Tag Archives: LOVE

LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

MY 5TH LOVE LANGUAGE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven! 

I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.  

I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was. 

When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation. 

Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear. 

Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments. 

Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident.  When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.  

Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #3 – ACTS OF SERVICE

It’s makes sense that this love language lays, smack dab, in the middle; because the first thing I have to do is be open to receiving the act as something genuine. I can fully acknowledge that I battle with seeing a partner’s act of service as fully genuine. Don’t get me wrong, a good deed is a good deed, I simply wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind the act.  

I grew up hearing “men only want one thing” or “he did this because he wants that”. So, it only made sense that whenever I dated a guy, if he did something (without me asking for it, first) I would quietly question, why did he do it? I used to believe that if people did something nice for me it was because they genuinely wanted to do it, I was 8 years old; today, life and dating has since delivered me some very rude awakenings.  

The most important one being that; no one does anything without receiving something in return. Sir Isaac Newton’s third law states that; “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. However, that reaction isn’t always visible. For example: A business man on the train gives a dollar to a homeless man. It may appear that the businessman is receiving nothing in return; but if you allow yourself to consider not every exchange has to be tangible; you’ll see that the reaction is emotional. It felt good for the businessman to give that dollar, and that’s why he did it (in addition to it being a good deed). 

With the above being understood; sadly, there is always an internal tug-of-war between my mind and my heart. On one side, my heart wants to receive the act with no questions asked; while my mind is scanning for an ulterior motive.  

In the average relationship, when people perform acts of service, it’s because they’re working to maintain their relationship and to get to that ‘Happily Ever After’. All the deeds one did to show love and care appear to be totally self-less, until the relationship is over. When the relationship ends, all those ‘self-less acts’ turn into sacrifices made. The once, “this is for you my love” turns into “I sacrificed this for you”. A self-less act rapidly transitions and becomes something that was actually a bargaining chip in disguise. I hate to admit it, but I did the above to an ex and I’ve had it done to me. 

In a past relationship, I financially supported my partner. I paid his phone bill, his metro card, and when we went out- I often paid. We met online, while he was in Trinidad. He was a runner, but was in recovery from an injury. He had an opportunity to come to the U.S. to train with a special coach, and to be with me; but he first had to buy himself out of his contract, which left him with very little money when he finally arrived. I felt that he had made a sacrifice for me; so, for a while I did what I could to support him. The only problem was, every time we got into an argument, he would threaten to leave and I would weaponize what I did for him. He would say “I should’ve gone to Jamaica to train instead…” and I would say “Really? with all that I’m doing for you!” I was by no means rich, so helping my partner out while I was only making $30K (before taxes) at the time was a real financial burden. But I had convinced myself that it would only be temporary; he would land an athletic contract, we would move out and live together, and everything would have been worth it. As time passed and that fantasy drifted farther and farther away, I grew to resent him and all that I had done for him. I blamed him for my financial struggles, and when I finally ended the relationship, I declared that I would never make the same mistake again. In my mind, I was supporting my man because I wanted what was best for him; but my subconscious knew that if and when the tide finally turned, I wanted to be there to ride the wave of success with him. I wanted him to see me and all that I had sacrificed for him and declare that I was worthy to go on the journey with him. I later learned that was not a truly genuine act of service. 

Those feelings and lessons learned in that relationship still fuel my perspective today. As much I love it when a partner does something nice for me; being who I am, and knowing my history, I worry that one day their acts of service will be thrown in my face, if things don’t go the way they intended. In previous posts I stress the importance of being selfish and, with my feet firmly rooted in the dirt, I stand by that. I like to think that I am fair in how I choose to date. I never ask a partner’s income, but I take note of what they say to get a general idea. A while back, I had a partner offer to help me out financially, although the situation wasn’t yet a reality, I declined the offer. I knew that their desire to help me would only further hurt them; the same way me financially helping my ex hurt my abilities to save and get financially stable for myself. I firmly feel that if helping someone today has the risk of turning into something sacrificed later, don’t do it! That’s like doing someone doing a favor and then holding it over their head in arguments; you either want to do it or you don’t. There will always be a looming question of an ulterior motive. Why are you here? Why are you doing it?  

