Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Emotional intensity

When I was a teenager, I remember having pretty intense emotional responses to things. If so-and-so didn't respond favorably to my interest, or, worse yet, asked my friend to go out, it was cause for several days worth of hand-wringing, crying and desolation. These days, it takes a bit more to put me into a serious funk, and I'd like to keep it that way. Seeking out intensity, regardless of the flavor, is one of the reasons I've often heard poly people characterized as "drama seeking" by those observing the community. There does seem to be a higher ratio of drama, but is that due to an attraction to excitement, or merely an increase in the possible outcomes with more people involved in a given dynamic? Either way, is it something that we want to work to avoid becoming embroiled in?

For me, the answer is a definite "Yes!". There is no value in drama for its own sake. The thrill of extreme negative emotion, while it certainly can get the blood pumping, isn't something to look for. If that's your passion, I'd suggest taking a look at BDSM, demolition, martial arts, etc, and find a more constructive outlet for those impulses.

That isn't to say that avoidance of conflict is the way to go either. Taking a hard look at the people you are considering as partners to see if they walk about in a cloud of self-made tumult is always advisable. Conflict has its place in any healthy relationship. There is no way that any two (or more) people are going to be in complete accord at all times on all things. Finding a way to express those differences without allowing things to expand into a really satisfying fight is a skill worth cultivating.

The other side of the fence, the extreme positive emotions, have their own pitfalls. I've spent a bit of time discussing some of the amazingly short-sighted and oblivious things I've done under the influence of NRE. It's an awareness level that I hope to bring to my next relationships. To really take a good step back from all the happy juice and see if I'm inadvertently screwing the pooch in a haze of endorphins.

Feel solid in your emotional states. Allow them to be a part of the decision-making process, but when a time comes that you find yourself treading water as fast as you can to keep your head above water, consider taking a step back from the intensity, and find a space to breathe and refocus. No one likes drama mongers, least of all those who are doing the mongering. ;)


Designergrl said...

"screwing the pooch?"Nice visual...ewww.lol.

One of the reasons I love this blog of your lives is becasue it is Real.There Are conflicts, challenges and icky stuff to wade and work thru.That , to me, seems more "normal" than'oh I really adore my partner's partner and she and I are so in love too and all three of us are alwasy holding hands and sleeping together and...gag..oh joy"

Sorry, but I nearly believed all that candy coated stuff.And did not take into consideration the hard emotional work and self awareness that must be cultivated in order to get to that space.

As I am new into my first polyamourous relationship, it has taken me a lot to get to where I Want this...whether it is with my current partner or not.AND to feel pretty doggone secure(not totally) that I am wanted, loved, adored, respected and Important.However, at the moment..not all parties agree with this assessment...and having to be patient to see if they may come around...or until I have Another...or until the(may I borrow this G?) Fulcrum is able to stand up to his Other partner and say "this showing up in town with no notice to me is not ok, we need to figure out a workable solution", then for ME to find some understanding of my S.O.'s Other's job that is in another state..and is unpredictable when she has time off to See our S.O.

Then it Does feel like drama..at the time.How to get thru that?(becasue we do each time we have a challenge) is what I am searching for.

Phew!Got any ideas, cause I am in this for the long haul...?


Anonymous said...

It sounds like the main thing that bothers you is the unpredictability of your metamour dropping by when she finds the time. Since she lives farther away, it sounds like there is usually at least a few hours worth of advanced notice. Is that correct?

I can TOTALLY relate to the desire to have a reliable landscape. Unfortunately, that isn't something that works well for everyone, and your partner is probably so excited to see his other partner, since it sounds like access is limited, that he's not interested in laying out any particular restrictions.

What about looking at a way to smooth out the bumps? Perhaps she gives you both a call when time is unexpectedly available for a visit? Maybe he can make it a point to set a meal for all three of you to share, as a way to diffuse the "out of the loop" feeling. What are some things that would help you feel like you are part of things, rather than someone to be pushed out of the way when she whistles?

Above all, I would recommend that your fulcrum person resist the temptation to cancel plans with you because his other sweetie is suddenly available unexpectedly. It's just rude and inconsiderate.

Designergrl said...

Well I would actually love to sit down to a meal with C.Hell I've never even met her yet...and this is not my decision.He's talking to her about this issue(just showing up)and a few other things,(that I spoke more to you email in FL)and we'll see.he Does understand how I feel...and agrees.Yet when she comes into town he is till working 7 am-7pm so except for breakfast maybe lunch and dinner(or if her visit coincides with a day off...they really don't spend a LOT of time together.She plays wife, cooks cleans etc. and does her own work via computer(she owns lots of property in another state), so I can See where she might have some resentments concerning me living close by so we do have More time together.

sigh...I Know he loves her, but I think it's getting to where he is realizing that it does solve everything.And I am afraid that I am gonna witness him being hurt all over again.It was really Awful the first time.