There is a certain irony in that few days after my last blog post on Tandem Dating, that everything went to hell with the Bears.
I don’t really want to go into the details. There are people who know me and who know the Bears and there is no need to air dirty laundry publically. Let’s just say there is enough responsibility, pain, and unhappiness to go all around for the situation.
So what to talk about?
I guess I will provide some advice on Tandem Dating and breaking up. I am still a believer in polyamory and swinging despite everything. Our relationships with the Foxes seem to be going great though I try not to take that for granted.
So in retrospect here is what I have learned:
1) If you are Tandem Dating, and probably this applies to any poly type relationship or maybe relationships in general, figure out the break up rules ahead of time. According to Serolynne, it is advisable to assume that relationships are temporary and be realistic that they are not intended to last forever. I don’t know that I entirely agree with that, but the cynical side of me agrees. Maybe that is a healthier way to be. At worst you are proven right and prepared; at best you are pleasantly surprised. (http://www.serolynne.com/poly_breakup.htm)
2) Relationships are only between two people even in Tandem Dating. It is just that there are 6 sets of interactions regardless of if there is love or sex going on or just the fact of metamour status. (Me-Mr. Scarlet, Other Couple , Me-Other Couple Male, Me-Other Couple Female, Mr. Scarlet-Other Couple Male, and Mr. Scarlet-Other Couple Female)
3) Decide up front or as soon as possible but preferably not when you are fighting if the expectation is that if one pair is not ok if that is ok to break things off between everyone. In swapping you need 8 yeses. Any one person can say no due to any other person. Make it clear if that the expectation in Tandem Dating.
4) At this point I am not ok with someone breaking up with me because they decide to break up with Mr. Scarlet or because their partner breaks up with him or because he breaks up with them. That is just too much drama. It leads to too much instability. It is hard enough to have a relationship at all, let alone to know that you are under a constant threat from factors completely beyond your control.
5) It is entirely for unfair for me to force Mr. Scarlet to break up with someone he loves. The chance at vetoing a relationship needs to happen upfront, not once love has already been established. If I were too do that, I would basically make him have to make a choice between her or me. He probably would choose me but even so I am causing him pain by asking him to make such a choice. I’m probably causing resentment too as well as long term angst at any more poly type relationships.
6) Everyone grieves differently. Mr. Scarlet seemed most upset not at being dumped but at me being so hurt. Or maybe he’s just better at the stoic macho thing?
7) It’s hard to be mature and try to be friends. I think this is important since we are in the same circles as the Bears so I’m working on it. But I’m also trying not to lead them on. I’ll never say never but I have always had major trust issues. Once that is damaged the likelihood of rebuilding the trust necessary for a poly relationship or swinging appears minimal.