#JustPolyThings 4

3

Walking hand-in-hand-in-hand.

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The quad next door

So…. We are now technically a quad!!

But I’m not going to change the title of this blog for two reasons. The first one is that I can’t be bothered making a new banner. The second is what I’ll be explaining in this post.

Over the past month, Aidan has become particularly close to a lovely woman called Rose. They share a lot of interests and just generally get on well together. It started off as all new relationships do: they went on dates, counted down the days till they saw each other, and (at least in Aidan’s case) pranced around the house like a love-sick puppy. But of course, there was a big difference in this relationship. Aidan is also dating me- we are polyamorous. Rose knew about this before the relationship had developed, so it wasn’t a surprise or anything. But it was still very interesting for her becoming involved with us. Not only had she gained a boyfriend, but an over-excitable girlfriend-in-law who couldn’t go two seconds being in the same room as them without exclaiming how adorable they were together. But being the easy-going person that she is, Rose went along with it and embraced the strange dynamics.

However, a few nights ago, Aidan and Rose had a very serious talk about their relationship. Rose was beginning to realise that, while she wasn’t jealous or uncomfortable with Aidan having another partner, it wasn’t really what she wanted in the long term. And so it was decided that they would continue their relationship, but perhaps on a more casual level, knowing that it would eventually come to an end.

I was a little surprised, and a bit upset when I heard the news. But, I am extremely glad that Rose realised this now and not months or years down the track. I think all of us are gaining something valuable out of this relationship, even if it doesn’t last forever. Rose had tried something new, and now knows what it is she needs to be comfortable in a long-term relationship. For me, having a metamour for the first time was a wonderful experience. While the feeling was almost completely positive, there was still a little fear and jealousy involved which I learned to deal with in a constructive way. And Aidan had the opportunity to explore his feelings without fear or guilt which was new for him, being monogomus for most of his life.

So that’s the rundown. I plan to write another article soon which focuses more on the thoughts and emotions I have been dealing with regarding Aidan having a second partner. But that’s all for now :)

Stay tuned!

-Emma

Thoughts on compersion

As you might have seen in my recent article with definitions of common polyamorous terms, compersion is the beautiful feeling one experiences when someone they care about is happy. It is often described as the opposite emotion to jealousy. There are two examples which are often used to describe the feeling to those who have not experienced it in a polyamorous sense. Those two examples are: being happy for your partner when they get a promotion at work, and the feeling you get when your child gets a good grade, or gets picked for a position in a sports 1team/band/play etc.

While they give the general idea of compersion, they are not perfect examples. In both of these situations, one might find themselves feeling happy, not for their loved one, but for themselves. “My kid got a good grade, I can brag about this to my friends!” or “this promotion will mean extra money for us/me!” Most people, myself included, will have been guilty of receiving someone else’s good news and been happy for themselves. It doesn’t make us awful people, it just makes us people. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

Here is another analogy I came up with. You might switch on the news one day and hear about a mother whose child was cured of a life-threatening illness. That mother’s experience doesn’t have any positive consequences on you or anyone you know, yet you still feel relief and happiness.

Maybe this example is a little serious for the lighthearted, fluffy emotion that is compersion. But I feel like I needed to make a more concrete example that separates feelings of being happy for yourself from feelings of being happy for other people.

All that said, I think it’s just one of those things you need to experience for yourself to understand the true gravity of it. In short, it’s a wonderful feeling!

Talking to acquaintances about polyamory

Ahhh, did I say I was going to update every single day? That was a bad typo on my part. What I actually meant to write was, “I’m unbelievably lazy and I’ll update whenever I feel like it, probably no more than a few times a month”. It’s funny how a few incorrect letters can change the whole meaning of a sentence, isn’t it?

So, to business. This topic has been on my mind for a while, since as I’ve started university recently and I find myself interacting with the human race a lot more than I used to. The last time I talked to strangers about my relationship(s) was in high school, and that was easy because I would just talk about my one partner and nobody would bat an eyelid.

Now I want you to think back to before you knew anything about polyamory. You’re chatting with someone you’ve just met, and the topic of relationships comes up. “Do you have a partner at the moment?” you ask casually. “Oh, I actually have two.”

Say what?

This seems to be an increasingly common scenario in my current life. And for me, the concept is so normal and mundane I often forget that most people haven’t even heard of polyamory. The next two or three hours of the conversation are usually spent explaining how I can be having sex with two guys without either of them wanting to rip the other’s jugular out.8

It can be exhausting explaining it over and over. You might be wondering why I even bother to tell people at all when I could just answer with “I’m in a relationship” and not be lying. For the first year or so of being polyamorous, that’s exactly what I did. But I hated pretending to be someone I wasn’t. And more importantly, I learned a lesson. That is, the longer you know someone, the harder it becomes to tell them that you’re actually a freak. I have a few friends who, to this day, don’t know I have two partners. Whenever I talk about Aidan or Ash I just say “my partner”, leaving them with a weird hybrid impression of both of them as the same person. Which leads to another problem: “Wait, you said your partner is a librarian? I thought you said he was a baker?”

So as time went on, I started telling people at the earliest possible convenience. Even though I am putting myself out there as a poly person and will thereafter be judged as such, it saves a lot of stress later on, especially if that acquaintance becomes a friend. And it also filters out those superficial people who only want to be your friend if they think you’ll be a good-looking accessory at their dinner parties.

Stay tuned!

-Emma

The inner workings of a poly family

Today I’m going to write a little about us, and how our relationship works. And the first thing I’ll say, is that it works. That seems to be the hardest part for people to get their heads around when they learn about the concept of polyamory. But as we’ve learned, when you look outside the boundaries of what’s acceptable, you find new ways of living and loving.

I won’t go too deep into our history, because I’m saving that for another post. But I will say that none of us went out seeking this lifestyle. Our relationships shifted and evolved as we got closer to one another, and over time, we became a family.

It all makes perfect sense to us, but I will try my best to break it down and explain it for everyone else. I will be using some terms from the poly glossary I posted yesterday, so you can go look them up if you want to know the exact context I’m using them in.

First and foremost, we are polyamorus. We all accept that people have the ability to love more than one person. I love both Aidan and Ashley, and it doesn’t get any more complex than that for us. We are what’s known as a V triad, since Aidan and Ash aren’t involved with each other romantically/sexually. They are, however, best friends and treat each other like brothers. I think their dynamic is what allows this relationship to work the way it does. Without that mutual friendship and respect, they mightn’t be able communicate as well as they do, overcome jealousy or even try to get along at all. Honestly, I don’t think I could be dating two people who weren’t at least casual friends.

My relationship with each of the boys brings out different sides of me. Because they are different people, they each fulfill things for me that the other can’t in a relationship. That includes elements that are sexual, emotional and general personality-wise. Both the guys realise that they can’t be everything I could possibly ever want/need (they’re only human after all), so they encourage each other to make me happy in ways they know only the other can.

And then of course there’s the dynamic between the three of us when we’re all together. Being in a group naturally makes us a bit louder and a bit more silly. So we often do fun activities, like going out on dates, seeing movies, or staying home and playing games together. The boys often gang up on me and tease me, which I think is because they know they can’t get away with it when there’s only one of them! But of course it’s all in good fun, and I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that I’m always at my happiest when we’re all together.

I could write so much more, but this post is getting a bit long now. So I’ll probably write more posts later to add to it and explore more aspects of our relationship dynamics.

Thanks for reading!

-Emma