Being poly/having multiple partners – if one doesn’t live with both/all – is (often) a game of anticipation. It can be both sweet and, while maybe not bitter, at least frustrating: a delicious ache of longing for the one(s) you aren’t with, even as you enjoy the time you are spending with the one(s) you are with. I’ve balanced on the edge of these seemingly disparate emotions for most of my adult romantic life (wow, it seems weird to even think that, but it’s true, I have been poly now longer than I was mono.) And I have managed them in a myriad of ways, sometimes effectively, sometimes not so much. Being in the present and enjoying the company of one partner and yet savoring the thought that I will soon be in my other’s presence = good; too much alcohol and too much pining, not appreciating what I have right in front of me = not so good.
In my two longest relationships of this type (both with Ad as one of my partners), these feelings manifested themselves differently and elicited different actions/interactions accordingly. I believe a lot of that had to do with how secure I felt in the relationships themselves. I almost always felt secure in my relationship with W; I seldom – even in the very beginning – felt that kind of security with V. Part of that could be the fact that V had a partner, and interactions with her – both mine and his – informed my anxieties and insecurities. The fact that he (V) was also prone to anxieties and insecruities, and his way of interacting with the world (and me) often fomented same, really exacerbated the situation. These aren’t excuses for my at-times poor behavior, but they are reasons that influenced my ability to cope with grace and an even temperment, or even to view our time apart as anything other than a misery.
It is too soon to know how our by-neccessity separations are going to play out in the long run in my new relationship. Right now it’s an ache hightened by the excitement of knowing we’ll be together over the weekend, and punctuated by remote playtime, texting off and on, and a good deal of flirting. It seems to be a healthy – and at times heady – mix. Not too overwhelming, but not so little that I begin to fret. Also, even when he is with another partner, I don’t feel…forgotten or neglected. He’s good at finding the right balance there – not catering to my sometimes-insecure side, while gently reminding me that I am important to him.