Huh. I don’t often surprise myself, but lately… wow.
This has been in the works for some time – a sort of parallel thread – and though I’ve given it a tremendous amount of consideration, I haven’t posted about it before. I’ve had a hell of a time keeping quiet about it this long.
The other day I booked a vacation with a man who is not my partner. In fact, we’ve haven’t met face-to-face yet because we live so far apart and meeting requires air travel. But that meeting is finally coming, and soon.
This all started some time ago as a very tentative connection with, perhaps, the potential to be acquaintances, maybe even friends. As it turned out, friendship developed quickly. Since then we’ve exchanged countless emails and spent hours upon hours talking (and occasionally messaging) on Skype. I’d say that we know each other very well and we get along fantastically. For quite some time there’s been something beyond friendship in the background – and quite often in the foreground too.
All of our respective cards have been on the table, more or less since the very beginning: he and Wolf know about each other; his partner and I know about each other; he knows about this blog and he reads it. (Well, he definitely looks at the pictures, and he seems to read the words too.)
He’s going to visit my city for a couple of days, I’ll show him around and, most importantly, he’ll meet Wolf. Then he and I will head off together for an adventure. The precise nature of that adventure is a bit of an unknown for now, and really can’t be known until he gets here.
Chemistry can be difficult to predict. I’ve done all the emotional groundwork that I can (mostly around the idea of sexual non-exclusivity) in order to permit a physical relationship to develop, provided things continue to go in that direction once we finally meet.
At the same time, I’m reminding myself that I’m under no obligation to get nekkid if it turns out that physical attraction isn’t there after all. While I was writing the Dark Ages series [link in the menu] a pattern became clear: I believed that I “should” have sex, without ever asking myself whether I actually wanted to. At one point while we were planning this trip, I started feeling a vague sense of anxiety and unease; I think I had started subconsciously to run on the “should” program again. So my homework is to keep reminding myself that I always, always have that choice. (He’s been good about reminding me of that too.)
If chemistry is absent, then our adventure will revolve around exploring a new and interesting place together. And if chemistry is present, well, I suppose we won’t have quite so much time for sightseeing.
Is it risk-free? Nope. My number one priority is not to fuck up my relationship with Wolf, and if it turns out that this goes the non-exclusivity route (which seems quite likely), it will test us. But I think we’re up to it, and I’ve done all I can to identify and reduce risks. Wolf may not be precisely delighted by the whole idea, but I’m confident that he’s legitimately comfortable with it and that he’s not just agreeing because he feels obliged or because he’s being self-sacrificing. And it’s possible that there may be some benefits to our relationship too.
Is it reckless? Definitely not. I’m incapable of being reckless – I’m much too cautious for that, and my gut lets me know when I’m moving too fast. If anything, I err on the side of slow. (I am an HSP after all.) I’m confident that Wolf and I are solid. We’ve discussed this a lot, I’ve been working on the emotional issues that have come up for me so far, and I’ve pretty much figured out as much as I can for now. I’m in a good place. I’m nervous, sure, but I’m looking forward with anticipation. I’ve been checking in with my gut every step of the way and I haven’t come across a single red flag. Not one. If there was one to find, I would have found it.
Wolf and I have not decided to open our relationship generally. He has no interest in getting involved with anyone else. And I have no interest in getting involved with anyone else except my new friend.
I didn’t start out with a plan (which is probably obvious), just a strong sense of connection and curiosity. Although I have some vague preferences of where I’d like this to go, I have no specific destination in mind. And besides, our situation is so unusual that there’s no script to follow. I’m simply following my heart. So far, it has led to a more rewarding emotional connection than I would have thought possible – which is utterly delightful.
Few things in life are certain, and insisting on certainty before even starting to explore a path might be a “no” in disguise. Sometimes you have to step out into the unknown in order to see what’s there.
So no, I don’t know where this is going, but my gut still says yes. Wholeheartedly.