When my poly is going well, I find it so easy to get my head around the concept of loving and being loved by many people on many different levels. I find it easy to understand being made happy by those loves and making them happy. Good feels and happiness all around. Yah!
But, the thing about the way I do poly is that I generally have several relationships going on at the same time. If you’ve read any of my writings you know that those relationships can range from one end of the love-o-meter to the other, friendships, intimate friendships, flirtationships, play partners, to full on romantic relationships.
Maintaining those relationships and the emotions that follow them along, is pretty easy for me when all of those relationships are going well. But… sometimes, not all of the sailing is smooth and one or more of the relationships will hit some rough waters while others are still in the no wake zone, happily floating along.
What that particular set of circumstances does to one’s emotions is quite interesting. Having a conversation last night which brought many smiles and a few giggles and tingles as a new relationship begins to bud was wonderful although it was directly followed by moments of sadness as I was hit with a subtle change in an existing relationship. It struck me as really odd that I could be so sad over one relationship in the same moment as I was so happy for the budding new relationship. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how that happens. Always before when a relationship was caught in the rough water, it was all world consuming. It was the only focus. Now I have other places that need my attention at the same time.
Multiple relationships can leave a person feeling like they have multiple personalities. I have found myself going from silly conversations to serious, life changing ones within the span of a few minutes. In the midst of sadness, someone brings a smile. In the middle of a giggle with one partner, a text from another can bring a tear.
What I have found is that even as I smile and laugh through the relationship that is in the smooth water, I can still be touched by the anger or sadness or frustration of the one that is fighting the rough waters. And the flip side of that as well… while I’m hurting and lost in the chaos of the relationship(s) in the rough waters, the calm relationship(s) can bring me moments of reprieve from that hurting. It is a crazy feeling and it is hard to give myself permission to enjoy the currently calm relationships while I’m hurting through the one(s) struggling or even to allow myself to enjoy that moment of reprieve without feeling guilty… like taking a moment of happiness from my other relationship(s) means that I’m not taking the one(s) in the rough waters seriously, even though I most definitely am. And, It is hard, sometimes, to keep the sad feelings of the currently rocky relationship(s) separate from the peace and calm of the currently happy relationship(s). But it is important to do so…. at least as much as possible, I think.
Allowing yourself the freedom to feel all of the emotions and fully experience the poly life, it’s bound to happen that the relationships floating happily along in the no wake zone will continue to float and bring you moments of happiness and delight despite the trouble the other one(s) might be in and the one being tossed around in the rough waters continues to be tossed, bringing the tears and sadness and fighting and figuring out where to go from here, despite the ease of the other one(s).
The relationships don’t stop. The happiness from one doesn’t cease to be just because there is trouble in the other, the trouble from one doesn’t stop just because there is happiness in the other. It is important to find the balance within yourself to give each relationship the attention that it needs at that moment.
It is absolutely fascinating to me.