"I Realized I Was Polyamorous… While Engaged to A Monogamous Person"
And another poly-mono tale appears in a millennial-oriented webmagazine. This one is happier than the one in my last post.
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Realized I Was Polyamorous… While Engaged to A Monogamous Person
When I proposed to R, there were two things I still didn’t know: That I was polyamorous, and that R was monogamous.
By Sam Dylan Finch
Sam Dylan Finch
R was a genderqueer dreamboat. Seriously.
We met during undergrad, first at a film screening and then again working in the same office on campus. They were a passionate feminist (this is a very important criterion for me), a brilliant thinker, and just as cynical about people as I was… but still down to watch an episode of Spongebob or play Wii Bowling.
My extroverted, chaotic nature pushed R out of their shell; R’s quiet, introverted nature always seemed to bring me down a notch.
In other words, R was a breath of fresh air. And our relationship, in the beginning, was so easy – almost too easy.
No one was surprised, then, when we announced our engagement a year later.... It felt like everything was finally falling into place.
But when I proposed to R, there were two things I still didn’t know: That I was polyamorous, and that R was monogamous.
Since monogamy was the default, we had never really talked about the structure of our relationship before. What structure? There was only one, right?
In the past, I had always had intimate, loving friendships – noticeably deeper than other people I knew – with cuddling, hand-holding, even kissing and sleeping in the same bed. I just assumed I had a bigger heart than most.
In fact, my last relationship ended in part because I was in love with my partner and my best friend simultaneously. I assumed that meant I was confused. Deciding I was a terrible partner, I broke things off, feeling guilty but relieved....
I had never heard of “polyamory,” nor did I understand that there was nothing wrong with having deep and intimate relationships with multiple people simultaneously. I thought you could only love one person at a time, or else you were unfaithful.
It wasn’t until I lived with a polyamorous roommate that the doubts started to creep in. Could I be happy in a relationship like that? Would I be… happier?
I watched my roommate navigate polyamory in a way that seemed so effortless....
I trusted R completely – we told each other everything – and as I started to reflect on my past, we could see clearly what had been right in front of us. My intense friendships that always seemed to blur the boundaries, my crushes that sometimes seemed a little too distracting, and my wandering eye that sometimes made us both a little uncomfortable…
...When I finally said the words, R shifted and quietly responded, “But I’m monogamous. At least, I am right now.”
My first instinct was to assume it was over.... [But] from there, a new kind of relationship opened up....
...I woke up to a partner who wanted to talk through things, who wanted to establish new boundaries and explore our feelings about what happened. A partner who listened when I talked about my feelings, a partner who supported me even when we were both hurting....
...Even though I may never have complete and total romantic freedom, and R may never have the complete and total commitment that is desired, we’re happy to meet each other somewhere in the middle.
It might seem absurd to the rest of the world – how could a poly person and a monogamous person ever commit their lives to one another? But for us, this exercise in defining our boundaries and exploring our comfort zones has only solidified our love and trust in each other.
As long as we’re happy, the labels seem less important. Polyamorous, monogamous, polyflexible, monogamish, whatever – the most important thing is that it works for us.
Read the whole article (June 18, 2015). It's longish, 1,300 words.