When you’re poly and partnered, sometimes the partner has a date, and for whatever reason you’re “stuck” home.
How do you treat this time? Bitch, moan, put your hair in curlers and wear your granny housecoat?1
Whether or not you are finding you might want to negotiate or renegotiate time agreements, now is not the time to let your morale slide. I wrote an article a couple of years ago about how you are your own primary. I stand by that as firmly as ever, and think a date with yourself is always a good thing.
So, let’s say you decide that yes, you do deserve a date with yourself. You do, by the way, honest, you really do. Never forget that. Where to start?
I encourage anyone home with small kids to figure out a way — a small and not too difficult way, to do something small and special with them. My parents were monogamous, but my father had to travel on business from time to time. My mother really disliked it when my father was away, but Mom was smart and did her best not to mope. We might have “breakfast for dinner” in our jammies, or would use the good china in the dining room by candlelight, instead of eating in the kitchen — just something little and different, but with a sense of “special” so we wouldn’t be missing Daddy too badly and bedtime routines would go smoothly without him. If you have kids, this isn’t a bad idea when your partner is out on a date.
Once your kids are in bed, and you’re free for your self indulgent night, the first thing you want to do is stuff all the clutter out of sight in whatever room you’re going to be using.2 I give my own bedroom more of a boudoir feel because it means there is little preparation involved for the self indulgence.
You might want to consider an actual Home Alone Indulgence Kit.
Your kit and mine are going to be different. I have a very femme d’une certaine age (since I am) slant to mine.
The Goddess of Java’s Kit:
- Nice Lounge Wear — silky jammies. I’m also making myself a couple of hostess gowns and a kimono and haori. Never underestimate the power of elegant, comfortable loungewear.
- Bath Scents — I start out any self-indulgent evening with a nice bath.
- Incense — It’s a good idea to make sure the scent doesn’t clash with the bath scents!
- Candles — I prefer neutral or non-scented if I am going to use the incense
- Manicure kit with parafin dip — manicures always make me feel very pampered and as part of my grooming for my evening, I’ll usually give myself one.
- Something to make a nice drink, and a good glass/cup to drink it out of — Yes, I have some nice china, but you can get some pretty good stemware at the local dollar store. I am very fond of my $1 cocktail glasses. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but something “special” is important.
- Some suitable music — this can depend, but it’s usually either Baroque or some really sexy music. Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix is a favorite.
I find it well neigh impossible to feel sorry for myself or down with a fresh manicure, a nice bone china cup full of Jasmine tea, sitting in a candlelit room and listening to Voodoo Chile in silky loungewear. It Just Can’t Be Done.
This is my way of savoring my time. I’m sure there are men reading this feel like it’s a Bit Too Girly. Well, I’ve had macho male partners that liked candlelit baths as much as ever I did, so I can promise you it won’t kill your masculinity to try it. But, maybe it’s not your thing. What is yours? Do you have something creative you like to do? (By the way, some of these articles are written after the bath, manicure, martini, et al.) I find creativity a wonderful way to celebrate the self. What about food? Is there a meal you love that your partner does not? Now is the time to enjoy it. Don’t neglect presentation, even if you’re eating alone. Are there movies you love that your partner doesn’t? Hey, guess what you can do? This is the time to watch that appallingly stupid comedy your wife can’t stand!
Whatever you do, make an “event” of it. If you’re happy with how things are going with you and your partner, this will reinforce the happiness. If you’re not happy with how things are going, this gets your morale up and allows you to address the issue from a place where you’re valuing yourself deeply, you’re calmer and clear-headed enough to discuss matters lovingly and effectively.
Either way, you’re taking responsibility for yourself, your happiness and your time and savoring life.
1Or the male version… Or even granny coat and curlers if you are male, but if you’re doing that, I’m presuming a fetish and that you’re probably not really all that unhappy indulging it.
2And if you have a regular problem with clutter, check out Flylady. No, she’s not poly and she’s an incredibly “traditional” wife, but her system is very good, indeed.