In a scenario in which both partners have primary lives and obligations, how do we understand and negotiate time? How do we balance understanding for necessary focus on family and work with need to spend time with a partner? How do we compensate for the inability to meet in person?
I had a few encounters once with a man who was perpetually late. I have had some chats with men who rarely initiated communication. I have felt like a woman who didn’t warrant even an hour of time in several months of busy work frenzy. I have had dates forgotten about. I have had changes made to arrangements so many times that I no longer felt like there was any real desire to be together. I keep going back to that movie in which I am told that he just isn’t that into you.
Do the rules hold true here, in a world of discreet affairs, when the risk of being found out is so high? We must fit in time around moving targets of obligation, but I always seem to manage it when I am motivated to do so.
While I have felt all of the sting of being a low priority, I have felt showered by affection too. I have a love a world away, and we share luxuries of communication I haven’t shared with anyone else. We talk about EVERYTHING, and there is so much consistency in it that it takes my breath away. The only explanation for it is that we both feel it as vital. We are in balance, and we thrive in it together.
I have been in the land of consistency with several past lovers, and there is a lot of pain when that has changed for whatever reason. Life is sometimes not very forgiving. COVID-19 and social distancing has really challenged the dynamic of discreet relationships. The risks we take with potential new partners changes the expectation of time.
Historically, I have been very patient with being low on priority list for partners. I have since realized that patience is rooted in my making excuses so I don’t feel like I am unimportant to my partners. I matter. My time matters. I will endeavor to invest my affections and patience with partners who likewise invest in me. I will spend time on partners who mirror my desires and affections, and when we cannot be together in person, I will expect time all the same.
Time is a gift. I want to give it and receive it in proportion and with common generosity. The rest is just laziness…or a business that isn’t conducive to building a relationship.
Some of being poly allows me to accept what a person can be without dismissing them for what they cannot be always. I have a local partner whose current situation doesn’t allow us the time we used to have. I still have faith that our lives will open up to one another again. But I also know full well, we won’t survive forever without intentional time either in person or online.