Charlene has been married to K for 5 years. They are involved with B, who lives 250 miles away. They are maintaining a long distance relationship. This MFF triad have decided to give an LDR a chance with a hope that one day they will make the move to be together. Join Charlene every month as she experiences love, life, and an outrageous phone bill!

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Internet Romance

K and I met in 2001 via an online Yahoo! Group I had created for a paper zine I was writing at the time. He had joined the group curious to see what a zine was and what kind of a writer I was that I needed an online group to act as a home base for my adoring fans. He slowly introduced himself as a shy man from Europe, looking for intelligent stimulation and witty banter. After a few months, we started to communicate privately through email and then through IM. A few months down the line we spoke over the phone; our first conversation lasting a whole 8 minutes and consisting entirely of questions about the weather.

A few weeks later, I was chatting with him on IM when it hit me: I was in love. I was shocked, confused, scared, and most of all embarrassed that I could have fallen in love with someone I never met in person. I held my feelings in for a whole 10 minutes before I told him. Luckily for me, he felt the same way and apparently had for quite some time. Whew! I had exposed my heart to someone whose hands I never felt in mine and whose plate I never ate off of and he actually reciprocated those feelings! I was amazed.

A few weeks later he flew to California to meet me. He stayed for a week and then flew home. Two days later I bought a one-way plane ticket to Europe and called him to inform him that I would be leaving warm, sunny California and would be moving in with him. His reaction: wonderful! Six weeks later I was on a plane and ten hours after that I was in his arms. We have been inseparable ever since.

A few months after we got married, we decided to explore what it might feel like to have a third member join our small family. We talked about, daydreamed about, used it as fantasies to get us in the mood to make love, and even placed a few ads via an online community bulletin board. We got several responses, none that I care to remember, and shrugged it off as something that wasn’t meant to be. We continued with married life as normal.

Years later, we decided to try again. We were happy and secure in our love and marriage and we wanted to know if there could possibly be another one of us out there. We have always considered ourselves to be on the fringes of normal society. We’re both pagans, I’m bisexual, and we listen to Marilyn Manson. That’s enough to get anyone banished from the average American home. We were wondering if there was possibly anyone else out there who had our same sense of humor, same outlook on life and society, and same sexual appetite. We were also looking for someone who loved Star Trek as much as K so that I may be spared conversations about Borgs and transporter machines. Good Goddess, could there possibly be anyone out there like that?

I blame meeting B on a TV show. I was watching some cable channel when a show called, “The Secret Lives of Women” came on. This certain show happened to be about late in life lesbians and how these women turned their heterosexuals lives upside down by finally being honest with themselves and admitting they were lesbians. I admired these women for eventually being honest with themselves but I also felt sad that they felt so trapped by society that they needed to hide who they were. I thought to myself that I didn’t want to be like that so I immediately posted a personals ad on the same community bulletin board K and I had posted on years earlier.

To my surprise, I got tons of responses. I read them all, thought about them, discussed some with K, and in the end there was only one, an email from B. She lived 250 miles away from us but said that she would be willing to travel for love. She said she had been involved in some kind of threesome before with her ex-boyfriend but never a polyamorous relationship. She was looking for a connection with a female, not necessarily a female and male. She knew I was married but we left it at that.

Two months of emails and IM conversations later, I asked her if she would consider a friendship with K. She said yes. They began emailing and chatting on IM. I was feeling very excited about B and even more excited that she had opened herself up to K. Now if I could only get the three of us together. Before I could start plotting like a madwoman, B suggested she come visit for a weekend. Yes, just the opportunity I had been waiting for! We were all going to be together, in the same room, at the same time, and only then could I fully confirm that she was just like K and I and the person we had been searching for.

A few weeks later, she was here. The moment I laid eyes on her I knew. We were meant to find each other and she was meant to be with us. To confirm my feelings, we all sat together in the same room, at the same time, and were silent. I looked at K and he nodded; he knew just what to do. He asked her the question, the ice breaker/deal breaker question that would determine the rest of our relationship with B.

He asked, “Do you wanna watch South Park with us?”

I stared at her in silence, waiting for her response. I could feel time slow down and my heart beat faster. I held my breath and braced myself for what her answer might be. But before I almost exploded with anticipation, she said yes and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Here she was, in front of us, just like us, and laughing her arse off to Cartman. What more could we ask for?

The journey to become a triad has not been without it’s ups and downs. No relationship, whether it’s monogamous or polyamorous is safe from life’s curve balls. We have the same issues as any other relationship in it’s beginning phases. I think it might be slightly harder for us since B still lives 250 miles away from K and I. Having a long distance relationship requires an extraordinary amount of communication, trust, respect, and money for gas. A car does not run on beer, no matter how many times K has tried.

I hope that you join me every month as I try to navigate my way through love, life, and dealing with a long distance relationship. I have learned that when it comes to B, my favorite sentence is, “See you in five hours.”

Charlene is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Charlene Mansel ; May 07, 2007


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