ARRRRGHHH! I wrote this long thing about being a poly introvert using the LJ web interface. And the browser decided it couldn’t find the server (a common error every evening, as I’m learning), and then it was just—gone. Gone gone gone. Sam tells me this is the reason to use the client you download to your own machine. After the long thing is gone, of course. How annoying!
But I did want to know what other people thought about it, so I’m going to try to reproduce it. But now I’ve probably thought about it too much, which sucks.
Okay. Good. Sam changed the music. Much better. It was Wilson-Phillips. No, I’m not sure why we have one of their CDs in the house. Some things seem to just appear. He decided “that’s enough, it’s like drinking a can of sweetened condensed milk.” Now he’s back to the ritual wrestling-with-Samba that has become part of every evening recently (we will, I swear, we will have that thing working in place of an NT PDC. Soon. Really.)
So I read something brian1789 mentioned about a discussion group for poly introverts. My first thought was “did an extrovert have to get the conversation started?” My second thought was that I wish I could have participated because there are times when I really wonder how other introverts who happen to be polyamorous ever meet their SOs. I certainly wasn’t looking—and neither was sambear—when we met. At church (okay, a UU congregation), of all places. A small congregation that didn’t even have a singles group, though I doubt either of us would have been involved in one if it did exist. He asked a mutual acquaintance who I was, got my email address, and contacted me out of the blue (he’s an extrovert). It took me a while — and a clue from my SO—to know that he was even interested in me. I don’t tend to think of people being interested in me. I just don’t consider it, so I don’t notice it without it being very, very obvious.
That isn’t something that’s likely to happen often. I met my previous long-term SO (we’re still friends, but no longer lovers) when we were both involved in Mensa. We were involved on and off for about 10 years. We were both introverts and I’m still uncertain as to how we ended up together at a dance at a regional gathering, but I think I can attribute at least some of it to “Peachtreat Punch.” He says he only went to the dance because he found out I’d be there, so I guess he’s the one who went out on a limb. I seldom drink anything stronger than water and I no longer belong to Mensa, so that’s unlikely to be happening again either.
In the last decade or so I’ve generally met SOs online or through mutual SOs. Since I don’t generally go into any kind of chat room anymore, I don’t meet many new people online. And I was never actually looking to meet anyone—I’m not trying now, either, it’s just that I’m realizing that it’s unlikely to ever happen. At one point it seemed like every time I turned around, someone new just fell into my life. I wasn’t looking, it just happened. But I was interacting with people online, at least, so I wasn’t socially inert. Now I largely interact only with people I already know—safe people.
Somehow it’s easier to take chances online. To talk about this whole topic, in fact, which I probably wouldn’t ever bring up in a face-to-face situation. I can decide not to read comments here, or just delete the entry if I decide I shouldn’t have posted it. If nobody replies—well, it isn’t the kind of rejection it would be if I tried to start a conversation with in-the-flesh people and had it flop.
I can, for brief periods of time, be “on” and use a sorta-extroverted version of myself. She’s the person who gets up and sings in front of people, who does job interviews or presentations. I have pulled her out a few times for parties. She isn’t me, though, so if someone thought he was interested in me when he met her, it wouldn’t be real—she’s a mask. Not me. Not really. The real me loves talking to people but prefers talking to one or two people than doing that weird “mixing” thing or dealing with large groups. She was more integrated into the rest of me when I was younger, but not now, for whatever reason.
So—other than having extroverts hunt you down and sweep you off your feet, how do other introverted poly folk do this? No, I’m not pining for another SO, I’m just wondering if there will ever be anyone else in our lives or if we’ll continue being poly “in theory” forever.
(This has ended up having almost nothing at all to do with the first journal entry I wrote on the topic which disappeared into the ether—maybe that’s a good thing.)