I was speaking to some of Carrie’s friends-who-are-becoming-my-friends-but-still-much-closer-to-Carrie (metafriends, perhaps, much like metamours (well, one is a metamour, or was, and will be again perhaps, let me expound on this outside the parentheticals) although the implication is that metamours are not one’s own “amours”, and I would consider these people my friends) this weekend, and mentioned that I was seeing L. It then came up that these (meta)friends had been under the impression that Carrie and I were monogamous, to which I replied “not on purpose, at least on my part”.
This has happened on occasion before, and it worries me a little for a couple of reasons, which depend on the source of this impression. The sources I can imagine are:
- I just seem like the monogamous sort.
- The fact that I wasn’t seeing anyone else was assumed to mean I didn’t want to see anyone else.
- Carrie’s hanky-panky-hiatus is being taken as something that I requested or wanted from her, meaning that I wanted a monogamous relationship.
And the corresponding worries are:
- If this is the case, I don’t even know if it’s addressable. Is there a special way I should wear my hair? A handkerchief that I should be putting in my back pocket?
- This is just frustrating in that it’s more need-money-to-make-money style stuff along the lines of how hard it can be to get a date in a poly crowd while single. How does one establish a second relationship if the lack of one is taken as indication that one does not want a second relationship?
- This makes me seem like an enormously insecure jerk, especially now that I’m seeing other people. And I don’t know how to address this short of going to her friends and once-and-future paramours and saying “Look, this wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t something that I wanted, and it doesn’t help me, anyway”, which would be along the lines of actually being an insecure jerk. That cuts a little too close to interfering in Carrie’s other relationships.
A first step, naturally, would be to ask exactly where this impression comes from, but I didn’t think to do that at the time. Until I do that, to some extent this is idle speculation, and so of course I will. It just always catches me flat-footed when people tell me this, almost as much as when they tell me that they didn’t think we were serious. Short of hanging a sign around my neck, I’m having a really hard time figuring out how to send the signal that I’m “available” but not unattached.