I just went on my first Tinder date with a woman. I was so nervous that I left the house wayyy early to make sure I wasn’t late. There was shopping near the Starbucks where we met, so I bought a new shirt, then wandered around, hands numb, heart thundering in my chest.
When she walked in to the coffee shop, my nerves jangled. We ordered, and she offered to pay, which was something I’d wondered about. Who the hell pays on a first date with two women!?
I let her buy my Frappuccino. I’ll get the next one. We sat and talked. She had a bunch of questions about polyamory, since she’s fairly new to it.
She rambled a lot, which I found adorable, while I mostly sat and listened and giggled at how awkward she got whenever there was a stretch of silence.
She showed me her tattoo, and I ran my fingers over the flower design. That was as much as I touched her.
I kept thinking about the fact that she’s never been with a woman before, besides a bar makeout session. I didn’t want to cross any lines in case, now that we’d met, she didn’t feel anything.
Her boyfriend came to pick her up, and she told me after that we’d seemed so into each other he hadn’t wanted to come in and interrupt. That’s why he said he was going to go do some more work in the truck, rather than join us.
I wanted to kiss her, but I couldn’t find the right moment. I needed a clear “yes” signal. Before she left, she told me she’d be in town again in about a month.
I smiled and said we should definitely hang out again. We parted with a hug, and I grinned the whole way home.
Later, we texted about how neither of us had known exactly what to do, and wanting to kiss but not being sure.
I’ll kiss her next time.
Tomorrow, I’m going to a poly meet up with a woman I’ve been chatting with.
Project Girlfriend is officially underway—stay tuned!
So…my therapist and Papa Bear think it would be healing for me to fall in love with a woman again. Now that my life is safe for that experience, maybe it’s something I should try to find.
I have wondered why I always go for men–why despite being equally attracted to both sexes, I haven’t spent much time looking for a woman to date. There’s been a handful of dates here and there, but nothing that’s become anything.
I’ve never really stopped to analyze why that might be, but. . .You know how after you break up with someone, especially someone you thought was THE ONE, you feel like you’ll never love again?
Well. I just cannot picture myself ever falling in love with another woman. I can’t imagine what that would look like. It seems impossible. I think of being with a woman for anything besides a sexy friendship, and all I can see is HER. Her face. I hear her voice. Picture her smile. Think about her touch. She is my sole experience in loving and being loved back in that way that only two women can love each other.
And maybe…I feel like by having another girlfriend, I’ll be somehow sullying what we had. Diminishing it, and her place in my life. Maybe I don’t deserve another woman to love. I already had the most intoxicating, deepest, truest, purest, intense female to female experience possible–and I threw it away. I caused her pain. Why should I be allowed a second chance at that kind of connection? How could it even compare to something so all-consuming?
Maybe my penance should be to never let myself have that again. Or maybe I won’t be able to fully realize who I am unless I at least try.
I’m losing my grip. I am honestly starting to scare myself. This thing, this traumatic loss of love, is breaking me.
My therapist says that when I stopped believing in god, I put all of my energy into figuring out how to live. I completely re-ordered my world. I stopped feeling like every single thing I did mattered. The Husband and I opened our relationship. I stopped going to church and started raising my kids secular, and moved away from my religious abusive family.
Now that I have a safe life, she says its finally safe for me to process all the traumas I endured at the hands of Christianity.
I guess that’s why I have been crying every day over losing a relationship that ended well over a decade ago. I went through the grieving process when we broke up, but it was different, because I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was breaking up with her so I could live the life God wanted me to live–because I couldn’t be a lesbian. I just couldn’t.
Now I am processing that breakup all over again, through non-religious eyes. It was one thing to feel like I ended it to avoid hell-fire. It’s another thing entirely to realize that the reasons I ended our relationship were completely fictional. I believed in made-up worlds, made up people, made up truths. And because my life was based on delusions, I lost the first person I ever loved.
My therapist says that once we’re adults, we can’t love the way that we did when we were young. Young love is so pure, so emotional. At that age, we feel everything so strongly. Loving as a teenager, with a teenagers overwhelming emotions and underdeveloped brain, is something we can’t experience later in life.
So that’s how I loved her, and that’s how I remember it. Like a fucking tidal wave that I didn’t want to be rescued from. We didn’t have a chance to stop loving each other, or grow apart, or bicker and fight and shriek that the other had changed. We didn’t have a chance for someone to cheat on someone else, to get bored, or to have ultimatums thrown down.
