Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Deciding to decide

I've been thinking a lot about my last post about my poly anniversary. After I wrote it Sunday morning, Tara came over and we had a long, sometimes difficult talk about the events of June and July 2007, specifically regarding the breakup of our triad. Our talk ended well, and we ended up having a decent evening. I took her and Bee to the diner and we had a nice meal (a wonderful seafood paella for me) and then we went to see Speed Racer at the movie theater, which was a lot better than the box office grosses would suggest.

What I've been thinking about since Sunday is how to get past that breakup, which still has repercussions for Tara and to a lesser degree for Bee and Bug, although I never actually had a chance to address what happened with either of them directly. And what I've come to realize is that the events of last year really could not have happened any other way. We were not ready to be a poly family back then, and frankly, we have a lot of work to do yet, if we even decide we want that anymore.

But back in 2007, I had just suffered my second fire in less than two years, plus I was only six months recovered from major surgery. When the fire happened in March, I stayed with my family for a week until I could get a new apartment and start rebuilding my home. Despite this, I was growing increasingly distant from Tara because of the secrecy surrounding our relationship, and her own issues at home. Then in May, everything changed when she told Bee and Bug what was going on between us, that we were in love and having an intimate physical relationship. That month was also the first time Tara and I made love, and a first time ever for me in some ways.

It was two weeks later in the midst of all this upheaval when the poly relationship started, before any of us even really knew what polyamory was, or whether we truly wanted it or not. Looking back, I can say with all certainty that a poly relationship started under these circumstances, and among people who have never heard the word "polyamory" before, has no right to be a successful one.

What I've also come to realize is that, as goal-oriented as I am usually perceived as being, I have never actually stated my intentions with Tara. Part of the reason is her dislike of such declarations, but what I now understand is that in our situation, when the typical fairy tale ending simply isn't an option and therefore cannot be the expected default outcome, without such a declaration of love and commitment, there is too much uncertainty in the relationship to avoid constant vertigo and drama outbreaks.

So last night I told her there are two facts about us that we both agree on. First is that we are both very much in love with each other. Second is that, despite our efforts in the past, we are incapable of being just platonic friends. If we accept these two facts as truth, then the only thing that remains is to decide what to do about it, given our current situation. And last night I told her I had made the decision to figure out what to do about these two facts being true, and that is what I'm going to do. I'm going to decide how I want our relationship to look like, and propose (it) to her.

I'm not expecting this to be a simple "yes-no" like a marriage proposal, because it's not just about the two of us, and there will probably be some details I'd bring up that will need to be talked about and agreed upon. But the point is, if our love is as strong as we say it is, and if we truly want to be together in the long term, affirming our commitment publicly and taking the option of abandonment off the table will go a long way toward building a more solid foundation for whatever comes later. Speaking only for myself, as much as I love Tara, it's time for me to get serious and stop pretending like I don't want to spend the rest of my life with her.