Mr Non-Monogamous, Part 13 – Decision

For over a year Lucy’s been dating a non-monogamous man named Charlie.

If you’ve missed all of this, you’ve got a shit tonne of catching up to do. Start from the beginning here, or just catch up on last week here.

Lucy’s tried her hardest to accept the deal she’s been offered, to open her mind to the idea of non-monogamy, to accept that just because Charlie’s married doesn’t mean he cares about her any less, to convince herself that this kind of relationship – with the freedom it offers to live her busy life and date other men – might actually suit her rather well. But the constant punches to the stomach when he leaves to go back to his wife, and the fights when she sees him post a photo or some gushy comment on Facebook, have taken their toll. It’s been a long, slow death by 1000 cuts.

And when yet another ‘joke’ about fucking other people turns into a week-long argument via WhatsApp, Lucy hits a wall. She just doesn’t think she can take any more. Maybe it’s time to end it.

Decision Time

Over the weekend, she sizes up the idea, rolling it around, feeling how it sits with her. And although it makes her feel scared and sad she also feels, in a way, relieved, as though a weight has been lifted. It’s like when you get better after being ill, and you don’t realise how shit you were feeling until it’s gone and suddenly you feel brighter, lighter, and less like you want to vomit into your own shoes.

With Charlie she feels anxious and stressed so much of the time. During the one night a week that they’re actually together it’s pretty near perfect, but the rest of the time she knows he’s with his new wife, doing couple things, having sex, being loved up, and that makes her feel both disgust-ed and disgust-ing. Is that really worth it – the 5% good for the 95% shitty?

The problem is, in spite of Charlie’s faults, she’s really fucking into him. When you take away the non-monogamy thing, he’s brilliant in so many ways: sexy, sharp, funny, interesting, full of ideas and opinions; his background, intelligence, point of view, even the physical size and shape of him are the perfect fit for her. Which makes this relationship both impossible to quit – and impossible to continue.

By Monday she knows what she needs to say. It’ll be hideous, but she’ll get over it: it’s not like she hasn’t had plenty of practice getting over dating disappointments. And by ending it she’ll be able to make space for someone new in her life, someone real, with future potential, whom she won’t have to share.

(Not that she really believes that last part, of course. She was terminally single long before she met Charlie; having in him her life is definitely not the cause of that. But even so…)

The words begin to bubble up to the surface, popping into her head as she sits on the tube, or as she’s falling asleep. She writes them down before they evaporate. She needs to get this over with; there’s no point in keeping either of them hanging on any longer.

Is it shit to send a text? she wonders. Possibly. But this whole conversation has been over WhatsApp, and they don’t have another date in the diary, so she doesn’t know how long she’d have to wait to be able to say this stuff in person. And no doubt if she did try to do that, the words wouldn’t come out right. Or he’d lean in close and put his hand on her leg, and that’d be all it takes to make her bottle it.

Anyway, breaking up with someone by text is shitty if it’s a real relationship, but this is not the same thing at all. They’re not a couple. Charlie might be a bit annoyed, sad even, for a short time, but it’s not like she’s breaking his heart. He’s got a wife and who knows how many other potential rebound fuck buddies to call on. The man’ll be absolutely fine.

But Charlie doesn’t see it quite that way.

Lucy immediately feels sick with guilt. Has she hurt him? – the thought fills her with sadness and guilt – or is Charlie just bitter because he’s been rejected, and cross because his fun toy has been taken away from him? She simply doesn’t know and rushes to explain herself.

He’s quick to respond, clearly upset.

Lucy feels awful – and yet she still can’t quite believe that his response is caused by anything more than bitterness at the rejection. Maybe it’s because this is entirely uncharted territory for her, maybe it’s her own lack of self-belief, maybe it’s Charlie’s matter-of-fact, unromantic relationship style, but she’s never really bought the idea that she’s anything more to him than a fun fuck, no matter what he might have said. How can a guy who is so clearly and publicly in love with someone else, living the dream home life, fucking other women, really also care all that much for her? It just doesn’t compute to her monogamous brain.