 
As I’m learning and growing with love, I’m learning to work on aligning my brain and heart, and to trust the actions of those that I love; it’s not easy, but I’m working on it.  

VALENTINE’S DAY & LOVE LANGUAGES

So, Friday is Valentine’s Day, and for the first time, in years, I’m actually in a relationship. So, what does that mean for me? If you remember my post from last year, The Significance of Valentine’s Day; I wrote about this miraculous day of gift giving, and relationship confirming, as one that shouldn’t bear so much when compared to the entirety of your relationship. A part of me still agrees with that, while the other part of me, the part that still holds onto traditional values, cares for none of that evolved way of thinking.

It’s important to remember that, when I wrote my post last year; not only was I single, I was still dealing with the emotional ramifications from being scammed, and I was on my own self-discovery-celibacy journey. After some amazing realizations and changes, an entire year later, I have a primary love interest, and two quasi-romantic-sexual partners. 

I still don’t seek for my relationship to be validated on a single day; because I know what I have with my Love. But I do know that, if I don’t get flowers and chocolates while I’m at work; IT’S GONNA BE A PROBLEM! And with that I bring into the conversation, The 5 Love Languages. 

  1. Receiving Gifts 
  1. Acts of Service 
  1. Physical Touch 
  1. Quality Time 
  1. Words of Affirmation 

I, like many people, took the online quiz; and the above are my love languages in order of importance to me. As you can see, receiving gifts is of high importance to me, but not for the reasons one would think. 

When I was younger, colored roses had just started popping up, and the prettiest to me, were blue roses. Many shops spray painted white roses, which looked horrible. However, there were some that did it the proper way; either by stem-dyeing the roses, or dipping the roses in blue dye. One could imagine the process and money it required, for a business to keep blue roses on hand for purchase; so, it only made sense that they were difficult to come by. Everywhere you looked you could find red, pink, white or yellow roses, but to walk the extra few streets to find the place that sold those beautiful blue roses, it made all the difference in the world.  

My priority love language is not receiving gifts, just because I like gifts; that would be too simple. It’s my primary love language because my, often very complicated, mind breaks down the steps behind giving said gift. From remembering the conversation where I mentioned my love for blue roses, to the effort required to recall that tiny detail in the ocean of all that I tend to say during any given tangent, and lastly to actually get off your ass and get the seemingly unimportant roses, all just to put a smile on my face. The thought process and effort put behind the gift, is a thousand times more important than the gift alone. 

I used to believe that – it was the thought that counts. But as I got older, I believed that less and less. The best gift is not only one that comes from the heart; it is also one that is totally void of the gift-giver. When giving a gift, it should be tailored to the person you’re giving it to. It should be something that they want and/or need. Giving a gift that is more for your personal excitement or enjoyment, is not a genuine gift.  

On the other hand, avoiding giving a gift because ‘gift giving’ is not your personal love language, is just as bad; if not worse.  

My infamous Ex, (X-Files: 1-5) was the definition of worse. If I’m being honest, the average man doesn’t pay attention to romantic holidays. Which is why marketing and retail commercials are constantly reminding them that it’s approaching. You ever wonder why Christmas music starts to play immediately following Halloween; that’s why. And the same goes for women with Valentine’s Day. Marketing is well aware that all men really care about, between January and February, is watching other men toss around a football. The last thing on most men’s minds is, what to get the lady in their life for Valentine’s Day. This is why those Jared and Kiss commercials start playing on heavy repeat.  

They make it virtually impossible for the average thinking man to forget. Every store you enter is littered with hearts, pink and red junk, and flowers, so many flowers. So, it would only make sense that a man, working at one of these stores, would take full advantage of his employee discount and purchase at least one VDay gift for his lady. But that was not the nature of my ex. The simple effort to purchase something he saw every day, on sale- no less, deemed to be too much every single time. 

