Thursday, May 29, 2014

Heartbreak and a realization.

 It occurred to me this morning around 5:00 a.m that while I haven't been heartbreak-proof in my affairs I haven't had it nearly as bad as most other people I know. I've heard some horror stories that might scare you into becoming a hermit out of fear.
There was a friend of mine who came home to find his girlfriend having sex with his best friend and brother at the same damn time. Needless to say, violence ensued. Another time a young lady I was kind of mentoring told me about her abusive boyfriend. We let her stay with us for a bit. Well one day I'm at work and get a call to come home immediately. I get there and Elouise, my wife, has the boyfriend in a wrist lock, on the ground with her knee on the back of his neck (yes I was proud of her that day) and he's begging for mercy. He apparently followed us and tried to attack them while I was gone not knowing I've taught my wife quite a bit of grappling. There's another friend of ours who was so in love with the person causing her so much pain. Eventually it erupted into violence (I'm noticing a theme here) and their separation. We weren't as involved this time being in another city but, we at least talked to her about it.
My own parents, though I love them dearly, have a relationship I could never live with. They barely talk to each other now. They don't sleep in the same bed, they don't watch TV together, they don't even go out I don't think. They still love each other, or say they do, but it's so...cold between them. The only thing they are happy about is my marriage and how well it's going.
That's just a few stories, I could tell you a lot more but, I'm not after shock and awe here. By comparison, my love life has been pretty mundane as far as drama but quite fulfilling in it's own right. No stories of cheaters or abuse. I have felt my share of heartbreak and pain but nothing life shattering like some others. Yeah, it can get very hard, very trying but, all in all I've had relatively good experiences.

You recall I shut down my Facebook profile a while back? That was probably the worst heartbreak I've ever felt but, I had Elouise to help me through it. There was, of course, when the woman we were dating had to leave the country. My heart ached but, I knew she still loved us and didn't want to leave us so I was able to handle it a bit better. Before that there was my high school heartbreak which later turned out to be a dodged bullet, her being a superchristian and me being a femsexual, polyamorous atheist. Would not have meshed well.
That's it. That's the worst that has ever happened to me. I know how fortunate I am to be able to say that. Love and relationships for me have been easy relatively, and I hope my good fortune holds. The way things have been going for me it won't be long until I finally meet that other special woman and welcome her into my life.

Live and Love Freely, Everyone.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why am I not dating right now?

If you have read my previous entries you're aware that my Soulmate, partner, best friend and wife, Elouise is involved with a young woman named Tiffany. Apparently she has finally made some headway with her (after like a year) and their relationship is moving forward. I'm happy for her but, I'm still without another significant other. It's by choice though. When the time is right I will seek out another partner but, as of now I have other work to do. So the question I get sometimes is "Why aren't you dating right now?"

The shortest answer is that I'm not ready. I still have some work on me to do and improving myself and our (Elouise's and mine) situation has to come first. At present we don't like our living arrangements. We would never think to invite someone to this place and we're in the process of moving to at least a bigger, better place. We are also without a vehicle which, in Hampton Roads, VA is akin to social suicide. The buses just aren't reliable and their frequency calls HRT's competency into question. Getting a car and moving is easy.
The long a bit more complicated than that. To be frank, I would love to meet someone for myself but, there are two major factors holding me back besides those above.

Summer of last year our then girlfriend, Candy left to go overseas, resulting in the dissolution of our relationship. I haven't quite gotten over her yet. She was everything we wanted in a third and we each gave her something different. Her personality was awesome, she was intelligent ( a big thing for me), she was a total geek which we loved and our love making was so...perfect. Now she's gone. Elouise has had more ex's than me so it was slightly easier for her to move on but, in truth this is my first real ex that didn't end in a swirl of name calling and threats. We both still love her but, I'm the one still holding on. I miss her like crazy. We didn't even take any pictures together because of my aversion to cameras which I'm over now as evidenced by my YouTube channel. It wouldn't be fair to anyone for me to be constantly comparing them to her, checking to see if they can fill her shoes. I want to appreciate this person as a unique individual with likes and dislikes and funny quirks that make them so irresistibly cute. Everyone in any relationship deserves that and I refuse to give less than my best. I want my heart to settle into acceptance of what was before I reach out to anyone else again.