How can she know that it’s not ‘just fucking’ for him?  Fucking is all they do. He comes over, they have sex, hang out for a bit, he goes home. He doesn’t stay the night. They don’t see each other’s friends and family. They don’t spend days and weekends together. This is not a normal relationship, so surely normal rules don’t apply.

What’s more, Lucy knows from bitter experience that a huge part of heartbreak is not only losing the person, but also losing the future you’ve planned. When you’ve built a life with someone, not just in reality but in your head too, and then that life is mercilessly ripped away, it’s like losing a body part. Clearly Charlie was never planning a real future with her, so he can’t be heartbroken. Disappointed and a bit sad, sure, but heartbroken? It seems unlikely.

But what if she’s wrong? What if she really has misjudged the situation? What if Charlie really does have capacity in his heart to love more than one woman, and what if one of those women is her, and in her cynicism she’s just trampled all over his feelings in the most callous, fuckboy way?

Intimacy, rapport, connection… sure. But love? Of course it’s not just sex for Lucy; it’s never been just about the (admittedly great) sex, but she has no idea how this works for Charlie. His attitude to sex is very different from hers. His sex drive is much higher than hers. He’s slept with a lot more people than she has. She has no idea how this works for him.

And yet. Lucy’s curious to know if she really has misjudged the strength of his feeling for her. And what, in that case, he might be prepared to offer that would make the situation easier to stomach. More time together than just once a week? Overnights? Weekends? If she became a bigger part of his life, would he feel the need for other women? Obviously she knows he’ll never leave his wife, but if it was just the two of them and no one else, could she learn to accept that?

But even if he were to offer all those things, Lucy simply can’t see how she can keep him and not be sad a large chunk of the time. Sad that she’ll always be his secondary partner, when all she has ever wanted is to be someone’s number one.

So they agree to meet. Lucy doesn’t think it’ll do any good, but she feels she owes Charlie the courtesy of hearing him out. And besides, she really wants to stay friends with him. As much as she will miss the sex, she doesn’t want to lose the closeness, the support, the friendship that they’ve built. She needs to see him to secure that.

Debrief

Charlie’s chosen a bar near London Bridge. It’s busy and brightly lit, which Lucy doesn’t like one bit. She knows without a shadow of a doubt that there’ll be tears, and she doesn’t really want to have to do them in front of a barful of drinkers giddy about the onset of the weekend.

Charlie’s already there, seated at a corner table with his back against the wall. Not sure whether to kiss him now or not, Lucy gives him a sort of half-wave and slides onto the bench at right angles to him. She feels anxious and awkward as fuck; she doesn’t really know why.

They order wine and pasta, and chitchat about other stuff. Neither of them mentions the reason why they’re there. But Lucy can’t relax with this pressure hanging over her, and by the time they’re onto their third carafe of wine she can’t take the suspense any longer.

“So we should probably talk about the elephant in the room…” she ventures.

Charlie immediately begins trying to persuade her that she’s been too hasty; that there are plenty of ways this relationship could be made to suit her needs more. She wants to spend more time with him? They can put a regular weekly date night in the diary, one that is exclusively theirs. Plus some weekends too. They can make a list of all the sexy fun things Lucy’s never tried and start working through it.

Lucy especially likes the sound of this last part. One of the things that attracted her to Charlie was the potential for trying new kinks and fantasies with someone experienced, but even after a year the promised initiation into that mysterious world has never materialised. Charlie doesn’t really seem that bothered about doing any of that stuff with her; she doesn’t know why. Is it because he gets it elsewhere? Because he sees her as too innocent to sully? Or maybe it’s just all talk and bravado; maybe he’s actually just as happily vanilla as everyone else.

But while his offer is a good one, it’s not enough.

“That all sounds lovely,” she says sadly, “but I don’t think it will help. You can’t solve the fundamental problem which is that I will only ever be your bit on the side. I want you to be my whole person, but you never can be.” And saying it out loud, to him, makes the tears start to flow.

“And I’m very sorry for the text,” she adds.
“That was not cool,” he says. “How could you ever think it was?”
“Well I guess I didn’t think it was going to come as a shock to you. You knew this was going to end at some point. And I had no idea you’d be so upset. I didn’t realise you felt so strongly.”

