Category: Polyamory

Life Upheavals and Developments (Part 2)

This post is continued from Part 1. Please read Part 1 first.

When I broke up with Asher, I also moved out immediately. However, the first bed bug treatment was happening in a week, and I needed to work very hard on trying to make sure the apartment complex didn’t file for eviction or anything drastic because of us not being prepared. Despite over 90% of the work to be done involving Asher’s stuff, it was my problem, I had to figure out how to handle it.

Friday of that week, only two days after breaking up with Asher, I received a Corrective Action email from my supervisor for my productivity having begun to suffer over the course of the past three or so weeks at work.

I ended up bringing my dad, my brother, and two friends over to see the apartment for the sake of helping with tons of physical labor of moving stuff around, taking things out to the dumpsters (the apartment being on the 3rd floor with no elevator), taking tons of clothing and linens to laundromats, taking many storage bins to a new storage unit over multiple car trips, etc. We did most of the work over the course of 2 weekend days, Christmas Eve, and still weren’t finished and had to keep working hard on Christmas Day.

Asher and I cooperated during this time, although Asher’s new partner was extremely angry at me and wouldn’t speak to me and it was a whole… dramatic thing. Asher and I stayed in contact and tried to figure out if there was any way we could be just friends but still in each other’s lives, or to get back together as a different type of polyamorous partner with no intention to be nesting partners (to be living together), no intention any longer to raise kids together one day, etc. We navigated a lot of complicated emotions and painful conversations.

My friends and family talked me into the fact that if it was at all posssible to terminate the lease early, I should not keep paying for the entirety of the remaining 9+ months I would not be living there. I discussed with Asher, who would’ve preferred to keep living there, but in the end we were able to terminate the 1 year lease fairly easily, with a minimal monetary penalty, all things considered. We gave our 30 day notice on January 2nd. Asher began to work toward finding a place (i.e. a room) to move in alongside their partner they’d been dating since September, in large part because the two of them could much more easily afford a place together, but also because they did want to live together.

That same day, at 10:30 PM, I received a phone call from the police, where I was informed that my estranged, abusive mother had been found dead in her home. My brother and I were next of kin because she was not married, and we had to decide what to do with her body and everything relating to her estate. She was renting a home, so we needed to empty it so that the landlord could rent it to the next tenant.

Over the course of January, I needed to prepare to present on sessions relating to asexuality and aromanticism at the Creating Change conference, for the third year in row, as the slideshows and plans were not even yet formulated. Meanwhile, I needed to figure out the practicalities in the wake of my mother’s death, and I was under more scrutiny at work, and it was all a lot.

Continue reading “Life Upheavals and Developments (Part 2)”

Life Upheavals and Developments (Part 1)

I moved in with my partner less than a week after my last blog post, the one called Crying Over A Fictional Kiss that I wrote for the Carnival of Aros and posted on the last day of September 2019. 

A week or so before we moved in together, Asher (my partner) met another person they had begun to date. Asher and I are polyamorous and Asher and this new partner were beginning to really hit it off.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to finish a blog post since then, but I really wanted to update all of my followers on a few things briefly even if I haven’t written a full blog post yet on any of these specific topics, some of which do really deserve their own posts. This draft for just quick updates was something I started and thought I’d post in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic really reached my part of the USA, before that was even on my radar as a topic that would consume everything. This post has nearly nothing to do with COVID-19.

Starting the very first weekend we were in our new apartment, Asher’s new partner slept over in the queen? king? (I can’t remember) bed in the master bedroom, while I’d sleep in the second bedroom in a twin bed on days said new partner was over. During the weekdays, I’d sleep in the queen bed with Asher. Asher’s partner usually stayed Sunday overnight and only left Monday during the day.

Here’s a rudimentary illustration:

illustration for blog post (bedrooms, Asher, Emily)

In early December, possibly end of November, I started a blog post that I haven’t touched since the morning of December 10th entitled Hopes and Dreams for Life with My Partner, Snags in the Plans and Changing Course?? My Uncertain Future. The post already is a thousand words long.

Continue reading “Life Upheavals and Developments (Part 1)”

Hi, I’m a Polyamorous Asexual Atheist (etc.)

This is a belated submission for the August 2019 Carnival of Aces, which was being hosted by The Demi Deviant, who happens to be my partner “Asher” referenced below, and has the theme of “Deviant Identities”. The Call for Submissions is here.


I’m not very familiar with the reclaiming of the pejorative “deviant” actually, but per the call for submissions, if it means “any identities that are counter-culture, taboo, misunderstood, frowned upon, marginalized, or otherwise not mainstream,” beyond being asexual I suppose I have a few.

Before I get to what I am, I’ll quickly cover what I’m not.

