Something I’m beginning to notice, having found my peace and learned this particular dance of meeting and wooing to some extent, is that seeing multiple people means that each new interaction is taken on its own merits. I don’t have to, while wining/dining, calculate whether someone has the same musical taste, or the same plans for the future, or the same taste in basically-vegetarian food. I just need to work out whether they are sufficiently excellent human beings to claim some of my time. I’m also realizing that this is how I always wanted to operate, and the way that things work best in my head.
Each of these new maybe-something interactions is, perhaps ironically, just about me and the person across from me. It’s not just in spite of but because of the fact that I’m not coming into it lonely and weary, due to the lovers and others that are already out there. I’m not looking for anything in particular, except what the party of the other part inspires desire for. People don’t have to fit some slot in my head before I can want them.
I know some of my readers haven’t been in serial-monogamy headspace for a long time, so these things aren’t revelations. Some probably never have been. But this sort of meta-analysis–“can I see this person for years without getting bored? can I commit to not looking for anyone else while I’m doing so?”–is a huge drag on the ability just to enjoy someone.