Image for post
Image for post

Are they flirting with you?

If you’re wondering this, the answer is often yes. But the real question should be *why* are they flirting with you?

There are hundreds of articles which will tell you how to look for signs of sexual attraction in someone. Not everyone is an expert in body language but often instinctively we notice those little clues.

Sometimes they aren’t so much clues as huge banners, like your crush literally telling you they find you sexually attractive and why.

Yet still that little question mark still lingers. Do they?

Let’s face it, “are they flirting?” is not necessarily what we’re asking. The real question is why is that person is flirting and where in their minds they were hoping to take it? …

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Timetravelling Ivy @ Medium

This morning I received a message from a guy on a dating app. The kind I received is common but today it made me think.

He said (and I paraphrase)

“I don’t want a traditional relationship because I feel trapped in them, but I don’t just want one-night stands, I want some intimacy.”

This is a regular theme in the contact I get. As a polyamorous woman, men see me as a halfway point between stifling relationship with all the emotional labour it entails, and meaningless sex which leaves you feeling empty.

The reality is the problems they encounter aren’t magically deleted by dating me. They don’t adapt or change any part of the way they interact and the problems of them feeling trapped and their partners feeling jealousy don’t disappear because they date someone polyamorous. They could date anyone and still fall into the same patterns. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Polyamory seems to be having a boom time with lots of people realising there are other relationship structures than ‘fall in love and stay monogamous forever’. I took the brave step to ethical non monogamy just over a year ago, here are a few things I wish someone had told me.

I’m gendering this post because I believe much of this advice is woman-centric.

You’ll be drowning in dick, but most suitors are not worth your while

The first thing I noticed was how many matches and messages I had compared to those of my husband. He’s a great catch — intelligent, caring, good looking, funny — but he maybe had one match to every fifty of mine. That didn’t mean I was hot and he wasn’t, just there are a lot of men out there who are desperate for female attention. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Kristina Flour @ Unsplash

The friend zone is not a thing. We know this. No one owes you their sexual attention for any reason whatsoever.

And yet having a crush can be such an all-encompassing feeling fuelled with expectation it creates a sense of longing which can become selfish and entitled.

No one means to feel this way, and certainly no one means to cause anyone else to feel it either.

Transitioning a friendship into more than friends isn’t something you should take lightly, but sometimes leaving things unsaid can be as damaging as making a move.

I’ve experienced this from both sides, as a friend who didn’t say anything, and as a friend who’s been partner zoned. The more open I am about being polyamorous the more of an issue it’s becoming. It was incredibly easy to be in the privileged position of being able to say, “Of course not, duh, I’m married.” Taking that support blanket away forced me to deal with things in a far more empathic and constructive way. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Whenever anyone asks me to describe polyamory, I struggle to find a suitable website to direct them to. Explaining my beliefs and how I like to manage my relationship models is something I sometimes find hard to put into words without a little contemplation. So here it is.

The word itself is a mash up of Greek and Latin and translates loosely as ‘many loves.’

This is the real difference here between other forms of ethical non monogamy and polyamory. The love.

I want meaningful connections and relationships but with more than one person at a time. Not at exactly the same time as in we all bounce about on the same bed, but at the same point in my life. They may not all be at the same stage; I’m not going to rush into a brand-new relationship with open arms and expect super feelings immediately. That path usually leads to explosion, addictive-sex, and burn out. There’s no rush, things can build at a natural pace, but for me they need to be working towards the general goal of togetherness. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

Are you GGG (Good, game, and giving?) It’s something Dan Savage talks about a fair bit as being an important quality within partners.

I’ve met a lot of people who’ve professed to be these things, but they haven’t really worked out so well for me.

Good, game, and giving is excellent, but it’s the second level of needs for me.

Having just started a relationship where my partner has the three R’s I can see where looking for a GGG guy has left me missing some important factors.

A few months ago, I made the decision to do better for myself within relationships. I decided not to accept any flakiness, or misogyny, or lack of respect. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

A friend of mine said recently “I just don’t have the energy for dating anymore, it’s too much to organise, I’m tired before I’ve even left the house.”

I agreed, and we wondered how other people found it so easy.

The reality for both of us is we have children, and not just that, we’re the primary caregivers in our household.

I’m going to completely ungender this post because it affects everyone, it’s not about what gender role you grew up with or currently identify as, it’s about the role you have within the home.

As parents we make the best choices for our families and those come with compromises all round. I wouldn’t want to live my life in any other way, but it’s hard sometimes. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: TimetravellingIvy @ Medium

I didn’t date him because he deserved better. He does. Everybody does. But when I walk away because I feel flaky and hard to get to know, I realise what I’m telling myself is I don’t deserve love. Deep in my soul a part of myself really does believe polyamorous relationship happiness isn’t for me. It’s like a Jekyll and Hyde inner battle. Most of the time I win but it’s a constant struggle to hold onto knowing I matter too.

“Nobody decent is interested in me” I wail forgetting the trail of perfectly lovely people who don’t really understand what they did wrong.

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Canva

A friend and I joked yesterday that dating profiles should let you leave reviews. It would certainly weed out the worst of the “promise you the world then disappear” offenders.

Then I thought again and realised polyamorous potential partners come with inbuilt recommendations if you look hard enough. The way someone treats their current partners says a lot about how they’ll treat you, not during the wooing stage, or even in the grips of the new relationship excitement, but when you get cosy together and the lust turns to love.

I’m watching the way you look after your current partner’s emotions whilst you’re chasing me. I see what effort you make to ensure they always feel special to you.

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Timetravelling Ivy @ Medium

I’m a big slutty sensation seeker. I love being touched in sexual and non-sexual ways. The glorious energy exchange of a welcome caress feels erotic and beautiful. There’s nothing like it. I love being stroked, massaged, cuddled, and generally petted.

But I like all these things ON MY TERMS.

Non consensual touching is one of my pet hates, whatever the situation. My body language is clear when a touch is unwelcome, I’ll bristle or tense up. I’ll turn my head, I’ll grimace. If I’m in a confident head space I might even give you a look which says, “back off buddy”. Your stroking of the fabric of my new skirt might be an unwelcome touch. The feeling of your leg against mine might be an unwelcome touch. …

About

Timetravelling Ivy

Rantings of a polyamorous, pansexual, switch-bitch bipolar-bear warrior. No expert, no guru, just navigating my world www.timetravellingivy.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store