Until recently I’ve never identified as polyamorous. I’ve defined my “status” as non monogamous. There is a difference, and as I am learning that difference is deeper than I thought.
In this crazy scenario I find myself in and have zero intention of leaving, those who I love have other partners.
At this point in the time line I am the only one who does not have other partners. That does not mean that this will always be the case. It does mean though that I have to spend just a much time thinking about the happiness of those I am directly involved with, and the happiness of their others.
I signed on to love two people. Turns out that love has to multiply and extend to others as well.
It is a complicated issue. It is one that requires a level of selflessness that I don’t always want to extend. It’s existence though is mandatory to make sure that those who I love are in a good place.
It’s been many years since I’ve been – on purpose – with someone who has other life partners. When I fell for Gei he was married. That marriage has since ended, but the fact remains he was married, legally when we met. I was a different girl then, one who had not yet evolved to the idea that a hetero monogamous connection was not required for my happiness.
Mind you, I was not monogamous with Gei. I was also dating John and I was also in a sexual relationship with Kevin, who I knew was married.
Finding out though that Gei was married, altered our relationship. It was not so much that there was a spouse, or even a spouse on the way out, it was the lie of omission that damaged us.
Mind you, I never talked to Gei about John or Kevin….I say it’s because he never asked. The truth of it is though that at that time, I was still holding onto an archaic standard of love and commitment.
I didn’t share the others on my plate, because I still thought that it was a phase and that Gei would make all of the rest of that unnecessary. We would settle down, have 2.5 kids and fairy tales would be written in 1,000 years about the perfection of our love.
When he sat me in that diner in Manayunk. That ridiculously overpriced place that I went to because it was fashionable not because it was good. It was about keeping up appearances then, not about being authentic.
Today, knowing that there are other partners in the picture makes things both easier and harder at the same time.
It makes it easier because there is transparency. Transparency is one of my rules. Unless of course you want to share your gastrointestinal issues. Imma need you to keep that alllllllllllllllll the way to yourself B. The transparency though of knowing at least who the others are helps. I allows me to make informed decisions. It opens necessary conversations with my partners. It helps us all think about things we might not in the honeymoon of happiness that dissipates as time goes on.
It makes things harder because for me it means making decisions and choices that I might not want to make. I have to factor in work schedules, school schedules, kids, animals, partners, household budgets, PMS, and a whole host of other things that my people are also responsible for that are not directly related to me.
If I don’t factor those things in, then my relationships will fail. There is no if ands or buts about that. Factoring those things in though doesn’t make my life any simpler. Quite the contrary. It does make those who I love have a simpler path, and that is worth it.
Very worth it.
Factoring in other families, well that is a lot different than finding time to have sex.
I’m up for the challenge this week though.