There's also one less severe problem. With the exception of you guys, my poly family, there is almost no community here in Hampton Roads for poly folks. There is a Meetup group based out of Yorktown which we plan to join but to be active we need to be mobile at the very least. In fact I was thinking of starting up a HR based Poly/Free Lover Meetup group of my own once cash flow is better. Maybe then someone else with this problem, this anxiety about lack of community, won't have to suffer this way.

I do have some good news though. I was recently offered a new job with very good pay and benefits so the first two problems are now minor. However getting over heartbreak is going to take some time and finding a local community is going to require a bit of research. Of course once I do I am going to date something fierce to make up for so much lost time.
Live and Love Freely

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ego boost and stuff.

I'm getting some shirts of this made. Think it'll help?
Me and Elouise are at the local Hooters I used to work at years ago. We have a couple of drinks and I catch up with some old co-workers. I spot a Hooters girl I was really tight with before I became a free lover. Instantly I remembered why I liked her so much. She was attractive, funny, friendly and we laughed a lot together. On a whim I say to my wife, "I should ask her out," knowing full well I was too timid in that respect to actually do it. Elouise, being who she is, puts me on full blast! She drags the girl over to me and says, "He has something to ask you." I actually managed to not choke on my tongue and ask her out to dinner. At first she accepted (YES!) and wondered why I hadn't asked her out before but, then she remembered her boyfriend (FUCK!) would not be cool with "sharing." She made it a point to give me her number and to ask me to keep in touch. I know some people are thinking cop-out or she let me down easy but this is someone I know very well. She's not the dishonest type. I've seen her turn down men cold, friends and strangers alike, so I know she was being genuine.

If nothing else the quick visit to an old haunt showed me something I don't always realize: women like me. Not every woman obviously but enough that I think dating is doable. Elouise pointed out to me all the women who were checking me out that night. More than I expected to be honest. A boost to my ego no doubt. I'm still kind of a big chicken when it comes to approaching women but, at least now I'll know it's possible.
I wish meeting someone in real life was a easy as online. I guess it's easy because I don't really feel the other person's energy next to me through a screen. When you try to spark a romance online you can take your time and form thoughts in your head before you hit the send key. That takes a lot of the stress off. Funny enough, meeting someone you have instant chemistry with, like me and Elouise, is even better than online. It's alive and evolving as you converse and make subtle body gestures conveying your interest.
That one instant, when this pretty little blonde girl I've liked for a long time let's me know that there was a shot if I had just not waited so long, made me realize that my procrastination may be costing me more than just time. I'm feeling quite confident now. Hopefully my next post will be about an actual date.
On my wife's side of things, her "girlfriend" Tiffany may be moving away soon. I'm only slightly upset about as I don't like how Elouise is being regulated to a side chick. It just feels like she doesn't really want to be with Elouise and I have to say, Tiffany is missing out. I've voiced my opinion to my dear wife and she's taken the advice, though she still sees her "girlfriend." I want her to find someone who cares about her the way Candy and I do, though I know I'm being unfair to Tiffany by demanding that. I just feel Elouise deserves it.
Well anyway, it seems things will be changing for us sooner rather than later. Maybe the rest of this year will go better. Spring has finally decided to show up and Spring is the season of new life. Let's see where it goes, shall we?

Live and Love Freely

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Does skin color matter? pt 2 Confession

Originally I was going to write about what kind of woman I hope to meet or my pentient for romance but, I felt the need to elaborate on this video I posted yesterday on YouTube I'm not going to dwell on this topic and I wanted to go into something I missed in my video.

