Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Is anyone happy in Polywood?

I would prefer not to have to consider the emotions of people other than Virgil and myself but I now accept this head-in-the-sand mentality has to stop. We had a long and painful conversation about how things had gone with Sarah the other day.  Now Sarah knows all about us and we know a lot more about her.

 These are the things that were the most difficult to hear were:
  • We spent most of the day and evening together talking about it.
  • Up until now we had just been having fun. This made things more serious and real in that it forced us to have a conversation that we wouldn't have had otherwise. It made us voice our feelings and what we wanted out of each other. I now know a lot more about her as a person.
  • She was upset and disappointed. She had been looking forward to seeing me for a month.
  • She is sad about but respects the limitations put on our interactions - not being able to have overnight stays.
  • She has a boyfriend but their relationship of a year and a half is more kink-based than sexual. It is more romantic for him than it is for her.
  • I have realised more than ever that, although I am willing to compromise in order to find a level of openness that you are comfortable with, to be true to myself I absolutely need to be able to do this.
It's for the best. It's painful to picture their intimacy but I'm trying to get used to the idea of Virgil being close with other people. I try not to banish the mental images but not to exaggerate them either. 

Not all the things were unpleasant or painful to hear. Some of them actually helped: First, I found out that Sarah empathizes with my position/struggle. Being a dating man of mystery, Virgil had omitted to tell Sarah that she was the first person he had dated properly as a result of our opening up. 

Second, Sarah had a bad experience: someone she was dating and had grown fond of disappeared on her. She never heard from him again. She was afraid this might happen with Virgil. She was disappointed - well, that was almost inevitable considering the poor timing and circumstances. 

We all hurt. One idea I have of Sarah is as a sort of indestructible, happy-go-lucky sexual adventurer who (pre)dates multiple partners and simply has a jolly old time of it. Survival of the most callous. The fields of Polywood are littered with the sad little casualties of open relationships. Conversely, the more likely notion of a vulnerable and potentially needy Sarah who has romantic desires that aren't being fulfilled elsewhere is quite scary for me. 

In the spirit of honesty I tell Virgil that it would be easier for me if he would see people who are happily in love and in a primary relationship with someone else. I say, I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I can't control your choices in that way. Then I say, But why can't you just go and have meaningless sex with people for fuck's sake? And, why can't you just go on bad dates or have little flings that don't lead to anything? Why are you so lovely? I don't even like people and I'm horrible so I'm never going to have that.

And although there was a horrible sort of truth in those statements they were also so absurd that we managed to chuckle about it a little bit and soon after fall asleep.

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