Understanding time

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.

8 thoughts on “Understanding time”

  1. Yes and yyeeessss,
    TIME is the crux of the problem isn’t it? The thing people will feel the most cheated about. How could you? How could you spend your time with someone else when you hadn’t enough time for me? That rings through my mind constantly when thinking about relationships that didn’t work out.
    When it comes down to the nitty gritty of things I think we are easily forgiven the fact that love and affection were shared with someone. But forgiveness for the loss of time is hard to come by. After all isn’t time more precious than gold? Doesn’t it equate to life itself. Our most limited commodity, the one that we will at some point run completely out of.
    Yes I know it is infinite, will continue with no end for the universe as a whole but not us mortals. We only have the 24 hours in the day and the days that number somewhere between 1 day and 100 or so years worth.
    But isn’t it our time too? It doesn’t belong to just our partner or lover. Don’t we have a say in how to spend it? It can’t be saved or banked. It is definitely a use or lose commodity.


    1. @SlowWalker “How could you spend your time with someone else when you hadn’t enough time for me?” This is interesting. I think I am generous with time, and I have multiple partners…but perhaps there are times in which my partners feel the pinch of that time…the competition for my time. I wonder if I am doing to them what has been done to me…

      I will ask.

      I some cases, I fill my capacity because one partner or another has limitations. Limitations for time or proximity or sexual/emotional expressiveness. I don’t think I rob them of my time, but that perspective isn’t maybe mine to realize. It is always evident for the one who feels the deficit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You immediately picked up on the same thing I did in SlowWalker’s comment.
        That very same sentence.
        Time is time. When I am gifted time by my love, however long or short, I treasure it. Because I know she has other duties of care, other responsibilities, other labours of love.

        And yet…in all that… I AM on her mind. She does gift me her time. And any of that she gifts me is time she deemed worthy of the investment. That I, me, Abigail, am worthy of the investment.

        I would hope my love feels the same way. At the moment I’m able to lavish more attention than I will be able to at other times. But I trust, I KNOW, that she will understand when I hit times where I cannot carve out the space she so fully deserves, because she knows by now that she is never far from my thoughts and that I WILL always consider her worth my consideration, and those precious ticking moments of my time.


      2. We don’t keep score, but we endeavor to be sure that the bank is filled with love…So that when the time is scarce, the love is not…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Further…
        I firmly believe my love would respect, even love, me a little less if I neglected those other labours of love. Even as she understands the pain some of those commitments bring me.


  2. Argh
    One final thought…
    Do I wish I had more of my love’s time? Yes, ofc. Always. I wish our conjoined circumstances were very very different.
    But ‘in competition’? No. Never. Emphatically not. When my love comes to me I know that her heart is full of nothing but love for ME.

    One needs only a glimpse of a precious jewel to appreciate its shine. To want to be able to gaze at its beauty at your leisure is understandable. But equally why wouldn’t you want others to see that radiant brilliance?!

    That I get repeat viewings of my precious gem, that I can turn her in my hand and examine different facets, hold her to different lights…over time. Time gifted for me, by my love , to enjoy all the beauty of her oh-so-very precious blood diamond of a heart?!

    Is a gift beyond value.


    1. “emphatically not” – I like that.

      And time is the ultimate gift….and when time lacks, intentionality bridges the gap, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes.
        Knowing that she’ll be back (and I never doubt it, such has been the immense gift of trust she’s bestowed and inspired) and that she’ll be thinking how and when to fit me in… That counts for an awful lot. I don’t begrudge her her busy life. On the contrary I do cherish that commitment to me, that intention as you say, that brings her back to me.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s