As the words singleish and polysingleish begin to squeeze their way into the poly lexicon (hurrah! I am an inventor of words!) I feel compelled to offer a refinement of how I define being ‘singleish’, and why I chose to name this blog ‘Polysingleish’.
It is very simple.
I am singleish. I do not have, nor do I currently seek, a primary partner.
I am also polyamorous. I form multiple, open, honest, very loving relationships, with full knowledge of all those I am involved with.
Some of my relationships develop with longevity, and this sometimes confuses people with the way I describe myself as singleish. Despite the longevity these relationships have, I don’t view them as primary partners. I love the idea that right now, there’s these two beautiful beings- whose long established friendship has lent the longevity to our intimate and loving connections- who will remain in my life through the years. But I have no intention of ‘shacking up’.
Many people have commented to me about my relationship with Orion. Someone even asked me the other day if he was my Primary. I smiled.
There’s a strength to our connection that arises from the bond of our friendship and our common outlooks on life, love, and spirituality. Like me, Orion considers himself singleish. He actually might be more singleish than I am, and maybe one day my gentle nudging will see him publish some of what he has written about his philosophical take on this whole poly and singleish thing. Orion and I are both equally present with one another, whilst being unattached to the notion that this connection has to forge itself into a recognizable thing. It is a very powerful and ever evolving dynamic.
Everything in my relationships, as in my life, moves with a certain degree of fluidity and zen-like detachment. I’ve heard some people say this kind of every changing lifestyle must be crazy, yet I find it liberating because of what it challenges me to do.
I really have no choice but to be present to the moment. Allowing each moment to be so engaging that my mind cannot possibly dwell anywhere else.
What I desperately never want to do is stagnate or have things stay the same. Static relationships or connections do nothing for me.
Every day I develop a deeper understanding about how this Joy comes about through having no expectations. This ‘being present’ thing isn’t some new age mumbo jumbo. It isn’t about detaching myself from anything. It’s about bringing myself to be so overwhelmingly present to what I am experiencing right here, in this NOW, that nothing else but this moment matters. It’s about giving my heart- as well as my mind- permission to be fully engaged. To just feel whatever I am feeling and stay playful.
My only ‘struggle’ is how to define myself to the general public and world at large. I have no automatic ‘plus one’ for social or business things. I can refer to Emma as ‘my girlfriend’ and people can innocently assume it is just a platonic thing- after all, she is a married woman! I can walk into a party in the arms of one man, and leave in the arms of another. I can be on a date and still be flirting with someone I bump into. Inevitably, when someone starts asking me about my dating life, I can’t really hold back about it. I’m open and honest about it, and I’ve had more than a few raised eyebrows. It is kind of awesome, really, that I have yet to have any hugely negative responses from coworkers or new friends.
So, here I am. Poly. Singleish. Present. Playful.
12 thoughts on “Present and Playful”
I find when I tell people that, although I’m ‘seeing’ people I am single and don’t feel the need to be in a relationship, they tend to be, surprisingly, quite impressed at my ability to do this. I very rarely get people being rude to me about it.
Society is on the way to accepting us, yeah!
Well, really, if you’re just ‘seeing’ people, you are, literally, having a relationship with everyone you’re ‘seeing’ even if it isn’t in the traditional sense of a relationship – and the only acceptable relationship is being monogamous… even though a lot of us know better.
Your confidence in your own identity is tangible throughout this post. Beautifully written! 🙂
My major question I have (and I’m asking because I don’t know) is how much of your behavior, philosophical musings, teaching and attempt to define yourself continually has as a significant part of it a fear of intimacy? I don’t subscribe to the notion that intimacy means monogamy and long term relationships, but it means going beyond masks and definitions to the nebulous and tender. You can express yourself very well, but for all your expounding I suppose I still don’t have a great idea of who you are underneath.
What an intriguing question. Thankyou, Tremor, for posing it.
Do I have a fear of intimacy? I don’t think so. I crave intimacy. I love it. I adore it. It is the most beautiful feeling, and I would say that I feel I have an intimate relationship with myself. Am I cautious about who I get intimate with? Yes. Sometimes my desire for intimacy has won over reason and common sense, and I have found myself in relationships with people who have hurt me- physically, emotionally. I suspect that most humans, as we grow, learn to exercise similar caution for similar reasons. I studied mask work when I was in University, and a huge part of that involved being able to go beyond the masks we wore in every day life to find our vulnerable core. The spiritual philosophy I follow is also one that encourages stripping down the layers of masks and labels to seek out the part of being that is constant and unchanging.
