Sometimes, being the really laid-back kind of poly person really, truly sucks.
Wednesday night, just before bed, I received a note from one of my lady-loves. We've been seeing each other a few times a year, for about 3 years. This infrequency has mostly been due to her road-musician life, which has her away from home much of the time; and partly due to our somewhat distant homes (it's about 2.5 hours between).
During this time, she's been involved with a number of other folks -- her husband, a long-term live-in boyfriend, a short-term live-in girlfriend, and others, near and far. I've been called on to play counselor to both sides of a few of these relationships, as both sides had difficulty in figuring out what they wanted/needed, and in communicating their discoveries.
Over the past year or so, her relationship with her husband has been shifting significantly, and that marriage is about to end. Simultaneously, someone else she's worked with musically, and had strong feelings for, returned to the band, and began to make arrangements to divorce his own wife. She and this past interest Which of these influenced the other, if either, is unknown to me.
Cut to the email.
Dear I am really sorry I must tell you I am no longer part of the poly community. I'm out. It's not me having made a decision of any kind, it's how I feel. I've never loved the way I love [her new man], never ever felt devoted to anyone, much less devoted the way I am in this new life. I am so fulfilled it's ridiculous. You're a wonderful person, I hope you still come to the crazy house in the country.
There was a bit more, touching on a couple of other smaller subjects, and not-too-subtly nudging me toward another of her other paramours, one of those relationships in which I played counsel, with whom I have also had some dalliance (at a different point), but on a much more surface level than with herself, for many reasons...
Now I get to write her a much longer response, somehow allowing myself to show the pain, but also reiterating the facts of me, which I told her when we first started getting to know each other, a year before she said she wanted to have an actual Relationship...
All the basic hard-wired poly things about me --
Once I fall for someone, that's pretty much where I stay.
I've never yet lost the feelings I had for someone, just because the relationship ended (and I've never ended any relationship of my own volition).
I mostly don't play the competition game, partly because I honestly don't give myself very good odds and couldn't withstand the ego-smash of actively losing, but mostly because I don't feel it's right for people to have to choose in that way -- and I don't make those kinds of choices myself.
Romantisexual stuff is important to me, but that's not the only way that love is felt or expressed, and it's not the only kind of relationship I want, need, or can handle...