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More Than Two 5.2

What needs do I have from my partners, in terms of time, emotional availability, commitment, communication and intimacy?

That depends on the nature of our relationship.

Note: One problem with the English language (and maybe others, but I’m only fluent in English, so that’s what I have to work with), is that there are no really great ways to describe relationships with certain traits without falling back on imperfect terms, some with meanings that are beyond what I intend.  So, I use them and try to make do.  Anyways, back to the main plot.

In general, if we are dating, that generally means that we want to spend time with each other on a regular or semi-regular basis.  So, about a once a month, at the barest minimum?  With my central core relationships (Trydaen, Diplomat, and Lola), once a week or so seems to work out fairly well.  With Moss, we’re still figuring stuff out, but we have gone from once a month to about once every couple weeks (depending on availability) and that’s working out well for me.  My needs/wants around time are one of the main reasons long distance relationships just don’t work well for me – I desire more time together than long distance allows for easily.

As for emotional availability, this is a tricky one.  I need to know that my partners (both central and satellite) will listen to and acknowledge my emotions when I express them, on a soonish basis (like within a day or two, barring extenuating circumstances).  I need them also to be aware that I need to internally process stuff before I know what to do with it, how to feel about it; my raw, stream of consciousness emotions tend to not actually reflect how or what I think about things, just what emotions are closer to the surface on that given day or in that moment.  I want my partners to understand that either I may need time to process things (which I am getting better at asking for) or that they will be getting feelings that may have little to do with my actually feelings and thought on the subject.  As for my availability – I try to be as available as possible (because that is important to me), but there can be circumstances which make me less able to help them process or to deal with deeper emotions, such as prolonged or extreme pain flares, lack of sleep, or general emotional overload.

I define commitment as dedication to sustaining and continuing the relationship (even if it needs to change nature or substance over time).  I need to know if someone is doubting their commitment to our relationship, and if so, if they think that there is I can do to help (if there is anything).

Communication is the key to everything.  I want to know about my partners’ lives – the good, the bad, the ugly, what makes them tick, what drives their lives, what they need to stay the truest to themselves.  Sometimes what I ask for may seem like minutiae or unimportant, but staying in the loop is important to me because it helps me build my story of people.  I want to be kept in the loop about schedules (particularly anything I wouldn’t know to ask about or other out of the ordinary events, like trips or first dates or visitors), partially so I know when to bugger off for a bit or not to expect any sort of answer.  Because Words of Affirmation is so high on my Love Languages, I also need to hear that I am important to my partners and that they are thinking of me, even if it just means a quick text just to check in.

I am frankly not quite sure what the authors mean by intimacy.  Do they mean it in a euphemistic sense, as in to mean sex?  Or alone time together, or deep, personal connection?  I think this question may be a bit vague for me to actually answer it in any meaningful way.  But I do need all of those things on a semi-regular basis at the very least.

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Enough?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this afternoon as I was driving and they were talking about expanding sexual orientation in relation/response to non-monogamy.  The idea came up about not being queer enough to claim queer.  My first response is to call bullshit on this, but I know that I have internalized a lot of the “not enough” bullshit.

I do not feel “queer/bi enough” because I am currently a Kinsey 2.  I have a female partner who I have sex with, and might be interested in having sex with another female partner, but am otherwise not really interested in pursuing any other women.  In the past a great majority of my relationships have been with male or AMAB people.  Am I queer enough?

I sometimes do not feel “poly enough” because my saturation point is fairly low and in the past I have chosen to only have one partner when I was not mentally stable.  In that particular case I began doubting myself – not my identity, but myself, as being poly is rather central to being me – because I was not sure I would ever fall in love again.  Fortunately, that did not end up being the case.  But that still remains in the back corner of my head (more quiet than not these days).  I am not loud and proud about being poly, but don’t make much effort to keep it any bit of a secret.  Am I poly enough?

