Measure in Love

525,600 minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In 525,600 minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love
– Seasons of Love, Rent

As the year comes to a close, I can’t help but think about how much love I’ve had this year. I’ve had three especially meaningful relationships, and a solid number of other good experiences. I’ve dated many guys, not to mention flirted with many more in person and on OkCupid. There were some setbacks, but this year has been a wonderful roller coaster of a year.

I’ve always enjoyed the song Seasons of Love, but never had it quite made sense like it does this year. I’ve had so many experiences, good and bad, happy and sad, but really, in the end, I only remember the highs. Spraining my foot is but a distant memory…even is my minor surgery, which is still fairly recent. While I was totally heartbroken after my summer breakup, we have since become friends again, and the memories of the relationship are nothing but positive.

Even after everything that 2013 has had for me, I am looking forward to what 2014 will have in store for me, first and foremost my first monogamous, live-in relationship!

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Why I Got My Tubes Tied Before I Turned Thirty

Poly Aphrodite:

I very much agree with the sentiments of this blog post! While I’ve decided to use at least a few rounds of Mirena, because I really enjoy the lack of periods, I have put serious thought into Essure/Tubal Ligation.

Originally posted on A Feather of Truth:

When I first broached the subject of permanent, non-hormonal birth control with my gynecologist, I wasn’t even considering a tubal ligation. (Who elects for her first surgery to be a completely volunteer procedure for a non-life-threatening ailment?) I had originally been trying to decide between the copper IUD and Essure. IUDs (intrauterine devices) are not permanent, but they do last a while. Essure (spring devices that are implanted in your fallopian tubes to cause scarring) is a fairly new procedure that, like an IUD, can be performed in your gyno’s office, but, unlike the IUD, is permanent. I was leaning toward Essure because it was permanent and would only cost an office copay. Until this happened:

“If I were you, I would just get my tubes tied.”

Floored, I asked why.

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Rape

This is an awesome article about how one woman responded to being raped.

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Come to the Dark Side…We have Cookies

I’ve immersed myself in polyamory in the past year. I’ve been an advocate for non-traditional relationships. We shouldn’t have the expectation to find that one person who meets all of your needs.

But I did.

We have more in common than I could have thought possible. The connection, while not instant, was very quick, and extremely intense.

It was like Titanic (not that I’m a huge fan of that movie, but I honestly can’t really think of anything similar). Within only a couple weeks, we are more in love with each other than we ever thought possible.

Not only does he give me good sexual orgasms, but he also gives me constant “love orgasms.” These orgasms can happen fully clothed, or even miles apart. There is a complete build, and finally explode in a complete feeling of love. It is such an amazing feeling to love so much and be loved just as much in return.

We see each other every day, and have even from the beginning. When we had plans that forced us to be apart for longer, one of us would inevitably try to change our plans so that we could see each other. Now, we spend every single night together, alternating apartments.

We both had other partners, but I began to wonder why. Why is polyamory so great, when you can have love this intense? It may be just a crazy beginning, but one of my friends’ relationship with her husband started out just like this. They were engaged within 3 months, and have been happily married for 13 years.

I’ve never really been jealous other than for time specifically, but for the first time ever, I really felt like I wanted to be his only.

While I was considering going mono, my monogamous friend told me to, “come to the dark side…we have cookies.” And extremely passionate love; so much that I can’t stand the thought of spending time away from him to be with another partner. I loved the idea of polyamory, and for a while even identified as solo poly, but over the past months to a year have begun to fantasize more and more about the relationship escalator.

After a good amount of contemplation and discussion, we decided to become monogamous. I want to spend every minute of my life with him. It probably won’t be long until we’ll overcome the final obstacle of convenience and live together.

I’ve never had love like this. Now I know how powerful Love can be. We both feel like the word just doesn’t have enough weight. We wish there was a word even stronger, because our feelings for each other have just grown that completely intense.

