A Kindred Spirit
After about a month of ignoring them, I decided to check my OkCupid messages. I was feeling antsy and craving a new connection. Not expecting to find anything worthwhile, I sifted through the “heys” and “what’s ups” and “well, hello theres”… Just as I was about to give up, I opened one from a man – for now I’ll call him Clark – saying he’d “devoured” my blog, “all of it.”
“One thing you said hit me like a southern thunderstorm,” he wrote:
“‘I don’t want to try polyamory because I don’t love Brad enough. I want to do it because I’m terrified of loving him too much. I don’t want us to be each other’s everything. It’s too much pressure. It hurts too much to have all your happiness depend on one other person.'”
“Polyamory has resonated with me since I discovered it, but your words made my brain smile. Does that make sense? That strange sensation that spreads around your skull when you know something? Anyway, that’s how I felt and still feel. My wife and I nearly lost our relationship over that very thing, that pressure.”
He hooked me. Not that I’m narcissistic, but it was so refreshing getting a message from someone who’d actually taken the time to read my blog and could genuinely relate. It was obvious most guys hadn’t even read my profile, much less my blog, and were just throwing out a big net to see if they could catch any half-decent-looking, half-alive fish.
The more I messaged Clark, the more I realized we related – on more than just surface level stuff like liking Irish music or the fact that we both answered “neither” to the OKCupid question – “Are you a cat or dog person?” We seemed to see the universe from the same perspective, have the same curiosities, interests and secret desires.
We are both interested in polyamory because we see it as a “freedom from fear of loss of self,” as he puts it.
“My wife and I lost ourselves in each other for twenty years, and while we feel somewhat improved by our association, we also feel kind of defeated and broken. Like we have sacrificed so much of who were are individually in order to stay a couple,” Clark wrote to me.
“It’s the great sacrifice, expected by our society, and like it says in More Than Two, you win if you die whilst married to the same person. Death is ultimate victory for monogamous marriage… It’s the primary measure of success in marriage, to die married … You can only stay yourself if the other person is utterly demolished.”
He’s said so many brilliant things like that in the dozen or two hours I’ve spent talking to him over the past week. I never in a million years thought I would be one to find romance on the internet, but, in a way, I feel like I’ve known him for years.
He’s 14 years older than I am and lives four hours away – soon to be more – but it’s rare to find someone with so much in common (he even likes Anne of Green Gables) and so easy to talk to.
Brad was a little freaked out at first, especially when I told him I’d like to go meet Clark in person soon. He’s gone through almost a full spectrum of emotions in the past week, which so far haven’t included compersion. But I know he’ll be ok in a few days – especially because this has inspired him to start reading “the book” – and I’m hopeful that someday he’ll feel the same overwhelming excitement about me being with another man as I do about the idea of him being with another woman.
One great thing about Clark is he’s totally compassionate about Brad’s feelings, as he’s been in his place before. He said the following quote by Eckhart Tolle helped him moved toward compersion for his wife, when she found another lover:
“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to die before you die, and find out there is no death.”
“I think for me, I was using my wife as a source of life,” Clark said. “And by voluntarily surrendering it, it felt like death. When we suddenly realize we aren’t dead, we awaken to the real source.”
I think that is so true. I’ve visualized every worst-case-scenario I can imagine with Brad, tried to feel the feelings I would feel if those scenarios happened, and realized I would come out alive and well. That’s a really freeing feeling, and it’s helped me to really enjoy my intimate time with Brad, rather than holding onto it for dear life. When you know you can live without it, you’re really free to revel in it.
I have no idea where this will go and have zero expectations. All I know is I am in love with my new ability to live in the moment and not worry about the future, which I’ve recently come to believe is the purpose of life.