This summer, right before Mother’s Day, I received a message from a woman on OKCupid that would really make me re-evaluate the casual flings I have. We’ll call this woman Kate.
Kate was in a monogamous marriage with a woman who was much older than she was. She and her wife had an agreement that Kate could have play partners, because the wife’s lack of libido left Kate feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and unwanted. So, that was their solution to that problem. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t read Kate’s profile prior to returning her message. If I had, I never would have written her back.
It turned out that Kate had a very traditionalist approach to love and marriage. Her wife was, to use her words, her “person,” and marriage was til death do you part. No exceptions. To that end, she didn’t even think of ending her marriage over the issues within. Instead, she used her time with me to “take a break” from being herself. That right there was a HUGE red flag. I wanted to say, “If something is so wrong in your life that you literally need to seek out someone to take you away from it on a regular basis, perhaps you should take a long, hard, look at that life, and make some changes.” But, I never did. Instead, I continued to allow myself to be used as a band-aid, a quick fix, for problems in a life and in a relationship that I had nothing to do with despite the plethora of red flags and alarm bells.
Kate and I got together for sex on multiple occasions. During that time, we texted back and forth several times daily. All the while, there were these nagging concerns that I didn’t dare voice, because Kate had this hang up about being judged for the situation with her wife. I didn’t want to make that worse. Further, she had little (read: no) knowledge and experience of poly life. She just wanted her sex, any sort of consideration for the community she was dipping into be damned.
The turning point came when I took a cat from Kate’s friend, due to the fact that the cat was causing behavior problems in the household. This would turn out to be the last time Kate and I met in person. Kate and her friend delivered the cat, an adorably crazy little black cat. Things went downhill when the friend talked nonstop about how good she is in with the cops.
Now, being a woman of color, this enraged me. She boasted of getting the cops to come to her aid at the drop of a hat, and defends law enforcement at every turn, despite their obvious bias that often turns deadly against certain populations of people.
I expressed my discomfort with this to Kate via text message later. The fact that Kate, who claimed to be a socially aware liberal, was friends with someone like this and even was a total apologist for it wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew I couldn’t, as a proud woman of color and an activist, be involved with someone like this. So, I wrote Kate a Facebook message breaking it off. She exploded, naturally, called me a “fucking child” and blocked me. That was just further proof that I had done the right thing, in my mind. She did apologize later when she sent me the cat’s vet records via OKCupid. However, what Kate didn’t– and still doesn’t– know, is that this particular revelation was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. So, without further ado, here is what I should have said to Kate, but didn’t:
I’ve enjoyed our time together. You’re a warm, caring, interesting person. However, there are a few things that bother me about our set-up here. Firstly, the fact that you resent the fact that many poly people wouldn’t give you a chance due to your situation with your wife and your lack of poly experience, that you take that as some kind of judgement or personal affront, is very misguided.
“Polyamory”– as in the word itself– literally means “many loves.” And that is what poly people do. We have loving romantic partnerships with multiple people at the same time. You state clearly and upfront in your profile that you are not looking for a relationship of any kind. Those are your words. So, there’s a fundamental lack of compatibility when it comes to what you are looking for versus what poly people are looking for anyway, right out of the gate.
Secondly, poly people understand that people come into your life at certain points in your life, but that it is human nature to grow and change. Sometimes that growth and change happens at different rates, and even in different directions. We understand that connections and relationships that may have worked at one point in a person’s life may simply not work anymore, and that that’s okay. That is a concept that you clearly don’t understand, considering how you’ve tried to hang on to me even though we just met (I mean you had a sex toy sent to my house after only two dates, and you gave me a cat after three), and how you are clearly unhappy in your marriage, but have no plans to fix that, but instead are using me as a band-aid to fix your problems in a relationship you likely shouldn’t be in anyway. Instead of addressing your lack of fulfillment in your own relationship, you are instead using outside partners– in the current case, me– to fix what ails you.
Thirdly, when I get into a relationship with a primary partner, there just won’t be room for this. I tried to gently warn you of this, but you either didn’t catch on or chose to ignore the implications. There’s no room in a poly life– at least not in my poly life– for catering to an FWB who doesn’t know what she is doing, who isn’t really poly anyway, and who is just using me for a band-aid on issues in an existing marriage.
The fourth point that has been bugging me is that I’ve done all the giving here. It’s exhausting teaching Poly 101 to a newbie who isn’t even really poly. Further, I’m always the one who has to rearrange my schedule to be with you. I’m always catering to whichever days are good for you and your wife. You even selfishly asked if a sternly denied day off could still be reversed. You knew from the beginning that weekends were my time off, yet you refused to ever even attempt to set a date then. You didn’t care about me, or even my livelihood. You just wanted what you wanted.
Lastly, your friendship with [name redacted] really shows that you aren’t as open and liberal as you say. To befriend and defend someone who is a racist cop apologist really is just beyond the pale. Perhaps it is your white privilege that allows you to continue this friendship– I don’t know. But that is beside the point. The company you keep says a lot about you, and that just isn’t something I can abide.
So, to that end, I’m afraid I have to end this. The rest of the stuff maybe could have been worked out, eventually, at some point. However, the thing with your defense of the cop apologist friend is really just the last straw. There were so many things that I fault myself with not telling you. I take full responsibility for that. But, in short, these are the reasons this just isn’t working for me.
I’m truly sorry. I should have just told you all this before, when it first started bothering me, but I didn’t and that is my fault. I truly wish you the best, and I hope you either repair your marriage or find what you are looking for.
So, that’s it, folks. Long read, I know, but it was more for me than anyone else. It was very cathartic to write all that out. Hey, maybe she’ll run across it sometime. Either way, it was good for me, and that is what counts. Happy blogging!