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.
11 thoughts on “When You’re Home Alone”
I so agree with you about “Do something special for you”. I used it some time ago also when I got dumped just before a date – I went out and bought special coffee, chocolates, and a book I wanted to read. Curled up in front of the heater and had “me time”. Loved it.
Actually I tried from the beginning to NOT do anything “special” for myself since my live-in partner is at his other residence every other night, I only see my other partner once or twice a week, and I have a LOT of stuff to get done — intellectual, creative, social, etc.
Because if I don’t treat such nights as being “normal”, then to me they never actually will be. Instead I’ll be trying so hard not to feel sorry for myself that I will end up feeling like I *should* be feeling sorry for myself, when in reality I *don’t* feel all that sorry for myself in this respect.
Obviously that’s what works for me; I’m not trying to dismiss what works for others, of course. Plus, a lot of the stuff I need to get done is rather fulfilling.
For me… I love computers. WAY more than anybody I share my life with. When I get alone time, I’m *happy*, because it means I can indulge in pure geekiness. The full 9 yards. IM, IRC, Skype, e-mail, browser with Stumble Upon plugin, music (on my hard drive, or via streaming internet radio), and I’m probably missing a thing or two. I will engage in as many of these as possible simultaneously (or nearly so). The time flies by.
Being a person with small children, if I EVER get time to myself it is cherished. My hubby and I make deals for time to do what we like since our schedules are so packed. He goes on a date for 2-hours, I get 2-hours to do whatever I need to relax.
I used to mope!
But I turned that around a while back. I decided that if he was going to take time off from our relationship to do the things he wanted to do, then well I had the same option. I began looking around for activiites that appealed to me. I began scheduling those activities and telling him he was welcome to join me if he wanted to. On some occasions he has, on others he hasn’t. But it has been very good for me to take the time to do what I enjoy without worrying about whether or not he will be “left out”. I need to take care of my own interests if I am going to be a contributing member to the relationsihp.
I like this, even though that all of my poly experience has been as a secondary or other significant other. It helps me form what I would like in a primary poly relationship. Thank you 🙂
A self-confessed solipsist-in-therapy, I actively need the solo time to re-energise for the rigours of social interaction, so I value my partner’s time with her other for its own sake. That in no way invalidates your advice, of course. It all seems imminently sensible. And fun, besides.
I do things I like that my partner doesn’t — mostly, nowadays, that means I go out rock-climbing.
Aw gosh it is SO nice to have your coherent, joyful, healthy and loving insights.
Love this blog!
I do this for myself ocassionally as well. Mine consists of a nice but easily cooked dinner (I don’t have kids), a scented bath with a good book, soft and sexy pajamas, then followed by watching a movie while giving myself a pedicure and a manicure and eating some good chocolate. Sometimes it also involves a couple glasses of my favorite wine. I’ll also light a scented candle in the bedroom (don’t worry, it’s in a safe container) a bit before bed so when I go up to bed the room is nicely scented and I’ll read for a bit before going ot sleep. Very relaxing to do and then I feel great for days after with my new mani/pedi.