Monday, February 13, 2012

Enter Horus. Also, "dating" is AWESOME. Basing the importance of a relationship on time served, is not.

Even more awesome: coming home from said date. 
Ptah: How was your date?
Me: Awesome.  *blush*
Ptah: What did you do?
Me: Pretended we were teenagers.
Ptah: *smiles*

     But let's rewind for a moment.  I wasn't looking for anything when I received that first message, but I knew there was potential.  I wasn't looking for anything at all, really, but I was open to it or I wouldn't have maintained my OKCupid profile.  Many people believe that time is the prime indicator of many things when it comes to interaction between people: the strength of someone's connection with another, the success of a relationship, the importance of those ties.  And while, yes, time generally does increase knowledge of and connection with another, it's not the thing that does the work.  Putting our own effort into sharing honestly and fully oneself is what does the work.  We can do this unconsciously and slowly over time (like most people do), or we can do this consciously and essentially speed up (as well as deepen) the process.  It's not actually the time spent with a person, or the months and years that go by with an official title, it's the effort.  It's how much we allow ourselves to be connected, and how we nurture that connection.  Usually, this gets easier for people with time.

     Sometimes, though, we become capable of really opening ourselves fully to that connection.  And sometimes, that doesn't take very long.  Sometimes, we can be brave and vulnerable, and feel amazing things in the process. 

     I have allowed myself to be open, to feel, and so Horus is already incredibly important to me.  I don't mean that I'm placing expectations on the duration or labeling of our interaction.  I am not feeling this solely because of the wrens flapping in my belly, or the hummingbirds in my heart.  I feel connected to a person I know I can give good things to, feelings and actions and opinions which foster growth and happiness.  I know I can receive the same.  I know that I have already experienced very good things from our interaction, and I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities.  If our interaction ended here, it would still be a positive experience.  I do not want it to end here.

     But, alas, that choice is not entirely under my (or his) control.

     When I chose to rid myself of the standard relationship models, I also chose to rid myself of the control and rules still present in most poly relationships.  I feel that most of these rules are nothing more than holdovers from the mono world; controlling to some degree the actions of our partners (and by extension, the people they interact with) imparts some sense of safety and security.  If time is the important factor in relationships, and our relationship is already here, then our relationship is more important, and we must protect it.  And any unknowns, or any experiences you might have that I might be uncomfortable with, are clearly a threat to our relationship.

     Taking time out of the equation, and replacing it with the happiness of ourselves and those we love, resulted in a much different train of thought.  If the happiness of myself and those I love is most important, then encouraging them to have experiences which enrich their lives is not a threat, but a good thing for me.  If I encourage them to find joy, then I am giving them something of incredible importance, which they will return when they bring their joy back to me.  When I trust my partners to be kind and loving, I do not need rules which "make" them do so.  When I do not trust my partners to be kind and loving, no rules will give me that trust.

     But now, I am interacting with someone who has a partner who believes in rules.  This is difficult for me.  As I told him, I feel that temporarily subverting my core beliefs will be worth it in the long run, provided it is only temporary... and very temporary at that.  I am not a threat to anyone's relationships, but a real human being with wants and needs of my own, as well as valuable things to offer to someone she loves.  I would much prefer to be treated as such.

     Part of the issue, I'm sure, is that the girlfriend and I have not met yet.  She has requested that we meet so that she can make sure I'm okay before the rules are lifted... or loosened... or possibly not changed at all, depending on how she feels.  Meeting is something I wanted to do, and still want to do, but now we will both be coming to it from a defensive place, and I find that sad.  I don't want to feel defensive any more than I want to be judged. 

     This whole experience has taught me a few valuable things, though.  I do not want to subject the prospective partners of my partners to my feelings, and my rules.  I want to be able to approach them expansively, and as the (probably lovely) people they are.  I want to experience all I can, and sometimes that means being open for hurt.  I want us all to live in the way that brings us the most growth, happiness, peace and comfort.  That doesn't mean we'll always agree on how to do that, but we do have the choice on how to deal with it.  I want my partners to be with me because they want to be with me, and I want to trust them to make decisions which nurture our relationship.  I do not want to tell them that they must. 

     I want them to be free.  And if that means they still want to be with me, then our relationships will be all the stronger.

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