Kiss and Tell26 June 2019
My romantic life has always been one that is tumultuous. To my friends, it’s one heck of a reality tv show that is always on demand – ready to provide spicy content, tears and drama. A real life ‘The Bachelorette’ that they so happily tune in to weekly or have a one-sitting binge watch.
“What’s the tea, Abby?”
“What’s going on with you and *insert name*?”
“Who’s the new person on your Instagram?”
After quick little updates – well, updates for them, therapeutic sessions for me – they shake their heads, open their eyes real big and slip out the same phrase that I’ve heard countless times: “I don’t know how you do it.”
I ask myself that sometimes too.
Some of these friends have ridden through massive waves with me long enough to know that the saying ‘plenty of fishes in the sea’ is true and highly applicable for me. They’re also confident that should I ever get hit by a tsunami, I’d make it through. I’d swim to safety, climb a lighthouse, whatever. Somehow, I’d make it.
Polyamory hasn’t been the easiest. Especially when the partners I seem to attract are monogamous. Monogamous partners who either pretend like they’re okay with me being polyamory or are going with the flow in hopes that I’d pick them in the end.
But what is the end? I’m not too sure. Marriage? A white picket fence, two kids and a cat?
Talks about the future is always exciting with the one you love. But is there space for that when it comes to the ones you love? A girl can dream. She can spend lazy afternoons cuddled up with her partner, giggling away, painting a beautiful picture of their would-be future and then reality hits her. What about her other partner? The one she loves just as much. Where do they fit in this? The guilt soon follows. Slowly, and then all at once. It turns into sadness and she quickly reminds herself that this kind of complexity is something she had foreseen when she chose to be in those relationships.
Different people practice polyamory differently. Some become a throuple, some keep their relationships open, some keep it closed. Whatever the dynamics of the relationships are, it is always easier on paper.
Some people are quick to assume that polyamory is for those with commitment issues or for those who are dissatisfied with their current relationship. I disagree. Polyamory requires navigating multiple relationships with people who are very different from each other. It requires maintaining a stable relationship with people who have different needs and desires. That said, it requires a very high level of commitment. On the other hand, polyamory isn’t and will never be the solution to fix a relationship. If you’re having difficulty with one relationship, what makes you think having another one will be wise?
“You don’t even know if they’ll be there tomorrow, or the day after.”
“You do know that relationships don’t always last, right?”
And that is true. Regarding any relationship for that matter – monogamous or polyamorous. A relationship that’s gone on for years or a summer fling. No one wishes for their loving relationship to reach an end but when the time comes, it comes. A romantic like myself, someone who’d cross oceans for the people she loves, can vouch for that. It’s not being pessimistic, it’s being realistic.
But do polyamorous relationships work out in the end? Yes, they could. I’ve read about it. I haven’t experienced it myself but I’m hopeful. Polyamory when done well can be extremely fulfilling. Again, just like any other relationship.
Relationships in general can feel like being on a life-long Caribbean cruise or a sinking ship. I’m on my Titanic. And if my Titanic were to hit an iceberg one fateful day, I’m positive I’d feel like it was a journey worth taking.