It would be easier if we had. If we broke up for any reason at all. And maybe those things would have happened eventually. But they didn’t, because I didn’t let them. Instead, I have a memory of a perfect, unmarred love that I threw away because I believed that loving another woman would break God’s heart.
I just hate myself. But it’s not my fault. It wasn’t. I had a gun to my head. I was told, on no uncertain terms, “If you do this, you will physically burn for all of eternity. Your skin will melt off your body, your flesh will sizzle, your bones will disintegrate, and even then, you will not be permitted to die.”
“Your life will have no purpose.”
“You will never be happy without god.”
“You will lose your family, your friends, your school, your home, everything–everything!”
And so, even though I hate myself, I know I shouldn’t. I acted under duress. Even my ex told me I need to forgive myself. Right before she told me she never wants to talk to me again.
I really hope that working through these feelings now, will mean that I will come out the other side. I’m terrified that it will never stop hurting. That I will miss her forever, and never be able to accept the fact that I will never see or talk to her again.
I want to beg her to be my friend. To at least tell me about her life. To let me know her again, in some small way–any way at all. But she doesn’t want to wrestle with the past, and that’s where she needs to leave me. I never really thought that it was over. I knew our romantic relationship was done, but I always wished, hoped, prayed that we would cross paths again.
I even used to pray that she would become a Christian and I would see her in heaven. That’s how brainwashed I was.
Now, all I have are the words of Lemony Snicket pounding through my head:
“I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday.
I will love you as the starfish loves the coral reef, and as kudzu loves trees, even if the ocean turns to sawdust and all the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. . .
I will love you as the pepperoni loves the pizza, and as the pesto loves the fettuccine. . .
I will love you as we move farther and farther from one another, where once we were so close. . .
I will love you as the chances of us running into each other slip from slim to zero. . .
I will love you until your face is fogged by distant memory. . .
That is how I will love you, as the world goes on it’s wicked way.”
-The Beatrice Letters
I miss her so much–my very first girlfriend. I knew I would never get over her, but I simply cannot express what it’s like to feel like I’m fine, and everything’s fine, and then to remember her and her face and her voice and how much I loved her and how much I hurt her, and feel–like I am 17 again. Gasping for breath. Like I am literally going to collapse from the weight of my mistakes.
My therapist says I can’t be mad at young me–that I would have lost everything if I’d allowed myself to really be with her in an adult way. I would have lost my family, my Christian college, my church (only) friends, everything and everyone–but. But.
Oh god, did I expect it to hurt so much? I talk about the mistakes I made, and the fact that I will never forgive myself, but have we talked about how much it hurt?
How I cried until I thought I would simply dissolve into a pile of salt? How I went to the doctor, convinced I was dying, wanting to die, for it to just be over, because I couldn’t let myself have her and I couldn’t figure out how to live without her love? I literally thought it was going to kill me. I was angry when it didn’t.
But I was a kid. This was so long ago. Why am I weeping for a love that’s been lost for well over a decade? Probably because she won’t speak to me–and I still feel like a part of me is missing. I may well lay on my death bed with her name on my lips.
I’m feeling the need to fall in love with a woman again. I think I need that.
More to come.
When I started sleeping around–embracing my inner slut–I became free and enslaved all at once. I finally broke loose of the chains of religion, and monogamy, and societal expectations for what a mother and a wife and a woman should be like. I explored my fantasies. I had experiences I never thought I’d have outside of my dreams, or the pages of a good erotica novel. In many ways, I bloomed. I felt fully woman–fully me.
At the same time, I lost control. No longer keeping a tight lid on my sexuality and my desires and my insatiable libido led me through a spiral that was completely exhilarating, but down-right terrifying. I stopped being a slave to god, and found myself a slave to sex.
I would do just about anything for it. I would risk anything. Flip back through the pages of my experience, and you’ll see just how many ways I hurt myself. At some point, I went to a meeting for Sex Addicts Anonymous. I met with a man who’d been sober for many years, a man who’d lost his family to his sex addiction, and when I described for him what I was doing and why I was doing it, he said “It sounds like you’re getting high.”
And I was. I was getting high. My teeth weren’t falling out, I wasn’t cooking meth in my garage and I wasn’t wrecking my liver. I was getting high on the illicit thrill of clandestine meetings, of the possibility of getting caught, of satisfying my ever-growing hunger with the touch of total strangers.
I got hurt. Devastated. Broken by my need, again and again and again, until I finally said, “Enough.”
And that’s when I met my boyfriend. Papa Bear. We’ve been together for just about 3 and a half years now. For a long time, I felt like he saved me from myself. He met my need. He filled the space that my husband’s lack of sexual interest left. We went through a lot together–to hell and back, it sometimes felt. And I thought, this man will be enough for me, until the day they put me in the ground.