She turns her body inward and looks down at her lap, hoping the other people in the bar can’t see how red-faced and teary she’s become.

“But I tell you all the time!” he says, his voice strained.
“Yeah, but you sleep with loads of people. You probably say that stuff to all the girls.”
“I really don’t though. I was monogamous for ages. Then I went through a slutty phase. It took me a long time to accept that non-monogamy was a thing you can be, and that it was OK. Since then I’ve settled down, and you’re the first person I’ve felt this way about outside of my main relationship. This is not something I do every day – far from it! We’re just such a good fit, and I don’t want to lose you.”

He reaches across and squeezes her hand, and Lucy looks away, afraid to look him in the eye. Why is life so fucking unfair! How can the Universe offer her this guy, when she can’t actually have him?

“I know,” she tells him through her tears. “We are. And you’re only the second person in my life that I’ve felt this strongly about. So I really don’t want to let that go. But what’s the point? This may be great for you, but it’s not working for me. I want more. I want someone to introduce to my family. Someone to go on holiday with. Someone to wake up next to every morning and go to sleep with every night. Someone to look after me when I’m sick and hold my hand when I’m scared. But you can never give me those things because you’ve already promised them to someone else. And being with you gets in the way of me finding that person. So it’s for the best.”

“And I want you to find that person too, but in the meantime I just feel like there’s a way we can make this work,” Charlie persists. “Where we can be happy together while you still date other people. We have such a great time together, don’t we?”

She’s never seen him so upset, though he doesn’t cry. Which is fair enough. Lucy’s doing more than enough crying for the both of them. By now her face is scarlet, her cheeks covered with teary tidemarks, and her nose full of snot. She wonders what the other people in the bar make of what’s going on. And yet miraculously, her mascara stays put. God Bless Clinique.

Lucy’s tempted, she really is. Could she at least try his way, for a bit longer, and see if she could get used to it? Is she ready to give up yet? They’ve come so far and she’s been through so much – can she bear to throw all of that away? And can she bear to go back to being single, to never getting laid, to the hideous frustrations of dating apps, to having no one to talk to about her day?

And then she remembers all the stress and misery of knowing Charlie is fucking other women, and she knows she needs to trust her gut.

It gets late, and they’ve talked round in circles until they can talk no more. Charlie’s given up trying to convince her; he can see her mind’s made up.

They walk back to the tube station and find a corner by the entrance to the Jubilee Line, where they kiss, one tearful last kiss goodbye, full of longing and regret, before going their separate ways.

As Lucy travels home she feels the dull ache of sadness in her heart, but with it a sort of lightness: relief. That the hard part is over. That after more than a year of rollercoaster highs and lows, there are finally calm, flat waters ahead. The question is, will she be able to navigate them alone, or will the novelty wear off in a few weeks, and will the inevitable loneliness and raging horn send her scurrying back into Charlie’s embrace?


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45 Comments

  1. 13th July 2019 / 9:24 am

    I think you’ve been really brave and wise.
    Reading this made me feel frustrated with him, because I got the impression he wasn’t listening or hearing you, when you tell him how painful the situation is from your perspective. And it’s not like your experience of this is at all surprising or unreasonable.

    I know that everyone finds it harder to see things from others’ point of view when we’re upset, but it has also seemed like he hasn’t heard you on other occasions throughout (that’s just my interpretation from reading, obviously you’ve actually been there.)

    I hope you’re doing OK.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 9:02 pm

      Hey, that’s really kind of you to say, thank you. I really don’t think he’s a bad person, just that fundamentally we are wired differently. He can’t really understand why I find the idea of him with other women so upsetting, just as I can’t understand how any person can not just be horrified by the idea of their partner with someone else, but even find it a turn-on.

