Being in the middle.
Being in the middle.
Ash and I were already engaged when I met Aidan. As young teens we always talked about having a white wedding and starting a family. When Ash popped out a ring, I was happier than I’d ever been (so happy that I started crying and forgot to say yes for about five minutes).
But things changed when Aidan and I hit the two year mark, and we realised that this was going to be a long-term thing. At first we agreed that Ash and I would have a wedding as planned, and later down the track Aidan and I would have a private exchanging of vows followed by a holiday. As time went on though, I started to feel guilty that I would be having a public celebration with Ash, whilst Aidan and I were planning something that felt like it needed to be kept secret from our friends and family.
I wanted something that would feel more ‘equal’, and Aidan and Ash agreed that we should think of another plan. There were a few scenarios that came up, but each seemed to have some kind of problem. We thought about having two separate weddings, a few years apart, but we felt like the second wedding would be less special, and our friends and family would resent having to do it all again. We thought about having a big combined wedding, where the three of us would celebrate our coming together as a family. But the boys really wanted their own special day with me.
For a while, I felt like I didn’t want to have any kind of wedding at all. The whole thing is just an expensive waste of time anyway. But deep down, my childhood dream of wearing a beautiful white dress and walking down the aisle could not be suppressed. And a few weeks back, as I was having a conversation with Ash, we figured out the perfect scenario.
We will be having one wedding over two days – a weekend – with one day being dedicated to each partnership. This way, each of us have our special day. Friends and family members can chose to come to one of the days or both, so that Aidan’s family won’t have to sit through Ash’s wedding and vice-versa. Because it’s on the same weekend, guests won’t have to make extra travel arrangements, can wear the same clothes, and only need to buy one gift for the whole event.
Since coming up with this idea, the three of us have been pretty excited. It seems like we’ve found the perfect solution. I know that organising a wedding is not easy, and having one with three people instead of two will make it all the more complicated. But at the same time, having the chance to make everyone happy is worth the extra effort!
I hear a lot of poly people insist that they are ‘born this way’ and couldn’t ever be comfortable in a relationship with only one other person. But on the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of couples out there who are happy just being monogamous, yet would also be prepared to let another join their family if it worked out that way.
I’ve given a lot of thought to this dichotomy over the years, and I still don’t know whether my own instance of polyamory is one or the other. On the one hand, I know that I can be happy in a monogomus relationship as I had been with Ash in the years before I met Aidan. But at the same time, I feel more at peace knowing I have the both of them to love me in their own way.
Since polyamory is still fairly new (and sometimes, completely unknown) to the wider public, there hasn’t been much research on the topic, let alone specific questions like this one. I think it would be really interesting to see a study on this; to see if polyamory can be chosen as a lifestyle preference, or if it’s more like a sexuality that you are born with. For me, I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle, but with some more self exploration I might start to lean to one side or the other. What about you? Post a comment and let us know if you are polyamorous by choice or hard-wired this way!
So far most of my blog posts have been lighthearted stories or resources, with some sarcasm thrown in to disguise my lack of writing skills. But today I’m going to write about something a little different, and a lot more personal to me. Like many women, I have pretty low self esteem when it comes to body image. Combine that with an unhealthy relationship with food and you get an eating disorder.
Being in a polyamorus relationship makes my issues both easier and harder to deal with at times. On one hand, I have two men constantly telling me how beautiful and wonderful I am. But on the other hand, I sometimes have thoughts like “with the way I look, I don’t deserve having two amazing partners.”
The great thing about being polyamorous is that you have twice (or three or four times) as much support. Between the two guys and Aidan’s backward-ass work hours, I have 24 hour access to someone who I can cuddle or talk to about personal stuff. But the best part is that each of the guys have their own way of supporting me. Ash will make cute faces, say silly things to make me laugh, and play games with me to take my mind of things. Aidan will have deep conversations with me and help me get to the core of what’s bothering me. He’ll stay level-headed when my emotional side gets the best of me and offer me practical solutions. Thanks to my two lovely boys, I get the best of both worlds.
Yesterday in my common poly myths article, I wrote a short segment about how love is not finite. I wanted to expand on that in today’s article with an analogy I heard of once (and I apologise to whomever’s analogy this is, but I can’t remember where it was said so I can’t reference it!).
Love is not like a glass of water, where if you empty some into a second glass, there will be less in the first.
I can completely relate to this analogy, as would any mother who has more than one child. You don’t have a set amount of love to give out, which must be divided among partners. When I began dating Aidan, the love I had for Ash in our existing relationship didn’t diminish, but on the contrary it expanded. Ash and I found a new importance in communication, setting aside time just for each other and negotiating boundaries in ways that wouldn’t be possible in monogamy. Our relationship and love for each other grew.
But as I also mentioned in my previous article, while love is infinite, time, energy and resources are not. Polyamory requires a heck of a lot of scheduling and planning to make sure we all get to spend enough time with each other. It also doesn’t help that Aidan, being a baker, is mostly nocturnal. But we all care for each other, so we put in the extra effort. So while it’s true I don’t get to spend as much time with either of the boys as I would if I were only dating one of them, it does make the time we do have together all the more special.
Thanks for reading!
For those visiting my blog to learn more about polyamory, I thought I’d start at square one and give an explanation as to what it actually is. Sure, you could just read the Wikipedia page (and honestly, it gives a pretty good rundown). But I’m hoping that coming from the mouth (keyboard?) of someone in an established poly relationship, you’ll find a bit more substance in my description.
So let’s start with my personal definition, which actually doesn’t sound that different to the Wikipedia introduction.
Polyamory is the practice or ability to be romantically involved with more than one person at a time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
You may notice the main difference between my definition and the Wikipedia definition is that I substituted the word “intimately” with “romantically”. There is a reason I did that, and not just so it would look less like I copy-pasted it. To me, intimacy is something you can experience with a person you are not in love with, like for example, with a sex buddy. When I say romantically, what I really mean is love, like anyone would feel for their partner.
The reason this change is so important is because polyamory is based on love. Not that there’s anything wrong swinging (sexual encounters outside your relationship with your partner’s consent). It’s just that I wouldn’t call it polyamory. I see it as a ‘cousin’ to polyamory in the big non-monogamy family tree.
Going with this metaphor, cheating would be the bratty little nephew who breaks other kids’ toys and spits on grandma. Which brings me to the second part of my definition, “with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved”. Take note of the word and here. It wouldn’t be polyamory without both of these elements. Polyamorists pride themselves on having good communication in their relationships. That begins with absolute transparency about who/when/where you’re dating/sleeping with/making life plans with.
So to recap, love and knowledge/consent are the two key aspects of most, if not all poly relationships. Because polyamorous relationships (and indeed human beings) are so varied, the boundaries, rules, expectancies, levels of compromise etc. etc. will be different in every group. For this reason I don’t expand my definition past those two elements, so as to encompass all the different styles of poly love out there.
There might be other terms like ‘vee’ or ‘compersion’ that you’ve seen floating around but have no idea what they are. Never fear! My next post will be a glossary of all the polyamory related terms (that I can think of).
‘Till next time!