i’ve been involved with open relationships for a long time. And there a bunch of things which we have discovered, some are well chronicled and discussed (safe sex agreements jump to mind) and other aspects much less so. This post is about one of the less considered aspects of polyamory.
An intimate of mine is in a new honeymoon. At the same time they have a crush on another person which feels uncomfortable to reveal their feelings about. My intimate (who shall remain nameless for the moment) was thinking that if they could just tell the person that they were silently attracted to that they were feeling drawn to them, then this would reduce the pressure.
“Do you think they are also attracted to you?” i asked
“i think so”
“Then telling them will make it worse.” i replied
Not that i am usually an advocate of withholding expressions of attraction, but the idea that the pent up frustration around an attraction will dissipate once it has been expressed is demonstrably false, especially when the attraction is mutual. What goes from being an uncomfortable, unexpressed emotion turns into a likely even more frustrating open possibility. And in this particular case, it might just lead to one of the more impossible polyamory geometries: parallel honeymoons.
Open relationships depend on people being able to have honest communication and multiple parallel romantic experiences. But honeymoons are different. There is what the some poly writers call New Relationship Energy (NRE), common to not just poly relationships – that special feeling of excitement, possibility and lust you have at the start of a new romance. It is time before you realize their feet stink.
Turns out you cant do honeymoons in parallel. At least i have never seen anyone do it really successfully. There are things you can do to make it seem easier: put the relationships on opposite sides of a large land mass, choose partners of dramatically different cultures or genders. But as sophisticated as some of us poly people occasionally like to think we are, this is a trick that i just dont think can be pulled off.
What do you think?
14 responses to “Non-Euclidean Honeymoons”
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- February 24, 2013 -
I do it all the time! I have at least three honeymoons going right now! Four if you count the special case of our mutual girlfriend who is not new but with whom I’ve discovered a new intimacy, compatibility, and a deeper appreciation for than I’d have ever thought possible.
You”re innocent when you dream. . .
Polyamory is a tricky subject for me. I’m a proponent of it, but I know it will never enter my relationship (not that I’m yearning for it). My husband is a 59-year-old traditional Russian Jew, and open relationships are the last thing on his mind. Furthermore, I was taught to be a “good wife” by a slew of young Russian girls, so straying from my husband is completely foreign to me. And we’re very territorial, possessive, and protective of each other. We’re no stranger to quirky relationships, though: he’s 38 years older than me.
love that first photo…
Haven’t been in this position, but it sounds overwhelming. Just adding in one honeymoon, along with my existing relationship, would be exhausting.
this is a dangerous challenge, my love
In my (somewhat limited) poly experience thus far, I can’t do more than 1 honeymoon at a time; I can add other new relationships during an existing honeymoon, but for better or worse, those new relationships skip (or possibly postpone) the NRE.
Then, you have a tricky question: is the lack of NRE in the newly-added relationships a part of the particular dynamic of those relationships, independent of anything else… or is the NRE missing because there’s already a pre-existing honeymoon relationship?
I don’t have the answer, but I’m glad that other poly people have observed that it’s difficult or rare to have parallel honeymoons. I figure it means I should just relax and not worry about what I’m “supposed” to be feeling, as long as the relationship is mutually rewarding.
@Irene: Thanks for your thoughtful response. And by all means self liberate from the “shoulds” of poly. My thinking is that much of this is ground breaking with few visible successful models the less judgements we can impose on ourselves about how our emotional experience is supposed to be, the better.
@Chad – what is your secret to successful parallel honeymoons? And do they have parallel NRE, or is it in some way different?
Also i have added the public link to the PDF of the polyamory fingerbook “With Open Hands” to the beginning of this blog post (under “long time”). It is in this format, you can make double sided copies and create your own fingerbooks and distribute them freely. Make it memetic!
whats the difference between a finger book and a zine? i love and hate the top pic. i love the wording (territoriality? is that a word) i hate that they are celebs and it’s photo shopped but i guess that’s part of the humor.
I think it might be be a quirk of the way my attention works in general. I’m relatively incapable of paying attention to more than one thing at a time, but whatever I am focused on has my complete attention. I’ve also learned over the years that just because I want to spend more time with someone (like every second!) doesn’t mean that I’ll be happier if I get to do so. I’m lucky that most of the people I’m honey mooning with right now have some serious availability constraints. Because I don’t have to impose or manage those constraints myself it’s easier to make all these honeymooning relationships “fit” into my life without needing to choose between them. All of them have the wisdom of good magicians: they leave me wanting more.
I’m not sure I understand the second question. There is some level of NRE with all of them, but it is certainly very different from one relationship to the next. I guess that another difference is that I mostly consider NRE to be a bother. While I love the emotional high (who wouldn’t) I don’t love the corresponding lows and the whole thing is soured by a recognition that both the highs and lows of NRE are fueled more by ego inflation and deflation than by love. While I am in no way immune to to the emotional byproducts of ego inflation and deflation, I am well and truly over the compulsion to seek out the former and avoid the latter.
My favorite moment in a new relationship is the first time that I can say with complete confidence that what I’m happy about is a direct experience of this other amazing person, and not (yet another) story about why this other person’s affection, approval, interest, etc is evidence that yes, indeed, I am a pretty cool dude.
Google plus has spoiled me. I really want to edit my last comment so that I can change ‘between’ to ‘among’.
Fingerbooks are similar to Zines, tho they pre-date them. Fingerbooks are intentionally highly graphical (usually 1/4 to 1/3 images), like Zines typically distributed for free, they are always 1/4 8.5″ by 11″ format. Written at an eight grade level to be accessible to non-native speakers and generally there are links to other materials but there is no author accreditation.
Paxus in Santa Crus
24 Early Flowers 2013