  2. ckav86
    13th July 2019 / 9:46 am

    Ohhhhhhhhhh You brave, wonderful, ballsy creature. I salute your immense courage and your self-awareness. Also, I do love how at the most heart-rending moment, you intersperse your writing with occasional beauty tips (God bless Clinique).
    On a serious note, this whole thing was pure toxicity from start to end. I was with a married guy for 4.5 years in my early/mid 30s who behaved EXACTLY as Charlie has done, with you. All of it. It stole the best years of my life, I blame that entire phase for issues I have now many years on, and the arguments, gaslighting and unwillingness to accept your feelings that Charlie displays, are like a photocopy of the emails and text messages this man sent me. Breaking away from him in August 2008 was the most scary yet magnificently empowering thing I ever did for myself. Like walking a tightrope between skyscrapers, and surviving.
    Charlie May have been a confidante and a friend in addition to being a great fuck. But he was/is also a manipulative, needy narcissist. How fucking dare he tell you he “disagrees with your decision” or that your feelings are “wrong”. By their very nature, they are yours to own, not his. You made an insightful point there which you haven’t before, regarding the bedroom stuff. All talk of fantasy exploration into erotica… but, well, just talk? Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Once again, I salute your courage in ending this secretive, lonely, dark, tumultuous and painful yet exciting chapter. I really hope to God he stays away, but men like this need their emotional crutches and you clearly are that for him.

    As an aside, that wife sounds like a fucking moron.

    Go, girl. Head held high, sister.
    C. X

    • Anonymous
      14th July 2019 / 9:34 am

      Feelings can be 100% wrong if based on mis-information or incomplete information – and Lucy showed a willingness to listen to check for that possibility. It is also OK to disagree with another person’s assessment of a situation, which is what Charlie was doing. More importantly, however, Charlie could not offer a meaningful alternative to significantly change the situation given plenty of information. So his disagreement missed the point, I suppose.

      • Lucy
        Author
        14th July 2019 / 9:06 pm

        Sadly I don’t think Charlie can win here. He disagreed with me because he wanted to keep me. Which is obviously lovely, really. Far worse if he’d just gone ‘OK, cool, whatever’, or even worse, ‘Well fuck off I never liked you anyway…’

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 9:05 pm

      Hey CKav, thank you as always sooooo much for your support. What a wonderful cheerleader you’ve been! And I’m really sorry you went through all that, but delighted you are in a better place now. Hopefully things will improve for me now, though I will definitely miss Charlie. And I don’t think he or the wife as bad as people think, they’re just living in a different world, one in which I simply don’t fit, no matter how much I may have tried to make myself the right shape.

  3. Rach
    13th July 2019 / 9:57 am

    I’ve been in that place and it’s horrible. The intense desire to overlook the obvious flaws in the relationship and terrible need to step back into their magnetic circle because as crap as it is 95% of the time, you’re addicted to the high you feel when it’s great. You will get over this. But it won’t happen overnight. And for what it’s worth you have made the right decision. 💕

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 9:08 pm

      Thanks Rach. I still think he’s a great guy, and I know he’s going to be an extremely hard act to follow. But he was taking me to a place I wasn’t comfortable. And I guess I still have to keep the faith that I will find someone eventually. Who knows, in another 5 years when I’m still single I may give him a call…

  4. CM
    13th July 2019 / 10:01 am

    This was such a beautifully written piece. I felt like my heart was breaking along with the both of you. I’m sorry you had to walk away from it as you clearly have an amazing connection with this man. So sorry Lucy and well done for being so strong. Big hugs!

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 9:08 pm

      Thanks CM, for reading and for your lovely comment.

  5. Stephanie
    13th July 2019 / 10:22 am

    I’m sorry Lucy. I hope you are still feeling positive about your decision to leave him. I know we only get a snippet but he does not seem to hear or value what you have to say. I feel like acts like a manipulative narcissist even if he isn’t one. I am so happy that you have chosen yourself.

    • James
      13th July 2019 / 12:18 pm

      He is a sociopath for sure and he may have a moron for a wife but any sympathy here is with her…

      • Anonymous
        14th July 2019 / 12:19 pm

        Why would anyone sympathise with the wife? Silly tart made her own bed. Fuck her. Team Lucy all the way. Get away from that weird, poisonous manipulative couple. Thank God this guy is gone. Let’s hope he stays gone.

        • Lucy
          Author
          14th July 2019 / 9:11 pm

          Thank you both for your comments but sorry you feel that way about Charlie and his wife. Personally I have to disagree. They are living a life that works for them and seem to be very happy. It’s just not for everyone .

