Dating (A Brief History + Current Mood) Part 3 of 3

In any pattern, we must examine the constants. The first constant is me, I’ve been working on myself to be a better man and (potential) partner for 20+ years. I still work on this daily. During the “let’s stop dating” conversation, I never ask “what’s wrong with me” because any answer would be based on that one woman’s perception. The perception of one woman shouldn’t guide my decisions on how I navigate this life. One woman offered me feedback after we’d been on two dates. Like, WTF do you even know about me after two dates. You haven’t been to my house, met my cats, talked on the phone with my mama, you don’t know shit about me yet you offer feedback!? People are funny. So, I’ve made a conscious decision to leave my heart at home when I go out and meet up with someone. I’ll be clear about that when spending time with women. My heart is in a cocoon at the moment, it will emerge when the time is right.

The second constant is the type of women I date. I had to look for similarities in all of the women who couldn’t quite figure out why they didn’t wish to partner with me (yet they knew for certain that they didn’t want that). Once I figured out those similarities, I began to see things a bit differently. This is a statement based on experience, not ego. I have no trouble finding women who want to fuck me. Hypothetically speaking, how many of those same women would desire partnership with someone like me. Here’s the part where I would list all of, what I consider to be, my attributes. I’m not going to do that. I’m confident that I would be a good partner and father, I don’t need to convince my subscribers (you). I’m confident in this statement, not because I’m perfect and not because I’m done with my own development. I’m confident in this statement because I’m still willing to learn, grow, and be/do better as I unlearn toxic habits from my upbringing. I have no intention of meeting women and interrogating them as to whether or not they would partner with someone like me or not. Instead, I’ll just take more time trying to understand where their head/heart is before we make sweet bonings. 🙂 (Side note: I have no problem fucking on or before the first date. But, if I really like someone, that sex might get my heart involved before I understand whether or not she wants her heart to be involved or not. So, slowing down makes more sense in these cases.)

This is the first time in years that I’ve been completely unattached, romantically. Sure there are people that I care about, but they are all in cities miles away from me and (you guessed it) they all have partners. “Jet, I thought you were polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous or whatever TF! Why do you care if you get romantically involved with someone who has a partner?” Great question. I want to start a family. I want to partner with someone and share a dwelling. I have a wonderful life and I wish to share all of that wonder with someone who feels like a close friend. The only way any of that can happen is if she has space in her life and the desire to build the same. I know how to be everyone’s lover while respecting and allowing space for their erstwhile partnership. I want to be a part of the partnership that I wish to see in the world.

How will I find a partner? I don’t fucking know. If I knew that, I wouldn’t be writing this sappy blog post. I’m not looking for suggestions on how to meet someone. I’m also not looking for match making suggestions. I just needed to write this out because of my current mood. I’m a cisgender, heterosexual, Black man, who practices varying degrees of ethical non-monogamy. I, literally, know three other men like me in the entire world. I’m a goddamn unicorn. However, if two of those three men have partners/families then I’m left with a cup of optimism. I’ll take sips along this dating journey in order to make sure I have enough fuel to not stop altogether.

Dating (A Brief History + Current Mood) Part 1 of 3

She called it ghosting, the thing she had done to me several months prior. She called it ghosting when she called me to apologize. The first thing out of her mouth when I answered the number (that seemed familiar but wasn’t saved in my phone) was, “I’m so sorry!” She went on to explain that she was so sorry that she ghosted. Still unsure as to the owner of the quasi-familiar voice I encouraged her, “Say more!”. She went on to explain how she didn’t know how to deal with her new boyfriend’s insecurities, so she completely cut off all of her male friends. I still wasn’t 100% sure, so I just told her, “Whoever this is, I deleted your number. So, I don’t know who you are.” She laughed and gave me her name. “Oh!” I said. “What YOU did was much more than ghosting, it was cruel! When I was sending you messages asking why you were deleting AND blocking me on various social media channels, I was asking if I’d done something to inadvertently upset you. I was asking you what I had done wrong. You ignored those requests when you could have just answered. Instead you left me wondering if I’d pissed you off or something.” She went on to apologize again and blame it on the insecurities of her partner. She had the intonation of a person who had returned from a bad trip to Europe and was just relieved to be back. “How do I know you won’t just do that again”, I asked. She explained that she wasn’t with him anymore, again making him the villain for the choices she made. That was when it happened. I said, “No.” What I actually said was, “Thank you for calling and saying all of that. But, I can’t describe how much that hurt when you did that to me! So, best of luck to you. You take it easy.” I’ve been dating since 1989. In all of those years, when a pretty (to me) woman offers me any form of companionship, I default to yes. However, there have been some recent changes in my dating M.O. and with October 1st acting as the unofficial first day of my new dating habits, that phone call must have been a test sent from the universe (whatever TF that means) to make sure that I’m serious. I am and here’s what’s changing about the way that I date.