I made it a point to say that I would date a woman of any skin color and I meant that but, I'm not perfect. In fact, confession time. For years, before my own personal set of epiphanies happened, I could not stand to see a black woman with a white man. My parents, as awesome as they are, were brought up to believe that anyone white was our enemy and they projected that onto me and my siblings. Let me be clear I am NOT blaming my great and wonderful parents for my shortcoming before I conquered it, I'm listing all the factors that helped form it. For a while it stuck. It didn't help that I was listening to overly militant black leaders spouting how black women were trained to love white men over us and how black men were leaving their families to be with white women. Sounds harsh, right? Imagine having that drilled into your head for 16 years then being thrown into the world. Of course I questioned the logic in it, even as a kid, but Mom and Dad were always right before and it wasn't just them. All of my older relatives said the same thing. Combine that with being exposed to Rosewood, Malcolm X and all of the pro-black, anti-white movies of the 80's and 90's and that was a recipe for a very angry person.

I was taught that either of these was wrong.

Then came reality.

When I started making friends of all colors and of all genders I was thrown for a loop. They never cared about my race. The white people I had been taught to fear and hate loved my company. More importantly they didn't hate ANY black person. How could this be? They're my enemies...right? That's not to say I haven't experienced racism from caucasians (I do live in Virginia after all) but it wasn't as bad as I was lead to believe.

The thing is I felt the most hate about my very dark skin color from other black people, black girls especially. You can imagine my inner conflict when I was told "You're too black for me to date," by a girl even darker than me but in the same conversation told that I'm "...not black enough," because of my demeanor and mannerisms. Throughout my teenage years this cycle repeated endlessly. "You're too black" "You ain't black enough." Not to mention I started seeing those same girls getting picked up by white guys. This is where the complex started to develop.

Fast forward a few years and some important firsts happen to me. My first kiss, my very first date, my first time having sex and my first real feelings of affection from a girl. All white women. When I told cousin Rochelle she was happy for me but, other black women I knew called me a traitor. Some of them were the same ones who told me I wasn't "black enough" or "too black." How dare you fix your lips to call me a traitor when you never gave me a shot? I lie to you not this was an honest answer I received. "It's okay if we fuck wit white men but, you can't fuck wit white women. Errbody know that." That was the spark. After that I couldn't stand to see any black woman with a white man. The very sight of it made me furious.

Fast forward to three years ago, having been a Free Lover (aka poly person) for about a year. I notice a lot of what I thought was wrong. Having dated women of all colors except Asian (yet), I found that most times interracial relationships happen, not because of some racial agenda, but out of genuine love. I'm still wary of white men at this time though.
Then my Angel, Elouise says those magic words. "Sweety, you sound like a racist when you say things like that." I replayed some of the things I said in my head and she was right.

I was a racist.
I'm glad I realized this lesson in time.

From that day on I made it my mission to never be that young fool again. It took a long time and a lot of self-discipline but eventually I was free of that curse. As it happens two of my new friends are a mixed couple, a white male and black female, and they are two of the coolest people ever. My parents also gave up their racist views when I told them I was a poly person. They welcomed my lifestyle with open arms and all that came with it.

This was harder to type that I anticipated. I'm confessing this to you, Poly Family, because as long as we've been together you've always been straight with me and I felt you deserved the same courtesy. I'm always open to comments and questions here or on my YouTube channel.

And that's all. Live and love freely, everyone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Polyamory: The New Fad

Poly family, I'm worried. Polyamory has gained popularity over the last few years. The Showtime series "Polyamory: Married and Dating" has shown a couple sides of our beloved and sometimes trying lifestyle. Numerous blogs and websites put it in the public eye more and more. Suddenly scores of people are coming out as poly. Mainstream society has finally begun to recognize that heterosexual monogamy might not work for each and every human being. So why am I worried?

