The circumstances under which I started thinking about this were less-than-shiny, but I think it’s an important thing to think about, and definitely something that has affected me at times, whether consciously or not.
So, lovely readers – do any of you have an ‘inner monogamist?’ Did you when you first started being polyamorous, especially if you transitioned from previously being monogamous or opened up an existing monogamous relationship?
I’m talking about the little voice that sits in your mind and sometimes questions whether, in fact, any of this can really work, making you wonder if you are in fact deluding yourself that happy, stable, long term polyamory is actually possible. I’m talking about the voice that says you’re doing something wrong if you have another lover outside of your main, primary or existing relationship(s.)
So here’s the thing – I like somebody. It’s been a long time since I’ve really been interested in somebody the way I *think* (after one weekend in their company at a community event) I am interested in this person. A few months ago, I was seriously thinking that I would never trust anyone enough to consider getting involved again – especially another male.
So after tentatively broaching this subject with my beloved Nomad, we talked a little about it and, after some negotiation, he gave me the ‘go ahead’ to see where things go. Wonderful. Well, it is…. except that there’s still this part of me that is telling me that I shouldn’t, that it’s not fair to the person I love, that I love him and so in fact can’t really fall for anyone else.
In other words, the inner monogamist got loose. Now I’m not saying that I am really monogamous. I don’t believe I am. I’ve lived that way and, yes, it made me happy for a while – but now I’ve seen there are other options out there and been made happy by those, I don’t think I want to go back. I think at heart, I am poly. At least now. I don’t necessarily think I was born that way or am hardwired to be so, but who knows how these things work? Relationships, love and desires are complicated things, after all.
But I, probably along with most if not all of you, was brought up in a culture where monogamy is seen as the only acceptable norm – and if you really can’t be faithful to one person, serial monogamy or cheating were the only alternatives. People tell me, on a more-or-less daily basis, that my way of doing relationships is wrong. My family believes my way of doing relationships is wrong. The society I live in, as a whole, believes my way of doing relationships is wrong. Of course some of this is going to be a little…. internalised. So I start feeling guilty and being certain that, if I like or date or sleep with anyone else it’s going to destroy the wonderful, amazing relationship I have. Despite the fact that, with me having made it clear over and over again that ‘no’ was a perfectly acceptable answer, he said ‘yes.’ Despite the fact that he’s been polyamorous since I was, like, seven years old. (Things like this are a running joke we have about our age-gap. We don’t find it creepy, just amusing.)
So what I am wondering is, how do you shut that little voice up which tells you that you’re doing something wrong or unsustainable, even as your partner is saying ‘I’m fine with it…. YES, really, I’m fine with it…!’