Poly Diaries: Why We Became Poly Again
Sometimes living your best life involves exploration and experimentation.
In January 2019, the topic of reintroducing polyamory into our relationship came up. By that, I mean I unceremoniously plopped it right between my husband and I. It went something like, “Babe, how would you feel about sleeping with other people again?”
He looked at me with wary interest; he was poly when we started dating and I was open to trying it. Due to a plethora of factors, not the least of which was drama with his partners (remember this article on being a better metamour that I wrote way back in 2016?), we became monogamous after about six months.
I attempted to bow out once I realized that not only did I love my then-boyfriend, I also loved having peace in my life. It seemed to me that the two were mutually exclusive. I chose my peace. Instead of going back to his other partners, he said he wanted to be monogamous with me. Now, if you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you can imagine how I felt at this news — skeptical and as though it would blow up in my face should he one day resent me for his decision. I was explicit in reiterating that I was not asking him to be monogamous (but, OK, yes, I’d gladly accept being his one-and-only should that be what he really wanted).
Fast forward two and a half years, my boyfriend is now my husband, and I can report that we settled into monogamy quite nicely. We even bought a house together and combined bank accounts, two things I was certain I’d never do with a partner. The security of our monogamous relationship was beautiful. I believe it allowed us both a certain level of comfort and healing that would have been difficult to find with non-monogamy.
Why Did We Return to Polyamory?
As our relationship went on, I found myself increasingly dissatisfied. Our emotional connection grew like ivy around all the other parts of our lives. This made it challenging for us to see beyond each other. I want to insist that there was no co-dependency, but I’d be lying to myself. We were co-dependent on each other emotionally because we found solace in one another. Instead of embracing the comfort and then going back into our own worlds feeling a little more secure, we latched on to each other.
I arrived at a crossroads within myself: either we split up so I could find my freedom again or we became polyamorous again so both of us could have relief from the overwhelming pressure of being someone’s only partner. To be totally transparent, when I brought up the idea of becoming poly again, I was of the mindset that he would go off and have other relationships, freeing me up to travel, write and focus on my career. The thought of dating again, of maintaining another relationship, was not appealing for me. I simply wanted more time to live my life as me.
Milestones, Experiences and Boundaries ...Oh My!
Some time has now passed, and we’ve been exploring polyamory and how it works for us within the context of our relationship. We’ve reached several milestones, had a few new experiences, and talked extensively about boundaries and expectations. Admittedly, the first time my husband kissed another woman I fell apart a little. I wanted to be happy for him, happy that he met someone he liked and wanted to kiss, but I wasn’t. I was just sad for myself.
It took every ounce of self-awareness to move through that difficult moment. When I realized I didn’t actually feel upset (it was more of a conditioned reaction than a legitimate feeling), I was able to take a step back and look at why my immediate response was to feel jealous and insecure.
When I met someone that I really liked (and yes, shared a kiss with), I better understood how my husband’s love for me and his attraction for another woman could co-exist. As I kissed this new romantic interest of mine, I checked in with myself: does this make me love him any less? The answer was a resounding no. In fact, instead of my interest in someone else decreasing my feelings for my current partner, I felt even more appreciative of all the things I loved about him.