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 9:09 pm

      Thanks Stephanie. I’m feeling sad, and still don’t really believe I will ever find my Person, but I have to try. What else can you do?

  6. Henry
    13th July 2019 / 12:21 pm

    Correct decision, the selfishness of this person is beyond belief. Subjugating your life and feelings and no doubt that of his ‘wife’ so he can have ‘fun’ with you. It’s just a shame it took you so long.

    Onwards n upwards Lucy.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:39 pm

      It’s just a different lifestyle and it seems to work extremely well for them. I tried to be open minded about it because he and I are really compatible in almost all other ways, but this is pretty fundamental. At least I gave it my best shot.

  7. john
    13th July 2019 / 12:47 pm

    I’ve never commented on a blog before and only found your twitter account yesterday. Since then I’v read through all 13 parts of the Mr Non-Monogamous story. It’s an incredible read and very brave of you to share so openly and honestly.
    The more I read the more I disliked Charlie and was weirdly invested in the outcome. It’s very strange but just wanted to let you know it had an impact on me.
    As a 40 year old single man with experience of the online dating world I wish you every success on your search. I can’t see myself returning to the online platforms but hopefully you find your “One” on there.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:40 pm

      Thanks John, I’m so pleased you found me and have enjoyed what you’ve read so far. Hope you keep reading – and tell all your friends! 🙂
      Also wishing you all the best in your search too.

  8. Rocio
    13th July 2019 / 1:27 pm

    Lucy, my heart broke for you two, but Charlie’s answer about finding your own person gives us what fundamentally this is all about: he’s not in love with you. He should WANT TO BE that person, not for you to find another.

    You are very very brave for leaving him and I salute you. The world is huge and surely there’s interesting people out there that will find you. So be positive.

    Big hugs from Mexico.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:43 pm

      Thanks Rocio – how exciting that you’re reading in Mexico!
      I think the point of polyamory is that it is possible to love more than one person. Just as you love both your parents, or more than one child. People who are poly seem to be able to do that and not get jealous if their partner also has other partners. Maybe it’s a mindset you can train yourself into, or maybe it’s just how some people are wired. Either way, I tried, and it’s not something I can do.

  9. Hollie
    13th July 2019 / 2:23 pm

    ‪Wow. So many feelings. To summarize: ‬

    ‪- the way he says ‘I strongly disagree’ with a decision you made to dump him is a bizarre thing to say, like he’s suggesting your feelings are somehow not valid ‬

    ‪- I don’t think it was THAT shitty to say all that via text for the record, as you guys had talked in person a lot about your discomfort. He brushes away your concerns when you bring it up in person and/or tries to persuade you you’re wrong to feel that way, so what’s the point?

    – WTF is he even on about when he talks about ways to make this work for you? If there are ways to do that why didn’t he bring them up sooner?! But no, there’s not, there’s just tiny compromises. If he could commit to three overnights a week with you or something that would actually make a difference he’s had the whole last year to say so.

    – everytime he references his ‘main relationship’ I wonder if he would continue to miss you point even if it was gauging out his eyes

    – I think you stated your position and feelings eloquently, ethically and bravely. Huge kudos to getting all this tough stuff out.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:45 pm

      Thanks Hollie. Yeah I felt bad about the text but it did just seem to be the most logical next step for me. We have had a lot of long serious convos by WhatsApp because we’re both good at expressing ourselves in writing, so that seems to be the best way. But I don’t blame him for saying he ‘disagrees’ with me. Maybe he didn’t use quite the right word, but obviously it was his way of saying he didn’t want it to end, and wanted to try to find a way to make it work. Which is fair enough.

  10. Obby
    13th July 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Ooooooo Lucy!!!
    Am so sad…
    But I might be a bit selfish as I think I want the two of you to continue with the relationship
    I think I understand how much it hurts you(maybe NOT really,since am not in your shoes)
    Being single and have no one to talk to is worse.

    Did Charlie say you can’t call him thou?What made you think an sms is better?Could he allow calls every time you want since you are in a relationship???
    Another thing is ,don’t think about the other and even mention her,you are not in a relationship with her but with Charlie.

