Last night was The Dandy’s work Christmas party. A couple of months ago when he first knew the date of it, he asked if Dandette and I wanted to go. She was pretty delighted about the idea, I’m guessing in large part because she loves showing off our unconventional “family”. Being all “look how I’m here with my boyfriend and his other girlfriend, everyone! WE’RE SO PROGRESSIVE AND INTERESTING” seems like an extension of her exhibitionism. I cautiously said yes but was worried because some days I’m up for dealing with people and some days I’m not and it’s not something I can predict in advance – and this party required The Dandy to RSVP (or…purchase tickets, or something?) well in advance. I didn’t want to have a slot reserved for me and then not want to use it.
But The Dandy ended up not RSVPing or buying a ticket or whatever for anyone but himself. Privately, he told me it’s because Dandette a) often has anxiety attacks during big social outings, and kind of makes a spectacle of herself and b) would almost certainly not be able to abstain from drinking, since there’d be tons of booze circulating at this thing, and when she’s drunk she also makes a spectacle of herself. Taking just me would be way too hurtful and exclusionary (he didn’t say that part but it’s just obvious) so he opted for going alone.
I didn’t especially care about not going. It would have in some ways made my relationship with The Dandy feel more official (I haven’t really met any of his friends. He’s not keeping me a secret, he just tends to see his friends at gigantic group gatherings where I know I’d be miserable, so I stay home), and I haven’t had a chance to dress up in a while, but meh.
Dandette, apparently, was crushed over not going. Like to a point of crying over it. My first, highly uncharitable thought was that she was looking forward to an excuse to drink. The Dandy thinks it’s something else. Maybe it is.
So anyway, he went to the party last night and meanwhile The Pedant asked me if I wanted to come to dinner with him and his live-in gf, whom I’ve never met, so I did that. Once I was out I suddenly wondered if Dandette would take advantage of the empty house to have “just a drink or two” – which would of course spiral until she was shitfaced. I purposely stayed out as late as possible to try to make sure The Dandy was home from his party by then so I wouldn’t be alone with Dandette, just in case.
The Pedant’s gf is great. We got along well and I’m glad I met her – especially because I’d been wondering what the hell made her the one that The Pedant shacked up with and “saw a future with” and not me. The Pedant is…difficult to like, in some ways. Many people have tried and failed. And yet I do like him, and understand him fairly well and actively enjoy some parts of his personality that others have mostly hated and run away from. And yet he’s had two women in the past few years – OtherGirl from a couple years ago and now this one, I guess we’ll call her Raver Chick – whom he immediately acted like they “got” him like nobody else and he “saw a future” with them and wanted to move in with them and blah blah blah. Like wtf am I, chopped liver?
OtherGirl promptly broke up with The Pedant for exactly the same reasons most people have, so apparently she didn’t “get” him that well, after all. But Raver Chick actually moved in with him. Things haven’t fucked up yet. And I couldn’t help wondering just how miraculously amazingly different from the rest of humanity this chick is, to have been willing to do that and for him to still be so into her.
Welp, she’s not actually superhuman. The two of us are a lot alike, actually, and it looks like The Pedant annoys her for all the same reasons he annoys me. We bonded over it a bit. So I’m choosing to believe that my pet theory is correct: that I “get” The Pedant and have as much future potential as anyone else he’s dated – probably the only reason he didn’t offer to move in with me because I have cats and he’s really allergic. (Seriously, as soon as The Pedant became attached to a woman, he’d start planning cohabitation. Happened with OtherGirl, happened with a longtime casual-ish partner who was about to move into her own place and needed a roommate, happened with Raver Chick. Dude just wanted a set of human training wheels to help him escape his parents, I think).
So it was comforting to realize that Raver Chick is really just a normal person, after all.
But also, meeting her made her real to me, not theoretical. The three of us had dinner and that was enough fun that we went for coffee after and then they had to stop into the nearby grocery store so I tagged along for that, and at one point it fully hit me that this is the woman The Pedant has condomless sex now. He rescinded my bareback privileges expressly so he could give them to her. And they live together. So in every sense of the word, she can pretty much fuck him whenever she wants – he’s usually around and she doesn’t have to orchestrate sex around whether the condom stash is replenished and nearby. She gets that freedom and intimacy with him. I don’t.
