We are not interchangeable. I could never replace you. Yes, I want to be part of their day to day life. I want to deeply know them. But I want those things from you too.

I want to intertwine our lives. I want to build my life with all of you. I love each of you deeply and intensely and in completely different ways. I love being surprised by each of you but more than that I find comfort in the knowing. In the not being surprised.

I like that we can talk without words, even a little bit. I like that I don’t need either of you to translate for me every time something happens.

I like being comfortable. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be very slowly moving past being the new shiny thing. Because the more that wears off, the more I know you and you know me, the less I’m scared that it will crash down around me.

I love you more than words can say and I want nothing more than to kiss away your worries. I can’t do that so instead I’ll just keep holding your hand and whispering these words over and over and over.

(via PolyLove Girl’s Blog)

I do not understand the above sentiments. I don’t understand how it is possible to feel them. I don’t understand how someone can want to build one’s life with multiple people. I don’t understand how to be comfortable existing within such a structure, how to have only parts of a whole and feel fulfilled. I want these things from you “too” feels inherently like a lessening, a devaluing, and accessorizing to me; I don’t want to be an accessory in anyone’s life. I don’t and cannot understand loving multiple people romantically in different ways as a person who has only experienced romantic love once, and rarely experiences romantic attraction. I do not understand how the above sentiments are desirable to have or to have expressed to you. I do not understand.

I read Franklin Veaux’s The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love yesterday, and one of the points he kept coming back to was that a fundamental problem in his 18-year relationship with his monogamish wife was that his wife “genuinely wanted to learn how to be more comfortable with polyamory. But she did not really understand the implications of her decision, because she did not, ultimately, understand [his] ideas about family. Celeste and [he] were deadlocked; try as [he] might, [he] did not (and still [doesn’t]) understand monogamy, and she did not understand polyamory. It’s difficult to trust someone you don’t understand.” (180).

I have read a lot of books about non-monogamy, alternative relationships, and polyamory, and this was the first that made me feel like this is definitely not for me and I have no parts trying to find a way to make it otherwise. I don’t know whether to believe it. I don’t know where the lines are between cowardice and bravery, between hopefulness and delusion, between trying our hardest and masochism, between being defeatist and recognizing the truth, between flexibility and being a doormat, between what I want and what I need. I feel overwhelmed by concepts I don’t understand.


One thought on “

  1. I found this post via a Google alert for The Game Changer; I hope you don’t mind my commenting.

    You said, “This was the first that made me feel like this is definitely not for me and I have no parts trying to find a way to make it otherwise. I don’t know whether to believe it.”

    So my question for you is, when you felt this way—when you had that revelation—did you feel relief? Or did you feel something else, some resistance to the sentiment: something like disappointment or anger?

    If what you felt was relief, then you are probably right: polyamory is not for you, and you will be happier if you look for a monogamous relationship. Maybe the book can give you the permission you need to acknowledge that. Celeste could never have been truly happy in a nonmonogamous relationship, and that was okay. It was only trying to force herself into a mould that didn’t fit that cause so much pain to her and the people around her.

    On the other hand, if you resisted the feeling, if you didn’t feel a sense of relief or permission…then maybe what you felt was just doubt, but not a genuine reflection of what you want or need or who you are. (I haven’t been following your journey on your blog, so all I’m going on is this post.)

    I don’t really see a choice like this as a question of cowardice or bravery. It sounds like you have only hard decisions right now. It might be brave to try to confront whatever negative feelings you’re having in order to have a relationship with someone you love—taking the risk that it won’t work. It might be brave to acknowledge that no matter how much you might love someone, you’re incompatible, and to leave that relationship and hope that you find one that makes you happy—taking the risk that you’ll end up alone. It seems to me that this choice is less about what’s brave and more about what’s right for you.


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