Perspective

I got a little bit of perspective on my self esteem issues today. I’m not always super happy with my body, and I’ve started going to the gym with Mike to see if I can feel more comfortable in my skin.

Today after our workout, I stopped to get water before we left and I noticed a guy turn around to look at me as I bent over the fountain. I felt really shy about it because I genuinely assumed he was judging me for how sweaty I looked at the moment.

But then in the car on the way home, Mike told me “I saw a guy check you out today.” He was talking about the same guy. It made me smile, even if I did feel a little goofy for my original assumption.

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A tale of two former partners

Two things happened today that I’m kind of feeling down about. One is that the guy I’ve been seeing started seeing someone else and broke off the sexual/BDSM aspect of our relationship. The other is that a friend whom I used to sleep with until he started seeing someone else is getting engaged.

As for the first guy, we had tentative plans for him to beat me today until he called me this morning to say that we would have to just hang out instead because he’s started seeing someone and doesn’t know yet if they will end up non-monogamous. I was a little more attached to him than I have been to other outside partners, and so while I’m happy for him, I’m a little disappointed on my own behalf. This is kind of the sucky thing about being in an open relationship instead of a polyamorous one, so even thought ultimately I know that poly isn’t right for me or my primary relationship right now, it still sort of stings. I’m ultimately glad for him because I know he’s been wanting someone who can be more serious with him. And it won’t change our friendship. But waking up to that news had me a little emotionally sensitive.

In that state, I checked Facebook. Here’s where I need to pause and give some backstory. Mike and I have been talking for a while about getting engaged and are planning to do so soon. We’re just waiting for our financial ducks to be a little more in a row first. And I know it’s coming, but in the meantime sometimes I get a little envious when I see friends getting engaged left and right (I’m at that age) and loudly planning their weddings on Facebook. It’s just a reminder of something that I’m eager to be doing, and all that exposure to it makes it hard to just relax about the whole issue.

More backstory: This second guy is someone I saw near the beginning of my relationship with Mike. We ended things when he started dating his current partner, but we stayed casual friends. I would have been fine about that, but I feel like the quality of our friendship suffered a bit due to it. That said, I think the two of them are a really good couple and they seem very much in love, so that’s nice to see. He told me a few weeks ago that he was planning on proposing: He showed me a picture of his grandmother’s ring and told me that he was just waiting on a time they could go to Disney World so he could propose during the fireworks. Last week he told me that it was happening soon.

In the meantime, Mike and had a couple of really good conversations about our relationship and it’s trajectory, and good things in general are happening with us. So I felt excited for him/them and wasn’t feeling envious.

But then I checked Facebook when I was already feeling kind of deprived and saw him check in at Disney and I thought “Oh, I guess that’s happening today” and all of a sudden it was just too much. It was something else that I wanted and didn’t have that other people were getting. And really, that’s the root of a lot of jealousy: Comparing your situation to that of others’. And I know it shouldn’t bother me because I’ll get there, and in the meantime things with Mike are wonderful and fulfilling and lovely. But with everything else happening in my life, I’d sort of been feeling like my relationships with Mike and with my friends were the only things I had to be happy about and now one friendship is changing (and I’m worried that it will change the friendship as well as the physical relationship) and I keep getting asked “When are you and Mike getting engaged?” because that’s the sort of thing that comes up when you are a 26-year-old in a four-year-long relationship. And the whole thing makes me want to crawl back in bed for the rest of the day.

But instead I’ll kiss Mike good bye and go hang out with that first guy because we had plans today and I want to preserve that friendship. And then I’ll check Facebook and when my friends get engaged I’ll congratulate them sincerely. And then tonight when I see Mike again I’ll hold him close and be genuinely grateful for what I have.

Non-meh-nogamy

I haven’t written a post in forever, but I’ve had a lot going on. I’ve been dealing with a family crisis and a lot of schoolwork. I’m not depressed in the “unbearably sad for no reason” sense, but I am down often due to my circumstances. But things between Mike and I have been more than solid. He’s been incredibly supportive and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him. I feel like we keep getting even closer as a couple
I’ve noticed something interesting about how non-monogamy is going for us. It used to be a thing, and lately, it just sort of … hasn’t? I still hang out regularly with an outside partner, sometimes in a platonic way and sometimes not, and he hasn’t slept with anyone else lately, but he did spend some time with a girl that he had considered sleeping with (I’m under the impression that a sexual relationship with her is not likely in the immediate future, but is not off the table when things in her life are more settled). And it just has seemed normal and not worth thinking much about.
And really, that’s how it’s supposed to be. It enhances each of our lives, separately and occasionally together. And sometimes non-monogamy can complicate life. But lately, it hasn’t. I haven’t been jealous or worried that there will be something to be jealous of. I’ve even had a few passing thoughts that it would be nice for Mike to find a new partner or for him to be able to see the girl I mentioned regularly if they both wanted to. I guess I feel compersion-y. There’s really nothing new or exciting that’s happening, but the huge difference between our relationship now and our relationship a year or so ago is striking. The fact that non-monogamy can be such a matter of course for me is something to celebrate.