When dawn is off with another partner – either for a dinner date or a weekend away – I want her to be engaged and attentive to that person. It is important that when she or I is with one of our other partners, we can pay attention to them. So although we may not mind the occasional text (“Where did u leave the peanut butter?”), having long conversations about the emotional ramifications of the date we are currently on should wait until the date is wrapped up. Yes, I want and expect my partners to be supportive of me. And although I might be feeling distraught, perhaps even ‘left behind’, I also want to balance giving my partners the courtesy to enjoy their time with another person. Hence we created the Draft Email.
The Draft Email is exactly that – open up your favorite email program (or if you prefer, go old school and break out pen and paper), and start writing. And the key is to remember that it is just a draft email and that you won’t actually be sending it (although we will return to this in a moment). So are you feeling a lot of emotional angst? Let it out! Angry and want to lash out? Ok, do it! Is your partner thinking with their cock while you stay home and suffer?
Write it! You are allowed! There are no boundaries…but keep going. And as you keep writing, let your mind start to hear what you are saying. And slowly, as you write, ask yourself if there is a deeper message. Is there another feeling hiding behind the anger and pain? If there is, write that out to. The focus here is write what you feel, without judging if it is ‘right’ or ‘good’, and keep going. Keep going until you have said everything you have to say.
We’ve found that this kind of an emotional purge can be very valuable in processing our intense feeling selves. It can help you get from a sense of betrayal or terror to a place that feels more honest, more real to you. The emotions – although still there and still weighing on you – are often significantly more manageable.
Here is an import Pro Tip: When creating a draft email, keep the “To” field blank. You don’t want to accidentally hit ‘send’ if sending this message is not the intent….
The next part of this tool is for those poly people who are really interested in working on self acceptance and growth for themselves and each other is that you all agree that the Draft Email is a valid tool for emotional exploration. That it is not about the other person; it is not an attack of the partner that you are writing about, but it is a processing tool. The way we use the tool in this regard is that when our partner comes home from a date, we first do our best to listen with compersion – did you have a good time, did they have a nice time as well? We do our best to share their joy. And when ready, the ‘back from a date’ partner makes the offer to share our Draft Email if we have one.
Exert from The Polyamory Toolkit