After a rather successful first encounter, and I say successful because the chemistry was right between all parties and not because there was some sexy-time, we’ve been eager to see our new couple again. Because of their childcare situation, we had a plan in place to hang out last Friday that was formed weeks ago. On the eve of our date, last Thursday that is, Mr. Amazing received a text from the wife informing us that they had been dealing with a broken-down vehicle. She also mentioned that her time of the month had come early. Therefore, they cancelled our date for last Friday night.
We get it. Stuff happens. Things come up and plans have to change. Well, Mr. Amazing gets it. I don’t get it as much. In fact I have been in a rather awful mood about the entire thing since last Thursday. It took me a few days, but I finally figured out why I have been in an awful mood. My feelings are hurt because I think the real reason they cancelled was because certain sexual things were no longer on the table.
When I voiced those hurt feelings to my husband, he reminded me that we have never had to worry about childcare and that the couple seemed to have limited chances to get away. The couple uses family to care for their small child and doesn’t want to use up that resource. So it was less about not being able to have sex and more about trying to make the most of the times they are able to spend time with us.
And Mr. Amazing is absolutely right and being entirely healthy about the cancellation, even after putting up with my grumpy ass all weekend.
During all of my grumpiness, the couple told us they had rescheduled some things on their end and could drive down this coming Friday. We played hard to get and waited for twenty-four hours before we committed to a new date for our… date. I then confirmed that we were able to move things around on our calendar to make Friday night work for us. I wasn’t as grumpy after that.
As my husband was getting ready for work this morning he asked if I received “the text message” from the wife. I had not. He then told me that the couple had cancelled yet again. Apparently the wife’s friend “freaked out” about the change in the wife’s travel plans.
Do I have to be reasonable about the most recent cancellation? Am I the only one who thinks that it is impolite to make plans with someone when you have not yet fully cleared out prior plans with other people? Am I supposed to care that the wife’s friend freaked out? But, again, the excuse for their cancellation is valid. The wife did have plans to go out of town originally instead of seeing us, and it is altogether possible that she told her friend about the cancellation and the friend waited to freak out until after the couple had already made new plans with us. If we are going about dating these people properly, shouldn’t the friendships that are important to them be important to us as well?
Welcome to PolyAmazing’s Cancellation Spiral. It has been our experience that once someone we like starts cancelling plans they will continue to cancel plans until we give up on them entirely. Granted, it can take a while for us to give up on people. But once the flaking happens, it doesn’t stop. That means that either my husband or myself, and sometimes both of us, start to feel negatively about the other party. Remember that this is just like dating for us. We genuinely like these people and we get excited about them in a romantic context. We aren’t just meeting people for sex, we aren’t swinging, we’re just looking for the right person or people to have in our lives.
We are both guilty of getting attached to people too quickly. Given the amount of rejection we have faced in our polyamorous journey, we could be far more jaded than we are. I see our ability to open our hearts to new people as a positive trait. Unfortunately that trait also makes it easy for our emotions to quickly sour.
We are really hard on ourselves when things don’t go well with a date, a new friendship, or a relationship. We constantly wonder about the what-if and if-only.
The trick to avoiding the Cancellation Spiral is to take things at face value. We have to believe that this new couple is both interested in us and disappointed that they have had to cancel plans twice. We also have to believe that they are cancelling plans due to external factors and not because they are having second thoughts about seeing us. Lastly, we have to keep our feelings in check.