    And he is promising weekends away…

    Can you get at least 4 whole nights a month …

    Eish am so sad…almost cried as I was reading

    Thanks Lucy for sharing your life lessons with us

    Am sorry for being all over the place with my comment…

    • Anonymous
      13th July 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Wow, four whole nights a month! Excuse me if I am perfectly able to contain my excitement…

      But seriously. ‘Promising holidays’ and ‘a night a week dedicated’ is not a full time relationship. It’s not surprise overnights when Lucy’s had a hard day. It’s not saying ‘I’ve got plans with work friends – but hey, why don’t you come join us, I wanna introduce you!’. It’s not amalgamating lives and plans and holidays.

      • Lucy
        Author
        14th July 2019 / 10:49 pm

        And yes, Anonymous, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I want all of those things, and I can’t have them with Charlie.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:48 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Obby! Sadly I don’t think he was promising weekends away, and even if he were it doesn’t solve the bigger problem which is that ultimately I want a full-time partner, not a part time one who I have to share with someone else – especially if it’s not an equal sharing. He’s married now, his wife will always be number one, and I don’t want to be second best.
      But yes, you’re right, being single is very hard and lonely a lot of the time, and I’m so very tired of it, which is why I stayed with Charlie as long as I did.

  11. Aule
    13th July 2019 / 4:13 pm

    Well done Lucy. Right decision.

    I don’t like Charlie’s messages to you one bit. You’re very vulnerable with him, having poured your heart out to him, explaining how heartbroken this all makes you feel… and all he does is try to gaslight you. Not once does he apologise for how you’re feeling or empathise with you. He just turns it back on himself, “poor me”, “how dare you end this over text”, etc. Reminds me very much of the messages I used to get from an narcissistic friends with benefits.

    His messages also sound really controlling and desperate to get you back as his bit on the side.

    He’s a narcissist, and everyone knows a narcissist gets frantic and desperate when one of their sources of attention drains.

    I’m worried about the amount of apologising you did, and how “awful” you felt whilst doing it (his techniques working on you!), and how you wanted to still be friends with him, which leads me to believe you are or were very insecure and lacking in self belief. That said, it takes a strong and resilient woman to break this off.

    You want a relationship. He gets in the way of that. If he was a good friend he’d want to bow out gracefully and let you find someone.

    Lesson learned – don’t meet with anyone again who does not want a relationship!

    Hugs xx

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:53 pm

      Alternatively could it not just be that he was upset about getting dumped? I’m sure we’re all upset and selfish when someone we want to be with rejects us. In that scenario it’s perfectly fair to be ‘what about me?’ or try to negotiate/persuade.

  12. Dreamer
    13th July 2019 / 9:26 pm

    Some people get under your skin and stay there. And no matter how hard against your own will you’ll try to convince yourself otherwise. And it will fade over the years, but certain memories and feelings will surface… and there’s no way to get certain people from your heart…

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:51 pm

      You’re right. It’s really so very rare that I meet someone who ticks so many boxes – AND who likes me back! But sadly he doesn’t tick the most important box of all.

  13. Anonymous
    14th July 2019 / 8:49 am

    Ah Lucy…. you did it! I’m so proud of you … it must have been so emotional putting together the breakup text and then Wham! Charlie comes back fighting … all full of self-pity and “you’re mean” sentiments.
    You did the right thing (repeat at least once every waking hour👍)
    Charlie was not good for you … he did not treat you as someone who is cherished and that’s what you need and deserve.

    Please keep away … by all accounts talk (or text) … but don’t meet as he will manipulate your feelings once again

    Brilliant read
    Thank you for sharing such a tumultuous time in your life.

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:53 pm

      Thank you – for reading and for your support!

  14. 14th July 2019 / 10:36 am

    Oh, Lucy, I’m so sorry you went through this. I mean, a person absolutely can have the feels for someone, but still not really empathise with them, their values, their desires. Out of curiosity, when you’ve voiced your concerns in the past, did he spend much time letting the conversation be about you, or it tend to swing back around to being about him and how he would feel? Did he acknowledge much that even though you both stand to lose from things not working, you’re not the one with a set of future plans with someone you can re-anchor yourself with?