Because I don't want this lifestyle to become a fad, a quick cash in for the media sharks to utilize. Most pictures of the model polyamorous relationship look like the pictures above. Cute, young, perfect bodies, white and, judging from their clothes, wealthy. Just like everything there are people of all shapes, sizes and, in this case, income brackets who live a poly lifestyle. I'm worried about the awkward teenager who has never watched the show but has done actual research on polyamory only to be told they're not "poly material". Worse yet, those of us who have been poly for a while (three years for us if you're curious) may become guarded around newer poly people, pointing our fingers and saying "you're not really poly because..." When those pictures are what's going to be pushed on us as the face of Polyamory, newer poly people are going to come into the picture with a skewed idea of what poly is and we in the lifestyle are going to be on guard.
Lifestyle is the key word here. Loving more than one person isn't something you can turn off like a switch. It's difficult to hide, painful to deny. It's part of who we are, part of what makes us unique. So is it any wonder when I see a picture like this...
I get worried about our lifestyle being popularized and used?
I'm conflicted on this issue however as one the one hand I do want people who would identify as poly but have no idea that there is name and, better still, a community for them to join to know about it but, I loathe the idea of the lifestyle being something for all the Abercrombie and Fitch crowd to "do" on their days off from nothing.
It's like what happened with gaming. As a lady friend of mine put it, we were gamers before it was "cool." I'm talking Atari 2600, NES, Genesis. Back when it was about the games and not the cash in. Then gaming started to get more and more attention and now...Crap of Duty: Modern Cash whore. That's not to say it's a bad game (OK, I came out swinging I know) but, it's such a well done FPS shooter that too many games are now following that formula. The thing is COD altered an already great formula when Halo hit the scene. What I'm saying is with the proliferation of the lifestyle, brand new poly relationships will be molded after others in an attempt to recreate the "model" even when there is no need to.
There are some who already see poly-living as a fad, trend, or a phase and mistake polyamory for swinging. It won't help at all if it's the "hot new thing to try." This is who we are. It's not fashionable, it's not an accessory or a way to get more sex (though that does happen...a lot) it's about being true to ourselves and truthful with those around us. It's understanding that we can give multiple parts of ourselves to others and love every second of it. It's a lot of heartache, ridicule and perceived deviance which can land us in trouble with close-minded people in places of authority.
It's hard. Being made into a fashion statement won't make it easier.

Maybe I should look on the bright side. Maybe the popularity train will pass us by and we'll proliferate the right way, with people researching the subject and word of mouth. If not it'll only be five years until polyamory is "retro". Oh Hell on wheels, retro always comes back in style...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Fabled Unicorn and Couples Privilege

During my time as a free lover the term "Unicorn" has been thrown around a lot. If you don't know what that is (I'm sure that applies to no one in this blogs target audience), the term refers to the mythical horse or goat-like animal with a spiraling horn growing from it's forehead. It's supposed to relate how rare a bi-sexual female who is into dating couples is. Funny because only virgins are supposed to be able to capture one. Also bi-women who want to date couples actually exist but, in much smaller numbers than the couples who want to date them. 

Now as the male half of one such couple, I'm not going to try to speak for all poly-male-female-seeking-women-couples but, I will address a few things that caught my attention about the subject.
Now in assuming that most couples who identify as polyamorous are genuine, I'll go out on a limb and say that poly couples who date bi-women exclusively aren't doing so with malicious or lecherous intent. We truly seek to meet a woman who thinks as much of each of us as we do her and each other. We want to love everything about her from her interests to her flaws, of which she may have as many as each of us. We want to build something lasting with the three of us. Together. Hopefully it grows into a relationship where we all share the same roof, resources and pains. The three of of will discuss any problems that arise as a family and work through them together.

The only problem is, just like monogamous dating, finding the woman or man that is just right is a total crap shoot. Again I am reminded of how fortunate me and Elouise were to have found Candy the way we did. She wanted the same things we did. We accepted each others faults and virtues. Most importantly though, we made her feel like was a member of our family because she was. She still is.
Also for the woman it's especially risky as the couple may not be as "secure" as they purport to be. This really well written article on Couples Privilege makes a point that some couples feel that they're adding to what they have but, give no regards to the woman that may be potentially become part of their family. She isn't looking to fix a broken relationship or be a live in sex toy. This is a person with their own desires and needs. She has to be given the same consideration as if you weren't trying to add to a couple. This story, and this alienating article about it, is a particularly extreme example of how an insecure, jealous couple can make it unappealing for bi women to join a established couple (please bear in mind this is a fringe of an otherwise lovely sect of people). On a personal note, the fact that they're all African American really hit home for me, especially after having experienced the polar opposite where there was love overflowing between us three. It doesn't really paint a good picture of us. Fortunately around 96% of poly folks are wise enough to realize that one incident like this doesn't represent an entire race. The point that stuck out to me the most was that love became a problem in this relationship when it came from someone other than the established couple.