I sometimes do not feel “genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary gendered enough” to claim that identity or to claim being transgender.  I tend to look lazy femme or just tomboyish in my presentation.  My dysphoria only flares up occasionally.  I do not have any issues with how my genitals look or work or the fact that I have visible breasts and other curves that may not be easily disguisable.  I strongly prefer they/them pronouns, but am willing to accept she/her in some contexts.  I am not out about this identity to anyone except friends.  Am I trans/NB enough?

I sometimes don’t feel “mentally ill or neurodivergent enough” to claim those.  My depression is cyclical and my anxiety is, in at least half of cases, controlled enough not to show.  Yes, I have sensory processing issues, but those tend to just come across as being a little weird to most people.  My ADHD is moderately well managed and also just tends to come across as a bit odd or flighty when not.  Am I mentally ill/neurodivergent enough?

I sometimes don’t feel “physically ill” or in pain enough to claim being a spoonie.  But the truth is – I have an autoimmune condition that I will have to take medication for for the rest of my life and does have an effect on my energy levels.  However, that’s under control and my migraines have mostly abated.  My joint pain is getting worse and I’m starting to think it might be something other than the barometric pressure shifts to that pain (the remaining migraines are definitely just that though).  My pain levels do affect my energy levels.  Yes, there are many people who have it worse.  It is hard to remember that my pain is also valid.  Am I physically ill enough to be a spoonie?

Am I enough of a partner for my partners?  The idea that I was defective because I was not the only partner a partner has, that they were looking for someone else because I am not enough never was an issue for me.  Instead it is a matter of other measures.  Am I available enough, physically or mentally?  Am I stable enough (physically and mentally) to be in a relationship with them?  Am I pretty enough to keep their attention?  Am I satisfying enough in bed for them to still want to sleep with me?  Can we build enough of a relationship to weather the years (can I contribute enough to the relationship to this building), if that is indeed something we want?

Am I enough?  To myself I can be, that I know.  And I am very glad that I am at a point in my life where this matters most.  It was not easy getting here and sometimes I slip back into old thoughts.

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Non-Monogamy Challenge Day 31

31. What do you get out of being non-monogamous – it’s a lot of extra work so why do it?

Love.  And community.

I did not know such amounts of love before I identified as non-monogamous.  There is one thing I am completely sure of this last year – I am well loved.  I have absolutely no doubt of this.

The poly community in my area has been unprecedently awesome at being a social resource.  They have their own problems, as any group does, but I have met so many amazing  people because I got involved with it.  On a smaller scale, my polycule is also my community – having them reminds me why I do this, each and every day.

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Non-Monogamy Challenge Day 30

30. They’re about to get on a plane – what do you say?

Take care!  Let me know when you get there, so I know you’re safe (I don’t care what time it is, just let me know).

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Non-Monogamy Challenge Day 29

29. What is one thing about your partner(s) that drives you nuts? What’s one thing that makes you smile?

Trydaen
Nuts: The insistence that all my problems are because I don’t have perspective or that I need to accept that everything is a choice.
Smile: All the random things that I learn from or about him each day – still, after 5 years.

Diplomat
Nuts: The difference in blanket weight needed at night.
Smile: That smile…

Lola
Nuts: The massive differences that her extroversion and my introversion can cause in social situations or between us.
Smile: The way she treats the people arpund her – including her kids, roommate, me, metamours, etc.

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Non-Monogamy Challenge Day 28

28. What’s an in-joke between you and your partner(s)?

Lola – not so much a joke, but she asks “Can I keep you?” or says that she’ll keep me.  Heck, at our polycule holiday event, she said she’ll keep Trydaen around.

Trydaen – That the stuffed penguins (bed penguins or penguin bugs) that I sleep with will bite in our sleep.

Diplomat – A particular ASL sign with a throat clearing.

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Non-Monogamy Challenge Day 27

27. A favorite picture, song and/or video you associate with non-monogamy.


Cute and generally representative of the people and community I have found through non-monogamy.


I know this is the same one that I used the last time, but I would not have inked it on my body permanently if it didn’t mean a lot for me.  We are all different, but linked together we form a circle that never ends.