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Poly101 – The Importance of Self Care

Briana Bliss By Briana Bliss
    Here you sit. You have jumped into the poly pool with both feet. You are doggie paddling and keeping your head above water. Most days you are feeling really good, happy as a clam really. Some days you are feeling like you are bobbing a bit. On occasions you feel like you are drowning. Now why is that? Let’s look at some examples and some techniques to help you stay in happy poly land.

   My biggest hurdle starting out, was that I wanted to date everybody. I went from a very boring, stale relationship. There was no sex, no love, no chemistry. There was absolutely nothing exciting about it. When I finally was able to evolve into who I always knew I was, I truly wanted to date everyone that I had an affinity for. I had sparks with people because they were intelligent, they had great energy, I loved their smile, we liked the same food, they loved to dance. Hell, there was one woman that I saw for a millisecond that I honestly think that I dated because I absolutely loved the way that she smelled. I don’t know what it was about her, but it was a good combo of her soap and her pheromones but ohhhh diggity it made me swoon!!

   During the first year, I had a “stable” partner and two others that I was seriously dating. I casually dated three or four other people as well. I could be seeing up to seven or eight people at a time. If you do the math you can quickly figure out that there is not enough time in a day, a week or a month to make that work. I spread myself way too thin. I was polysaturated. I wasn’t being the best mom that I could be, nor was I the best partner. I couldn‘t devote enough time to anyone to really focus on fostering healthy, long lasting, deep, emotional connections and relationships with people because there honestly wasn’t time to connect with everyone on the levels that they deserved or I deserved for that matter. Not only that, my selfcare went by the wayside.

   Once I stopped taking care of myself and taking time for me, I started to get sick. I started to get down and irritable. I wasn’t sleeping well which led to crabiness. I never got any time alone. Life kind of fell apart around me. I ended up withdrawing into myself and unfortunately I hurt a few people along the way. Life didn’t need to be that way, it just evolved into this calendaring nightmare with no light at the end of the tunnel. I was so lost and confused. I broke off all my romantic relationships except for two. It was hard because I cared for all of them, but I knew that if I didn’t make a change soon I would lose everything and everyone since I was losing sight of who I was.

   I am lucky to have salvaged friendships with the other people that I ended these dating relationships with. They were kind and forgiving. Many of them well-versed in the polyamorous ways. I believe that they saw what was happening before I did. This goes along with the theme of “the things I wish I knew before.”

   Through self-reflection, I knew that I had to change. I needed to be sure to take care of myself. Take time to be by myself to help recharge my batteries. Take time to do the things that I love. Spend time with my friends and my loved ones. Spending time doling the hobbies that I enjoy. I needed to remember that I have a relationship with myself as well. I am an awesome date. I take myself out to dinner, out for a stroll or a night out dancing on my own. Don’t forget you. A healthy you helps make a healthier relationship with others.

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