Variety is the spice of life; sure, we could fair just fine if we were all limited to just one essential item to survive with, but we all like having options (just not too many). I wouldn’t walk into a buffet and only get one thing. I look at the buffet, see what my options are, and attack accordingly. I try a little bit of this and a little bit of that; that way, when I go back for seconds, I know what to pile on and what to disregard. Stepping into polyamory, I applied this same idea to love and relationships.
I love knowing that I have a connection with another human being. I love knowing that someone supports me and I support them; and above all else, I love knowing that I don’t have to sugar-coat my life or belittle myself to fit a mold. I also put the responsibility on my partner to make me happy. Then, I heard Jada Pinkett-Smith (on her show, Red Table Talk) discuss the importance of self-satisfaction and completion. She stressed the importance of being happy in your own life; not requiring outside things and/or people to make you happy. I interpreted this message in a way that made sense and it worked for me; and with that I was able to come into my truth and step into my polyamorous identity.
I told my family, all in a group at my brother’s apartment, at the time. They didn’t quite understand what I meant (as they were all, like most people, monogamous); so, I had to break it down in simpler terms. After explaining, I don’t know if they fully understood my decision in lifestyle, but they said that they supported me, and that was enough. I currently have three men I’m dating; two men that I met in the beginning of my journey; and one that entered my life in, what seemed to me at the time, the most unlikely place (Hey Baby!- That story’s for another post). Since my journey began there was one other, but we’ve ceased communication. It was nice while it lasted, but as he was not “in the lifestyle”, trying to live a non-monogamous life was difficult for him, so we dialed it back to friends/occasional acquaintances.
When I started this journey, I didn’t know what would happen; so, it was important to lay down some ground rules.
Rule 1: Connection had to be more important, than the sex.
Rule 2: Discuss and Disclose
I won’t deny; that there have been moments where, going back to a monogamous way of living seemed easier. I’d find myself liking a moment and thinking, how nice it would be to have only him. Then I remember, living this lifestyle means I can honestly and ethically have it all. I can grab drinks and make-out one evening; and the next day I can do it all again, and finish it with mind-blowing sex. Knowing that I don’t have to limit myself has made all the difference.
I won’t deny the fact that, it does require effort and time to periodically check in and make sure I’m attentive to all my connections, but it’s an effort of passion, rather than obligation. When I was monogamous, I felt obligated to call, text, and make time. Now, I do all of that, because I truly want to.
For people that live monogamous lifestyles, they don’t understand my choice. It’s one thing to ‘get it’ it’s another thing to understand it fully. Many people, family and friends included, just think my decision to live this lifestyle is temporary. They think that my decision is parallel to that of someone who’s dating around or doing this until I find the one. When I speak of my primary, whom checks all of my boxes, they don’t understand why I keep the other men around. I have to re-iterate to them that the connections I have with my partners are stronger than that, and not easily dismissed.
When the topic of marriage comes up, they wonder there as well. Being fully transparent with my partners, they all know that other men exist, in a perfect world, they may become acquaintances. If one desires to legally solidify our union, it would be understood that the other men would still be in my life in the same capacity.
When the topic of children comes up, it’s essentially the same situation. For the next 2-3 years the baby making factory is closed, as I am on birth control. I’ve always known that weather or not, I’m asked to be a wife, being a mother was always a title that I desired. Of course, the concern arises; Whom would be the father? How would you choose? How would you raise them? Wouldn’t they get confused? I often counter; Many positive male role models is better than one. The father would be the father, just like a monogamous relationship. My other partners would be a figure in my child’s life in the capacity of a family friend or uncle; and when my child is older, I would sit him or her down and explain our lifestyle to them.
Sure, it sounds crazy and complicated; but isn’t an honest, loving, and transparent relationships with my partners, and hypothetical-future children better than a broken home? I’d much rather see my partners getting along, my child surrounded by lots of love, and a few extra people. The saying, it takes a village to raise a child, should not be ignored in this lifestyle.
When all is said and done, when the times are right; I will address each situation and make the best decision for myself and my family, along with my partner(s).
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