my heart isn’t ready

It’s been a fortnight.

I realised that I had been mourning my relationship before it even officially ended, ignoring verbal protests. When our summer travelling ceased, there were no longer any distractions from facing the rifts that ripped open the very core of what we once meant to each other.

April ’12, Seattle, Washington – photo by¬†Kayleigh

Anchor wasn’t a simpleton. The very act of saying “I don’t think it’s a good idea to continue this relationship” didn’t shock him in any way that I’m aware of; all it yielded was a shrug and a murmur. I also happen to be terribly expressive without talking. I don’t pretend to know or speak for him, but perhaps he had been mourning something too.

The interactions to follow grew tense on both ends, however, and I have made myself scarce.

Food intake and sleep have both been compromised due to going from friend’s place to friend’s place (though I remain grateful for the ability to). I’ve already lost ten pounds.

Looking for a new safe space has proven unsuccessful thus far. I’m not seeking a quick fix solution, but something long-term, sustainable. I still love my job, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was happy for excuses to think about other things for 8+ hours out of the day.

Three years gone. My second longest relationship. There’s only so long I can feign that I’m infallible, and that I’m stronger than all this bollocks, don’t you think?

A few people have asked, “what happened?” Most of them haven’t bothered asking me anything else when I didn’t offer any sordid details. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

I’m not sure what it is about being single that others pick up on. It could be coincidence, but there have been a good deal of incidents lately to suggest otherwise. It’s been… educational.

I won’t lie. I’ve been known as a serial dater. I’ve gone as long as a year without seeing anyone else, but I’ve also lasted as short as an hour or so. An irresponsible hedonist, if you will. That too could be part of the reason for the surge in aggressive activity towards me.

Over the years, it’s been more difficult to take on that persona, especially while in long-term relationships. No discounting the interactions, but three relationships of mine should’ve been established much later than they were, if at all. Time is absolutely necessary to grieve.

I’m attempting forward movement by letting others know that I honestly can’t be arsed to dabble in romance at present. My heart is too tender and I’d be a pretty crap date.

Getting into something too soon would dishonor the positive time spent previously, and would sully the potential of a new beginning. No one needs that, no matter the attraction. I also have a great deal on my plate to square with that would be best served with me single.

May ’12, Tacoma, Washington

Here’s some advice for interaction offline and on: when and if you see me, don’t treat me any differently than you would before, bearing the previous information in mind.

You can talk to me. I may falter a smidge emotionally for a while, but I’m pretty much okay in general and am parallel with my goals for the immediate future and beyond. That’s all.

the property of closure

There comes a time where you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing to think. 

You breathe in, and as you slowly, deliberately exhale, admit “my cup runneth over.”


Now, how do you figure out what to do with that knowledge?

I seem to have some awkward perpetual bond with my very first love. I’ve been able to dispel most of the energy from other lovers, if I’ve felt it necessary. Not this one.

It’s awkward in the sense that we’ve been broken up for a couple of years now, yet frequently talk to one another with a timid warmth indicative of a connection that has been worked on at length by dedicated parties. (Our conversation is also occasionally seasoned by the hurt we’ve placed upon each other over this time; let’s not forget.)

Awkward in the sense that we’d had an off-again, on-again unparalleled romance over the course of the near decade that we’ve known each other. 

Awkward in the sense that the closest we’ve ever been to each other is when we decided to travel by plane or other mode of transportation. We do seem to have a knack, however, for tucking away and carrying memories in our pockets, which fly out and screech “hey! look at me!” right at moments when we’ve finally started to believe we’ve moved on.

April 2009, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California

I think we’ve both made good-to-honest strides to distance ourselves from each other, because that’s the healthy thing to do.* I’m in a long-term relationship with Anchor, someone I find myself even more smitten with today than when our friendship first began to take on much stronger, meaningful connotations. First Love is actively dating in his area.

It’s hard to find a balance. Because this person still means so much to me, I don’t wish to push him away. My life would be darker without him, no two ways about it. Still, I can’t imagine how hard this has been for Anchor to process, mostly silently. I think about the crap he’s had to take from me, my insecurities and my past, and I find it amazing he’s around.

June 2010, private home, Portland, Oregon

The feeling of a stalemate on this subject is difficult to ignore. It leaves me frustrated, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have a habit of wanting to hammer at something until a solution produces itself, but not everything works out in that uniform a way. I may have to act somewhere in between being practical and being honest in the near future, and the part of me that chooses to act with my heart will absolutely hate the shit out of it. 

I can only hope that all of us come out of this as unscathed as possible, which seems silly seeing as pain has been entering from every avenue since this rift has formed.

I don’t have all the answers. I was so sure I did as a kid, but boy was I wrong. Perhaps no one really does.

*While I have been in open relationships for years now, there are some lines that can’t and shouldn’t be crossed. Sometimes you have to choose, and live with whatever consequences may come with that choice. I have, and I am, and overall… I think I’m OK.

out of the dark

To say ‘it’s not easy letting one person into your life’ is quite the understatement. Truly. 

For many, it’s impossible to let in more than one – a deal breaker, unspeakable, morally wrong, joked about. On the same token, I’ve read articles from seemingly militant polyamorous folks who feel that monogamy is ‘stupid’. (Dan Savage, Monogamy vs Commitment)

It’s a sensitive subject.

I’ll count myself fortunate that the friends who’ve asked about my experiences with multiple partners (and are monogamous) have done so gently and respectfully. I try to answer every question as best as I can, and return that respect.

We humans are notoriously curious, after all; as long as there’s no malice behind the curiosity, what’s the harm in supplying the knowledge?

I cannot and will not in any way claim to be an expert on the matter, though. 

Whether you’re monogamous or not, spending time with each lover is different. Each connection yields a multitude of feelings and lessons. Venturing into one relationship or more blindly is not recommended. (I can tell you that frankly, having unfortunately done so myself. Do yourself a favor – don’t learn this the hard way, please! Study up. Ask questions.)

My last break-up was a rather nasty one. That can’t be denied. Our modes of communication were not working well together and there was stress frequently, which began to affect me elsewhere. With that in mind, I took it upon myself to go slowly next time, at the pace I wanted to go, or one that was at least in sync with others in the relationship.

‘Next time’ came sooner than I expected. I met Shiny Girl briefly at a casual local women’s poly and kink friendly event chatted me up online, which turned into meetings over meals, then watching feel-good movies snuggled up in private. Conversation laced with the occasional smile and nervous tripping over words ensued; generally a good time.

To be honest, I was all ready to distance the interaction at a friendship, but her efforts gave impetus to a deeper-than-surface bond. The more I talked to her, the more I wanted to know.

Shiny Girl’s teaching me what it’s like to be selfless without being entirely aware of it, which is just wonderful. She’s also opening me up without pushing too hard, something I needed in another love interest. It has been nearly three years since my last serious girlfriend…

What’s more is that my Anchor (whom I’ve been with for about 2 years now) gets on well with her, something that didn’t have the chance to blossom with my ex. I feel a wave of relief come over me when I discuss Shiny Girl with him, and I don’t have to remind him who she is. We’ve all met, spent time together, conversed online. I hope that we can do more of it soon.

No one is in a rush to achieve any ultimate goal. We can just go forward at a leisurely gait.

It’s very early and I dare not press on this for fear of jinxing it, but I am very, very happy.

No, it’s not easy. Hardly any of the best things are, but they’re worth fighting for/working on if you think they are. It helps if you’re not the only one in a party feeling that way.