    I know it’s impossible for a blog reader to know the whole story, but by the last couple of posts, it sounds like you did the right thing. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, and I hope it either takes a turn for the better or the next person you date is a better fit <3

    • Lucy
      Author
      14th July 2019 / 10:56 pm

      Thanks lovely for all your wonderful support and comments. To answer your question – he’s actually a very good communicator and listens well, and he did try his best to accommodate me – eg. not posting so much on social media. But at the end of the day these are sticking plasters that can’t heal the much deeper wounds.

  15. Josh
    14th July 2019 / 9:13 pm

    Ohhh Lucy….my heart breaks for you! I can totally empathize with how you feel! I’m so so so sorry. I too was in a very intense relationship where it was the most wonderful thing and the most difficult thing at the same time. The chemistry and sexual energy between my ex and I was nothing that I had ever experienced before, and I fear I will never experience again either. She was my best friend, and my greatest challenge all at the same time. And that’s the way it goes with those kinds of people. They get to a part of our hearts that only they can reach, and it’s torture when it doesn’t work out and we have to give that up. That kind of deep, connected intensity always has the potential to blow the doors off in good (and also bad) ways…so it’s absolutely natural to do everything, think everything, and push ourselves to the brink of what we can tolerate and compromise on… to keep it. There is no doubt in my mind that Charlie loved you, even though his relationship choice was non traditional and not what looked “normal” on the outside. Consensual non-monogamy is not for everyone. A vast but shrinking majority of us have grown up with ideas of what love looks like, feels like, and is supposed to be set up like so it’s very very difficult to break down those scripts and learn different ways of being with people. It takes an open mind, tons of security, even more work in interpersonal communication skills to make a successful transition to CNM. It seems like even from the get-go you were not wanting a relationship like that, and Charlie should of respected that instead of pushing you too far to keep you in his life. But that in itself should show you that you were more than just a “fuck buddy” to him.

    You have a wonderful blog, and you are an excellent writer. I’m new here and so far I love it. It takes someone so brave to open themselves up like the way you do and you should be proud of yourself for that. So many times I find myself remembering the exact same feelings I’ve had on my own journey through love and heartbreak, hope and disappointment. Don’t give up…you will make it through this! Yes, there will be haters and judgers because that’s the world we live in now…especially online….but don’t stop doing what you’re doing. It’s amazing and courageous and honestly the best dating experience blog I’ve every read. Can’t wait to read the next entry!

    • Lucy
      Author
      16th July 2019 / 10:11 pm

      Hi Josh! Wow! What a generous, kind, and thoughtful comment! I’m so pleased you like the blog – but sorry that you’ve just found me as I’m about to take a break for a while! But hopefully there’s still tonnes here to entertain you until I return, which I will, I promise!
      And yes you’re right about people who get under your skin. It scares me that I’ve thrown away someone who really was a pretty great match for me, and who probably did genuinely care about me (though I do still struggle to believe that), and I already miss him horribly, but I definitely don’t miss all the angst, that’s for sure!
      Thanks again, your support means a lot!

  16. Nick
    15th July 2019 / 6:17 pm

    “you’ve forgotten how much fun this is”
    Seriously, ‘fun”!?
    He was playing with your heart Lucy.

    Very tough decision I know, but the right one.

    What do people say these days, ‘be your best self’. You always are Lucy, don’t lose sight of that.

    Take care

    • Lucy
      Author
      16th July 2019 / 10:14 pm

      Thanks Nick, your support is much appreciated, as always x

  17. Nonnie Mouse
    15th July 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Good for you, Lucy. Really, good for you. I was reading this whole post thinking “no! Don’t do it, don’t take him back!” – and you didn’t. I’m really glad you made this decision, as hard as I’m sure it was.

    I also think it’s really admirable how you seem so able to see the best in him and come to his defence even in these comments – I know I certainly couldn’t. I do think, though, that it says a lot that he responded to hearing about your heartache by talking about having “fun”.