Yes, I fooled around with other people. We both did. Our relationship hasn’t been monogamous from the get-go, obviously–I am still married. But I never felt that need. I felt desire for others, and if it went there it went there, but I never felt like, “If I don’t have a random hook-up right now, I am going to go insane.”
So why, now, do I feel this way? It is my own fault, I suppose. I read precisely the wrong erotic novel–one about a woman who has completely anonymous sex, in disguise, with fake names, with a plethora of men. It jump-started that old need that I thought was dead and buried.
I got off while reading it–I got off a lot. But of course, it’s more complicated than that. It always is. Papa Bear was in a car accident a few months ago. He’s in pain. Being in constant pain is exhausting. While he still does his best to fuck me when he can, its of course, not the same. I know he won’t be in this kind of pain forever–he just needs to recover. Lots of physiotherapy and time off work. I completely understand, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wish he could spank me hard, or chase me around his apartment, or hold me down and pound me like he used to.
It’s temporary, and I would be a very shallow girl if I let this mild frustration rule me. But of course, it’s more complicated than that. It always is. At the core? I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what kind of partner I am–what kind of person. There is a lot I know about myself, but as for my capacity for long-term, passionate relationships, I haven’t got a clue. The Husband isn’t into sex. Whatever the reasons, he’s just not. And so I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life in a relationship that could only be more mismatched sexually if one of us were gay.
I wonder sometimes, if I’m capable of having a long-term relationship that keeps its flame. If I’m capable of sticking it out to the grave. I know that with The Husband, I continued to want him for many years, despite his frequent and heart-breaking rejection. I was still attracted to him. I still had feelings for him. I still thought he was sexy and wanted to jump his bones.
He unfortunately killed that by his inability to return my feelings, but still–they were there, and they lasted a good while. Now, with Papa Bear, I feel the spark starting to fade a bit. It scares me. I know a lot of it is his injury, and the stress he is under. I know all relationships go through slumps. But part of me wonders, what if its me? What if I’m broken? What if, no matter who I’m with, I’m incapable of maintaining that attraction?
I love that hunger. I love the mutual need and fireworks. It fills me up so much. I can’t really afford to travel or jump out of planes or see great bands or do a lot of the things that bring excitement to life. Sex, I can afford. I want it to stay exciting.
I know I can have that. I can have it without even hurting Papa Bear. He still mentions friends of his who’d like to fuck me, and we had a great time awhile back when his best friend came to visit and Papa Bear watched him get me off, over and over. But I don’t want to need it–and I don’t want to wake up one day and think, “I’m done here. I need to go where the thrill is.”
My fear is this: that I am incapable of sustaining satisfaction in a long-term relationship. That maybe, as I not-so-long-ago accused Papa Bear of, I will always be looking for the next high, or the next lay, or the next rush. I don’t just miss the sex, either. I miss playing the game. I miss flirting. Getting to know someone. The little touches that show we’re interested. The look on his face that says he wants to devour me, and the look in my eye that tells him I want him to.
Maybe, more than anything else, I miss the fear. The adrenaline. The unknown.
Things I don’t miss:
-being stood up
-showing up to meet a man who’s profile photo is much more attractive than he is, and may, in fact, not actually be him at all
-disconcertingly small dicks
-men who last two minutes or can’t get hard
-being treated like a prostitute instead of the slutty woman that I am
-men who want more from me than I can give them
-fear of STDs
-total loss of control over my life
-very very very bad decisions
-complete and total heartbreak
Very clearly, I cannot go back to that life. Honestly, I’m not even very motivated to try. I’m too damn tired. But sometimes I think–that’s why I want to do it. To get some life back into me. This horrible winter is killing me slowly. The routine of work, kids, housework, boyfriend on the weekend–all the stuff of being a grown up–is killing me slowly. Other people would plan a vacation or join a rock climbing gym. But I’m poor. And so, I just want my body woken up. I want it broken and ridden and bruised and filled with blinding pleasure.
Fear–oh god–is just, absolutely euphoric, when combined with pleasure.
Should I? Could I? Just once? Just once in awhile? Every six months, or three months, or four weeks? Could I dress up and plant myself at a bar and go home with a stranger? Or open up my old hook-up sites and write nothing in my profile but “Down to Fuck?”
Jesus Christ, am I down to fuck.
I can see how it looks that way. And I’ve honestly searched myself and tried to figure out if that is, in fact, true. His ex would say yes, that’s exactly what I did. She would say “I told you so.”
