Sunday, April 21, 2019

Navigating an Open Relationship

I told Jimmy that while he's abroad to not feel tied to what he has at home; namely me.  If he wants to experience a country for its food, its culture...  its men that he should go ahead and do so without guilt.  It doesn't bother me because I feel security in our 8 year relationship.  That we want the same things in life and that I will love him forever.  Whatever happens there remains there and that he'll always come home to me.

To this he responded, "WTF, THAT IS NOT WHY I TRAVEL ALONE"

And to this I said, "I know! I'm just letting you know that I'm okay with it."

Two weeks later he comes up to me to say, "Did you make those comments because you want to be in an open relationship?" 

I nodded sheepishly.  "I understand, my baby has needs," he responded perceptively.  And that's how we got here; trying something different, but still trying to navigate it.

With one key rule that he placed: no friends.
...because, you don't shit where you eat.

A logical and complicated ask because I am friends with many people.  I am naturally friendly.  And my approach to humans and relationships has to pivot.

As I navigate this, I come to realize that app-culture is the vehicle to a very transactional way of "connecting" with other men not to mention a huge waste of time. And flirting with an end goal was something I haven't done in a really long time. There are moments I feel like hot shit and other moments I just feel like room temperature shit.  Men become objects hitting physical qualifications that allow you to “get off” and then leave.  Rather than fleeting, it feels direct and hollow.  And the high from the fun is short lived and regretful.

What am I getting out of this?  By repressing my inclination to be friends... I’m not being me.  It makes me feel shitty to have motives when the Chris that people respect, possibly admire, is a Chris that actually cares about being just your friend, to be supportive of what you're trying to achieve in life and introducing you to his community.  And that Chris doesn't take advantage of people and write them off once they’ve served their purpose.

So why did I even suggest it?

... I realize that “my needs” is so obvious and in plain sight because of my predictable one dimensional personality... it's not sex, but rather it's attention; a warm body to hold, a companion to kiss and a human to love.   Things that should only come from Jimmy, and I desperately need more frequently because of my shitty codependency especially while he’s away.

Quite the epiphany... and I feel good about this Sunday thought / self-therapy, because I can be honest  and really understand what the fuck I'm doing, where my mind is at and why I'm behaving this way.  I’m seeking so much attention, playing games, overthinking and creating constructs when it should be kept as simple and dumb as the app.

Before he left for another two week trip he expressed so much concern.  He was worried that I would resent him, but I reassured him that I would never.  I understand his needs just as much as he understands mine and we work on it together to make this relationship last.  I can’t wait for him to come home.