Saturday, 15 June 2013

Other people's feelings

I experience a new side to nonmonogamy and play the long game.

A recent first date inspired some interesting texts and a sense that something else might come of it. Not a big new romance, but the potential for sex and good company, pleasurable time spent getting to know someone. Damien is a grown-up but a fun one, not a geek but (on first impressions) a well-rounded, sociable, amicable man. He's an OkCupid connection and I liked the letter he wrote me and his profile so much that I went for it, even though I wasn't entirely sold on his pictures.

This is a good decision, because when we meet at a rooftop bar near where I live, he is much more attractive in person. Funny how pictures are a poor measure of sexiness: Damien has a physical appeal that is not suggested by the photos I looked at, and he's charming, laid-back but not shallow.

I am looking forward to being cooked for and seduced in a few days' time. Then an email arrives in which he apologizes heartily but explains that when he told his lover, as per their agreement, of his plans she became very upset. The date is now postponed until they can resolve their differences (or not).

It's not a problem apart from the short-term disappointment. I reply immediately, supportively, agreeing that such things must be done properly or not at all. Damien and his friend have been seeing each other for several months on a non-exclusive basis. They have attended play parties, which has been fine, but solo adventures are more challenging.

Is this life on the other side? It's a new experience for me to be the one who causes someone else to freak out. Virgil was my first experiment with nonmonogamy. I know how scary it is when solo adventures happen. Exciting times that don't involve you. Intimacies with others which you have no control over. It's a massive test of trust and self-confidence.

I feel sorry for Damien's lover but I also know that she needs to be honest about what she wants, stay or move on. This morning I have a dream about Virgil and Sarah and me all together, fighting, me in disgrace, broken up with, a hopeless case. I wake up confused, ashamed and full of self-doubt.   

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