This brings me to Couples Privilege. How, as a couple, we unconsciously protect our relationship above all else. What does it mean to us?

Absolutely nothing.

It doesn't really matter to us because we never exercised it, from the many descriptions I've read about the subject and there are maybe HUNDREDS of different articles about it. We haven't ever made the relationship about "us and her" or set down "rules" about what should and should not happen. Neither Elouise or myself like restrictions so to set them on someone else who wanted to be with one or both of us was never in the cards. Our relationship was stable enough that we weren't worried about an outside force breaking it apart so we definitely saw no threat from someone we were inviting in. Also this flawed woman, whoever she would have been (turns out she was an awesome woman) we wanted to feel welcome and safe. That couldn't happen if we were constantly trying to protect something that didn't need protecting from someone who was no danger to it.
In the aforementioned article on couples privilege,the final three paragraphs speak about trust. Not trusting one's partner or worse not trusting the new woman or man in the relationship. That's why I think Elouise and I had and still have so much success in our romantic pursuits. Because we trust each other implicitly and unconditionally. It's why we date together and separately. Just think about. Why waste so much energy suspecting and questioning everything about my partner? If that's the case why even bother being in a relationship, poly or otherwise? We are in a relationship because we love each other and to be happy. Suspicion and happiness don't even belong in the same paragraph (yea, I know just roll with it.)

Not my work but I like the message.
To be fair no one ever really mentions how couples can be used by bi-women. Whether it's to have a place to live, extra money to burn or, in our case, used for sex, couples are taken advantage of as well. There was a time right after Candy had to leave for Japan we jumped right back into the dating pool, separately and jointly. There was a woman who I'm not going to name who called us only when she was horny and her boyfriend wasn't satisfying her. After about two months we realized she wasn't at all what she claimed and we backed off (Elouise backed off before me) but not before she shook our faith in loving freely. Fortunately we took it as a learning experience and moved on.

In the end the idea of a bi-woman or man who wishes to be with a couple isn't as far fetched as it seems but, it does require a big human investment on the part of all involved. At times it will feel like a futile search for both sides but, the end result, if you have all the parts in place, is worth the immense effort.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Dilemma.

Dating is hard when you're married. I know that sounds like a "No, really?" statement but it's true for most free lovers and doubly true for me. It's not that I'm hard to get along with or that women don't find me attractive or interesting. I'm a big masculine guy and women who are interested in me love that but, it's usually my mind that attracts women to me. I think differently about everything and I'm not shy about sharing it. I don't have any racist, sexist or elitist tendencies and I always try to do what's right. So if my character and appearance are fine, what's the problem? Well I'm rather shy for one but that's not the biggest obstacle. It's that I'm already attached to my Angel, Elouise.

Now to be clear, I don't consider Elouise to be an obstacle to me dating other women. Quite the contrary actually as she actively encourages me to meet someone. It's that I'm often unsure of how other women in my town will react to a free loving couple. What happens often is I meet a woman I click with, usually at a bookstore or game store, we end up talking about nothing for hours and just enjoying each others time. I feel like things are going good so...I back off. The reason? There's a very good chance this awesome lady is monogamous or at the very least poly-intolerant. Sometimes if I'm unsure I'll ask directly "Have you ever heard of Polyamory?" and 7 times out of 10 I'll hear "Yea and it's disgusting. Having sex with all those people." The other three times they'll simply say "No." I'm not going to keep my Angel a secret like someone suggested once and I'm not going to lie to anyone (I have enough bad karma). If things get to a point where we are making plans to spend the day together I think she deserves to know I'm not single but not a cheater either. I mean when exactly is a good time to say "Oh and, little thing, I've been with someone for 12 years straight. Want to catch a movie?" That whole thing is awkward beyond words.

