What Polyamory Has Meant In My Life...

I've spent the last four months basically figuring out what poly means to me, personally in my life, what I am involved with, what it brings to me, what I give up and what I want from it.

I've been emotionally poly since I was first dating. After my first love/lover, I became convinced that dating more than one person was the way for me. The reasons for this are varied, and needless to say, they are different than the ones that I have today. My family, my parents, nearly everyone I knew easily accepted that I dated lots of different people while being emotionally committed to several of them at a time. I went through college in this way. However, society at large had a big impact on my decision during my senior year, to get married. I wanted kids, and I thought that marriage, and normalcy was the way for me to go. Because of many personal reasons, my marriage did not work out, and almost four years ago, I found myself once again single, although with two children in tow.

At that time, I once again decided that I was going to not buy into the normal life. I dated more than one, was sexually involved with more than one, and nearly two years ago, met someone online from far far away who I felt greatly for. We developed a strong attachment for each other, and planned to meet. We talked, and the one thing that I was adamant about was that I was poly, that I felt that making a commitment to someone did not necessitate refusing to have other attachments and love/rs in one's life.

John and I decided that he would come to meet me; he was fascinated with someone that did not necessarily want to be the one and only in someone's life. I think that at the time, the idea titillated him sexually... we have never really talked about it. In any event, I became more emotionally involved with people here on the list and decided to go to a party that another member was having. This was how I met Auntie D., and how I fell in love with my first woman. D. and I had chatted, and flirted hotly here on the list. Getting to know her, in person, was like meeting myself. We discovered many interesting things about each other... namely that many of the things that we thought, felt, and how we experienced life, were the same. We laughingly referred to the fact that we were the same person in different bodies. Over the two years our lives have become strangely intertwined and at the same time, strangely distant. I love D. in a unique way.

During that time, I have fallen for eight other people. John came, we met and worked through many issues then he went back to Australia. About a year ago, he returned and we got married on June 13th of last year. Just before I met John, I fell for T., whom I met at D.. We went through some trying times together, and separately, and at the present time, we are friends... I know that my love for him remains, I am just not sure what to do about it. I have discovered, that even when you love someone, it is not necessarily the end of the story on what you should do with that love. That we have been able to maintain contact, feels good.

Last spring, just after John arrived, we attended another poly gathering, and that gathering was to have a tremendous impact on my life this last year. There, I got to know the people that had somehow been called to play roles in my life this past year. I met Brent, P., J., B., R., and got to know slightly better, V.. The interweaving, of their lives with mine, has had me on an emotional roller coaster this past year, but the love, the emotional nurturing, and the growing that I have gone through are things that I would not change a bit. Like a roller coaster, it has been breathtaking, scary, and more than once, had me in tears. But wow, what a ride.

I have come out of this last year, with a great number more friends than I had last year at this time. There are people that I know I can call in the middle of the night, no matter what the problem, and feel better about it, after the call, even if nothing had changed. These people have given me the gift of their time, their strength, and their love. What I envisioned, and what they envisioned at the beginning of the relationships haven't come to pass, but I hope they find their lives as much richer from it all, as I have.

As I experience it, poly is the growing awareness of allowing others to touch my life. Of talking through hopes and dreams, and trying to weave parts of your life with someone else's. As hard as it is with one other person, it becomes that much more difficult, more time consuming, more demanding with more than one other. I have discovered that trying to be what I am not is insane, that communicating clearly is a necessity, that love is not always enough to surmount problems.

Poly has meant growth, and pain, and love and loss, and new friendships, that despite my desires, my wants for something else, have been pretty damn special. It has meant that I have wanted to move my life, recreate who and what I am, and discovered, that I have had to stay true to myself inspite of all of that. Each relationship has come with that ethereal hope, will this be a person that I can cleave to, make a constant permanent, physical part of my life, day to day? As the chips have fallen where they will, even though that hasn't happened, I have had some pretty damn good times. I have been able to love, touch, and nurture my sexual side with out having to leave my husband. I have been able to enjoy the pangs of jealousy, and grow from them, and begin to understand what compersion is when I look at the happiness of one of those that I love looking at someone else that they love.

I once felt that poly was about joining my life together with several other people under the same roof. Right now, I would settle for being able to spend more than one or two nights in a three month period with those that I love. < sigh > But life is what it is, and I live where I live. Those are not good enough reasons to me, to not love, to not join my life to anothers. I love, and I love deeply, these people that have come into my life. I am eager to see where my life goes from here, how I grow, how each of those that I love grows as well.

The pain has been well worth it. I wish you all as much in your poly lives as I have had out of mine. Stretching, as painful as it is at times, is well worth it, because life is certainly not ever boring here in poly-land.