Sometimes Challenging the Relationship Escalator Means Starting at the Tenth Floor

bank of elevator buttons
Image Source by Paulo O

Today’s piece is a guest blog post from Fluffy, an academic in-training, who is studying organizational behavior in hopes of making the world a better place.

Fluffy is a frequent contributor to Poly Land. Their regular blog is Eclectic Discourse (where pith goes to die; in-depth looks at awkward topics).

Here’s what they wrote for us today:

Sometimes Challenging the Relationship Escalator Means Starting at the Tenth Floor

We had been talking on and off for months but it was about to come to a head. As I turned into the sleepy, curvy roads of his university, we chatted back and forth through short voice files. My voice was wavering as my anxiety mounted; I’d driven over a hundred miles to meet this guy.

Who even does that? Not me. Not before this. But I liked him, a lot. From his messages, from his pictures, from his voice, and his background. I didn’t even feel silly for making the drive; the two and a half hours flew.

“Park in lot A.”

“There’s nowhere to park in lot A,” I had to continue driving because now there was a campus police car behind me, following me. I got lost as I waited for his reply. I’d gone in the wrong direction.

“Turn around!” He urged, but I made a lazy circle back around rather than a U-turn or 3-point turn. The police car followed me all the way back to lot A where it parked again. We laughed at each other as we continued to nervously chatter until I eventually found a parking spot after driving through three different lots… back at lot A.

“You see the clock? That’s where I’m going to be coming from.”

“Ok, I’m parked near the graveyard.” It’s a Catholic school.

As I started to walk toward the clock I froze, hyper-aware that I’d told him where I parked but not that I was walking toward him. As I started another voice file to say as much, my heart skipped a beat. I’d looked up and saw him.

And he was beautiful.

Upon seeing him I became aware of just how muted all the other colors in the world were, just how vibrant he was. My insides practically thrummed as I waved at him. He caught sight of me. We walked toward each other and embraced for the first time.

Hook, line, and sinker. I was gone. I was his. There was no turning back and I don’t want to anyway. I loved him in that moment as surely as I love him now.

Starting at 10

Discussion about the relationship escalator always considers how decoupling from that belief means allowing relationships to develop organically. To move slowly, glacially, or grow in some ways and not in others.

It rarely talks about conflagrations that leave our entire worlds turned upside-down in the matter of moments. About relationships that start heavy, emotionally intimate, and with a high level of commitment and consideration, sometimes mystifying and dizzying to the partners.

But escaping the escalator means starting on the tenth floor, sometimes. We’ve been officially dating for almost a month at this point and have discussed intimate details of our lives that we’ve rarely shared before. Discussed weddings, children, and things we never knew we wanted or could want from our relationships.

We’ve settled on open polyamory, despite both being ambiamorous and admitting to not really having much interest outside of each other right now.

It feels like we’ve been dating for 10 years, not one month. We know each other intimately and respond to our rhythms instinctually in ways that serve the wellbeing of the other person. He articulates what I’m thinking. I draw out his feelings and thoughts. We listen to each other.

My friends are hyper-cognizant of the changes in my behavior and demeanor.

“Awww,” Page says, “you and Onix are totally gonna end up married. Spoiler alert.”

“Lmao. Y’all haven’t even met him yet,” I responded, abashed.

“I know, we’re weird. But we know.”

It is unlike any relationship I’ve ever been in. And hey, that’s probably because I’ve never really visited the 10th floor before. It’s kinda nice, up here. I plan to stay for a while.

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Thanks Fluffy!

Readers, if you liked this piece, feel free to check out the other articles Fluffy has written for us:

    1. Love is a Fire, Baby; Six Metaphors for Relationships
    2. Love Is Basically Bias, So What Can You Do?
    3. I’m Too Anxious to Be Jealous
    4. Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Non-Monogamy My Puppy Taught Me All Over Again 
    5. Is There a Right Time or Way to Break Up a Relationship?
    6. I Was Treated as a Disease Vector: Why There Are So Few Gay Men in Pansexual Polyamory
    7. Being Single Sucks, But We Don’t Want to Hear About It
    8. Consent Culture Is Hard, Yo. 
    9. When Sex Positivity Is Rape Culture With a Bow On It.

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

If you have an idea for a guest blog post that you’d like to run by us, here’s a link to a post with examples of work that we’ve published in the past as well as our Submission Guidelines.

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1 Comment

  1. This is pretty much how the relationship between me and my current girlfirend of over 5 years started, right down to meeting for the first time at a university. We stayed either in her dorm or at my place, but we hardly ever spent any time apart. Good luck in having as much success as we have, Fluffy!

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