Thursday, October 3, 2013

115 : Adventures in Polyamory : Part 1

This sort of falls into my adventures in online dating, because it's really an extension of that. I'm going to talk about polyamory, a term you may or may not know. Polyamory is often called "ethical non-monogamy" and is the belief that romance and intimate relationships do not have to be reserved for just one person. I think polygamy gives the idea of multiple romantic partners a bad name, and I could GO ON about polygamy and the Mormon Church and how that has become a symbol for BAD in America even though it's rooted in Biblical truths that aren't crazy. But this is not an Old Testament lecture, so I won't go there. I will have you know that I feel polygamy has become a word with completely negative and not entirely appropriate connotations. But we're not talking about polygamy. We're talking about polyamory.

When it comes right down to it, some of what I'm going to talk about really isn't any of your damn business. If I weren't a writer (a term I have only recently decided fits me), then I might not be telling anyone but my closest friends this entire story. But I write a blog for a reason, and this shit happened, and it's important, and I think a LOT can be learned from it. So I'm about to explain myself and let you in on some private shit that isn't really any of your damn business, but it's essential to this story.

I am not polyamorous.

You might be wondering how a monogamous gal can impart adventures of polyamory on your ass, and I'll tell you right now, it's not about group sex. I'm not polyamorous, though I have no problem with any multitude of polyamorous relationship models I have witnessed, read about, or experienced. What I am has sometimes been called "poly by proxy" because I have dated those who consider themselves polyamorous. When it comes right down to it, I don't go looking for romance and intimacy very often. I have a great group of friends who fulfill almost all of my emotional needs. When I do desire romance and intimacy, I seek it out with only one person. I am an introvert and I put a lot of emotional weight in my interpersonal relationships. Given the amount of emotions I expend on any given friend, and the privacy I retain for my most intimate relationships, I could not hope to maintain more than one romantic relationship at a time. Doing so would simply be too taxing for me, and it's also not something I need.

Also for the purposes of this conversation, I'm going to tell you something that I think most people would probably feel is a lie : I am not even remotely jealous of anyone, ever. In fact, when I recently expressed just the tiniest jealous statement (for a situation that lasted about ten seconds), my friends actually burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all. Take me at face value, because that is how I take you. I am neither jealous nor competitive. It's not really in my nature, and it never has been. I'm generous and loyal, and I'm also pretty confident in myself. I feel jealousy so rarely that I am generally surprised and confused because I don't have a practical understanding of it. The very few times I've felt any jealousy, I've simply gotten over it. I find jealousy to be pretty ridiculous for myself. I do recognize that it is an emotion many feel for many reasons, and I cannot really relate. To me, it's pointless and esoteric. Why jealousy has become a common emotion in our culture is beyond me, because it really serves no purpose. I don't think jealousy makes anyone feel good in any way.

This is the groundwork for the post to come, wherein I tell you about a recent experience of dating a boy who had a girlfriend. It's a doozy, and I think that I need to write it out to better understand what happened but also to add to the body of work on polyamory that is floating around the internets. Call it a cautionary tale, because you just might be right in that assessment.

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