So the other day I had several neat little boxes all lined up, each full of assorted goodies- a cutesy character plush for each (although one box had two), chocolates to match assorted dietary needs, and other random things like a stuffed tribble, a bag of almonds and some honey. That's right, it was valentines day for someone with an international network of Sweeties. Which makes me sound like some sort of spy service...
As someone who historically has gotten in way too deep with a primary relationship to the point of becoming some nightmareish version of myself when I'm a blend of insecure/jealous/desperate, and also clinging on TOO HARD to relationships that just aren't working, one of my post-really-bad-breakup plans has been to make sure I have a really solid network of people I know deeply care for me, who have demonstrated as much over and over. I've been focusing on the relationships that lack the drama, just positive, strong connections that have years of establishment, and for whatever reason haven't become primary partnerships.
I'm kind of making this up as I go along right now, so please don't take this as some poly guidelines, but here's my current strategy:
The Sweetie Squad: So as my first order of business in setting up a more networked method of dating, I started a private facebook group for my handful of sweeties. I don't really know what the point of the group is yet, other than to digitally introduce everyone to everyone, but so far there's been a lot of exchanging of dog pictures, inquiries about Hogwarts houses, and debate over who is who in the picture of the Avengers I made as the banner.
Scarlet Witch: A romantic friend of 15+ years, I've lived with the Scarlet Witch, we've known each other through good and bad times, and for a while there was a rumor going around that we are super gay with one another because of the one time I gave her a grounding hug in a nightclub when she was stressed out. A fellow witch, she calls me her Cupcake and I love that nickname. We made out once and I'm totally down to do it again next time we're in the same state for longer than 24 hours. One of my cats, Magic, fell in love with her and she now has full custody of her but sends me regular photo updates.
Thor: She's an iron pumping badass who set a goal of 40 pull-ups at 40 and way beat it. I also lived with her during a particularly fucked up time in my life, and yet she still likes me, so that's pretty awesome. She's often super busy with business projects, and I appreciate having a partner who gets being busy as often as I am. She's allergic to bleach and I sent her almonds for valentines day because she eats super healthy.
Captain America: The only person who lives out of country was also a great fit for Captain America (I choose to reject this whole CA is a Hydra agent bullshit from my canon, so he's a good guy still). He's a charming programmer who excels at finding hilarious or cute things on the internet and sharing them with the group, calming me down when I'm in a panic, and smooching. Time zones make finding time to have a skype chat difficult, but also mean he's usually up at the same weird hours as me and we often have late night (for me) conversations. I've known him since my family lived in his home country.
Hawkeye: A master of wit (no really, she's a professional comedian and kills it), she's aromantic but that doesn't stop us from being the goddamn cutest friends with benefits who get a little moony eyed ever. When she's not cracking hilarious jokes, she's doing a variety of other odd jobs and making it as a starving artist in my hometown. We express our affection via alien emojis. She and Captain America bond over dog pictures.
What does the future hold?
New Connections: After one attempt at dating someone new after the breakup that quickly turned back into me feeling like I was on eggshells all the time and it not being good for either of us, I took several months off and also decided on two rules: I wouldn't pursue again, I would just let people know when I liked them and let them respond to that information how they'd like, and I would run people I was having The Feels for and something actually came of it by the Sweetie Squad for additional eyes/ears on red flags or making sure I didn't Do The Thing (disappear into a relationship to the point of neglecting being my best self) again. Until recently this was a non issue, but today I had my first "ok so I met this guy tell me what y'all think because I have sex brain..." post and we are chatting about it. Scarlet Witch already did some great probing to make sure I'm not making poor impulse decisions (thanks boo!!)
Expelling: I had to expel one person from the sweetie squad when he posted some anti sex workers rights stuff on facebook, and when I called him out on it, he never replied. Sorry (not sorry) but a core requirement of accessing my sexuality is respecting my work history. Since I'm keeping The Sweetie Squad to super established relationships, I don't anticipate too much of that... I don't want to have an environment where people are appearing and disappearing, the point is for my long term metamores to get to know each other, so the people in the group are people I have related to in a variety of ways over the years but they stay close and people I'm sweet on.