I'll come up with something in a minute.

Poly Crush (first attempt)

People ask me from time to time, that is to say a near constant stream of inquiry, about crushes in a poly relationship. Right after “How do your sleeping arrangements work?” I’ve found the question “How do you handle crushes?” is the question I get asked the most. Then people want to know if and who I have a crush on and are old crushes still active and are there such things as group crushes and does the whole group have to have a crush for it to work and can a person have a crush on a group and would you do them really dirty, like up against the wall, would the whole group do them from behind, and then I have to slap the asker and tell them to get a hold of themselves.

Let’s agree what a crush is before we start. A crush is an attraction that isn’t really formed into a proper relationship yet. A person you have a crush on ceases to be a crush once you’re dating, even if you still feel all crushy for them from time to time. An internet crush stops being one if you’ve been sending relatively serious e-mails or IMs back and forth for a while and can claim more than a passing knowledge of them. Mostly a crush is a secret little admiration you hold in your heart (or other places) for someone and usually it’s kept to oneself. If we can agree to that, and I suspect we can’t because someone always want to be the contrarian, I think we’ll do just fine here.

I will admit that crushes are a unique issue for poly people. I’m not talking about any full blown panting “I must be with this person or my life is just pointless.” stuff, although that does sometimes happen. No, I mean simple little things. The sort of thing where I look at a cute girl and think ‘If I were ten years younger, available and a man…’ before moving on with my day. The point is that a simple crush is easy enough to deal with. Ninety percent of the time, you keep it to yourself and you deal with it. If it’s a mere physical attraction, that’s easy enough to allow to pass.

Sometimes the girl isn’t just cute, but actually has a brain. That causes trouble since as you know the nice pair on top I’m looking for are more of the frontal lobe variety, although I have been known to notice the attributes below her chin as well, from time to time. However, sometimes a person stimulates both ends of the spinal column and that, one would suppose, is an eventuality that would cause a normal person to pursue such an attraction.

Most times, when one is single, that’s not a problem. If there is mutual attraction, you get together, become a couple, and spiral downward into the dull predictability of a suffocatingly normal life with kids, a dog, a picket fence and all that shit. Ah, but the poly people aren’t mind crushingly dull, they live in the thrill a minute world of polyamory! Right? Well, no. Actually the main difference is that there is a third person to ask if they want to sit down and watch TV to alleviate the mind-numbing boredom that comes with suburban life. Seriously kids, had I known what this was leading to I would have joined the circus when I had the chance. Where was I?

Ah, yes!

If you’re with someone, you basically have to shut off the attracted part of your mind, stop hanging out with the person, or suffer in silence. Either that or you have to act on it and have an affair or leave one partner for the other. That’s for the mono people though, being poly leaves you in slightly murkier waters. There are several situations that go along with this and I’ll try to address all the ones I can think of. Most of them are like math, or one of those genetic pea diagrams that we drew in school. I forget what they’re called and it doesn’t matter because Hol will tell me as soon as she reads this and I won’t be interested in editing it at that point.
EDIT: Punnett Squares. XKCD has a comic using them as a punchline today.

But you’ve got the map of you’re attracted, but they aren’t, you aren’t and they aren’t (doesn’t count for a crush, but work with me here) you aren’t but they are and both of you are. I bring this up because there is a problem with the third option there and I want to address it and it’s my blog and you can’t type here and I want to so I will. There is a problem for poly people, particularly guys, when someone has a crush on you and you aren’t interested. See, women are used to guys being interested in them and wanting nothing to do with the guy. Women are supposed to be the selectors in our society, guys are used to being told ‘no thank you’ and in most cases can handle it. Being poly is just an added wheel in that cog system. Women aren’t used to being turned down though. If a woman becomes bold enough to let her attraction be articulated, she’s not going to take kindly to a polite ‘no thank you’ from a guy. It really can confound some women to be turned down, and a guy who is freer with his affections can accidentally stick his foot in all the way up to the knee. A real ‘why them and not me’ can fester in the mind. Now I’ll tell you, 98% of the time, the why not them is because of the oft cited ‘Chick’s Psycho’* law that all guys know. I have no solution to this, but it remains a problem.
*If you are unaware, the law goes like this…
Guy 1: Wow, she’s hot!
Guy 2: Dude, chick’s psycho.
Guy 1: Yeah, but you could have her for a night, right?
Guy 2: No man. That chick is psycho.
Guy 1: Yeeeah, but…
Guy 2: Dude, dude. Dude? You don’t stick your dick in the crazy. Chick’s psycho.
Guy 1: Psycho?
Guy 2: Norman Bates on acid.
Guy 1: Damn it. She’s hot too.
Guy 2: But psycho.