When I say “I love you,” I mean I smile every time I see you and when I think about you, my body becomes relaxed and aches for your presence and touch. I mean I never want to be apart from you, and I think you’re immeasurably attractive and sweet at every level; everything I learn about you and your past just makes me love you even more. I mean seeing you smile makes me happy and I want to do everything I can to facilitate your being happy, and I appreciate it so endlessly that what makes you happiest is just having me around.

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All Psyched Up

I’ve just had a whirlwind of a week with my now new boyfriend! While I was with him, this song popped into my head as an appropriate song, but as I was listening to it, I realized it is just written so well, and seemed to fit us as it was, I didn’t want to mess with it! But what fun is writing if you don’t write? So here is another version, more tailored to poly.

I’ve always loved this song, because, story aside, this song represents the fun NRE feelings that can be had at the beginning of a good relationship.

All Choked Up from the original version of the musical Grease

Danny:

Sandy, do you ever look cool! Poly!

Sandy:

So you noticed huh? Tell me about it, stud.

Danny:

Well..I…feel so strange.
Well upon my word….
Now my brain is reelin and my ey-y-y- sights blurred
Well, I tremble a lot.
I’m nervous and I’m hot
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up.

Well there’s a fire alarm wailin’ in my head
And my background knowledge cries condition red
I’m in a cold sweat, my t-shirt’s all wet
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up

Oh, baby-baby-baby, take my heart, before it breaks.
My knees are weak, and my back bone aches,
I don’t know what there’s to do, I want some of your love too,
Come on and change my pain to pa-r-a-dise.

Well there’s a fever heat runnin’ through my skin
Don’t you hear me knockin’, won’t ya let me in,
You know I’m your fool, So dont you be cruel,
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up.

Now listen here:

Sandy:

So you’re spinnin’ round in a dizzy spell,
It’s a situation I know pretty well,
Well, I been there too, So I feel for you.
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up

And further more:

So you’re so confused, so you’re reading my blog,
And you say that I’m the one that did it all,
I’m sure you’re sincere, It gets me right here,
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up.

Oh baby, take my heart and don’t complain,
My schedule just can’t stand the strain,
I can cure your disease, Come on and say pretty please,
Take your medicine down on your knees.

Danny:

I got a fever: a hundred-four fahrenheit,
I need your lovin’, can I come over tonight?
Feelin’ low down, my equilibrium’s shot,
Give me, the tranquilizer you got.

Well baby please say yes, ’cause you’re my match.

Sandy:

Well, I still think there’s strings attached,

Danny:

You’re so intimidating,

Sandy:

Well, that’s just tough and a half.

Danny:

You’re gonna make me die,

Sandy:

Don’t make me laugh.

Both:

Well, we’ll talk it through what we’re gonna do,
’cause I do believe you really love me too.
I look in your eyes, the sufferin dies,
Uh-huh, I’m all psyched up.

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

I’m all psyched up

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

I’m all psyched up

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Love

I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite a while. I don’t mean to get all mushy…but what is love, specifically romantic love? Everyone has different points at which they consider they love their partner. My friends have often told me that my threshold for saying that I’m in love is pretty low. If circumstances are right, it will usually take about a month.

People who have a high frequency of love experiences tend to have high self-confidence and low defensiveness… Insecure people who do not have a coherent sense of self and who are not self-actualized tend toward a game-playing style of love and have relationships with low levels of intimacy and high levels of conflict. – Bakadesuyo

I for sure have high self-confidence, and I’d like to think at least moderately low defensiveness, so maybe that’s why I tend to fall in love quickly. However, I think semantics also have an important role. Everyone thinks of love as meaning something slightly different, and nobody is able to give a clear definition. Let’s start with what dictionary.com says:

Love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

Now, let’s dissect that a little:

Profound: originating in or penetrating to the depths of one’s being
Passionate: expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling
Affection: fond attachment, devotion, dedication

So, love is a strong fond attachment, devotion or dedication for another that is deeply tender. So what the $#%& does that mean in actuality?

