Can We Be Poly If Our Calendars Don’t Mesh?

an artistic rendering of a person with their hands folded on the bridge of their nose who is standing behind a stack of books
Image by Jinterwas / CC BY

Today’s piece is a guest blog post from W0ndercunt. A Dominant sadomasochist as well as a leader in her local kink community, she can be found on FetLife here.

Check out what she wrote for Poly Land today:

Can We Be Poly If Our Calendars Don’t Mesh?

I laid out a lot on our first date, including the most important of the Five Love Languages. Without acknowledging much about my kinks, I explained that I almost always get a tie for Quality Time and Acts of Service. He was visibly disappointed that I had to end the date after an hour in order to take care of prior family commitments. Fortunately, his spirits brightened that night when I asked him to please kiss me good-bye, and he enthusiastically obliged.

Fast forward only a few weeks, and we are entwined on his bed. A notification from my phone alerts me to my impending need to leave for work.

“Babe, we can’t see each other until Tuesday night, and only if you can come to the Festivus munch,” I try not to lament to him as I look at my linked Google calendars.

“Wait, let me see your calendar,” he says, unsure if we are yet at the point in dating that he can ask to take my phone and read the details of my incredibly organized life in daily, weekly, and monthly formats.

I hand my phone to him. He stares at my calendar, bewildered, and then looks at me.

“Do you want to see my calendar?” he asks, and before I can reply he shows me an empty month of December. “I can make time for you, babe,” he says with a chuckle, “but you are doing too much. Come here.”

He reaches for me so we can cuddle, and I nestle into his shoulder, and relax for a precious last few minutes that afternoon.

Though I don’t like to admit it, I know I have too much on my figurative plate. He’s so laid back, and makes me feel like a priority. It’s easy to want to keep letting him work around my incredibly busy life.

But I don’t want him to make all the logistical concessions in this relationship, especially one in which we are supposed to be ethically non-monogamous.

We are building equity in the foundation of our relationship with each other. And I need to feel like there are equitable relationship levers we grant to each other so that if either of us wants to make the space for other partners, we have built goodwill from the ground up.

He voluntarily gave up a Tinder date so he could see me before I had to leave town for five days on a work trip. Had I known that’s what he was re-arranging to make time for me, I would have declined, because I never want him to give up his dates for me. But he laughs when I mention this to him in bed later that night, my brow furrowed with concern.

“You act like I didn’t have a choice. I choose where I invest my time. And my time is yours. I like being open, but never to the detriment of what we are building,” he says.

Prior to this relationship, I had difficulty letting my partners make decisions about their time, because I always felt like I received so little of it. Time-starved and touch-starved, I would cancel on friends if a lover, even one who was terrible at prioritizing me, was suddenly available. It set a precedent that ended up only harming me.

Now I realize that my calendar being so busy might not always be a terrible thing. It builds in space for him to retain his autonomy. Part of my ability to build trust stems from recognizing that he doesn’t have to keep his calendar filled to the brim with activities-and there is nothing wrong with that, but I don’t have to dictate what he does, because he will demonstrate over time that he prioritizes choosing me.

I’ve lamented before that I don’t want to be polyamorous any more than I want to be monoamorous. The idea of being open to some extent, or ethically non-monogamous is where I tend to rest. I might have deep pockets for love, but I have shallow pockets of available time.

Knowing that, I won’t add another partner whose calendar is incompatible with mine. My beau, my friends, my kink group organizing, my bio-family, and work are a lot with which to contend, especially while I’m in the throes of new relationship energy. It’s difficult not to chase that feeling with him, since he is so accommodating to my intense schedule.

Still, I vow to make time for an occasional new date, and do my best to keep my mind open to possibilities. And ultimately, that’s part of why I choose to do the emotional work I have to do to cultivate and maintain varying levels of relationships in my life. It’s the work I want to do, because it challenges me to be a better version of myself, and helps me be a better partner.

Part of me hopes he and I get to the point we create a Google calendar just for Us, though.

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Thanks, W0ndercunt!

Poly Land is always on the lookout for different perspectives on polyamory and relationships in general.

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1 Comment

  1. I really like this article. My Calendar often looks crazy and I do believe in personal down time, so even when I’m not busy … I’m busy resting/relaxing. My schedule pretty much forced, no … let’s use the word encouraged, my slave to think about hobbies and interests so he could find things to do with his time. It is important to make time for each other while also having an independent life.

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