Now, we can dismiss the ‘you’re crushing but they aren’t’, because that’s just life. You deal with that like you would in the everyday gray boring predictable world. Sometimes you’re into someone and they’re not that into you. Buck up and deal. I will admit that your status as a poly person can put them off. It’s an issue that needs to be dealt with upfront if you want to have any kind of relationship with this person. Even if you’re pretty sure they’re not into you, but you want to be friends, you’ve got to put it out there and tell them everything. You don’t have to tell them you’re crushing on them, that’s probably evident anyway since you’re nowhere near as good at covering your emotions as you think you are. If they were sort of interested until they discovered the whole poly thing, don’t despair, they may become interested in the whole poly idea later. It has happened! Not to me, but it has.

Now here comes the actual issue I set out to talk about today. The old ‘you’re crushin’ they’re crushin’ we need to get these crazy kids together’ variety of crush. Except there’s a snag in that you have two people at home already. Let’s get rid of the concept of a group crush right now because groups don’t have crushes. It’s possible that all the people in a group will have a thing for a single person, but it’s not really the group as a whole having a crush. Not in my experience anyway. Mostly, not all the members of a group (or even couple) have a crush on one person. Funny thing individual tastes and preferences. That sounds like I’m being flippant, but I’m not. In my experience triangle shaped triads are rarer than multi-pronged groupings. All the members of a group being together isn’t like spotting a Pale-headed Brush Finch in the wild, but it’s probably no more than one out of five.

However, can a person have a crush on a group? Hmm, I’ve certainly had “You’re part of a group? That’s hot and I’d like to join” said on more than one occasion. Mostly the person was hitting on me, but the group dynamic was most certainly an attracting factor. However, there were issues why that could never be (see Chick’s Psycho law) and those applications had to be cast aside. However, it does seem a person can have a crush on a group, or at least the idea of a group since one of the people never met Syd or Holly at all and just wanted to jump my bones because she thought if I could keep up with two girls, I must be good in bed. As it turns out, I am, but for different reasons.

What happens when one of us has a crush independent of the group? Why doesn’t independent have an A in it? It totally sounds like it should. Anyway. Imagine for a moment that these aren’t lovers, but just friends. If you’re crushing on someone, and you think it’s more than just a little thing, you’d bring that person to meet your friends and get their approval, yeah? At some point, your friends have got to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to your new sweetheart. Well, it’s like that, only these are people who are even closer than your friends are. They don’t have to want to date the person, but they should at least agree that they’re good people and not want to shoot them in the head on sight.

“What about jealousy?” I hear you ask, because my ears are extremely acute and can pick up whispers from several miles away. Suddenly the fact that I can never fucking sleep makes sense doesn’t it? The constant din that is life on planet earth just WILL NOT STOP! Yeah, that comes into it, but that’s your personal look out. If you don’t want to risk jealousy, stay at home and die without ever having had an adventure. Each person, upon discovering their sweetie has a crush will react differently. Some will cry and sob, others will grit their teeth and still others will get a kitten to punish the wrong doer. There are even rumors of people who welcome the whole with with open arms and no jealousy at all. Me? I react with amused detachment, mixed with good-natured ribbing. That’s me though, you might react differently.

I have to say, I can feel the caffeine wearing off as I type this, and I’m getting a little tired. There is probably a lot I’m forgetting to put in here, and for that I apologize, but I’m crashing as we speak. If I haven’t answered all your questions, you can always ask more in the comments. Wait, there were more questions, weren’t there? What else was in that opening paragraph?

… hmmm

Old crushes are old crushes. Normally they cool off and go into the general affection sort of area. Sometimes they can be fanned into something more, sometimes not. It depends on the attention and proximity I suppose, I don’t know exactly. Some people have managed to keep a low burning crush going for year while others come and go in a flash.

Do I have a crush on anyone is a constant question to which I normally like to answer with a mixture of “Maaaaaybe” and “Mind your own damn business” because I carefully ration personal information out to you people no matter what it looks like. If I have a crush and on whom is really none of your concern anyway and most the time I don’t express that information to the people it pertains to so it would do you no good.

Would I do them dirty, like up against a wall is defiantly a wait and see question. We’d have to agree on what “doing them dirty” means and if that person wanted to be done up against a wall, and we can’t even agree on what we call a crush. So really, I’m not going to tell you if I’d do a person dirty, like up against a wall. I have done someone dirty, up against a wall, but you’re not going to get any more details than that my friends.

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment