"Jake, 37, thought polyamory might mean casual hook-ups. Instead, he found love and stability."
Here's a nice sweet one. Although its subjects live in the US, it appeared yesterday in iNews in the British isles (the print edition is just called i ), a tabloid said to be "aimed at 'readers and lapsed readers' of all ages and commuters with limited time."
The story is in both the UK and Irish editions, at least online. I expect it'll be syndicated elsewhere.
I thought polyamory would be no-strings fun. Now I’m in three relationships
Jake thought polyamory might mean casual hook-ups. Instead, he found love and stability.
Jake, 37, is an office worker who lives in the US. Here he talks to Poorna Bell about navigating the complexities of polyamory.
Illustration from a photo. The women didn't
want their faces used. (Ella Bucknall)
I’m in a loving relationship with three different women. I’ve been with Ellie for seven years, Cyn for six years and Kayla for two.
I used to be monogamous but after a break-up in 2010 with a long-term partner, I wanted to explore my kinky side. I soon found FetLife, a website that’s a bit like Facebook for kinky people.
It was an overwhelmingly positive experience for me and I started to question the relationship norms I had previously taken for granted.
My first exposure to polyamory came at a group meeting that I went to thinking it might be a good place to meet a woman for no-strings fun. But listening to people talk about their relationships made me realise polyamory isn’t always about hooking up with anyone and everyone.
...Eventually, I met Ellie via OkCupid in 2011. Ellie was married – her husband Nahli was okay with her dating other people – and although it was meant to be casual, within months, we fell in love.
It was strange at first sharing a woman I loved with someone else. ... But Nahli is one of the nicest, most easy-going people I’ve ever met. I realised that this wasn’t a competition and that each of us brought something different to the table. He’s a godsend – when Ellie and I get into an argument, he’s often acted as a referee. Likewise, when those two have had trouble, I’ve stepped in to lend a hand.
Not long after I met Ellie, I met Cyn at a FetLife meet-and-greet event at a local restaurant. She had a warm, welcoming personality and I immediately took a liking to her. Her boyfriend wasn’t okay with her having sex with other people, but she said we could see each other minus the sex. ... To her boyfriend’s credit, he gradually softened and eventually decided he was okay with Cyn and I fully exploring our relationship. She’s still with him today, but I don’t have the same relationship with him as I do with Nahli. He prefers to compartmentalise....
In 2016, I met Kayla on OkCupid because I was still casually dating other people in the middle of all of this. Kayla identifies as asexual, and her sex drive is virtually non-existent. In the time when we’re not together, we still maintain the relationship via text and a Discord group chatroom that Ellie, Cyn, and Kayla and I all share.
These days, everything has settled into a stable routine of sorts that works fairly well for everyone. Every now and then, the four of us (and sometimes Nahli) will schedule group days where we all hang out at home or go to a movie....
There is a certain amount of worrying that goes into it. These aren’t casual relationships; I love these three women, and that means that I’m constantly trying to check to make sure they’re doing okay and not feeling neglected.
Polyamorous relationships are a lot of work. In some ways, every time you add a new relationship on top of an existing relationship, you are doubling the work. Everything you have to do to maintain the relationship with one person, you now have to do with the second person, and you also need to try to maintain things between those two partners.
...Boundaries are also important.... The rules we follow include things like not keeping secrets from each other, making sure to share STI test results with any new partner (and passing on that information to each other) before becoming sexually involved with them, and trying to respect each others’ alone time with other partners.
...Probably the biggest downside is the stigma against polyamory in our society. We live in a fairly liberal city, but even so, we’re careful not to talk about this stuff at our respective jobs for fear of causing friction there.
On balance, it takes a lot of work, but I have an incredible amount of love in my life as a result of it – I wouldn’t change that for anything.
The whole article (October 24, 2018).
iNews has run three other articles about polyamory in the last two years.