These are questions I asked myself (and no one inparticular) in my last post. After spending the day in Manhattan, actually meeting (quite by accident) Elvira, Bennett’s new girlfriend, and spending some time with Bennett this evening, I have some answers for myself.
Why do I still feel so hurt? Because what he did was wrong, regardless of what I did in the past.
Isn’t this a fair trade? Yes, it probably is a fair trade, but I don’t think relationships should be about “trading”–they should be about mutual giving. The members of a relationship shouldn’t (or shouldn’t have to) keep a tally of all the good and bad the other person has done and then act according to that tally. Each person must strive to do good in the other person’s life, at least as much as they are able.
Do my beliefs need adjustment, or do his? His do. Bennett is an angry, confused young man whose new girlfriend is rather territorial of him and who he can’t stand to wake up next to. Frankly, I don’t know what’s holding their relationship together, but whatever it is, I doubt it will last long. I don’t know what he believes; I don’t think he knows what he believes. I need to stop trying to accomodate him and start accomodating me.
Am I willing to “share” a person? Yes, but not under these circumstances. Polyamory should be a decision made mutually between all the parties involved. Everyone should know what they’re getting themselves into and the group should have regular “check ups” to make sure everyone is (still) on the same page. This situation is far from ideal and the decision to begin a new relationship was made by one of us, not both.
Am I justifying continuing a relationship with him? Yes, and that needs to stop. In all honesty, Bennett broke up with me, not the other way around, and I need to take that at face value. After cheating on me (since January!) with another woman, he chose her, and I need to accept that and move on. Getting dumped always hurts, it messes up a rhythm, and it takes a while to get back “in the swing of things,” as it were. I know that; now I must act on it.
Have I thought it out enough? At the time this question was posed, no, I hadn’t thought it out enough. (I likely still haven’t.) I’m still working on this… more thinking + better understanding of the situation = better decision-making.
Am I setting myself up to be hurt (again)? Yes, most definitely. Bennett told me from the beginning of our relationship that the relationship would eventually end. He knew I wasn’t/am not “the One” from the start; he told me over and over that our romance would end sooner or later… It just happened to be much sooner than I wanted it to be. But, now that it’s happened, I need to let him go live his life as he feels he should.
Does it matter what other people think of me if I know I am helping someone I love? In theory, no. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much I’d actually be helping Bennett if I gave him what he wants/wanted. I think I may actually help him more by sticking to my guns and resisting the temptation to touch him and hold him like I want to so desperately.
How far am I willing to go? For the right person, I’d do anything. I hate saying this, but I don’t think Bennett is the right person. I must step back and wait for him to ask for help, and, if he asks me, I’ll reconsider my options.
Even if I am willing to go the distance and turn against the advice of many of my friends to help Bennett, what about this other girl? Assuming I was willing to do what needed to be done, I would have to tread cafefully (as I said in my last post). Elvira freaked out after I met her today; apparently, (according to Bennett) she’s “afraid [I am] trying to steal [him] back” from her. I don’t know if those were her words or not, but if they were, I’m inclined to like her much less–“stealing someone back” implies that the person was “stolen” in the first place. In this case, she would’ve had to “steal” him from me first for me to be able to “steal him back.” If she “stole him” from me, she knew he was dating me and hit on/seduced/made passes at him anyway. That is seriously not cool.
How am I to handle her? How will she handle me? Bennett is worried that she might pick a fight with me over him. I’m not sure how much of that is his ego talking, but if she’s as feisty as he makes her out to be, I wouldn’t put it past her to pick a fight with one of his ex-girlfriends. When I met her this morning, we were civil to one another and I didn’t feel any tension between us, but that may be because I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt all along. As per her “small crisis” (Bennett’s words, not mine) this afternoon, it’s safe to say she didn’t feel the same about me. I am, apparently, a threat.
Will she even know about me? Well, I don’t know how much Ben had previously told her about me or our relationship, but she sure as hell knows about me now! That said, if I were to continue a relationship with Bennett, it’s unlikely he would divulge said information to her, especially now that she’s revealed her streak of jealousy.
Will Bennett still lie to me about her? Will he lie about me to her? I’d like to be optimistic about this, but it’s unlikely that Ben would tell either of us the truth. His “honesty track record,” so to speak, has seriously gone down the shitter, if you ask me. He’s lied to everyone he knows–and not just little white lies, either–big lies.
Will we get along? Are we even going to speak to each other? If Elvira and I met under different circumstances, we may have become friends. She reminds me of my best friend in elementary school, Victoria, so I’m pretty sure we’d have at least gotten along. As it stands now, however, it’s unlikely that anything good will come out of my trying to be friends with her, or she with me. I doubt we’ll ever speak to each other beyond what is absolutely necessary to pass as polite.
How is this “sister girlfriend” thing going to work? Am I being idealistic to think that such a situation can even work at all? It won’t work, at least not the way things are set up right now. I don’t think I’m being too much of an idealist when I say that poly-amorous relationships can work… but… not under circumstances like these. If we were to pursue polyamory, it would be tense at best and would doubtful end well.
So, there you have it… after more thought this morning and early afternoon, I just cannot go into something like this–what is currently being offered to me–with a clear conscience. I miss Bennett terribly, but he made his choice–and it wasn’t me–and I need to move on to better things.