But of course, that isn’t actually what happened. What happened is that I fell in love with a man who is polyamorous, and we tried to build a poly family. When his wife kicked me out of their family, I was so completely broken that almost two years later I still cry when I think about it. And this situation terrified me out of ever wanting to be in a situation like that again.
Meanwhile, Papa Bear feels that things only imploded because he and The Wifey were never really compatible to begin with. And as long as he chooses women he’s compatible with in the future (the defining characteristic of women he goes for now is “chill”), there should never again be a situation where feelings are hurt, ultimatums are thrown down, rights are violated and everyone gets their hearts broken.
But I need to make sure that I am not violating HIS rights. That I am now not throwing ultimatums down. This is a weird example, but it reminds me of this episode of Big Love (I puffy pink heart that show). Bill’s First Wife tells him that she agreed to polygamy because it was important to him, but that he has already added two new wives and she will never accept a fourth. Bill wants to be open to the possibility of as many wives as he happens to fall in love with and thinks would be a good fit for their family, but Barb says “Fuck no. I have two sister-wives, and there will be NO MORE.”
What is the difference between stating your own boundaries, and violating another person’s freedom? For me, I feel like Barb, even though Papa Bear isn’t in any other serious relationships right now. It’s weird because I do this crazy thing where I project into the future, and it causes me all kinds of misery (more on that at another time.)
I know, know, know that it is impossible to see my future, but I can’t help trying to picture it. And polyamory is instability–at least if your loop remains open (ie, you are continually willing to bring in new partners). So I want to be extra clear when I say, that when I told Papa Bear that if he and I were to ever build a future based on us I’d need him to stop adding in other women, I meant I cannot live a life that is constantly at risk of being capsized by another polyamory related disaster.
That when I get to the good years–the years where I am no longer beaten down and exhausted by all of my daily responsibilities, the years when I can do what I want–that my life and the people I share it with need to be stable. If he has another girlfriend and we all love each other then great. If not, I would strongly prefer that he stop the merry-go-round and be happy with what he has.
Before this most recent relationship crisis, I was gone from the blog for a pretty long time. A lot of shit happened and I’m not sure I want to talk about the bad and the ugly, but here’s a bit of an update:
Boss Man: Boss Man is no longer my Boss Man. He’s no longer my boss because I finally found a new job (!!!) and he’s no longer my man because I kind of ended everything. Leaving my job was long overdue and I found something with much more room for advancement, better benefits, and steady pay increases. Professionally, I’m much happier. Personally, not seeing Boss Man every day has really helped me. For awhile we continued to talk daily, and saw each other occasionally (sometimes we fooled around, sometimes we didn’t) but then something happened. He started to have problems with his girlfriend, Tinder Girl, and suddenly it was like I was his therapist. I wanted to be there for him and I was, pretty much 24/7. In the middle of the night. All day. When I was hanging out with my family, or on a date with Papa Bear, he was texting me. I started to tell him when I was busy but he just kept texting, over and over and over, asking for advice on him and Tinder Girl, talking about how miserable he was, sending sad song lyrics, talking about wishing he and I could be together.
It got to be too much. I finally broke when my mom was visiting. It was beyond stressful having my uber-religious, mentally ill mother in my home, judging me day and night, but he continued to hammer away at me with his own problems.
I found out my husband doesn’t just have a low sex-drive, but actually doesn’t like sex (something I don’t think we can ever really work through), and he continued to spam me with messages.
I felt like things with Papa Bear were falling apart, and as I was dealing with it, he continued to text me.
Finally, I just told him I was too stressed out to help him with his relationship problems at the moment. I tried to be nice, but honestly I was kind of angry. He had never been there for me the way that I was there for him those weeks and months, and I know he never would be, because (as he readily admits) he is selfish.
He continued to text, and I just started to ignore him, and eventually he stopped altogether. Its been maybe a week or two since I’ve heard from him, and I’m not sad. I think not seeing him every day allowed me the space I need to get over our ill-advised, mess of a relationship, finally.
We moved! Yay! I bitched many, many times on here about hating my crappy apartment, and finally this spring we found a town house to move into. My kids have their own bedrooms, we have a yard, I have a basement, my own laundry room, a little garden. I could not be happier about that 🙂 When The Husband and I had just about given up on ever finding anywhere affordable, in the right part of town, Papa Bear just kept at it. He sent me links to rentals and even made phone calls and took me on viewing appointments. He was awesome, and I am so grateful for him. He helped us find our house.
Next, barring any other urgent happenings, I’ll talk about sex. I know you’ve all been wondering!