    • Lucy
      Author
      16th July 2019 / 10:14 pm

      Thanks Nonnie! Well obviously I think he’s a good guy, I wouldn’t have dated him for a year if I didn’t, and I also think as much as I have tried to present a fair and balanced account of events, people will still fixate on the bad bits because that’s what’s more interesting. He didn’t really do anything wrong – yes there are some things he could have handled better but most of our problems are down to our fundamental incompatibility when it comes to our views of sex and relationships – which is not his fault.

  18. Butch
    18th July 2019 / 7:59 pm

    If I was a controlling ***** that wanted to have my cake and stuff it in my greedy self loving face, I’d act like Charlie. Boohoo that not everyone sees his world the same as him- you’re very well shot of him.

  19. Anonymous
    30th July 2019 / 6:13 pm

    What a fantastic blog! Have binge read it over the last few weeks, and really hope you do carry on writing as and when you can. This particular tale really made me feel for you, and I think you’ve conveyed the heartache, doubt, mind talk and insecurity of the not-perfect relationship, perfectly. I don’t have an opinion on your decision as I think no one can really know what it’s like for 2 people in a relationship, and what works for some doesn’t for others. But I really hope you feel proud of yourself for taking a chance on love, pushing your boundaries and putting yourself out there! I tried an open relationship of sorts for some months. I liked the guy so much, we had such a connection, and the sex was SO GOOD, that when he said he wouldn’t stop seeing other women, I agreed to keep dating him, despite feeling insecure and jealous initially. I did try and towards the end became a lot more comfortable with it. But I realised I had also become quite numb and quite cold in the process, as it was the only way to be to not get hurt. And I didn’t like who I had become, so i ended it. I don’t regret any of it as it made me realise i wasn’t as hung up on tradition as I had thought, but also made me more aware of my own needs when dating. That’s all we can do – try things, keep at them till we absolutely can’t or till we’re absolutely content. And that’s what you did. He may be the best guy or the worst guy, the only thing that matters is if you were the best Lucy or the worst Lucy in your relationship with him. Haters here will hate, projecting their own insecurities on you. Pooh to them. Please carry on dating, blogging about it and never forgetting that you aren’t alone in this hideous modern dating world. xxx

  20. Dave
    17th August 2019 / 6:37 am

    Lucy,

    So sorry this ended like this. I am upset for two reasons. One because it seemed that you ought to be together, and two because I want to blow the trumpet for polyamory because of my own poly journey.

    On the first point, I think Charlie really has not done enough. He could have given you a lot more. He should have given you a much bigger slice of the pie, so to speak. He was never going to give you the whole pie, obviously, but it should have been possible to offer more, hopefully enough to make you happy. And sometimes that can be better than a full time relationship.

    My own poly relationship is not full time either. I’ve just come out of a 20 year mono relationship, married for 17 of them when it ended. It took a while, and a breakup/rekindling to start to make my current relationship a poly one. I now have a primary partner but we don’t live together and possibly never will. And since deciding to be poly I’ve had a couple of failed attempts to establish something new with others. My partner has had no other partners in that time. So we’re poly and we’ve discussed it and started to set out rules, but actually we are the only two people in this poly relationship.

    We also have another form of non-monogamy that we have only just started. We are swinging. I know you say you don’t like casual sex, but this is turning out to be quite a fulfilling adventure for us. The feelings of jealousy are much less. Also because we are swinging I feel less motivation to find another relationship. The relationship we have is close, and swinging just adds the excitement that I probably needed after my failed marriage, whilst giving me the stability of a loving relationship with someone very special.

    I hope you find happiness.

    Dave.

    • Lucy
      Author
      17th August 2019 / 10:04 pm

      Hi Dave, thanks for taking the time to comment and for your thoughtful response.
      Maybe Charlie should have given me a bigger slice of the pie – but perhaps the reason he didn’t was because of my own reluctance. Why would he open himself up to that if there’s a chance I’m going to call the whole thing off at any moment? Also, he wanted me to meet his wife, and I refused. I think my being more involved in his life would have been contingent on that, and that was where I drew the line. But even if he had, I really don’t think it would have made me happy. I would still have felt awful every time he left to go home to his wife, and I would still have felt like I had compromised too far on my values and what I’m looking for in a relationship.
      I’m happy you’ve found a situation that works for you, and I wish you all the best.

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