I’ve been absent from blogging. Life, specifically work and school, have been demanding a lot of my focus. But I ran across an article today in my morning news and social media reading and realized I had a few other things related to polyamory that I wanted to reblog about.
NY Times Modern Love section had an essay from a woman about polyamory and wrestling with monogamous thoughts and feelings, titled My boyfriend has two girlfriends, should I become his third? If you don’t get the NY Times, I’ll sum it up: Dating a man the author learns he has other partners and for a while is fine with this. Then as feelings deepen, and they discuss deeper ideas around the relationship, she grew jealous that his apparently deepening feelings don’t result in him wanting to be with her exclusively. She spends a lot of time talking with him, working on the ideas. And in the end decides to meet his other partners (her metamours). I think the “They prefer white [wine]” (when he knows she, given the choice, would choose red) is metaphorically signally that she will find (or did find, as she probably edited this after the event) that she and the metamours are too different in basic outlook and that makes her uncomfortable.
My reflection: There is an inherent push-pull between monogamy and non-monogamy. They are literally opposites. The author of the essay wonders at one point, if her partner can choose his religious faith anew each morning as he states, why can’t the same be done with his relationship views? He should wake up one morning and choose monogamy with her.
The fact is religious faith is usually in the U.S. an act of “mainstreaming” and choosing non-monogamy is not. He can comfortably operate in the mainstream community as a religious man. He cannot operate in the mainstream as a non-monogamist without a lot more “work,” because it requires a face-forward that means he will, by definition, not fit in. He has already done that “work” and chosen non-monogamy, specifically countering conventional positions on monogamy in the act of growing himself and his current relationships. Essentially he, like many in the LGBTQ+ community, came out of the “closet” in order to live a life true to his non-monogamous “orientation.”
He is not willing to re-enter the closet for a new relationship. Similarly, most LGBTQ+ people also will not re-enter the closet for a new relationship. If the person they are interested in insists that they not be open about their orientation, pretend “we’re just friends” in public or with family, deny public displays of affection because their partner is not out yet… These are strains on that relationship, and frequently lead to its dissolution.
I suspect this is the same strain the author of the article is experiencing vicariously. I would like to know if her experience of meeting his other partners (her metamours) reduced that strain, or pushed her further into wanting him to leave them for her. I bookmarked her name (she’s apparently writing a book) so I’ll keep track of news as it develops.
Okay, so that ramble’s done.
Here’s another article I came across via Feedspot: Best Polyamory Podcasts. On the list, I have only listened to the one listed first Polyamory in the News, and do highly recommend it. I’ll give a listen to the others and report back in a later post.