Archive | June, 2013

The thing about old flames is…

25 Jun

QUESTION: Eighteen years ago, before I met my husband, I was madly in love with a married man. We parted because he had young children. We lost touch, but recently he contacted me via Facebook.  He wants to meet ‘one last time’. I adore my husband and children, but long to relive that intense passion. How can I resist this appeal?


Dear Puzzled,

First read this on limerance.  You can’t even begin to address your issue if you don’t understand limerance.  What you had with your old flame is an infatuation.  It’s an amazing feeling and who wouldn’t want to experience that feeling over again.  Intense passion is a lot of fun so go easy on yourself for wanting to relive that part of your life.  That said it’s not in the same ballpark as what you have with your husband which is a loving long term partnership involving children.  That is as connected as it gets.  For poly folk we understand the difference between hot new passion and long term love and commitment.  If you do understand the difference it’s possible to have both so long as you always give your existing relationships the attention they deserve.

In your situation I would meet with your old flame if you like so long as you understand the boundaries of your existing relationship prevent you from fulfilling the desires that might come out of a meeting.  It might be nice to catch up.  Only do this if you are confident you can keep your head on straight.  Good luck.


If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at  I’d love to hear from you!


Two guys but not enough connection!

24 Jun

QUESTION: I’ve been dating two men for the past year – with their knowledge. Neither wants a full-time relationship (all three of us divorced recently, so are still bruised). I know I should feel lucky with two lovers, but I’m starting to feel torn about having sex with one man, then another, with nothing deeper developing. What should I do?


Dear Lucky

The problem isn’t the number of lovers you have.  I have had three truly intimate loving shared connections in my life at the same time at let me tell you it was fucking terrific.  The problem is that all three of you have been scarred and started the relationship from a state when you didn’t want to risk a lot of emotional intimacy.  Time has healed some of that for you and you are ready for more.  Sit them down and see if they have healed as you have and might be willing to take the plunge on a deeper connection.  Hopefully one or even better yet both will be interested.  Good luck,


If you would like a personal question answered directly please send me an email at  I’d love to hear from you!

Too much anger

17 Jun

Spoiled The Child

My boyfriend is gentle and kind, loving and respectful.  Ninety-eight percent of the time everything is perfect.  Once in awhile his temper flares.  Then he curses, screams, and throws things.

He never harms me, but it is scary.  I don’t know what to do to calm him down.  He suggested talking to his mother, which I did, but she used to just leave and take a walk.  We are talking marriage, but I don’t want to consider children with him if his anger isn’t controlled.


Dear Evette,

Why not ask for him to go to therapy?  It’s a tool in the toolbox meant for situation that are out of your ability to manage.  This seems like a perfect opportunity for you to broach the topic.  Come from a position of love.  Say you are concerned with the way he deals with conflict and think a therapist might be a way to come up with an alternate way to process those moments.  Say you can’t handle this yourself but there are people who have had years of experience in school and practice dealing with these issues.  Hopefully he loves you and is willing to commit to self-improvement on this issue.  Good luck,


Why wait for a proposal?

13 Jun

How do I get past the feeling that I’m WAITING for my boyfriend to propose? I feel ready for and excited about marrying him, but I recognize and respect that he needs more time. While I am about 90 percent sure an engagement will happen eventually, and am trying to be patient, I can’t get past this antsy feeling. I’m sure this is all too common, especially among people in their late 20s.

Anywhere, USA

Dear Anywhere,

Why wait?  If you are 90% certain it sounds like you haven’t had a real conversation about marriage and are just hoping.  Why not have a simple conversation about it?  Try and see if he views you as someone he could one day marry?  Figure out what his timeline for marriage might be?  Let him know you love him and are ready for that kind of commitment but are happy to continue as is until he feels the same way.  Hopefully life is great for you right now (if it’s not marriage won’t help).  Just enjoy it and hopefully one day enjoy getting married.


Definition of a successful relationship

12 Jun

What is the bar set at for a successful relationship?  Generally a successful relationship in the mono world (and sometimes the poly world) is that it last forever.  Anything short of life mates is considered a failure in the holy grail quest for a life partner.  It’s very difficult to meet this bar.  I think we are better off redefining our expectations about successful relationships to include short relationships.  Very few relationships can last forever and defining everything else as failure is incredibly negative.

I would define successful relationships as one where you are able to be yourself and interact in a ethical, responsible and mature fashion.  You get a chance to be yoursefl and connect with someone on an emotional and hopefully physical level.  If the relationship ends, the separation isn’t full of bile and ugly feelings (which mostly is accomplished through being responsible and mature DURING the relationship).  If all those conditions are satisfied I can look back fondly at the relationship.  I can have fond memories of our good times together and the experience of getting to know a new person.  Hopefully I’ll minimize the incompatibilities and negative aspects of the relationship.  With this more forgiving definition I’ll be excited to experience the next successful relationship.


The crushing weight of monogamous first dates

11 Jun

Picture a nice first coffee date.  You got all dressed up to meet a guy you met online.  You had some good conversation and he was super hot with his bald head and construction worker hard body.  On the way home you start thinking, could I bring this person home to Mom?  Can I see myself having children with him?  What about religion? Do we have compatible attitudes towards finance?  If you are monogamous some of these questions run through your head for EVERY guy you date.  Since you only get to have one life partner there really isn’t room for dating anyone other than someone who fits all the really important categories for you.

Thank god I’m poly.  I believe in organic relationships.  This means I let relationships evolve into whatever they were meant to be without imposing artificial culturally prescribed structures onto them.  In poly you can have a serious long term partner who you bring home to parents and have children with.  But you also get to have a lover you see once a month on business trips, a weekly dancing + sex date and any other permutation you can think of that you want.  When I go on a first date I’m just looking to have a good time.  The relationship might end there or it might go on for months or forever.  The expectations are much more reasonable and rational than the expectations of a monogamous person (whether they are consciously recognized or not).  Cheers to all those who already have experienced the joy of an expectationless first date!


Marraige phobia

9 Jun

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half.  He was married for four years, and from what I’ve been told, it was a pretty bad marriage.  I’ve never been married.

I have a daughter, 2, from a previous relationship.  I now have a 5-week-old boy with my current boyfriend.  We act like we are married, but marriage doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.  I want to get married so badly, but anytime I bring it up he gets defensive and ignores me.

I’m starting to think it will never happen.  Why can’t he just commit?


Dear Daryn,

It sounds like the real problem is you can’t have a conversation about marriage.  I mean if you can’t even have the conversation it’s difficult to know what’s going on.  Does he know that you really value marriage?  Have you thought about why that changes things for you?  What does it mean and why is it important?  These are questions you should know the answer too in order to have a productive conversation with him.

On his side he should try and talk to you about why he doesn’t want to get married.  Is he scarred from his earlier marriage?  It sounds like it was a terrible one.  Perhaps he can see a therapist to work through some of those issues?  Does he want to live the rest of his life with you?  Hopefully he does and the issues are his and not ones with the relationship itself.  A lot of guys are hesitant to commit to relationships where they aren’t as happy as they would like.

Finally when you say, “Why can’t he just commit?” it dismisses his feelings and behaviors as trite.  You need to adjust your mindset to help him (and you) figure out what the real issue is behind him not wanting to get married.  It’s difficult to provide a space where he can do that if you have an aggressive or accusatory tone.  Good luck.