For years, I truly believed that he didn’t care, which may have very well been true. However, years later, I learned that my ex’s love languages were just different from mine. In fact, they were damn near upside down and opposite. Had either one of us read the book, before we met; we still may not have stood a chance; but in the very least, I would’ve been armed with the tools to better express why something that seemed so futile to him, meant so much to me.  

In dating, love, and life, it’s important to learn what and why your love languages are what they are. We are all unique individuals, so we process things differently. If we truly care for our partner, it’s important to at least try to love them the way they can best receive it.  

Next Week: Acts of Service 

DEFINING LOVE

Love is defined as: an intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something; and the list goes on.  

On some level, we all can identify something or someone that we love. I love my family; although I may not always like them; the love I genuinely feel for them is undeniable.  

Another thing I love are desserts; especially Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown. Even though, I hate what it does to my waistline and my conscience, I can’t deny that; when that microwaved chocolate cake with chocolate syrup center, drizzled with way too sweet white and dark chocolate, with the scoop of ice cream comes to my table; the outside world does not exist. From the first break of the cake as the chocolate oozes, and I try to repeatedly gather the perfect bite with just enough ice cream, to the final bite; I can undoubtedly say that I am in love; if only for 5 minutes. I can scream from the mountain top, the love I have for something that has probably, single handedly, been the cause of all the new diabetes diagnoses, since its inception. But telling someone I love them… Ugh! Can we just eat cake! 

I grew up with the image of love as one person to another. Sure, I always knew of polyamorous love; I just never saw examples of it working in real life. When I decided to live a polyamorous life, after years of being a serial monogamist, I wasn’t sure what to expect; all I knew was that I loved the feeling of butterflies and I needed that aspect to intensify any connection I would garner. Then I met you.

I felt your love for me early on. Maybe it was how often we spoke; or the fact that you always wanted to be around me. But, from the very beginning, when you first laid eyes on me; and I was in a threesome with two other men; I didn’t have to be anyone but myself. Sure, you didn’t love me that night, but after our first few dates, I was certain you soon would. 

You said (actually texted) the words when I was going through a dark patch with my family. I knew you was going to say it before the message came through; and although it was great to know your true feelings; it did absolutely nothing to make the situation better. It just meant that you were going to be there for me, and that was enough.  

The last time I said I love you was in 2013. In 2012, I met my now ex-boyfriend. We had connected on the dating app Badoo; I was so confident that he was the one, and that there would never be another. So, within a month of us online dating, before we even met in person; he told me he loved me and I told him back. We dated for just over a year before the once strong and undying love I had for him actually died. When I finally ended the relationship; he told me that I never really loved him. Hmm? I was certain that I did, in fact, love him, at some point during our relationship. I looked back at our pictures and they looked like love. I though back to all the times I cried for him, (I cry very easily, so maybe that’s not the best example). When I looked at all that I had done for him during our relationship, I knew that I wouldn’t have done any of it, if I didn’t love him. So, what the fuck was he talking about? How could tell me, the feelings that I had for him were never real? Then, years later, it finally hit me… His love was not my love.  

My love isn’t the jump off a cliff, walk into the fire, sacrifice my life for you love; like his was. My love is practical yet whimsical. My love is stern, but it can also be pliable; it can be loud and it can be quiet, it can be suffocating and it can be distant. However, above all things, my love for another will never be stronger than the love I have for myself. I can love someone with all my might, but if that relationship no longer brings me joy, I have no problems walking away to be on my own.  

So, after him, I reserved the declaration; because if tomorrow comes and I want to go back into my shell; it’s important to know what we shared was real and it was love, even if it didn’t and/or doesn’t last forever.  

I was sitting at a jazz show, listening to the music being played. As the lady on the stage sang about love; it was in that moment I knew I loved you. It struck me as odd because I was at the performance to see one of my other partners perform; but, the thought of you ran through my mind and found a home in my heart. I started to get warm all over, it could’ve been the 3 drinks that I had; but then it happened again. When I was walking down the street talking to myself (as I sometimes do); Boom! There you were again. I tried to apply logic and reason, I picked the way I felt about you apart, I dissected it like a dead frog on a metal table, and it still came back – love.   

