PQ 18.2 — Do I enjoy time to myself or without my partner? Do I have hobbies I enjoy alone or with others, and a social life that does not rely on my partner?
Having Time To Myself
In spite of the fact that I’m a polyamorous extrovert (labels that when combined scream “people person”), I absolutely prize my alone time. Since I live with someone else, there have been times that this means that I get up a bit earlier in the morning than I have to so I have time to be alone by myself, with my thoughts. Time to drink coffee and watch terrible TV that I watch out of guilty pleasure. Or read books.
Other times, this means that I’ve risen in the middle of the night to write down thoughts that were keeping me awake. Pore over old journals. Build mental bridges between past, present, or future.
And still other times, it happens naturally when my nesting partner has a date with a metamour. On those occasions, I’ll take myself on a date. Have a little staycation where I indulge in all the things my nesting partner can’t stand but that I love. For example, when Justin is away (whether on a date or a work trip), I cook so much curry.
These days, I love my alone time.
But was this always the case?
No. Not at all.
In fact, it was one of my biggest adjustments to polyamory: Being okay with being alone for the night. It’s funny how you get used to always having another person around.
With my partner Seth, the difference was particularly striking. At that time, I worked from home, and Seth was a part-time college student who didn’t work over breaks.
So we spent an awful lot of time together in the same space.
I’ll be perfectly honest. The first night alone was really hard for me.
But over time, I got the hang of it, and these days? I find that I enjoy the time alone. So much so that I crave it when I don’t have enough of it.
Having My Own Social Life
The other nice side effect from getting used to spending time alone was the fact that I ventured out on my own and made my own connections. Some of these were romantic, sure, but many of them were platonic.
For the first time in many years, I began to make my own friends.
Sure, I’d always been allowed prior to being polyamorous. It’s a rare monogamous relationship where people aren’t allowed to have friends outside of it (although such relationships do exist and can be quite isolating). But I did find that even without having it directly prohibited, I nonetheless tended to spend more time with people who got along with both of us. And because Seth and I had very different taste in friends, this often meant that I didn’t spend time with folks I might have had I been single.
None of this was really conscious or noticeable to me until our relationship became polyamorous and when left to my own devices I began to pursue more friendships with people that maybe weren’t Seth’s cup of tea.
Like many other things, this wasn’t something I was expecting when I ventured into polyamory. But it was a huge upside.