Research shows we don’t really fall in love with a person — we fall in love with how we feel when we’re with them. This is best demonstrated by the concept of emotional contagion: we’re bad at telling what made us feel a certain way, but good about making associations. Feeling excited, stimulated and aroused is often associated with the people around us, even if they’re not the cause. – Bakadesuyo

Repeated exposure also intensifies any feelings that are already present. Everyone has experienced the super annoying person they see all the time, and every time seeing them just makes them seem more and more annoying. The same is true with love. The more you see your partner, the more intense the love will feel.

60% of people believe in Love at First Sight. I’m fairly ambivalent to the idea, but what sort of definition do people use for this? Is this “take a bullet for you” kind of love? Or is this “I think I could see myself really enjoying being with you for a long time”? It just doesn’t seem to follow that “love” can be taken to mean venturing through the depths of hell to find your one lost love…while the very same term is used to refer to a random guy you happen to meet at a flower shop. Yet “love” has not lost any meaning, culturally speaking. While marriage has become a bit of a joke, between extremely short celebrity marriages, more and more people choosing to not get married to their “life partner,” and the fight for marriage equality…”love” has remained as true and meaningful as it always has.

So basically, nobody knows what the $#%& love is, or at least where the line between “generic affection” and “love” is drawn. Love, unlike arousal or orgasm, is scientifically immeasurable. There is no scale or definition that makes sense. So what does it even mean when you say “I love you”?

When I say “I love you,” I mean I smile every time I see you and when I think about you, my heart seems to beat up in my throat. I mean I thoroughly enjoy being with you, and I think you’re immeasurably attractive at every level, even when you’re sleepy or grumpy or sick. I mean I want to spend as much time as I can with you (accommodating busy schedules, of course). I mean seeing you smile makes me happy and I want to do everything I can to facilitate your being happy, even if it means making a choice that otherwise wouldn’t be my ideal.

Addition: Nice Kimchi Cuddles on the topic of Love!

Kimchi Cuddles – Love

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The Fun in Poly

One of my favorite things about polyamory is that you’re allowed to have multiple, different, relationships. Each of these relationships can be very unique from one another. The Ethical Slut puts it,

You may find yourself playing out different roles, indeed feeling like a somewhat different person, with different partners. With one partner you might feel young and vulnerable and protected; with another, you are earth mother. With one lover you might feel careful and solid and safe, with another you might be dashing and reckless. These boundaries may seem unfamiliar or confusing when we don’t have much experience with living in multiple relationships.

Similarly,

We can welcome each of our partners for precisely who they are: we don’t need them to be anybody else or to bring us any particular resources or skills. If you don’t want to play tennis with me, I’ll ask somebody else, and if you don’t want to play bondage games with me, again, somebody else will – our relationship will not be less for it.

Relationships are full of compromises, so why compromise with unshared interests? Society says that if you don’t share the same hobbies, that’s fine, but if you don’t share the same interests in the bedroom, then too bad, “cheating” is not allowed.

I’ve found that the two most successful relationships I’ve had have been with guys who, all things considered, I didn’t have a lot in common with. They’re introverted home-bodies who play video games and don’t drink alcohol. Yet nevertheless, the passion and devotion is there, perhaps because we have the freedom and independence to pursue our passions and hobbies as we wish, while not dragging them along, too much at least. Maybe some day I’ll find someone I share more personality traits and hobbies with, but so far, I’ve been very successful with these awesome guys.

The thrill of the chase is also too fun to pass up after you’ve married the love of your life.

This is something in Ethical Slut that I think would be hilarious to try!

Dossie was once out on a date with a longtime lover of hers when she noticed an attractive person trying to catch her eye behind her date’s back. She explained the situation to her date, who had a stroke of genius. He strode over to the young man in question and with great dignity announced, “My lady would like you to have her phone number.” The young man looked terrified at the time, but he called the next morning. Dossie has made use of this strategy repeatedly since then and recommends it highly: they always call!

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