by Melissa Rainwater
In the time it took for my last article about polyamory to be published, Shauna broke up with me. We both knew we weren’t right for each other, but it still sucked nonetheless. The positives I took away from that experience:
· I learned more about myself.
· I got some cool date ideas.
· Shauna was awesome about answering all my “What did I do wrong?” questions and providing constructive feedback. People are rarely willing to do that after a breakup, and it felt good to be able to put some context to the “It’s not you, it’s me.” thing. I totally turned into John Cusack in High Fidelity and she handled it really well. We have decided to remain friends, so it’s all good.
· She gave me a baby ball python! What a neat gift! His name is Scaly Dresden and I am completely in love with him.
Both times I ended up married, it was because a man came to a party at my house and didn’t go home. All three of the loving long-term relationships I am in with men right now were supposed to be one-night stands, but they stuck around because we liked each other. How does this even happen? My whole life I was told that all men want is sex. Obviously that isn’t true. I think what men want is the same as what all genders want— to be loved and cared for and understood. To be listened to and have their back scratched. Someone to rub their cold feet on at night. Someone to eat the pickle that comes with their sandwich. We all just want a partner. So why do I have such good luck with menfolk and terrible luck with women?
Now I am left with my three male partners and two men I’ve sort of had casual things with, and I’ve been wondering— what makes cis men so easy? Why do I constantly struggle to find the right woman, but men really are a dime a dozen like my mom always said? Is it sex? Is it that men are conditioned to not express emotions, so women seem more complicated? Is it that I have unreasonably high expectations of women so even though certain ones often fall into my lap, I’m just not interested? I feel like I have to have several men at once to have all my hetero needs met, but I’m putting it all on one woman to meet my homo needs. That is pretty unfair.
At this point in my writing, I was on vacation, so I made a note to think on that and come back to it. My, how things can change in unexpected ways. When I got back, I spent some more time with Dallen, one of the men I was casually whatevering with, and it was lovely. It was a Tuesday. We made plans for the following Saturday and he didn’t even message me all day, but then the next day he let me know that he was moving out of the state for an undetermined amount of time. He was to leave in two days. That was it. I know it isn’t my fault or anything. He has family stuff going on, and he had to go. But still, it left me with an icky “I must have done something wrong” feeling. I have that feeling a lot, and I’ll probably work on it with my therapist in the near future.
And then, a woman with whom I had been trying to go on a date for weeks but one of us always got sick or had some scheduling conflict, messaged me and asked if I would just be her girlfriend and we could figure out the dating part later. I am a “just do it” kind of gal, and I don’t let my dreams be dreams. So now I guess I have a girlfriend named Katie. We rarely talk, and I find myself wondering: what does the word “girlfriend” even mean to me?
Who knows what kind of craziness life will try to throw at me before my next article is due. I will be sure to share everything with you when the time comes. Until then, DFTBA.