I've heard some advice that was equal parts brilliant and silly. "Don't date monos." Great. Problem solved! Let's have all poly people date other polys and that's that! Now what do monos look like so we can not approach them...? See the issue? Monogamous people don't wear a sign that says "I'm looking for my one and only," and even though free lovers (from now on I'll use that term. Poly sounds funny to me.) have a symbol of our status we seldom wear it. Identifying other free lovers just isn’t that easy, as much as I would like it to be. 

Maybe I should wear one of these.
Also in my town (Hampton, VA is part of the bible belt) anything that isn't related to religion on some level is vilified to hell. This town will literally beat you over the head with "Gawd's wurd." There are churches all over the place. In fact I've mapped it. There is absolutely no way to get from my home to my job without passing a Christian church. I make this point because as many free lovers will tell you, church going folk, who apparently have Jesus' power of attorney, will condemn you for not being monogamous and heterosexual. Obviously not every religious person is like this but enough to make one nervous when coming out to a religious family member.

There's also one more big red flag for me and Elouise personally. Being African American. I don't want to elaborate on this particular issue to much (I might in a later post) but suffice it to say that in the black community it's generally frowned on to do anything considered "White" despite the ignorance of that statement.

So all of those factors combined with me being a big chicken have led me to be very reserved and taciturn when I'm out. Of course my Angel notices me checking out other women and has even gone so far as to ask them to come over and meet me. Which of course leads to this other woman to ask if she's my sister to which I reply "No. She's my wife." This leads to a whole dialogue tree ala Mass Effect with all roads ending in her walking away, her level of disgust the only variable.
All hope is not lost though. I plan on trying to actively date now that I have a forum to talk about it (thank you for reading this far by the way). Any advice or ideas would be very welcome. Maybe my next post will bring good news. Until then, Live and Love Freely.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I've been with the same woman for over eleven years. To this day whenever we're together people say we act like newlyweds. We enjoy each others company so much and we're not shy about showing it. We've seen every up and down a couple can handle and a few that no couple could. Through it all we've stayed together, leaning on each other in times of weakness. I've cried to her when I was at my lowest and I've held her up when she couldn't stand on her own. The love we share is magical, if I may be allowed such a delusion. There is no woman on Earth or in time I'd trade her for.
So I won't hold it against you if you find it odd that I'm writing about our enchanted romance while she's on a date with her girlfriend Tiffany. 

My dear Elouise
Yes we are a polyamorous couple and we've heard every criticism that gets hurled at poly couples. "Polyamorous? Oh so you're a cheater." "What's the point of getting married?" "So you guys are swingers?! That's cool!" "Oh that's just an open relationship where you have sex with other people." Living in Virginia, part of the bible belt where churches are on nearly every corner, is particularly hard for anybody poly, nevermind a non-religious, African American, poly couple with a bi-sexual female (bet that scarred a pastor or two). Just trying to find another poly person to talk to about this is frustrating because we're often so unsure about how someone will react. So far I've met two other polyamorous people, both bisexual women, in the Hampton Roads area and neither of them were locals.
We tend to ignore the ignorant and allow them their simple explanation for the complex choice that polyamory can be. We do have a good support system in our families, surprising as they're all old school baptist, who love us and respect our choices. When we dating Candy (name changed for her privacy) as a closed triad, we introduced her as our girlfriend to our respective parents. She was welcomed with open arms and, in my mother-in-laws case, a bearhug.
So the obvious question is "How did we find out we were polyamorous?" Well that's a funny story. It starts out in 2010 when we were toying around with the idea of having a threesome with another woman. We would talk about what kind of woman should she be. Big or small? White, black, Asian or something else? Tall or short? Younger or older? We discussed it often and excitedly. We loved to talk about so much that we couldn't wait to see each other to discuss it even more. Eventually we tried what many couples who are venturing out of their safety zones for the first time try.
We put up an ad on Craigslist.
We received various responses but not very many genuine ones. We became frustrated over the fickle nature of our responders (silly now we know but, bear in mind we were very insular at the time.) Then my brilliant wife said the words that opened up Pandora's box. "Why don't we just date a woman? Together?" (This was before we knew anything about the term Polyamory and before we knew we could date separately.)I initially laughed her idea off but, that night I went to bed, I layed there awake...and I it possible? Could we really date a woman as a couple? Could we have a girlfriend? I thought and pondered and analyzed both mine and my wife's personalities for weeks after she posed the question. I am a tall, dark skinned male with zero "swag" with a love of video games, comic books, sci-fi and horror movies and martial arts. I'm a very spiritual person but, not religious and I have a natural disdain for being ordered around. Elouise is a sexy, cinnamon-brown, woman who loves doing hair and is so incredibly girly you'd swear she sneezes rainbows. She's very much into R&B, is family oriented and loves to read. Where would we find a woman willing to deal with such an odd mixture of styles?
Soon I began to question the integrity of our marriage. Was she dry-cheating on me? Was she just after sex with other women? What about me? Would I feel comfortable having dates with other women? Would other women even be able to deal with me? I won't leave Elouise for anyone but, does she feel the same? All of these inner queries found their way into our nightly pillow talk. "We have been through the worst stuff together. Don't for one second think that anything or anyone can pull us apart. I love you. I always have and I always will," she says to me, with a hurt look in her eyes. I realized then that after eight years we had built a strong love on a foundation of honor, trust and honesty. We put "Us" before all else. We are a strong couple with a great relationship. Maybe we could make this work. 

