My cousin and her boyfriend came over to say their goodbyes yesterday. They’re moving to Ohio so he can go to grad school. I was chatting with my cousin about cooking and baking, now that they’ll be moving out and living on their own, since she was impressed with the cookies I baked for Santa. My sister joined in on our conversation.

[Sister]: Do you cook for your boyfriend? Does he like it?

Me: *hesitates*

[Sister]: *laughs* I guess not!

Me: No, no, no, he loves my cooking. It’s just, he’s not my boyfriend.

 

She was talking about [Booskie]. She, my mom, and my brother don’t know that either of us have any other players in our respective games. And I’m not sure what it was about saying that last sentence out loud, but it reminded me that he is somebody else’s boyfriend in addition to being my boo. I somehow stopped thinking of him using those terms a while ago, I think, and putting them back out there feels less pleasant than I really care to admit.

Just a few days ago, I was getting excited about sexting…with somebody else’s boyfriend. I was talmbout shit I wanna try in bed…with somebody else’s boyfriend. I had great, comforting, reassuring, emotional sex…with somebody else’s boyfriend. I have this intense, trusting emotional connection…with somebody else’s boyfriend.

None of those statements feel good when I say “with somebody else’s boyfriend” instead of saying [Booskie]’s name. I caught myself out here feeling like a side-chick, which isn’t a feeling I’ve had about this situation in quite a few months. But then I remembered how being with him feels, how I can’t keep my hands off him, how beautiful the little moments are, like Saturday when we rolled towards one another and said, “Good morning” at the same exact time. The peace and bliss I feel with him are a thousand times stronger than these small moments of admitting that sometimes the larger situation feels weird.

If I have learned one thing from this whole afropolyamourous thing so far, it’s that sometimes you have to move forward with what feels good and right even if that also feels slightly uncomfortable, because the different pieces of yourself and your different relationships can’t exist in little vacuums where they don’t bump into one another and cause problems. We are problematic people living in a problematic world, just out here trying to find ways to cope, you know? Having feelings or situations that are complex and multi-faceted doesn’t make them any less pure or true; we just have to explore them fully, talk about them openly, and make sure everyone feels like everything is good to and good for them at the end of the day. And I’m damn sure that [Booskie] is that to and for me; what we are to the other people in our lives doesn’t change that at all.

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