It was all a dream, the idea of polyamory seemed too good to be true when I first heard the term. You mean to tell me that if I’m open and honest with the women in my life then I can date several of them and we could even like hangout and all have dinner together!? Get the fuck out! For real!? Sign me up! So, my first order of business was research. I began sitting in on open relationship discussion groups that were being held every month at the Center for Sex and Culture (CSC) in San Francisco. I listened to people who ranged in age, gender, and polyamorous experience. I listened to so many stories that lead to me creating a mental list of dos, donts, WTFs, and never-will-I-evers. Those discussions at the CSC helped me immensely as I set out on the path and began to identify as polyamorous.

The question I get a lot is, “When did you first know that you were poly?” Well, I didn’t even know that non-monogamy was an option. I just knew that the first time I ever had sex I found myself thinking, “This is AMAZING! I wonder how it feels with all the other girls in the world!?” Through my years of serial monogamy, I cheated and experienced guilt for even thinking of cheating. Then I was introduced to the term poly by a client of mine. After the aforementioned education on the culture, I began my first open relationship with someone who had been my lover for a few years already. Since we were each other’s first open relationship, we definitely experienced a lot of firsts (some mutual and some exclusive) during our time together. Once we split up, I spent the next few years “solo poly” as many poly people say when you’re without a partner.

Oh, before I go on, I should define two terms. These definitions are how I define them, not how they are universally defined. Partner, a person with whom you will or wish to build a life with. Lover, a person with whom you share and nurture a physical connection (fucking), yet you’re unsure of or do not intend to build a life with.

Statistically speaking, this post is “too long” for the average attention span. So, I split it into three parts. Be sure to subscribe so that parts 2 and 3 will cozy up to your inbox.

Dating (A Brief History + Current Mood) Part 2 of 3

What happened to change my views on dating? Over the span of ~30 days, ~15 dates cancelled, rescheduled, flaked, or just plain stood me the fuck up. I got tired of being everyone’s option, yet feeling like no one made me a priority. It was as if I was fucking everyone’s partner. Actually, I kinda was fucking everyone else’s partner. To be clear, I’m not above being someone’s side piece. But, when I began to feel like that was ALL that I was to the people on my social calendar, I decided to make a change. I want to be clear on something. I felt that way and I’m the owner of my feelings. Please note that I’m not saying “they made me feel” any type of way. I’ve never supported that phrase. People don’t “make me feel”, people just do things and my heart responds in a certain way based on my own perception and past experiences. I hold myself accountable for my past, my perceptions, and my feelings.

“Jet, do you want kids?” This question pops up at times and my answer has changed over the years. The answer has never been a simple yes or no because, it depends. Today, my answer is simple. I want a family. Whether that looks like me and a partner with no kids, a partner and a few kids, or a partner and a few animals in the yard, I want a family. The way I see it, if I get tied to the idea of having kids and I meet someone who has difficulty with conception and she doesn’t wish to adopt, I’m not going to just leave her. Shit, we could just put on a puppet show for kids at a local theater or something. We can figure all of that out later.

I’ve gone off on several tangents. The reason I began writing this is because I’ve decided to follow my own advice. I’ve often challenged people by asking why they keep allowing flakes to exist in their lives and meow I’ve decided to cut them out of mine.

I’ve stopped scheduling play dates. When you spend the entire week/day looking forward to making sweet love (or as my friend Mary says, making sweet bonings) only to receive a last minute cancellation or to be stood up (yes, that happens IRL and not just on sitcoms) well it fucking stinks. I get it, life happens and sometimes plans can’t be kept. So, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt on one late notice cancel. If there’s a second one, IDGAF about the reason, then I’m done scheduling anything with that person.

I’ve started leaving my heart at home. My heart is fragile. I’ve lost count of the number of women with whom I’ve wanted to partner who just didn’t see me in that same light. I’ve lost count of the women who’ve said, I’d done nothing wrong, they just weren’t feeling it. I’ve lost count of the women who’ve said, they weren’t sure why or what it was about me, but for some reason they just couldn’t see themselves partnering with me. Fuck, I remember one woman even said to me that she was going to wait for something better to come along. Let that one sink in for a bit.

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