It’s been almost two years since I’ve been living a polyamorous love-style, and it has still been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time. When I look back and evaluate what has made living poly so unique, one word comes to mind, change.
Many things have changed since I’ve begun living poly, and the master change has been my expectations and “rules.” When I was living monogamously, I had expectations that never seemed to be met (at least not by the men that showed interest). There were also many rules I once had that I’ve since dismissed or lessened dramatically since being polyamorous.
This pandemic threw a flaming monkey wrench into my dating life and plans. I had hoped to build upon the connections I already had. I had hoped to finish my book in the summer and promote it across the country. And lastly, I had hoped to be out of my parent’s home. However, with the city shut down (I live in NYC) and minimal opportunities for inclement weather date-nights, dating expectations became limited and scattered. With cafés, and bookstores closed, my comfort in writing was halted for months. And, since the city shut down, the organizations responsible for construction shut down as well, and my ability to move hit a brick wall.
All wasn’t lost, though. Sex-positive people never stay without sex for too long, and over the summer, I reconnected with a partner from my past when he asked me to accompany him in a swap. We chatted up and got reacquainted, and he expressed his desire to “get to know me better.” We had planned a date, then the city shut down again (LOL!) Anyway, we’ve been in contact, and he bought my book. When he got to the part where I mentioned my strict “no kids” rule, he was concerned. I had to explain to him, that was a rule I had when I was monogamous. But, now that I’m polyamorous, I’m open to bending it.
This was my first time really acknowledging that my rules when dating poly had shifted. I am spoiled. I was spoiled then, and I am still spoiled now. I want what I want. When I was dating monogamously, because my partner was the only one, the last-minute adjustments of dating a man with kids were always an issue. Knowing that I had maneuvered my entire day or week to be available for him to cancel or change plans if he had to pick up his kids or whatever, I would get pissed. Monogamy had him as my only target, and all of my expectations rested upon his shoulders, and that wasn’t fair. Being poly and having multiple partners and relationships and my relationship with myself, I never exhaust my options. If a date has to cancel, I may still be a little bit upset, but it’s no longer the house of cards tumbling down it was before.
Being polyamorous, having multiple partners and relationships (including the one with myself) now allows me to have financially fair relationships as well. Because my primary love languages are gifts and acts of service, I like and want shit! Dates, flowers, candies, trips, and etc. But I’ve always thought of myself as a fair girlfriend. I never wanted or expected so much from a partner that it put a strain on him. Many would say, “it ain’t trickin’ if you got it.” But most of my partners didn’t have it, and I knew it. And since I couldn’t be with someone solely for financial gain, I found myself in many fair or financially imbalanced relationships.
However, with the above realization, being poly has made space for relationships I may have otherwise turned away. Repeatedly going out at one partner’s expense can be a financial burden. Having multiple partners to date on occasion allows my date bucket to remain full, without the strain. Living poly has also allowed me to re-prioritize and consider myself a fantastic date.
When I sought monogamous relationships, my alone time was a byproduct of my partner’s cancelation or lack of funds. I was forced to find happiness in being alone. But now, that happiness is genuine and very welcome. Those long hours of being alone allow me time to decompress, zone out, and refocus my energy and goals. I get up, make my way to a restaurant, read a book or listen to a podcast, and go for a nice long walk all by myself. Before poly, what a partner didn’t have would’ve been a huge deal breaker, but in this pool of poly-love, the laser focus is no longer on the perceived negatives.
The poly changes allow me to see and experience a different kind of love, a love that’s not solely based on what my partner can do for me but how I feel for and with them.