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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Liftoff!

“Approach, this is Poly, commencing landing now.”

As the title suggests, what goes up must come down. From an early age what we all learn to hope for is that the landing is as controlled as the takeoff was, rather than a streak of flame and smoke leading to a pile of twisted wreckage. That principle is applied to life in general as we mature. We are quick and smooth to launch into a career, hoping that it will lead to money and recognition leading us gently into the golden years, rather than resulting in a firing. We step into relationships hoping for a lifetime of exploration and happiness, rather than an ugly blowup.

I don’t think the poly world is much different really. The style is different, so maybe we are flying a passenger jet that will hold a lot of people rather than a two-seater puddle jumper. But either way we are often better and less nervous about takeoff than we are landing.

Very recently I experienced something of a paradigm shift with that concept. A partner of mine and I have become good friends with another couple. We enjoy many of the same things, have an amazingly similar outlook on life in general, and can talk as a group for hours with hardly a pause between the laughter. Included is a wonderfully similar design to our poly beliefs. My partner (Lucy) and the male of the couple (Fred) have an exceptionally strong connection with each other, sharing affinities for producing music and art along with similarities to their current paths in life. I also share a fondness for Fred, and a growing affection for his partner Ethel. Fred and Ethel appear to feel that we all have good connections as well.

What surprised me recently was the realization that although we all connect so well, have poly beliefs that mesh wonderfully, and are very open with each other, we have never explored our relationship(s) beyond good friendship.

As I realized this the other day I wondered why things had never developed beyond friendship. Had we misunderstood Fred and Ethel’s design of polyamory and their relationship hopes? Maybe they simply weren’t attracted to Lucy and I?

Pondering things a bit I realized that much like my airplane analogy above, maybe we were all just afraid to launch. It was possible, I thought, that maybe we had become such good friends there was a hesitation by all of us to try and move things in a different direction. The next theory to pop into my head was that it wasn’t so much the launch we were afraid of as it was the fiery, smoking, streak through the sky leading to a pile of burnt rubble.

I brought this up with Lucy posing the question to her “Why do we have this great thing with Fred and Ethel, we are all open to the idea of relationships, they are the most amazing couple match we have encountered, yet we seem to be parked in friendship mode?” She quickly responded that she didn’t understand that either. As we talked a bit Lucy, who is usually a bit more outgoing than I am, decided she would ask that question the next time we all hung out together. The next time we were all together hesitation, or maybe distraction, left the question forgotten. But Fred, who is somewhat outgoing, did take a bit of initiative. And then I took a bit myself. We all seemed a bit hesitant at first but things smoothed out quickly. Before long Lucy and Fred were becoming quite cozy while Ethel and I sat on the couch and I asked her why our relationship had never progressed. (I didn't get much of an answer to that question).

To make a long story short, the relationships between the four of us are moving quite slowly, almost casually. What I believe has happened is that Lucy and I have found a couple much like ourselves who has had their fair share of fiery crashes. We all believe so strongly in taking things slow and trying to make sure there is a fit that we've all forgotten how to take the initiative. In a way, we have forgotten how to have fun and enjoy the launch. We are preoccupied with making sure things seem right, that we don't step on feelings, or we aren't just engaging in a fling.

What I hope to remind you of today is to have fun. Yes, you can use good judgment. Yes, you can take things slowly and make sure they are right for you and others. But don't overcomplicate life by trying to explore and define every variable. Don't try to figure out the future. Be reasonable and after you have exercised some good judgment have faith in yourself. Kick the throttle open, pull back the yoke, and head for the clouds.

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