Reflecting and refocusing, after three years of this blog4
September 3, 2015 by aggiesez
I started the SoloPoly blog about three years ago, but I haven’t been posting much here lately. I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve realized it’s because I’ve already said most of what I needed to say specifically about solo polyamory.
Solo polyamory is definitely a wonderful approach to life and relationships, and it continues to be a treasured aspect of my life that resonates with both my values and my preferences. But right now, I’m focusing on other aspects of my life. That’s where my energy needs to go.
This year has been pretty challenging for me in many ways, so I’m focusing on tackling those challenges — and nurturing the opportunities that are emerging from them.
Well, on a practical level, this year I’ve hit some of the downs of the inevitable ups and downs of self employment. These financial dry spells have happened to me many times before over the past two decades of self employment, and I always get through it. I’m not in dire straits, or panicking. But I do see that it’s the right time for me to make a serious, concerted push at building a business that’s more sustainable than simply selling hours and articles (ultimately a losing game, since my time is a finite resource).
So I’ve been knuckling down to try to accomplish that goal in a way that capitalizes on my passions and might do people some good. (Yes, I’m talking about my Off the Escalator series of ebooks on unconventional relationships, which I’m currently preparing for publication. If you’ve enjoyed reading me here, please follow me there. It’ll be totally worth your attention. Trust me, this is way bigger than just solo polyamory.)
…Meanwhile, on the personal front, I’ve weathered some loss this year — including the loss of an intimate relationship that I’d treasured for most of the prior year. This has been a hard one to work through, but I am working through it. I’d just rather not say much about that experience here; it’s pretty personal, and it’s not only my story to share.
The takeaway is: All relationships are dangerous — or at least risky. That’s just how it works. Fortunately, love is rarely fatal, so there’s no point in getting bitter about it. We’re all grownups here.
The end of that intimate relationship did force me to face, and accept, some uncomfortable things about myself.
One thing I love about solo polyamory is that it allows me to have the flexibility to accommodate many kinds of love in my life — romantic, sexual, friends, family, community, and love for myself as well. But just because I’m flexible doesn’t mean I can roll with every kind of change, or have zero expectations, try as I might. I really, really do try to roll with change and have low expectations. But incompatibilities arise anyway. People grow, and they grow apart. Sometimes pretty suddenly and surprisingly.
Losing this relationship hurt me, but it didn’t rip my life apart. That’s by design — it’s a key advantage of solo polyamory. To be honest, what’s going on with my work is far more disruptive on a practical level, day to day. Still, admittedly, the confluence of these changes sure hasn’t been a picnic. (2015: are we done yet?)
That said, I’m not whining about losing love, or a big chunk of my income. I’ve deliberately chosen a way of life, love, and work that is pretty low-overhead and resilient, if not always comfortable. I deliberately do not require any of the trappings that tend to make conventional relationships, or full-time jobs with benefits, hard to leave. I’m more vulnerable in some ways, much less so in others. I’ve formed my own home base, and I can sustain it. Lovers can leave me if they want to. Clients can cut back if their budgets or needs change. It all works out eventually. My talent is spotting opportunities, and I’m trusting that right now.
For the last several months I’ve had no lovers at all — not my preferred circumstance, but it happens. However, I’m not desperate to find a lover. I feel very resolute that I only want lovers who actively choose to keep connecting with me — not who stay with me from inertia, need, laziness or obligation.
Yes, there will always be relationship lulls and difficulties that require effort and adaptation. I’ve demonstrated many times that I’m willing and able to do that work (in fact, I’m quite skilled at it), if I feel strongly enough that the connection is worth it. However, if the fundamental desire to nurture a deeper loving connection ceases to be mutual, it’s time to let it go, even if I’m not the one who lost interest.
I don’t regret my choice of solo polyamory and its emphasis on creating relationships of ongoing volition, not obligation. Even though it can get really rocky sometimes, ultimately solo polyamory helps keep me grounded and free — including free to be a better lover and friend. Rocks are just part of the ground.
Love, intimacy and tenderness are so beautiful and precious, it’s natural to want to continue sharing them in some way. However, human beings are moving targets, often unpredictably so. Sometimes in motion, we connect beautifully and affect each other deeply, in lasting ways. I know my former sweetheart elicited some wonderful qualities and capacities in me — and I daresay that I did in him as well. Those gifts remain, even though we’ve moved apart.
Yeah, the process of disengagement can really suck. So far, I’ve found no way around occasional severe suckage in life — short of Zen enlightenment, which continues to elude me. (It’s still not available on Amazon Prime. Also I’m a shitty Buddhist, despite living in Boulder.)
So to that end, to be kinder to myself and my former sweetheart, I’m taking a temporary break from interacting with him. I need the space and time. My intention, and his, is to resume as friends later when we’re both really ready for that. I hope that’s how it goes, but I’ll accept however that emerges and won’t force it.
The good news is I’m healing — both with time to myself, and with the love and support of many friends through this process. Also, I have my health, and I have a kickass project — two things I can’t take for granted. I live in an amazing town, state, and home which suit me, thanks to my own choice and effort. My feline overlords continue their benevolent dictatorship. The Earth continues to spin on its axis. The laws of physics have not been revoked.
New lovers and other opportunities will emerge eventually, they always do. It’s okay. And then I will get hurt again, or I will hurt others. That’s okay too — even though it may feel like hell in the moment, and in the immediate aftermath. Pain happens, and it passes.
Since my current focus in life is not my own romantic/sexual connections, I’m not sure what else I have to say in the SoloPoly blog for the time being. If something relevant comes up, I’ll speak up. I may pop in from time to time to let you know what’s going on.
But if you don’t see me post here for awhile about solo polyamory, don’t worry. I’m doing what I need to do, and you know where to find me. Also, know that it’s extremely unlikely that I’ve abandoned solo polyamory.
I do hope you check out and support my Off the Escalator book project, even though it won’t be exactly the kind of writing I’ve been doing on the SoloPoly blog. Actually, I think it might be much better, since these books will features over 1500 voices of people in unconventional relationships, not just one.
Thanks. Seriously, thanks — the readers of this blog helped get me through some very hard times in the last three years. You folks rock — and you’ve affected me in deep, lasting ways, for the better. I’m most grateful.
Sorry to hear about your loss(es) aggiesez.
It’s all good, ultimately. Thanks.
Good luck with the new project!
Thanks for sharing this. I read it at a time of similar disruption in my life, and your words help. Good luck, to us all.