So, you know that trope about the guy who is into the straight guy (or girl who is into the straight girl)?
So, people who are not really familiar or comfortable with polyamory, or who explicitly say they don’t think they can or want to get involved with polyamory themselves (whether their reasons are well articulated or not), are perhaps the kind of people in whom it might not be smart to become interested. Especially if you have any reason to believe that if you were not polyamorous, and you were single, they would potentially be into you. Also if you are really attracted to them, and you somehow cannot help but keep talking with them knowing all that is the case. You know, because we are always rational and wise beings, with our ability to control of motivations, who we’re into, and all that jazz.
You see, sometimes when you are in such a predicament, you get to that point where you realize that you are being sucked into that hole; you know that hole where under any reasonable set of circumstances you would feel happy, elated, giddy even. Except in this case, rather than cutesy giddiness you end up feeling like the only response that makes sense is to stare blankly at the wall (or computer monitor or whatever) and say to yourself “well, shit, this is going to suck,” while you secretly, deep down, hope that it will not.
You know, that delusional part of you deep down where neither love, lust, nor respect are ever unrequited.
But also in there, perhaps deeper or perhaps of similar depth but like to the side or something (my knowledge of depth psychology is obviously not, ahem, deep) you know it probably is just going to end up with a (figurative, hopefully) kick in the stomach. You know that it’s probably a terrible idea to keep hope alive for any romantic, sexual, or even heavy-make-out-esque relationship, but you also know ridding yourself of such hope will be quite difficult and painful.
You, of course, have already made it clear what your goals and desires are, and they have respectfully rejected the proposition and you move on to talk about other things. Other non-romantic or sexy things. You have told them that you are attracted to them, you talk about polyamory a little and they are uncertain (at best) about it, and then you go on and have a friendly conversation with them. Because you really do like talking with them and you can have a good time as platonic, non-sexual, friends with them…or something.
Because you totally can just pretend that you don’t find them very sexually attractive and just be friends. Because you are a decent person who doesn’t need to have sex with someone just because that’s what you want…like what you really, really want…and be just a friend to them because you like them and they are a god person and because you have stuff in common and because that’s the decent thing to do, dammit!
So, Wes wrote about being friendzoned recently, and I agree with what he said pretty much, but this situation is different than what he explained there. This is a situation where the intentions of both parties are clearly stated, but still one finds himself (it is me we’re talking about, after all) with a friend, and not a lover. And while I am happy to be friends, there is that moment when I realize that the attraction is a little bit more than merely physical, and there is nothing I can do about it.
It’s one of the things that really sucks about being polyamorous in a monoamorous-dominant world. Because it’s one thing for someone to not be into you, but it’s quite another when they might be into you, but it does not matter because you have other women (or men, or both) in your life. It makes one ponder what the world would be if we all were polyamorous, or at least poly friendly. It makes me, specifically, yearn for a world where polyamory was not so strange, so uncomfortable, so radical.
Then there is that little voice that, in the back of your mind, whispers little things to you like “just wait, she’ll change her mind” or “she really is into you, she’s just not sure about the poly thing; she’ll get over it!” But, that’s a tricky road to navigate, because it’s probably a delusional little voice. While that voice might keep that flame alive, that flame might just burn you as well as a potential friendship unnecessarily.
Then there is the other voice, the one that says “dude, you are just infatuated. Even if she changed her mind you would have like a month of really hot sex, and then what? Can you expect a monoamorous girl to first get involved with you then accept the potential role of being your close friend who you used to have sex with a lot? perhaps even still do occasionally? That’s a lot to transition to from a monoamorous worldview.” And that voice, while possibly also wrong (because who knows? she might end up being a long term girlfriend!), has a point. Because a friend who I have sex with is not a stretch of the imagination for me; a polyamorous, sex-positive, slut. But for someone who has a different set of experiences, that might be destructive, hurtful, and it might preclude the possibility of a friendship continuing.
It’s so much easier when all you’re interested in is sex, because in that case when the rejection comes you can just move on and not worry about it.
So, what to do? What do you do when you realize that being platonic friends with someone may be too hard for you, even if the friendship itself will almost certainly be rewarding in itself? I mean, I know monogamorous people deal with this all the time (and for them, I advise them to just get over it already and be polyamorous, knowing most won’t), but monoamorous people are generally used to suppressing such desires. That’s why cheating is so rare. Right.
Ugh…. Having a conscience sucks sometimes.
It sucks because in such situations you really do want to be friends with them, but you also know that the attraction will sit there between you the whole time. You can try and keep it away from your conversations with them, but it will poke it’s head out now and then to remind you, and possibly her, that it’s still there.
Of course, then you realize that you’ve had a couple of drinks and you are tired, and that is potentially skewing how you feel. So maybe you should just sleep on it. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll feel differently.
Yeah, that’ll work!
Well, good night then.