I could drive myself mad trying to define and break down what it means to be in love while polyamorous, but I just know I love how I feel now. The love that we share doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s, because we are not like everyone else. I simply want to live and love in this feeling for as long as we’re meant to. 

POLYAMOROUS DOES NOT MEAN SEX ADDICT

Two weeks ago, I finally deactivated and deleted my remaining dating apps (Tinder & Hinge). I came to the conclusion that; with the writing of this blog, working on my memoir, trying to get into shape, being an advocate for herpes, and dating 3 men; I have no energy, nor desire, to meet anyone new. So, I decided to call it quits and to focus on further building the connections I already have established.  

Over the past few months, after claiming my polyamorous label; I have put a lot of time, energy, and emotions into maintaining my relationships. So, it rubs me the wrong way when people dismiss my identification and connections, and say “so you’re just fuckin’ people!”; because, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! There is so much more to it than that. 

When I decided to live this lifestyle, I was prepared to answer the many questions that the monogamous world would ask. The; “what does polyamory mean?” or “how can I be comfortable knowing someone I care about is with someone else?” The answer to those two questions often goes something like this… 

You love your mother, father, and siblings. When you start a family of your own you love your partner, your child, etc.; love just keeps on growing. LOVE NEVER RUNS OUT. Now, you may fall out of love with someone, but love cannot be measured as a chart that gets divided amongst your loved ones, because it’s forever replenishing. So, when I identify as polyamorous, that is my goal; but before love, comes like.  

The above questions are fine; especially growing up in a monogamy-aiming society, there are bound to be people that do not understand the idea of having multiple romantic loves.  

However, I wasn’t prepared to have to defend said lifestyle. Against A) those that choose to belittle the decisions that we make with statements like: “if he loves you, he won’t share you” OR B) “what about all the STDs out there?” First of all, I’m a woman, not a pie. What does love look like anyway? And, secondly, I’ve found that those in this non-traditional lifestyle often get tested far more frequently and are more open to talking about sexual health, than those that are extremely close-minded to this way of living/loving. (Not to mention; I got herpes from what I thought was a monogamous relationship). 

In addition to defending my lifestyle choices, I’m also fighting off the, what I like to call, lifestyle-nomads. Lifestyle-nomads: are those people that truly have no desire to build connections. They may be the ones trying it on for size, or latch to the label because, on paper, it mirrors what they’re doing, but it lacks the deeper foundation. Just because you want to fuck a bunch of people and you want a date or two before, that does not make you polyamorous; that makes you non-monogamous. Living towards a polyamorous love-style is the ability to like freely and honestly, with the goal for like to become love. The goal is to have long-lasting connections of the heart and spirit, regardless if there is sexual intimacy.  

Now, being the sex-positive woman that I am, (who is, in layman’s terms- single); I can, technically, have sex with as many men and women I want. But, that’s NOT what I want. I love the connections, conversations, butterflies, honesty, and vulnerability that dating, in a romantic capacity brings. I never did and I still don’t get those feelings with just sex. Outside the walls of a sex-club (where a nick-name and a condom are enough); emotional, spiritual, and intellectual stimulation are necessary for me to become repeatedly engaged. I have conversations with my partners, I go on dates with my partners I spend time with my partners, and in addition to them knowing about what I do when I am not with them, they all know of each other. There is an honesty and transparency I associate with being poly, that I didn’t associate, when I was dating prior.  My partners make me happy and put a smile on my face, and I can only assume I do the same for them. So, when someone absentmindedly dismisses them as just a phase or sexual object; ignoring the amorous (love) aspect from the title and only focuses on the poly (many); not only is it very unsettling, it’s also not true. 

The second thing I didn’t expect was encountering so many half-assers.  

As started prior, polyamory is not for those that just like a lot of sex. For those people that are always horny and just want to have sex with everything that walks; that is non-monogamy. Another major part of being truly polyamorous is arriving at that space of love, and finding joy watching your partner experience love with someone else, with no fear of their love diminishing your own. COMPERSION! 

