What I facetiously called my “social experiment” with Greg was starting to matter. A close friend, who could tell I was wading in deeper than I was openly admitting, urged me to have the talk. “He should expect you to ask where this is all going, since he’s dating a monogamous girl.” A monogamous girl. That was my label.
And suddenly that concept, and in essence, part of my identity, was in question. What if I could be persuaded to bend the rules? Allowing a break from sexual monogamy could ease pressure on a relationship. Perhaps it could negate some of the potential thrill of “cheating.” But on the other hand, when I love someone, I don’t find I’m able to allocate love to an additional romantic partner. For me, love doesn’t multiply. Yet here I was, dating a man in a committed relationship with his live-in fiancé. Did that make me poly too?
–excerpted from “I Fell For The Perfect Guy, But Not For His Open Relationship,” by Jess Haberman on Buzzfeed
God this was like a trip down memory lane. I remember going through a lot of what she talks about going through in this trip (though the girl that JJ was seriously dating when he and I got together was not nearly as welcoming as the fiance of the author’s boyfriend). I remember wondering how it all worked, thinking they must have established rules, that there was some defined role I’d be trying to fit myself into and not extend past the boundaries of. (There weren’t.) I remember thinking that I’d be a smaller secondary thing for the life of our relationship. (I’m not.) I remember fretting about labels because he already had a girlfriend, and what did that make me? (I started calling him “boo,” and he called me the same, but we started thinking of one another as boyfriend/girlfriend and referencing one another as such in conversations with others pretty soon thereafter.) I remember feeling like there was no way this thing we were doing could go anywhere, could look or feel like a “real relationship.” (It’s the realest.) And yet here we are, cheesed up in my profile picture on Facebook, preparing to move in together in 6 weeks. If you’d told me from a year and a half ago that this is what our future held, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. But here we are. Here we are and I still don’t know what the future holds, and there still could come a time I say this is too much and bow out, but what I know is that not doing so around the time the author of this post did is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life.