been satisfied outside of my marriage. I am incredibly fortunate to have a husband who allows me to seek out fulfillment elsewhere and ultimately, to be me. A polyamorous woman. I am also lucky to have crossed paths with another soul who has turned my world upside down and changed me forever. But all of that gratitude can’t mask my frustration. Even when that timer sounds and I have the meaningless fling my body urges me to have, it doesn’t provide the satisfaction of a night with J. I don’t leave my new fuck buddies and get turned on replaying details, nor do I get excited about a next time. I had the minivan fling and soon after blocked the guy when he became clingy. It’s fun in the moment, then I’m right back to waiting for J. Hurry up and wait. Patience is not my virtue. Maybe I’m trying to fix this cycle by making normalcy something I’m not trying to avoid. Embracing it, being content with what I have. Or maybe there isn’t a problem at all, that in fact the cycle is the solution. The path to my happiness—in a realistic world. That longing for another human being and living with unmet needs isn’t the worst feeling in the world, despite the deep rooted emotional reactions it sparks inside of me.
I am often reminded that there is no rule book for life and love. That although we have grown personally and within our relationships, we will never have it all figured out. I must focus on what I can control and alter my mindset about things I cannot. I must advocate for my needs and take ownership of my happiness. I must love with all that I am and all that I am capable of giving. I must live in the moment and seize each opportunity. I must offer forgiveness and trust to those who love me. And above all else, I must remain thankful. For what was, what is, and what is yet to be.