This COMPERSION is the part that many people find most difficult. Many people are happy to be open/non-monogamous/swingers, but the idea of love being added to the relationship, many people don’t want to explore that reality.  

In addition to the lack of compersion, I encounter a lot of misogynistic imbalance as well, in the poly community. I do now, and always have felt that polyamory, non-monogamy, and open-relationships only work when both partners are willing participants. One partner cannot be allowed to play the field, while the other has to sit on the side lines. 

Ladies, if your man can be with another women; yet you can’t be with another man; then that relationship is imbalanced. Ladies (and men) if your partner won’t stop cheating; so, you turn a blind eye and claim non-monogamy; again, that relationship is imbalanced.  

The recipe for a successful alternative relationship is an even playing field, constant communication, and checking in; there are rules within the storm, and both/all parties have to agree and follow the rules. That does not mean, if he/she has 3 partners, I need 3 partners too- NO! My schedule may only allow me 1 partner in addition to my primary, and that’s totally fine; after all, it’s not a competition. Decide what it is you want and do what works within the confines of the union that you two have set up. 

The last thing that bugs me, is the oversexualization of the polyamorous and non-monogamous community.  

We are Sex Positive; NOT Sex Addicts. 

Sorry to burst your erotic bubble; but I DO NOT think about sex all day long. Now, there is nothing wrong with those that do; I’m just stating that’s not me. If there are 24 hours in a day, I may spend all of 5 minutes total with sex on my brain, and that’s not even every day. So, it’s literally a turn-off when every exchange is about sex. I’ve joined several group chats, claiming to be for the poly community; and it was a stream of titties, vaginas, penises, and sex positions; I left each one within a week. I’m too busy to think and talk about sex all day long. Especially when it’s with people that I may or may not ever have sex with.  

I love sex when I want it; that goes for type, and locations. I enjoy anal play and anal sex; that does not mean that every night I want my ass fucked. I enjoy going to sex parties and engaging with multiple partner; that does not mean I want to go to them every weekend. Lastly, I enjoy being with women; that does not mean I need to eat pussy every day. It’s important that people understand that about me and other sex-positive people. Just because we openly talk about sex, that does not mean it’s on our minds 24/7. After all… polyamorous does not mean sex-addict.  

I WAS BLESSED BY A WEEK 9-11-01

I was a sophomore in High School, on a Tuesday morning. When I got off the 2nd avenue bus, I walked up to see my teachers on strike. As my friends and I entered the school, we silently joked that they would let us out early. I didn’t dislike school, but any excuse to go back home and watch tv or masturbate, seemed like a win. None the less, the first bell rang and the student body was in their respective classes. Had it been a public school, all the teachers would’ve been on strike; but, since my high school was catholic, many of the brother and sisters didn’t participate in the strike. It would’ve been a normal Tuesday, had it not been for the events that followed.  

I’m a born and raised New Yorker. I was born in Mount Sinai hospital, in Manhattan, in the summer of 1986. Geography was never my subject; so, other than the few trips to Disney world, and trips out of state to visit family; I had a horrible gauge on where things were in relation to my neighborhood. Hell- I used to think the west side meant west coast.  Any-who, I was a city kid whose entire world existed within a 10-20 block radius. Occasionally I would travel down to the village with my gay friends, from the neighborhood youth choir; but I never really let the importance of certain landmarks sink in. Before the summer of 2001, I thought the Twin Towers were in Chicago, right along with the Sears tower; I know, shame on me!  But, since I never had a reason to go that far downtown, I simply didn’t.  

The summer of 2001, I had a summer youth job working in the building right across from the towers. My job was simple, I filed paper work and answered calls; nothing too crazy, but I did get paid for my services, so it was a win-win. I remember cashing my bi-weekly checks at the check cashing store in the area.  As I was never a fan of eating lunch at my desk; sometimes I would walk to the local park and eat my lunch. I remember there was a bakery around the corner that was responsible for many of the cavities I acquired that summer. I may have only walked inside either of the actual towers, maybe once ever. Lastly, I remember telling myself, I’ll plan a day to come downtown, allow myself to be a tourist for a day, and explore the Twin Towers. I never thought that they would cease to exist; I don’t think anyone did. 