It is deliberate that I do not reveal too much of that core in this blog. I wish, for now, to protect my identity (though there are some who read the blog who know who I am and know me). I write, not to display that nebulous core so much as I write in search of the means to define and explore an aspect to polyamory that I have not found written about very often: the notion of being comfortable in one’s relationship with one’s self, not needing a primary or nesting partner, and yet still desiring to form intimacy that exists without an attachment to expectations of that intimacy (an inner, emotional, perhaps spiritual sensation) leading to some kind of external structure (such as having children together). I have made the commitment to myself to explore this path fully for two years (well, I am almost a year into that commitment) before opening myself to the possibility of a ‘primary’ type partner again, within a polyamarous context. After an eight year relationship, I really value the independence I experience right now in my life.
It is entirely possible that you may never be able to have a good sense of who I am ‘underneath’. Sometimes two people are simply on different wavelengths, and when that happens, it is okay, I think, to just acknowledge they may not be grokable by one another.
I would like to leave you with two quotes on this subject that I resonate strongly with:
“There are three masks: the one we think we are, the one we really are, and the one we have in common.” ~ Jacques Lecoq.
“Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.” ~ Dogen Zenji.
Thankyou again for your question 🙂
I get what you’re saying, and I’ve read successive posts, but I guess the honest truth is that I don’t believe you. Not that I think you’re lying – you seem quite sincere. It’s more that in some way you’re selling a philosophy, a way of live, and in my experience that in itself can be a defense against intimacy. I believe what you say in that you want closeness, but I find that those who truly want true intimacy are cognizant of just how terrifying it is, along with how it can set the soul aflame. It’s balanced; it has the destructor and creator along with it. There’s nothing “better” about polyamory, as you know, but I find most people practicing it aren’t that aware about their defenses against intimacy. Which is pretty much in common with those into strict monogamy.
That’s ok. You don’t have to believe me. And I don’t think I’m trying to sell anything here (unless you want a t-shirt. Do you want a t-shirt?) I’m just me, expressing myself, my experiences, finding ways to articulate the way I see the world around me.
I do experience a lot of intimacy in my life and it is very rewarding. Totally sets everything aflame, though I don’t find it ‘terrifying’ per se. I think I know what you’re describing, but I really enjoy that exhilarating sensation that someone is peering into the depths of my ‘soul’ as I am peering into theirs. I’m not denying that people don’t have fears around intimacy. Absolutely, we all do. And there are certainly many who practice polyamory or non-monogamy as a way to shield themselves from the depths of intimacy, I agree with you 100%, and I think those relationships are more sex based than emotional based.
Fears of intimacy: how we each choose to react to those fears differs. I embrace it as a way of moving beyond the things that scare me.
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In my opinion, Tremor’s premise is only true IF you believe that intimacy – and all that it implies – can only be achieved in a monogamous relationship and one isn’t willing to put in the time and commitment doing this takes. If anything, there are some people who embrace being poly (and in whatever form they do), not because they have a fear of intimacy or even commitment but simply because for them, to be in a monogamous relationship and having one’s feelings contained in that tight space, well, that just ain’t who they are or what they want to be. Being poly is a lot more than just ‘casual’ sex; it’s about developing multiple relationships and they are going to contain whatever levels of intimacy that’s gonna work for that particular pairing and then dependent on the individual need for intimacy.
Indeed, a lot of people embrace polyamory because they not only crave the intimacy but in greater quantities than can be had in a monogamous relationship, not saying that there can’t be great intimacy in this.
Aahh. Thankyou! Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Excuse me, that’s not at all what I said. I was saying that simply being human means we have fears about intimacy and that we all tend to have protection about it – at least until you’re enlightened. I simply made an observation that the form of protection usually differs in polyamorous structures than monogamy. Same as with extroverted and introverted people – both have protection against intimacy, but it will look different. I’m definitely not pro-monogamy, but I am into really looking at what intimacy is and being aware of what large concepts like intimacy and love are.
I really can relate to what you say here…just starting to dip my toes into this world and I have mostly felt pretty inspired. I am really enjoying being present and having intimacy (which is not always sexual) with various people, most of whom feel like just really good friends — whether new friends or older friends, it’s the connection that matters, and having a playful connection is so great.
It is a hard thing to explain but you do it very well here. Thank you!