What does it mean to accept something? What boundaries or limits are there to this concept? How many people are so set in their ways that they cannot look beyond their beliefs, their virtues, and their limitations to open themselves up to new ways or ideas? I questioned this concept lately, but perhaps not in the ways you might imagine. One might imagine I am speaking about accepting others belief systems; maybe religion, culture, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. One might expect that I am speaking about accepting a person for who or what they are; and not for a stereotype that has been set upon them by society. While these types of acceptance are quite important in life, those are not the ways in which I mean this today.
In this moment in time, and for the past two and a half months I have been in a relationship with two women. Our relationship started well before this as a friendship, and grew to be a relationship in all but name for many months before we made it official. The first of these women is my girlfriend, Michelle, and the second is her girlfriend, Sarah. These two have been together forever and are an unbreakable couple. Childhood friends, from the first days that such things could happen; and lovers in their teens. Their relationship as weathered storms and the years, keeping them best friends and committed partners in life.
They have a version of an open relationship, and that is where I come into it. They both like men to varying degrees, but Michelle is the one that dates men in long term relationships, and brings them into their relationship. Women are also brought into the relationship, but more so as flings from what I understand. So this is the life they live, and their version of normality. That is a life much different than the one I have believed in, and something that I have accepted in them. Though I have questioned how my acceptance has been so firm on this concept of a relationship.
Here is where the foundation of my understanding in relationship comes from. My biological father left my mother, my sister, and I in Arizona; after moving us out there from New England, far away from my mother’s support system. I was maybe three or four at the time, and he said goodbye in the early hours of the morning to my sister and I; my mother was sleeping at the time, and sick with cancer. She was his second wife, and he had at least five others after her (common law, and legal wives). I would say that he cheated on each of his wives, and I can say that with upmost assurance on that with knowledge of his character in those years and what he admitted to now that he has moved past that type of life.
After he left us, I am told I hated men, and I can see signs of that in the memories I still have. When I started school, the other boys would try to chase the girls around the playground and I would impose myself between them, stopping it. Women were not mistreated on my watch, and I had always been a bigger child than most. So I grew to have a respect for them that perhaps is lost in today’s society, and that was reinforced by the strong women of family around me in those years. I also grew to respect the committed relationship; I have never cheated on a single woman in my life, because of those virtues and the knowledge of the pain inflicted by my biological father adulterous actions. I also have had women cheat on me and have felt a sting deep inside that I could never transfer upon another soul. Until now I have seen committed relationships as a thing between two people alone, though I have been in casual relationships that had a touch of openness in the past. Though only in relationships that were more fun, then something either of us believed to be serious or lasting did these things happen. It also seems that I attract far more bisexual woman then completely straight ones, and that began well before it was so fashionable to be a bisexual.
So knowing this about me, how could I be so accepting of a relationship of this type? Is this not a dream for most men? To date one amazing woman, have sex with two women, and perhaps others on occasion; and be the only man in their lives. I believe and know that most men would see that is a big bonus to any relationship. But I cannot think of another human as some bonus, and I truly care about this relationship and its possibilities. My acceptance came through long ago, while we were just friends but I had hoped and felt more brewing between us. I knew that they were a solid core to a relationship, one tested through time. That they were essentially one person in two bodies; that is how close they are and how vital to each other’s equilibrium. Joining them would mean that I was the odd one out and that I would have to compliment them, bring something to the relationship that they might not have, be flexible to both and there for them both equally.
My connection to Michelle is one found only in dreams; at least that is how I see it. I have found depths within my heart for her that I would not had believed there in the past. But I will save that for another post, and another day. Knowing my connection to be what it was for Michelle, I have sought to bring me and Sarah closer. I see many things in her that I like; her loyalty, conviction, compassion, intelligence, artistic abilities, and that there is a little geek in her as well. I truly and honestly hope to one day feel the same about her as I do Michelle and for her to feel similar feelings for me.
We once had a good rapport and she seemed to be opening up to me; flirting, being playful, answering questions about herself, talking about deep things, and eventually naming me a prince for my easy charm I assume. She had even gone as far to say that I would eventually make a good husband for Michelle, and my response was for her as well maybe. But today I find that we have turbulent waters, and she sees me more as an enemy for reasons unknown to me or Michelle. I hope to bridge this gap, because I truly care about Michelle and about Sarah as well. She is a vital part of Michelle life, to this relationship, and I have never questioned that, or thought to work against it. I believe that when I am done with my graduate degree, and able to join them; that I can win her back to my side. But until then, I continue to work at a distance and hope that things will come together again. I seek to have a door opened to me, I seek her happiness, and I seek her acceptance; for I have Michelle’s, but still hope for hers.