So close, yet so far away...
One of the great things about poly is that, a good chunk of the time, you stay friends with people you've been in relationships with, even after the relationship has shifted to a friendship, or some version of non-romantic.
One of the tough things about poly is that, a good chunk of the time, you stay friends with people you've been in relationships with, even after the relationship has shifted to a friendship, or some version of non-romantic.
There is something bittersweet about hugging and holding someone you still love, yet are no longer with. It seems much more common in this community than when I was monogamous, to have amicable connections, even close friendships, with people that used to be lovers and partners. For me, the feelings are often still there, the attraction is still present, but there is some compelling reason that I am choosing not to be in a romantic relationship with them. It can feel murky, confusing, and yet, still satisfying to wade through.
This conflicted feeling is usually most intense in the weeks/months immediately following a shift in connection, but in some cases, I find it lasts for years. It is a value to me to not cut people out of my life when the relationship changes, barring unhealthy dynamics, but that doesn't mean it's always a piece of cake to keep in touch. At times, it's been necessary to take some period of time completely apart to allow my feelings to cool down before reinitiating a different type of bond.
Giving myself permission to take space when I need it, to ask my existing partners for comfort when I'm feeling melancholy about a change, and to delve into staying connected, even when it isn't completely comfortable, are skills I keep working on. What do you find most useful in working your way through transitions in relationships?