What's your bad programming?

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What's your bad programming? Where did it come from? How do you deal with it?

Are you full-spectrum? Can you get everything you want in one package?

(Note: I'm not trying to discriminate against polyamory here - some people don't look for everything in one package. But, consider a corollary question - How is your own package? Is it complete?)

-- Never (never@never.to), January 09, 2000


My bad programming comes mostly from Daddy's Princess Syndrome: that girls should be "pretty, silent, and subserviant, especially if they're my daughter or a centerfold in Playboy". I deal with it by showing my dad my brains on a regular basis. Not in a smart-ass, one-upmanship way, but just occasional insights.

Am I full-spectrum? I've had great sex with men I could never imagine being in the same room with because of their gorgeousness. Yet the feelings were meaningless. Conversely, I've had unfulfilling sex with someone I cared deeply about.

I think it's a combination of luck and maturity. Most guys would never have made the cut had I stuck to "Tammy's List of Male Trait Requirements" that I created in college. Sometimes it's just a feeling. A hunch that leads you to the person that changes your life forever. You decide to go out for a drink or talk with this stranger for some reason, you're not quite sure why. And if it's true, if it's the ever-sought-after "meant to be" thing, you'll figure it out. Maybe not immediately. But you'll settle into a happiness that you've never know before, a satisfaction that you've never achieved with anyone else, a longing that your heart has never felt previously.

Years ago, I overheard a conversation between an old woman (now deceased) and a guy I had a terrible crush on (he was dating someone else). He asked the old woman "How do I know if I'm in love?" She said "You just know."

And I never understood that until recently. You DO just know. There's no "think" about it - no wavering, no doubt. It's there, like another nose on your face, like an extra finger. Yet it makes you more beautiful.

-- Tamara (tamthor@hotmail.com), January 09, 2000.

1. the bad programming i'm working on right now, at least, is about niceness. i grew up in a family where everyone was supposed to be nice no matter what, and disagreeing was a big uncomfortable deal. so i've learned to suppress my initial reactions and nod and smile *way too much. this is a new realization, though, so i haven't put much practice into correcting it yet.

2. i'm polyamorous, and involved with two very different men. my husband is a very spontaneous, even-tempered, computer-geek kind of guy, and my sweetie is more predictable, yet more emotionally sensitive and physically sensual. so i'm getting a full spectrum, just split into two people. i think i'm doing pretty well with feeling like i deserve to get, and enjoy, what i need in my relationships. it's taken a over a decade of having relationships to get to this point, but here i am!

-- ann monroe (monroe@chorus.net), January 10, 2000.

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