Friday, January 23, 2015

Adding on

After a clutch call by bestie, I'm spending my Friday night at home drinking some Modelos and updating you all on what's going on in my life. (She didn't specifically tell me to get Modelos, but the decision was between driving into the city for indoor Ultimate or staying in and drinking. Either of which I was game for. The blog writing is a happy correlate to the drinking.'re welcome.)

I do actually have fairly interesting updates about what's been going on recently, though.

Now-hubby is currently out with a lady friend he's been seeing for the past month. Because she's an integral part of this entry, we'll assign her a nickname: #4. At what point do we start discussing that bullshit? How committed does somebody have to be within this relationship structure before they earn a nickname here on the blog? Also, to explain the numerical nickname, it's because we're 3, adding one on makes 4. She's not in any way involved with either me or Frisbee, but being involved with Now-hubby means she's at least semi-connected with the other two people in this relationship. If I can offer an analogy, it's like authors of a script. When I started off single and poly, I had the script of introducing myself and how I approached relationships down pat. Now-hubby introduced a co-author to my script, but we communicated pretty frequently with each other about changes or thoughts we had about how we defined being together. Being single and poly is complicated because there are people you gel with more completely than others, and the best you can do is just be honest with everybody and enter every relationship without the expectation that it will be "the one." The discussion with new partners when single and poly is fairly standard. When approaching poly from a more "coupled" standard, Now-hubby and I have more of a Ven Diagram script. We have an agreement between the two of us, but we mostly play separately and with our own individual scripts about our agreement together. When I first met Frisbee, that added a third to the editing table, but I played the go-between. We never sat down to edit anything together. That was a script nobody was familiar with, and it took a lot of edits before we got it right. Now that Now-hubby is seeking something more permanent with #4, the edits get even messier. Which is not to say that in the end they won't be beneficial, but just that going through the edits can be complicated.

In any case, things between Now-hubby and #4 do seem to be pretty serious. In an interesting parallel, they're about at the same point as Frisbee and I were when we first got together. Minus the meeting at a gang bang part. Now-hubby and #4 connected online, went on a few dates, and seem to be getting along well enough where Now-hubby wants to see #4 on a more regular, weekly basis.

(Yeah, that's right, I get to be Little Finger and Now-hubby has to be Treetrunks. It's my blog. I make the rules.)

Here's where things get complex. Now-hubby and I had a brief discussion about him taking things to a more "serious" level with #4, and we agreed it would be worthwhile to call a house meeting about it. (Side note: we do sometimes meet outside of our regular monthly meetings to discuss things. Side side note: "Luck be a Lady" started playing on my Pandora as I was writing that previous sentence. Sometimes random probability is a beautiful thing.)

I want to take a moment and let everybody out there that I handled the meeting abysmally. Lest anybody begin to get the impression that my relationship(s) are all sunshine and roses, sitting down with Frisbee and Now-hubby to actually hash out the details of how/when Now-hubby and #4 were going to spend time together sent me into an insecurity spiral that was pretty ugly. I was catty, dismissive, and generally unhelpful. The meeting ended with me sitting in a snarky cloud of self-righteousness, Frisbee awkwardly excusing himself, and Now-hubby storming off amid many expletives. Definitely not one of our best meetings, and I take majority of the blame for it.

We/I definitely could have handled it better. Now-hubby and I had several follow-up meetings (after talking to Frisbee and having him express that he was fine with whatever decision was reached as long as he was informed). Our biggest take-aways:

1. When looking to add onto an established relationship, start at home first.

I'm completely against rank-style vernacular like "primary" and "secondary" when it comes to non-monogamy. However, there is something to be said if you spend more than 75% of a week with one person; pay bills with them, etc. That's the person who needs to be consulted first as regards any changes that might be occurring to the current schedule. Now-hubby made a pretty significant misstep in talking to #4 first about weekly dates. That put me in a position of the heavy; was I going to give the okay or not? Which brings us to the second tip:

2. Be as honest about your immediate desires as possible.

When you're the partner adding on, what exactly are you looking for with this new partner? Especially in the short-term? New Relationship Energy is definitely a thing, but please try your best to shelve all the "we're so perfect together!" idealism and focus only on immediate requests. "I would like to spend the night with him/her." These one-step requests are a lot easier to discuss and plan for than trying to evaluate an entire future together with this new person.

Other than that?

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