Dearest friends, let me start this by saying I am a bisexual lady in a cis-monogamous relationship. I’ve been in some polyamorous situations in the past, I’ve also been in horribly abusive monogamous relationships, cheated on, cheated – the gamut. I’ve been dating since I was fifteen and dated a lot of people. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve been hurt, I’ve hurt others.
The polyamorous community is always trying to tackle teaching the rest of the planet about all the various kinds of relationships. Yay! This is good, this is important. The world needs to know. However, sometimes it manages to insult monogamy “I know that this other love isn’t real love…” and make cheating seem like an inevitable conclusion in the same breath.
Look, I get it. We’ve been inundated by cis monogamous relationships pretty much since the dawn of man.
It’s good that poly is getting visible finally, because the world needs to know it’s not some weird “fetish” thing like they seem to think. I am fully in support of educating my fellow monogamists and scolding them when they react poorly to someone who is poly. Even if that’s just gently reminding them “hey, people deserve to be happy. Whatever works for them.”
So that said, I think it’s only fair to ask the same of my friendly local poly people.
I’ve been in several uncomfortable situations over the years surrounded by groups of poly people who tend to perhaps inadvertently make fun of monogamist people, or flirt shamelessly* with myself or my partners even after being made aware we are not seeing others.
*I don’t meant harmless flirting like everyone does, I’m saying I’ve been in over the top situations in the past where women have literally asked my man to bed, or me to bed, or sent my partner pictures of themselves in their underwear (on my birthday!) etc, even after being aware we were monogamous. I.E. asking for what the monogamous folk would call infidelity even if it’s not cheating by poly standards. It’s cheating for me, so please stop it, thank you. And yes we can get into the bitter argument of “blah blah you can just say no” but it’s more about respecting your fellow man, and less about being an asshole for no reason.
It’s as though some polygamous people are now acting using the old monogamy byline: “well my way is better so you should do it anyway. I’ll make you and your partner see this is better,” while blatantly ignoring our personal desires. Sound familiar? You means that’s what society does to you? Wow! Well, it sucks, and it’s bad form, so please stop it. No, really.
Am I weird? Yes. I know monogamous people who think polyamory is literally from the devil. And you can bet I stand up for polyamory regularly, even if I don’t practice it.
Are there things in my life I need to stop criticizing so openly myself? Probably, like I know I make fun of Catholics and Christians a lot as a Wiccan, and yeah I should probably back off and be more understanding because it’s what I want in return. I am pretty hard on all Republicans now, even if they don’t all deserve it. I’m not perfect, I’m human.
Will I always be Monogamous with a capital M? Who’s to say. I still really love women, and there is definitely a chance that someday I may turn to my partner and be like hey, I need to be with a woman for a day or two, but I’ll come back because literally it’s just how I roll. And you know what? I know I’m in a situation where I’m able to say that to my partner and they’ll talk to me about it. That’s the joy of a HEALTHY relationship with communication!
But in general, guys, if you want to see change, please consider others before trying to educate other humans. Please don’t try and convert monogamous people by asking them to cheat on their partner or telling them they’d be happier dating multiple people – that’s wrong and just plain rude.
Please don’t tell me my feelings and desires to currently love just one human are wrong – especially don’t come after me with the scientific evidence. I’m fully aware of it, thank you, but whether I choose to wear pink or practice paganism or date just one human is really not your business.
I appreciate you, I see you, now please let me have my dream of being with just one other person for now, and please don’t shame or mock me for it, because I would never mock you for being happy.
I will leave you with one last thought on this – yes, there is scientific evidence suggesting that people can and maybe should love multiple people. There’s stories of people trapped in abusive situations because their religious beliefs tell them they need to stay monogamous and married to a terrible person – I know some people personally who are in this boat.
But please know not every monogamous situation and marriage and long term relationship is just because it’s “the norm” or they “had to.” My grandparents were married for 70 years before my grandfather passed. And before you come to me with your “different generation” bullshit or that Adam Ruins Everything episode about how love vanishes after three years (bullshit): they were truly in love.
You know when you see that couple that is newly in love and blushing and holding hands and adorable? My grandparents were like that up until my grandfather had a stroke. Yes, they fought, yes things were not always perfect, but when they danced the polka together you could see the sheer joy and happiness on their faces. They slow danced and you could see their smiles. They held hands, they called each other pet names, my grandfather was always there for my grandmother when she got upset, and it was truly beautiful to see. I don’t want to hear your tales about it vanishing, because I saw for myself love can exist well beyond whatever the evidence says. It’s possible.
When my grandfather had his stroke and could barely tell which way was up, kept turning the dial to the highest setting on the heater in the summer or put things in the freezer that didn’t belong there, he’d look at my grandmother and say: “Hey, you’re mine aren’t you?” He’d look at us and say, “Isn’t that my lady?”.
So, I believe in love. I believe you can love multiple people, or one person. Or an eggplant if you want to. You can love people without being sexually attracted to them – or anyone. You can love your fur baby like it was a human. You can love a song. I’m a Libra, of course I love love.
But please, for the love of all the nerd things of this world – don’t tell me my love isn’t as valid as yours. I would never do that to you.
Edit: wow, thank you, I had no idea other people had his same issue and am so happy to see your feelings have been addressed. Just because this article is slowly making its way into the larger world I would like to add an addendum which is the numerous positive experiences I have had with the poly community: those that see myself and my partner and say: wow, you too are really good together, wow, you’re so in love, I’m really happy you found each other etc. I didn’t feel the need to address it but perhaps I should have for the sake of balance. For those who don’t grossly abuse boundaries, for those who support me in my monogamous lifestyle despite it not being their cup of tea: thank you. You are the reason I support the poly community in the wider world. You make it work, you communicate, and you’re great people. 🙂
Also, I will have a podcast coming soon, airing in January, in which I may address this further, and future information ongoing. It’s being recorded under a pen-name so how I can share it is still a bit of a mystery but I’ll crack that egg when it appears in my basket. Thank you as always for reading and sharing and appreciating writers who aren’t currently working on a major project but want to!