Still not aware of what we were attempting we put up yet another ad on Craigslist. This time we received an honest response from a woman who we'll call Betty. The initial emails and texting went really well. This wasn't her first time dating a couple and she was eager to try it again. After maybe two weeks we agreed to meet at our local beach. Me and Elouise decided a public venue would be best if we had to leave in case she was loopy. In retrospect we may have ignored warning signs. Betty was not at all what she purported to be. She said she was a gamer to appeal to me but in reality she played Grand Theft Auto 3...once. She told us how she wanted to spend lots of time with us. We saw her one time: the initial meeting. After that nothing. She refused to call us, instead relying on texts which isn't that bad, a lot of people do that these days, but if we didn't text her it was Armageddon.
Needless to say we dropped her cold. Wasn't hard, just stopped answering texts. Naturally we're a little discouraged about dating at this point. I'm stubborn though and don't like the idea of quitting, even a near impossible endeavor like this one. So yet another ad found it's way on Craigslist. The woman who answered this time changed mine and Elouise's life forever. We'll call her Candy because that was our nickname for her. Again the initial emails and texts were promising. She was a funny, witty woman, very girly which Elouise loved and a total nerd which I loved. we traded pictures and talked about dreams and fantasies.
Then one day Candy and Elouise were chatting back and forth and she presented us with a word: Polyamory. So there was a term for it. Personally I was a little sad to find out we weren't starting a trend but, at least we knew it wasn't going to be a lonely road. Soon after we agreed to meet. We chose the same place for the same reason. The red flags we saw with Betty we did not see with Candy so we're hopeful at this point.
That was our first date but no where near our last. We walked that beach hand in hand in hand for hours just talking. We drew a few odd stares (Virginia is really conservative) but no one dared say anything. Eventually we left the waterfront and headed back to mine and Elouise's home being so close. Once there we lay in our bed and just looked at pictures and talked about where we wanted to go with this relationship. New relationship energy was riding high when she left for home that evening and we stayed up all night talking about it. 

Out of respect for her privacy I've blocked Candy's face out.
That was a start of three great years. In that time we celebrated birthdays, went to family reunions, introduced her to our parents (who were super cool with our new lifestyle), she cried to us about her past, fought with us, made up, opened up sexual avenues we never knew about, and grew as people just from being around one another. My relationship with Candy was different from my relationship with Elouise. Not less not more, different. Elouise and Candy had their own relationship separate from ours. Not less not more, separate. Of course we all loved as triad as well. She was part our family. She had her own key to our apartment and came and went as she pleased. We shared our darkest secrets with each other. It felt so natural.
Sadly she had to leave the country last summer so our relationship ended, on good terms but, with a lot of longing and heartache. We still talk to her and we let her know how much we miss her. She opened up a door for us that we never knew we wanted opened. I don't know if she'll ever read this but, Candy thank you for coming into our lives.
So how has it been since? Well stay tuned I got some stories to tell you...