Friday Polyamory News Roundup – a lockdown triad "changed my idea of love." Sidewalks not wide enough for three to hold hands. And the passing of Allena Gabosch
● Refinery29 this Thanksgiving week presents a tale of triad love conquering Covid disruption: Forming a 3-Way Relationship During Lockdown Changed My Idea of Love (November 24). Excerpts:
By Abigail Moss
Naomi Blundell Meyer
It’s a cold, windy night in February when my partner of eight years and I arrive at Original Sin, a cocktail bar in Stoke Newington. ... We’ve been chatting online with Andrea for a few weeks but this is the first time we’ll meet in person. In just over a month’s time, lockdown will force our relationship back online, though of course none of us knows this at the time....We agreed when we first joined Feeld that anonymous flings don’t do it for either of us. We both feel that a large part of what makes a person attractive is their personality and we wanted to get to know someone a bit before sleeping with them. With Andrea, this was easy – we realised straightaway that we have similar outlooks on life, the same weird senses of humour and loads of interests in common. Our dinner date flew by, just like our first date had done. Before any of us knew it, Monday had arrived; we’d spent the whole weekend together. The relationship quickly became about more than just sex....Then, one Sunday night shortly after Andrea had left mine and Paul’s flat, Boris Johnson announced that the UK was in full lockdown. ...The next few months [of seperation] were tough. A lot of anxieties and insecurities bubbled to the surface for all of us and we each had moments of doubt about the future of the relationship. Even though polyamory is becoming more common, navigating a relationship like this can be tricky at times because there’s less out there to guide you. ... We chatted about our concerns and helped each other deal with the stress of the pandemic. As lockdown dragged on, we kept talking and worked hard to be honest and open with one another. There were some fun times too, and plenty of naughty WhatsApp chats....When the lockdown rules eased, we arranged to meet up in a local park. Later, we admitted that we’d all been quite nervous beforehand, worried that it’d be awkward after all those months apart. It wasn’t. We drank rosé out of plastic cups in the sun and it was more like a few days had passed rather than a few months....When the country went into a second lockdown, we barely had to discuss how we’d manage it... Paul and I immediately became Andrea’s support bubble. Our weekends are spent having lazy lie-ins, cooking together, watching movies. Lockdown fever still gets us sometimes (last weekend Andrea and I got bored of watching TV and successfully taught my cat to fetch a ball) but together this lockdown feels like a breeze compared to the first one.We all feel incredibly lucky to have met and that the tough times were worth it. We don’t see the good times ending any time soon, no matter what surprises the future has in store.
...Since the middle of March, I’ve seen no one else in person aside from my live-in partner and the occasional delivery driver.... These are the perfect conditions for the kind of insularity that can threaten a bond, by making both parties feel trapped, smothered, or deprived. And yet, we’ve avoided that.If anything, I’m finding we’re closer than ever. We’re getting along extremely well, despite being forced into close quarters together. We’ve not only been functionally monogamous but also just plain socially isolated.... This is not normal for us. It seems like a potentially socially toxic environment.And yet, we’re thriving. Wow....I’m not one of those polyamorous people who think monogamy = bad. (Nor do I think that polyamory = good in every situation). ... Whether a relationship or relationship system is healthy depends less on the structure and more on the motivation for the relationship structure — why [it is] exclusive or open.There are people who want relationship exclusivity because they think it’ll help them control someone else. ... That is what people mean when they talk about toxic monogamy.I have certainly seen some examples of toxic monogamy culture during lockdown — in other relationships....It makes me really grateful that even when I’m functionally monogamous with my partner (we’re both basically ambiamorous, not squarely polyamorous or monogamous but able to do either happily depending on the health of the situation), that our relationship never looks like THAT.Even when I haven’t seen another friend in person for months on end, I feel very free. Very unrestricted. And not a bit smothered.It’s a good lesson about non-toxic monogamy, I think.
If they had known it was possible. They, and the culture around them.
By Jessica“Should I break up with them?” is something my worried little fingers have typed into Google many a dark night. ... The question “Do I want to break up with them?” hasn’t worked for me either. ... Using this method, I quite spectacularly broke my own heart by ending my first ever healthy relationship. ...If we ask “What is better for my future self?” it can be more helpful in a variety of scenarios because it enables us to look several steps ahead. ...This question also might lead to finding alternatives other than simply stay or leave. ...If you want more romantic adventures so you feel you should leave your partner, but don’t want to because you still love them, polyamory or some form of open relationship could be solutions....If you stopped feeling attracted to your spouse but loved parenting with them, you could consider a “parenting marriage” where you still live together but just as companions and co-parents.The possibilities are, well, not endless but certainly less restrictive. ...
...Larissa met Laura, a nurse, in December 2019 at a friend's birthday party and the two become close friends.
From front: Larissa Mader, Patrick
Friedrich, Laura Hinsche
With Larissa introducing Laura to her long-term boyfriend soon after their engagement, the trio began to realise that they had a growing mutual love for one another....Despite none of them having considered polyamory before, in April 2020 Larissa and Patrick invited Laura to form a throuple after both deciding that Laura would bring even more love and intimacy into their relationship.Laura, who broke up with her boyfriend of six years to join the couple, spoke candidly about the throuple hitting some bumps in the road, figuring out how they could make their three-way relationship work.
'From April to the end of May, we tried to make our relationship work but everything went wrong.
'The biggest mistake we made was actually that we talked far too little about the little things that bothered us.
They separated for a while, then came back together to try to make a better go of it.
'Since then, our relationship has been wonderful and we enjoy every second of it,' [said Laura].
'We live together and choose to do everything together.
'For us polyamory is not about having to share a partner with someone else because everyone loves everyone equally.
I hope they know to be flexible about that as time passes. No two relationships are ever alike, at least nor for long, and that's okay.
...[Laura:] 'The most important thing in the poly relationship is communication because misunderstandings often arise much faster with three people than with two.'
Luckily, the throuple's respective families have been largely supportive of their decision to enter a three-way relationship, wanting the best for them however unconventional this may be.
Learning from their previous mistakes and improving their communication, they are happier than they have ever been before and say that polyamory has just multiplied the love they give and receive.
She joked the throuple also had to overcome 'tiny' day-to-day obstacles, like sidewalks not being wide enough for the three of them to hold hands.
...Larissa, Patrick and Laura are keen to show others online that being in a three-way relationship can work just as well as a conventional relationship.
'We just want to show that love works in a threesome,' Laura said.'Of course there are some hurdles to overcome with communication in a throuple being even more important than in a couple.'However, you shouldn't give up. You should fight for your love because polyamory is so special and unique....Larissa and Patrick are still planning their wedding for 2021 and would be marrying Laura too if three-person marriages weren't illegal in Germany. They also have plans to start a family."Learning to live as a throuple was not easy on Larissa, Laura and Patrick, but
they are now looking forward to watching many more sunsets together."
Among other things she directed Seattle's Center for Sex-Positive Culture, originally known as The Wet Spot, for many years. Wrote a friend, "She lived her life loud and proud, on her own terms, and she literally pulled thousands together and created a community that fed all our souls. I certainly would not have accomplished what I have over the years had it not been for this amazing goddess."