I heard that a person on the street came yelling at the striking teachers that, the towers had been hit. Then, that news spread like wild-fire. The news was turned on, on all the overhead and rolling TVs. We all sat in horror as we watched the planes make impact, then we all watched as the buildings fell to the ground. Some girls cried for fear of what would happen next, while others cried for concern of loved ones that worked in the towers; I was numb. It didn’t cross my mind that day; in all reality, it took quite an amount of years for me to realize how close I came to uncertainty. School had just started; if it had started a week later, I would’ve been down there. I was lucky; all of my family worked in Spanish Harlem, far from the towers; but, since it was deemed a terrorist attack, they refused to release students early without a guardian. I couldn’t get in contact with my mother (only land lines worked). There was a long line to use the pay phones to call our parents and by the time I got to the phone I could barely hear my brother at home, on the other end. Luckily, one of the parents came to pick up her daughter and agreed to take a few of us home as well. They had suspended all MTA bus and train transportation; but she flirted with an MTA bus driver and he took us all home. When I got home, I didn’t turn on the news, I turned on my computer and went to an AOL chatroom. I started talking to some guy that lived near me; I went to see him and we hung out for a bit. Before it started getting dark, I walked back home. An hour or two later my mom got in from work, we had dinner and I went to sleep.  

I didn’t cry about 9/11 until the following year. I was at my grandmother’s house and they were showing the memorial. The camera happened to pan over to a woman who clearly lost someone, and seeing her cries, struck a fire in me, and the tears that I held back that day streamed through my eyes.  

I started writing this post on 9/11/19, but I couldn’t publish it; because, almost 20 years later, it finally hit me- how close I came to not being here. My nephew was only 5, my niece wasn’t even thought of, my grandmother and all of my uncles were still alive. Had the position lasted one more week, I would’ve been down there, and I might not be here today.  

A lot of people were lost that morning; from those on the plane, in the building, and those on the ground. A living life is precious and it’s imperative that we tell our family and friends how much we love them, when they are here, for we don’t know when they might leave this earth and be gone forever. 

Tale of a Polyamorous Heartbreak

No one ever said it would hurt any less. 

I’ve read a few books, some articles, and asked strangers all over the internet. They made the poly lifestyle seem like a walk in the park; open and honest communication and affection between partners; nothing could go wrong. They all said it would require constant work, but, none of them ever said; when the journey had run its course, it would still hurt like hell. Had they told me I could’ve prepared; but, since they didn’t, I had to learn it the old-fashioned way. 

I connected with him on Hinge, he was Latino and, a few years younger. He lived in New Jersey, so I was hesitant at first, but I figured I should take a chance and see what would happen; in the very least, I would end up with a good friend. Surprisingly, we hit it off, almost immediately; we bonded while discussing current events, music, food, tv, and movies we both liked; we were off to a great start.  

Our first date we walked to get dinner at Mexicue; three tacos and two margaritas in, the conversation flowed like a river. He was just as cool in person, as he was over the phone. We talked, laughed, and joked the time away. When we were finished, he got the check; then we left. We walked side by side as we made our way to Barcade (a bar with arcade games). He got us beers (me a cider), then exchanged dollars for game coins. I offered to give him some cash, but he turned it down. We played a plethora of games; from Tetris, to Pacman, to shooting games, and driving games. It was obvious he was in his element, and I actually enjoyed seeing him in his element. When we ran out of coins, I suggested we walk to get dessert; so, from 23rd street, we walked down to Spot on St Marks Place. It was the usual hour wait; but, with him, the time passed by. Once we were called, we each ordered dessert, I ordered a latte and he ordered a matcha beer. This time when the check came, I paid it; a few times he fought me on it, but eventually he let me pay. Our date ended at a karaoke bar, a few doors down. He paid for our drinks, I paid for the songs; and it was there, while we were sitting close that he leaned in to kiss me; ever so gently. He held me close as our mouths and tongues danced together; and although his kisses were passionate, he maintained being a total gentleman. We continued making out the rest of the time at the bar; we would caress my arm as we sat at the bar, we’d take a drink, then we would begin kissing again. When the bar closed, we walked up to 14th street. He got on the Path train back to New Jersey, and I took an Uber home. The next day when my friends and I went wine tasting, I told them it was, quite possibly, the most amazing first date I ever had.  