I’m an ace who is not, as part of my identity, kinky. Being kinky is one of the suggested identities you could have in the Call for Submissions, and while I’ve met a fair number of kinky aces, I myself do not feel deep inside of myself a very strong desire to try any of the various activities often included under a kink umbrella. That being said…

My partner is kinky, and I’ve been considering if I might be open to trying a couple forms of nonsexual kink with them. I also went with them to a queer night at a kink clubhouse.

Continue reading “Hi, I’m a Polyamorous Asexual Atheist (etc.)”

Personal Life Reflections Part 2, and Musings On Compatibility, Attraction, and Love Languages

Hi everybody! I hosted the Carnival of Aces in April 2019. This is part 3 of 3 of my submission.


So after I posted the Call for Submissions for this carnival theme on The Five Love Languages, I ended up reading 3 of the books and having so many thoughts that I’m writing 3 blog posts on the subject. This is part 3 of 3. I know it says part 2 in the title but it’s actually part 3 total, just part 2 of the personal life reflections… Sorry if that’s too confusing!

Part 1 was here. Part 2 was here.

This post below has more to do with asexuality and aromanticism than the previous two parts did.
For all the original Love Languages books’ faults, and there are a lot (see my previous post), one thing that I think most aces would actually really appreciate is how sex is very clearly not tied to love in the books, even in the marriage-specific book. Author Gary Chapman says problematic stuff about sex, for sure, but he also says if the only Physical Touch you go out of your way to give or receive is sexual, then Physical Touch is clearly not your primary love language. Other touch is kind of given priority in terms of what “counts” as Gary Chapman actually separates out sex and other touch, much like the ace community separated out Sexual Desire/Behavior from Sensual Desire/Behavior, defining “Sensual” as non-sexual touch.  It’s an interesting way to look at a lot of this.
Also, from the aromanticism side of things, Gary Chapman doesn’t actually say or imply anything is “only true for romance” that isn’t also true for non-romantic dynamics, other than when he tries to explain about the “in love experience” and “infatuation period” based on what the audiobooks only cite as “research” [so I have no clue how sources are cited in the actual book]… But when it came to love, the theorizing was impressively inclusive of the forms of love aromantic people also usually experience and even of the spectrum of human experience from co-workers and college roommates to siblings to adult’s dynamics with parents, love as on a spectrum where even if love stops being a good word for it and maybe “appreciation” is better, it flows seamlessly from love to appreciation in these books and all of it is still important.
There is something oddly validating about the marriage counselor who “invented” the love languages terminology and system having so much to potentially offer in his system even to nonamorous aromantic people?
And the idea of the love languages and these books around them also have so much to offer to sex-repulsed or sex-indifferent asexuals as well! His advice would work well for aces and aros, in spite of his bigotry and what I believe might be a partnership with hate groups like Focus on the Family (or at least I know FotF endorses him based on this image exising). (I know that groups like these have brought about deaths of gay and trans people, I do not say they are a hate group lightly.)
Even if it was unintentional, sometimes I want to take inclusion wherever I can see it. Wherever I can squint and find it!
But enough about that…
Let’s bring this post to the things I said I’d talk about in my title for this post – Compatibility and Attraction.

Continue reading “Personal Life Reflections Part 2, and Musings On Compatibility, Attraction, and Love Languages”

Things That Frustrated Me While Reading Some Of The Love Languages Books

Hi everybody! I hosted the Carnival of Aces in April 2019. This is part 2 of 3 of my submission.


So after I posted the Call for Submissions for this carnival theme on The Five Love Languages, I ended up reading 3 of the books and having so many thoughts that I’m writing 3 blog posts on the subject. This is part 2 of 3. Part 1 was here.

This post is about the reasons to be critical of the books, and the author, and the way the love languages are presented. I think there is a lot of wisdom actually to be found in the pages of those books, and the books promote plenty of things I think are generally positive.

The book also tiptoes around a few other topics and implies things by omission that make me wildly uncomfortable, and a few times even actively state certain things that I flat-out disagree with.

I wish I’d been taking notes while listening to those 3 audiobooks but instead I’m just gonna go from memory and outline some of the major things I remember not liking.

As one reviewer said in 2012,

This book is about 25% heavy-handed religious rhetoric, 25% folksy nonsense, and 25% outright B.S. But the remaining 25% is genuinely insightful, interesting, and helpful. If you’re willing to dig through the muddy presentation, there are some wonderful nuggets of wisdom.

and I’d mainly agree that that.

