I believe alt accounts are safe in H/A, but if not then sorry and I'll take this down.
This is probably going to be a long post, but I'm looking for advice and experiences of others who may be or have been in a similar situation. Obviously if you'd like to stay anonymous about you or your partner's lifestyle choices than I welcome PMs as well.
I met a woman while in traveling for a work conference. Company she worked for was doing work for the company that just bought the company that I worked for, so a group of us met at a bar as a "good to meet everyone face to face" thing. What was supposed to be 5/6 of us having a quick drink ended up turning into 7-8 hours of drinking and hanging out. The entire time she and I were flirting and laughing and light touches, etc. The end of the night is drawing near as I have a 5:30am plane to catch and she was going off to meet up with friends. Before leaving she grabs my phone, puts her number in, hands it back, and walks away.
Next day after my very hungover I wanna die flight I send her a text. A few go back and forth and I get a "why didn't you take me back to your room last night?" Hm. Right. That. Well, one is that it's not usually my style. Second was the stupidly early flight and third was that I was actually sharing the room.
She's based on one coast, I'm based on the other. She's going to be in a city which was a quick hop from me and suggests we get together. K. I head up there for a night and we explore the city, each other, etc.
We both have to travel to another city for work. We spend that time and night with each other. We have to travel to another...we spend it together again.
Texting and chatting continues and eventually get to stuff like "what is this with us?" Both are ok with keeping it light as there is a country between us and yea.
Eventually she moves out of the city where she's at to another 5 hours away (her job is letting her go remote). Then I left said company and took a job in the city she just moved out of. Offers to pick me up from the airport when I flew out but I declined because...well, I don't know.
More texting and talking. Keeping it light. I'm not happy in the city and things are weird for me, but we see each other whenever she's visiting the office.
I realize that I'm starting to go head over heels for this woman. Falling hard and how come it always has to be about a work trip? So I haven't been to her place yet and ask about taking a long weekend up there. "yes!" and it's pretty awesome. I need to tell her how I feel.
Work collapses around me and things are bad. I put personal stuff on hold.
Still talk, just not as much. Still see each other, but I can't focus enough to be present.
She suggests a weekend away to clear heads and we go and I'm at my worst. She tells me she loves me. I lock up. Didn't want to, but did.
Something rather bad happens in my world, I tell her and she drives the 5 hours without hesitation. Talking all the time now. Then we take another little weekend trip to really just relax and it's amazing. Plan for me to come up to her place. Flirting like crazy the whole time, and a text comes through from her - "am I nuts or is it time for a face to face talk?" I get up there, it's awesome and that night we talk. I lay it all out. That I don't fall easily and that I love her. She loves me too! Yay!
Last day I'm there we're on a hike and she drops "what do you want this to be?" And I couldn't really articulate. I'm currently attempting to shift my job perspective and it means I don't know where I'll be soon. I just want to spend more time with her, be with each other as we're able, maybe get to the point much further down the line where we think about living together. Build a life together if it works but enjoy it for what it is now.
Turns out she's happy with what we've got as it allows for freedom for her to live her life.
She was passing through on her way to see another friend of hers (and no, I don't know if it's that kind of friend and I'm not asking) yesterday and stopped by my place for a few hours. Dinner and activities were had. She's been talking to me all day and is going to stop back by on her way home and spend the night tomorrow.
Once my job stuff settles we're talking about taking a trip somewhere we both really want to go together.
Got a message from her, "I don't know the rules on this, but how far out are we allowed to plan? Can we pencil in <these dates>?" Let her know I was going to ask when I can see her again when I next saw her so yea..absolutely.
And this is where the story telling is going to breakdown because I'm not sure how to structure it:
- What I knew: She's been married and divorced. It lasted 10 months and he just gave up and it fucked her up on the whole concept of marriage. She hates it and doesn't want to go anywhere near it again. What I didn't know: However, it was an open marriage and her husband was encouraging her to seek a relationship with one person in particular. She did and, as I understand it, still maintains that relationship.
- What she's hinted at and since talked about openly: She's been in relationships with couples, she's seen someone and the two of them were in a relationship with another couple, there's been swinging relationships, there's been a BDSM she's in a cage style relationship.
- I have zero idea how many relationships she's maintaining right now and I'm not sure I want to know. Though, if I asked I'm positive she'd tell me.
Quotes and stuff:
She asked me my thoughts on love and what that means and I told her. Her response - "I've never met anyone who loves like you do. It's amazing. It's how I love and want to be loved."
"I want to take time to think about this and you. For what it's worth, you're the only person I've ever been with that has ever made me want to consider a monogamous life."
When I was last at her place we were sitting curled up on the couch and she began crying. Holding her she finally said, "I'm going to miss you so much." That was the longest time we've spent together. 3 nights and 4 days.
She didn't explain her take on relationships monogamy and poly well, and she knows it and has reserved the right to re-articulate at some point. Things like "just not wired for it" "I can be in love with more than one person and share that with them."
"You don't strike me as the type who would be ok living with me and then when I go away for a night or two be ok when I came back." She's not wrong. It would break my brain like you wouldn't believe.
"I'm not into long distance relationships. You're at about the cusp of where I'd be ok at and that's because I really like you and am comfortable in that city so I can show you around."
"If we were to live together my friends would wonder what happened to me as I think for 6 months straight we'd fall into each others arms and the bed and never come out."
"You can't hang on to this hoping that I'll change or that I'll grow out of it. I don't think that this is a sustainable lifestyle and I'm not sure I want it to be, but that's not fair to either of us." For what it's worth, I did say that I understand that and wouldn't so much as try to change who she is. I've never shamed or judged any of this - it's just who she is and what she believes.
That's kind of it. It's enough.
I don't know what kind of advice I'm looking for, honestly. I wish I did. Right now we're sort of in a holding pattern until job stuff settles. If I'm still in the area then we'll have to see what happens. If I'm not, then I guess it fades away.
But if I stay? I don't think I can much bear the woman I love going to bed with other people. And I know she loves me, I'm very well aware of it and she's amazing at proving it and is so caring and kind. But yea... we didn't define ourselves as anything more than we love each other, we're in some kind of undefined relationship/dating, and things are well beyond the "keep it light" and into the medium to heavy range.
Anyone in a similar situation? Have insight into that particular mindset? I've been doing a mess of reading, but might as well reach out to you folks.