Also, in the grocery store he was playfully antagonizing her and she started getting possibly genuinely annoyed and I heard him quietly comfort her by murmuring “I love you.”
How many times am I going to date a guy who doesn’t say “I love you” back and I think to myself “well, I guess he’s just kind of closed off and has a hard time expressing myself. But he feels it! I know he does!” but then a few years later he has a gf he says it to all the time and I realize oh, no, it’s just me. He didn’t love me.
Okay fine that’s not really what it is with The Pedant. He did tell me “the feelings are being reciprocated” when I told him I loved him. And a couple of years later he said the actual words to me as he was breaking up with me. So he had the feelings, I guess. But why is he so free with saying them to her and he never was with me?
The Bunny is the other person I’m thinking of right now. I told him I loved him, he deflected, I internally made excuses for him, but now he has a gf he’s posting pics of all over his Fetlife feed and writing captions about how much he loves her for all to see. Godfuckingdammit.
And there’s The Dandy, who left me hanging when I said “I love you” for the first time; he smirked about how he already knew that and then kind of added “Uh don’t worry it’s mutual” as an afterthought. WHAT IS WITH THIS PATTERN THOUGH.
I should mention however that The Dandy has been better at saying “I love you” lately. Perversely, it’s telling him I don’t need to hear it back (not always, anyway) that seems to have done it. Used to be if I said the words to him he’d say them back but sound like he was choking or something. Now he responds much more easily. And the other night in a fit of insecurity I asked him to tell me a mushy thing (“And if you say the name of an item with a squishy texture I am coming right over this table at you“) and he said “I love you and I want to keep you.”
Anyway. Meeting Raver Chick seemed to be A Thing for The Pedant, and he never asked me to meet anyone else he was dating (not even OtherGirl, the last one he was all in love with n shit, so it’s not a matter of how important the relationship is), so I assumed it was Raver Chick who wanted this. Which put me on edge a bit because was the evening some kind of audition, or…? She’s never been in a nonmonogamous relationship before; would meeting me make me real to her and she’d suddenly have a fit of jealousy, in the way that I suddenly had one when I met her and thought about the no-condoms thing? Would she tell The Pedant to stop seeing me? Because the thing is if she did that, I suspect he would. I don’t have a lot of faith in him asserting himself and fighting to keep me. I never fully acknowledged that to myself until now. It’s depressing as fuck. I love a man who would drop me if his other partner asked him to – or at least it really, really seems that way.
We had a text convo about this earlier today – once the big meet was over I finally felt comfortable asking what the purpose of it had been, I guess. I’ll probably do a transcript post sometime soon but the gist is that Raver Chick believes in honesty and transparency in poly, and for her this includes meeting metamours. It wasn’t an audition and she’s not looking to veto. But I kind of tried to make The Pedant tell me he wouldn’t let me go if she did ask, and…he hasn’t responded. Possibly just because he’s at work right now and doesn’t have time? We’ll see.
He and I are supposed to rent a guest suite and have all the sex next week and I don’t love that this is hanging over my head in the meantime. Feeling expendable is a bit of a boner killer.
Meanwhile, I got home from dinner etc last night to find that The Dandy was not only home from his party, but asleep in bed already. All week long he’s been coming to bed at 3am or later despite me asking him to please please please join me earlier for snuggles, and now I come home at 1:30am and he’s asleep so I still end up lonely and snuggle-less. Fucccck.
Dandette, however, was still awake, and told me that The Dandy would be taking her on a date the next day (today). Which, I mean…The Dandy told me just recently that he doesn’t want to be dating her anymore, and I observed to him that Dandette is seeming pretty platonic with him as well, like maybe she senses that there’s not really a romantic relationship there anymore. But now this is happening. It feels mixed-message-y and also makes me jealous, especially since I was already feeling pretty wickedly second-place to The Pedant at the moment. Dandette said he was probably trying to make up for the Christmas party thing, which makes sense.
The Dandy woke up, temporarily, as I was lying next to him trying to fall asleep. I told him about my Pedant angst and especially how much it hurt to see him say “I love you” to someone else so freely when he didn’t with me.
The Dandy gathered me to his chest and said “Well, I love you.” Which actually is probably the first time he’s ever said that unprovoked. So that’s something.
And I fell asleep in his arms and it was nice.