I am not a monogamous person. I never have been. I’m one of those people who just fundamentally does not connect with monogamy, it doesn’t make sense to me. I have been non-monog since before I had the words for it. My early teens and first loves and relationships were functionally monogamous but I can’t recall ever loving or wanting just one person. It was hard, at about 14 years old, to realize that what I felt I wanted, needed and could give was not only foreign and seemingly impossible to my peers, but was completely unacceptable. So I held my tongue. I dated. I cheated. I hid who I was, all the while not having vocabulary to express myself. I was generally unfulfilled by the conditional love and affection of youth. I dabbled in fooling around with girls, thinking maybe guys were the problem, but everywhere I turned, “love” was possessive and spiteful and filled with expectations and excuses. It was exhausting, yet I was so driven by desire and interest in intimacy, that I choked down a few monog relationships and resigned myself to the fact that I’d meet The One someday and that would be it, problem solved.
Fast forward a couple decades and here I am, in valuable and healthy long term relationships with committed, kind, generous people, yet many would denounce my “lifestyle” and reject the validity of these connections simply because they don’t fit the mold.
Meet The Evergreens
I have three Life Partners whom I refer to collectively as The Evergreens. Here’s a bit on each of them:
Fantastic Mr. Fawkes – my amazing husband (yes, we got married after a decade of polyamory, no that doesn’t defeat the purpose of marriage). He’s an artist, chef, and bon vivant; charming as fuck, beloved by all, painfully handsome and infinitely kind. We have loads in common and are still as in love now, twenty years on, as when we first met.
Ralph London – is someone still your “boyfriend” after loving and living together for 15 years? For lack of a better term, Ralph is my boyfriend, but also was previously my Daddy Dom and is still the kink captain in our house. He is quiet and sweet, outdoorsy and is almost always reading something. He and I share a love of horror films and carbs, coffee and rough sex.
Eve – Ahhh, Eve: my original sin. Eve is so much more than a friend or even Best Friend. We have been lovers and friends and combinations of the two for 25+ years. We finish each others’ sentences, we are in constant communication and we have committed to each other for life. We will always be a priority to each other and we will continue to grow and evolve together regardless of the lack of distinct label on our relationship.
Room for more – but not right now
In addition to the above people, I also date and am often open to FWB and other relationships. I’m currently not dating outside my polycule and I have sworn off new romantic/sexual/kink connections until at least the new year. I know my limits and I need a break.
It’s definitely not for everyone … and that’s okay!
You may be reading this and thinking “how the heck?!?” If I had a nickel for every time that someone said “wow, that sounds like a lot of work …” Well, to that I say : Yes it is. I will also say this: It is absolutely worth the effort and I can’t imagine living or loving any other way. Relationships are work. Period. They require effort and motivation and thought but when they are healthy and happy and everyone has what they want and need, that’s an awesome feeling. I am so unbelievably lucky to love and be loved by these people.
A few fun general polyam assumptions, debunked (not an exhaustive list, there are way more …):
- If you’re polyam you’re still polyam when you’re single or only have one partner
- Cheating is still possible and very hurtful in non-monogamous relationship models
- For the vast majority of polyam people it’s not at all about just getting more sex, quite the opposite
- Getting jealous or uncomfortable is perfectly normal for non-monogs, and it’s totally okay, it’s how we manage it that matters
- Polyamory is not the same as swinging, swapping, etc. and it falls under the umbrella of Relationship Anarchy, but it’s not the only iteration
- Polyam =/= a lack of or fear of commitment
- Changing from a monogamous to a polyamorous model is rarely the way to “fix” dysfunction within monogamy. Anything is possible but polyamory requires more trust, transparency and communication than a typical relationship, so …
- Polyam people can be great (or terrible) parents, just like monogamists
- Marriage isn’t automatically “pointless” or “doomed” if you’re polyamorous, we do it for the same reasons as monogs: to commit to another person and celebrate love
This topic is too big for a single post … but lets keep talking about it
This is just the tiniest peek into one polyam constellation, each one is different and unique, and I have so much more to say about all of it. If any part of this has piqued your interest or if you have questions about how this all works, etc, please leave them in the comments below and I will put together another post soon addressing them. Feel free to ask anything and express your thoughts (respectfully) here. It’s a big topic and one I am keen to write on, but where does on begin? Let me know if you have any ideas on what I might talk about next.