We spoke every day after that. Our next date was a week later and we went to the movies to see Toy Story 4 (in 4D); and it was awesome! After the movies, we walked around for a bit; we talked abouyt favorite holiday songs, movies, and traditions; then we stopped to eat at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. When we finished eating, we walked back downtown. From 22nd street, we walked all the way through the village. It was the weekend of the pride parade and the everyone was out and proud. We stopped to get ice cream, and we walked past the Stonewall memorial. We continued walking down to the path train; hand in hand, and stealing occasional kisses. When we got to the train, it was a 20-minute wait; we started kissing, 40 minutes later, no train had arrived and we were still kissing, after an hour of standing in the station, waiting for the train that never came, kissing the entire time; when we resurfaced, both of our lips were slightly swollen. Even though our kisses were extremely passionate, he was still a gentleman; other than our bodies pressing up against one another and the occasional cheek grab; none of his actions were super aggressive. I wondered, if we were in his apartment, would he have the same restraint. Earlier in the date, he had suggested our next date be on his side of the water and I told him; I would look forward to that. He called his uber and it came right away. I contemplated walking around a bit, but decided against it and called my uber home. That, unfortunately, was the last time I saw him.  

On our first date, it was my mission to make clear my polyamorous position; so, we briefly spoke about the people we were dating. I briefly mentioned the guys I was dating and he had mentioned a girl, and that was that. A few weeks after our last date, when I returned from camping; I messaged him. I had noticed his messages becoming less and less, so I wanted to know what was going on. He explained to me that, things were progressing with the girl he was dating. He explained that he felt dishonest seeing both of us. Neither of them was in the lifestyle, and although he walked around to the deep end of the pool, he was not ready to take the dive in. He told me he had to stop seeing me; I thanked him for his honesty, and I wished him luck.  

When I put the phone down, my body began to warm up; from my toes all the way to my face, I was hot with emotions. Then, they all pooled out, in the form of tears. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to break up with me. This was not why I decided to be polyamorous. I dived into this pool to build bonds with people; that would last a lifetime; so, how was I just supposed to walk away? Was I supposed to take those great memories and burn them? This was a feeling I did not want; but I had to live with it.  

On day 2, I was feeling better; and he messaged me. He still wanted to be friends, which is what I wanted too. I genuinely enjoyed his company and our conversations; so, we agreed to try and go back to being friends; I would respect his boundaries and he would respect mine.  

On day 3, he sent me a message that wasn’t like the others; this message had a sexual tone that had never existed between us before. He was showing signs of a fuck-boy. It crossed my mind to play with the matches he was laying out. One or two things were obvious; either he was second guessing his decision to just be friends, and still wanted to test the waters; or, all the good boy actions were just a façade. I wasn’t quite sure yet, so I continued to proceed with no caution for the outcome.  

A few days later, another sexual message passed across my phone; so this time I decided to play into the fantasy. I knew what I was dealing with and I felt confident that my emotions were intact. We did this dance for a few more weeks; and then I realized just how morally different we were.  

He sent me some clip of some conservative (probably religious) man, essentially blaming women for men that can’t control themselves. In the clip; the man claimed that women only use their bodies to get ahead; which I, of course, wholeheartedly disagreed with. That was our last real conversation. I messaged him when the podcast episode dropped; to let him know and see how he was doing. All was good on his end and all was great on mine; and I was fine with closing the chapter forever.  

I didn’t want to close the door when it was forced upon me; but I was quite elated when the choice was mine. In the end, I know it wouldn’t have ever worked out; but it was fun while it lasted. Once I weathered the storm of my first poly-heartbreak; I knew that when the time came again, I would be much better prepared.