Festering Esper wrote:
I'm the last person to be giving you advice on women, so I won't. Just wanted to wish you luck.
I got divorced 6 months ago, so this counts me out of giving advice too.
She and I are still friends. It was the smoothest, least drama divorce you can imagine. We met for lunch a few days later before going our separate ways. Neither of us wanted our final memory of the other being in divorce court.
So I at least made the best of it. We met in college and 10 years later we just had different priorities and opinions.
And yet, you see this as a failure? People change, and relationships change right along with them. You acknowledged this, decided to change your relationship, a parted on good terms. It may not have been an ideal solution, but it's far from failure. When people cling to relationships that aren't working even though they're miserable, and start blaming their partner for not knowing how to relationship properly rather than acknowledging that growing apart just happens sometimes and no one is to blame, that's failure.
Well, if she picked up on the subtext of the story, she didn't say anything. I have a habit of being either blatant or too subtle, and the story definitely is not an overt "I'm talking about us" kind of thing. She did like it though.
I almost asked her out. She has another class after the creative writing one, and I walked with her like I've been doing lately. Despite not getting the point of the story, I'm pretty sure she knew I was about to ask her out or ask for her phone number or something. She pretty much told me "I have stuff to do, like, right now, and I'm distracted. Let's pick this up again next week." So, nothing for now.
To clear some things up: as I said before, I want to be a sex therapist. Because of this, I'm a psych major focusing on human sexuality, and it's something I started studying long before I started going to school. People act a certain way and do certain things when they're attracted to someone, and act differently when they are not. I've become very good at spotting these behaviours. She's displayed all of them. Because I'm aware of what these behaviours are, I tend to suppress them unless I catch myself doing it and consciously prevent the suppression. Even when people don't know to look for these behaviours, they still pick up on them. It's possible she doesn't realise that I'm attracted to her as well.
However, being attracted to someone is different than wanting to pursue a relationship or date. The only way to know that for sure is to ask.
There is another complication. I'm polyamorous. Her and I discussed this briefly, and she didn't run away screaming as happens sometimes. I'm not currently involved with anyone else so it makes little difference for the time being, but if her and I do start dating, we're going to have to have several long discussions about it which I am not looking forward to, but really shouldn't be much of a problem. I've dated monos before, and if I'm not immediately shut out the conversations typically go smoothly.
The complication is that I tend to look at dating differently than most people. The way I prefer to do things is to just spend time with someone and let the type of relationship sort itself out. With typical dating, one is essentially auditioning someone for marriage. If I meet someone and a marriage-type relationship works for us, then great, but it doesn't have to bee that way. There is plenty of space between friendship and romance, casual sex and deep, loving bonds. The type of relationship I want depends on the person I'm dating and what works best for us.
Mono thinking seems more compartmentalized. Friendship is one thing, romantic relationships are another. Sex is either casual or part of a loving relationship. There's no middle ground. When I date, it's nice if romance develops, but I don't have the expectation that it will develop, and I don't want to push things in that direction unless it feels natural.
I've noticed many monos say they take the same approach to dating, that they prefer it to be casual with no pressure. Still, the expectation of romance is still there, there's still a social script to follow. When I date someone, or express an interest in dating someone, I don't want to follow a script; doing so interferes with communication. If I want something, I want to be able to ask without the other person assuming I'm going to be upset if I'm told no. If I'm concerned about something, I'd like to address it without the other person shutting down because it's not in the script. I want to focus on what we want and how things are rather than what we're supposed to want and how things are supposed to be. Not a lot of people are capable of communicating on this level, or even want to try. I struggle with it, but I'm learning.