The religious rhetoric is the easiest to get out of the way first. Throughout the books he uses examples of people who have used his love languages to great success, over and over, and maybe 50%, maybe 25% of the time in the examples he mentions that these are very religious Christian people whose spirituality is important to them, and loving Jesus inspires them to want their marriage to work. Or something really close to that. I don’t know, that’s how it sounded to my atheist ears. There was no diversity or specificity of even different Christian sects, just this “yay don’t you think Christians are the best and relate more to these people the more I tell you I hosted Church Singles events at my home and this guy came to that,” or whatever. As an author he will bring it up too much, to make it clear he only really values Christians as people whose relationships deserve improving by having better love communication. And he’ll start quoting the bible to justify certain advice of his at a few random times throughout the books. As someone who does not believe the bible is true, it’s just a part of the book I’m waiting to be over when I was listening to these audiobooks.

He says at some point in the books when it comes to dating and marriage that people need to be churchgoers to the same degree and equally spiritual to be compatible. He says, if I recall correctly, that beyond the love languages you also need to have core features of compatibility and this is an example. He emphasizes the very religious and what they need, but subtly reinforced the thought that atheists would get along with each other, that other religions should stick together. He seemed to have no concept or thought for interfaith marriages or the thought of different levels of spirituality sometimes working okay.

I clearly don’t agree at all with any of the Christianity he tries to infuse throughout this.

And in less explicit and overt ways, his Christianity clearly influences the rest of what I disagree with so strongly. So let’s move on to all that.

He is extremely amatonormative, heteronormative, and “old fashioned” in ways that make me uncomfortable. He posits Divorce as Always Bad and anything you can do to avoid it as good, including subtly endorsing withstanding abuse and trying to victim-blame and insisting someone act more loving toward someone who is not loving at all to try to “test” his theory. He cites some supposed research that having sex before or outside of marriage is horrible, cites research that cohabitation before or instead of marriage leads to more abuse or other unhappiness, and implies men and women are made to be happy together in a marriage. He even implies arranged marriages and avoiding dating altogether would be better, but settles for the reality of American and Western society where dating is a common thing. It’s jarring to read books where the author feels so confident in these types of conclusions.

He never once acknowledges that anyone might be queer or LGBTQ+ in any way. He talks about men and women dating over and over. I did try again to take the love languages test as a female person who was married and older than I am, just as an experiement, and the language did not assume husband but did say “partner” over and over which was impressively inclusive, but even so. The books over and over show straight couples or straight couples raising kids. It did address that sometimes parents are single parents and tried to help single parents be the best loving parent they can be most of the time, didn’t get too harsh on attitudes towards single parents as far as I can recall. It did say divorced parents often make this, this, or this mistake and fail to communicate love effectively. But it didn’t go as horribly far as it might’ve.

He discusses the “in love experience” in a way I think to some degree even aromantic people would appreciate as an analysis of how those people who experience it end up feeling and behaving for an average of 2 years before those feelings fade and “companionate love” takes over. But he does not acknowledge the thought of an ace or aro spectrum of course, and implies all people are alloromantic allosexual and not just that, but heteromantic heterosexual.

He also explicitly says open marriages are horrible and doesn’t really address polyamory in any other way, but is extremely pro-monogamy to the point of saying research backs up the harm of open marriages, if I recall correctly. He also discusses affairs a little, and the excitement of the “in love experience” and infatuation period but I believe is trying to help save marriages at all costs including in these situations, which I wished would’ve approached it from more angles. It’s okay that marriage is still on the table, but not the “at all costs” approach.

The biggest thing that frustrated me was when he did bring up abuse briefly and then forgot he mentioned it, I think it was in the Singles book as the only place he mentioned parents can be abusive, and one moment in the Children book he mentioned sexual abuse from strangers including pastors etc, but he claimed it was outside the scope of that Children book and wouldn’t be addressed there. In the Singles book he was explaining that children who had been abused by parents might grow into adults… but then proceeded to imply that no matter how bad your relationship as an adult with your parents, you should try to speak more love languages and repair your relationship. As a person who’s gone No Contact with an abusive mother, it was really frustrating to listen to those parts of the audiobooks. I know that what he was suggesting would not always just work. This counselor has SUCH confirmation bias toward his pet theory. It’s ridiculous.

There was also one part of the marriage book that was horrible with the compulsory sexuality/sex-normativity… I believe it stated that people are almost NEVER sexually incompatible, and everyone loves sex in the same way, they just need to feel loved first, with the love languages used effectively, and otherwise all men are compatible with all women and everything is easy and happy. He implied that sex is obviously important to everyone. And to the woman in what seemed to clearly be an abusive marriage to me, he insisted she initiate sex even when she didn’t want to, with no concept of consent brought up. Just. Make the other person feel loved as much as possible, in as many ways as possible, until it works and they start loving you back. It was… creepy and wrong.

Not sure what else I should be criticizing in these books, but this is all I remember at the moment. Sorry if I forgot something big.