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Uncle Steve

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[Dec. 20th, 2013|01:05 pm]
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At the end of each year I usually write a summary of how it went, and this time I've taken steps to make sure it's very positive. I decided to break the pattern of lamenting each December about how awful the last twelve months were (and warning the coming year not to get any ideas) by starting a ROLF LIST!

You make a Rolf List by writing down all the good things which happen to you each week during the year on scraps of paper, and keeping these in a jar (or in a draft email, ahem). Then, in late December, you can open the jar and pull them out at random, and be reminded of how good the year was instead of moaning about it.

My god, January was great. In fact, every month had nice stuff, and overall I'm happy with how 2013 went for me. Okay, most of my Good Things list consists of "Women" and/or "Food", my finally taking up Archery as a hobby, and the existence of Cider, but we knew where my interests lay already. Which brings me onto an interesting point.

I'm polyamorous, which means I'm in more than one long-term romantic relationship at once, with full honesty and consent from everyone involved (and generally they're poly too). In 2013, I went dating to meet new people - and this means you meet a LOT of new people, because you essentially have 2 or 3 places to interview for :) This makes my feeling good about 2013 even stranger, because I had more breakups this year, and more really promising things fizzle out before they got serious, than *the total number of people I dated in the previous ten years added together*.

I had breakups with people I'd been in love with and seeing for over two years. I had breakups with people I met, got quickly intense with, and then was devastated when it finished after six months. I had breakups because the person couldn't handle the idea of me being poly, and others because they themselves wanted to stop being poly, or were only into girls now, or into girls who had been boys. At one point I dated two women who are married *to each other*. I wouldn't change any of it, and most of the reasons for breaking up were good ones, but it got truly ridiculous. So this was a year in which I got rejected, a lot, and hurt, a lot.

But it was also the year when I got back together with someone I should never have left, and found somebody new who totally fits me and who I've been absolutely certain about from our second date. Since October I've stopped looking for anyone else (which is pretty extraordinary in itself). It's a common part of the poly attitude that having one relationship doesn't mean you're not available to meet new people - that's kind of the point of non-monogamy. Any day might bring a new connection to brighten your life with joy and affection, because you are free to explore exciting things provided it doesn't impact on your current commitments. So closing that off, saying that I'm not available, is quite a radical change in mindset no matter how many partners I currently have. For the first time in a while though, my emotional life is stable and very happy.

And my ROLF LIST contains lovely social things I went to, experiences, fond memories... I totally recommend starting one of these for the New Year. It makes it easy to notice when good things are happening to you, and hard be pessimistic at the end of December. As of Dec 17th, mine has 50 entries and each one touches off a load of nice memories.
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[User Picture]From: minnesattva
2013-12-20 04:09 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, I spent about a year feeling "unavailable (but married)" after a shitty breakup. It did feel kind of weird; I started thinking of it as "poly single" because I felt like all my friends' crushes and flirtations and NRE were just weird alien things I couldn't replicate.

And now I've got two relationships I'm very happy with, but the prospect of any more seems ridiculous and overwhelming. I have had three, a few years ago, but now I wonder how I managed it! I wasn't working then; I think that helped :)
[User Picture]From: hellison
2013-12-21 02:56 pm (UTC)

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The existence of cider should be a plus point on everyone's list ;) I remember you posting about this last year and meaning to do it - I wish now I had cos this last year was a mix of some Really Awful and some Really Good and I'd prefer to remember the good, but the Awful tends to stick out more. Still, onwards and upwards ;)

Hurrah for you finding Very Happiness and stability, long may it continue!