That’s right, guys – two posts in two days! I’ve got some more in-depth articles and opinion-pieces in progress and lined up, but this just came to me yesterday as a fun little topic that I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on.
So: is polyamory something we’re born with the inclination for, as innate as our sexuality? Or is it something that develops? Or is it a choice? Which was it for you?
When I tell the story of how I ‘became’ poly, I often say that I wasn’t always this way, or talk about my past experiences using the phrase ‘when I was monogamous….’ But having thought more deeply about it, and mulled over some past experiences that didn’t seem that significant at the time, I’m now having second thoughts about this, wondering whether I have, in fact, always had poly tendencies.
Story The First:
I was seventeen, Long Term Ex and I had been together – completely monogamously – for 2 years. At a friend’s party, I got talking to a guy who I’ll call J. He was really friendly and interesting (and bought too many drinks for my under-age self,) and we seemed to have loads in common, so we ended up spending half the night talking to each other. J knew I had a partner, but at the end passed me a piece of paper with ‘call me’ and his number written on it. Being in a relationship, I never pursued this – but I struggled with some serious guilt issues for a while because there wasn’t much getting around the fact that I kind of wanted to. I loved my partner and leaving him was the furthest thing from my mind, but I couldn’t help having the odd moment of wondering “what if?” What if I were single? “Free,” so to speak? Might my interest in J actually go somewhere? Of course it never did, but when I look back now it seems significant that my interest in somebody new did not in any way diminish what I felt for my partner.
Story The Second:
A few years back, also while with Long Term Ex, I had a good friend, who I’m going to call C. C had a crush on me when we first met, but we went on to become extremely close for a while. He was the third person, after my partner and best friend, who I ever came out to as bisexual. While nothing ever happened – again, I was in a monogamous relationship – there was always an undercurrent in my mind of a similar “what if?” to the one I had felt with J. If I’d been single, something very probably could have happened there. The feelings were certainly strong enough on my side, though I tried to suppress them because, once again, they made me feel horribly guilty. And – again – it didn’t diminish what I felt for my partner, or make me want to leave him in any way.
Story The Third:
Not so much a ‘story,’ really, as…. just a thing. Before I was practising poly, before I was even out as bisexual, I used to have vivid dreams/fantasies about just snuggling up and sleeping between my boyfriend, and a woman I imagined as my girlfriend – with two people I loved.
So – is the tendency towards non-monogamy, towards loving multiple people at once, innate? Or are these just coincidental situations I’m reading too much into? Who knows? Does it even matter?
What about YOU, my dear readers? Do you believe you were born poly, grew into being poly, or chose to be poly? I’d love to hear your stories!