As I may have said on my blog before, I’ve been thinking about the concept of polyamory for literally all of my adult life. In fact, the exact moment in time where this first happened, was when I was a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) from fall 2007, to summer 2008. Like, once I started coming to a new understanding, that I have the agency to create the life for myself that I want to live, my whole world opened up. And so that being said, one of the things that I first started examining, happened to be the way I thought about relationships. Because to me, it seemed natural to admit that I love multiple people, in multiple ways. And honestly, I didn’t need to see or know of folks who shared this point of view of mine, to feel validated or like openly living this way was OK to do. But while I’d started thinking about the different ways in which relationships could develop, I still had a ton of internalized stigma to work through. Because let’s face it, society constantly told me that there was only one way to do relationships: monogamy. And in addition to the internalized stigma about polyamory that I’ve dealt with for years, I also didn’t really believe that I’d be able to live as an openly polyamorous person myself. So, internalized stigma, combined with the fear I felt for so long about being different in this way, kept a strong hold on me. So for years, I’ve continued to date monogamously. But the last romantic relationship that I was in, I had multiple conversations with my then-boyfriend about the fact I’d prefer to have more than one romantic partner. I even thought that because I had conviction about this truth of mine, my then partner would understand exactly where I was coming from and be on board with this immediately. And I have no earthly idea what made me think that that’s how things would turn out, other than to say that I unreasonably expected my then partner to do something that he wouldn’t even be comfortable doing. But the good thing that’s come out of him and I having those difficult conversations with each other, is that I’m no longer willing to settle for things that I don’t truly want to have in my life. In fact, part of me becoming more comfortable with this part of my truth, has been to gain a positive self-worth. The hard work of me making that a new reality for myself, is literally the entire thing that’s brought me to where I am now: ready to live as an openly polyamorous person. And so, even though there are times when I have fleeting thoughts about monogamy actually being the right path for me, deep down, I know that that’s just my brain trying to process exactly what this choice to have non-traditional relationships will mean for my life over all. And personally, I only see one major downside to this life choice of mine: the fact that I’ll likely deal with more relationship breakups than I dealt with when I outwardly lived as a monogamous person.
And now, here are the reasons why I’m finally choosing to live unapolygetically; I got that term from the Multiamory podcast, by the way 🙂
For one thing, I don’t necessarily think that we human beings were born to be monogamous–monogamy can and does work for some folks, but I’m not one of those people. But also, polyamory is a great way to use any and all resources that are available to us; and by resources, I mean that each person in our lives has different things to offer us–one person may share a particular kinda kink with us, another person may love sharing their art with me in a way that’s accessible to me as a blind person…while yet someone else may love to go on nature walks with me. And I could go on and on and on, in terms of thinking of the benefits of polyamory from my perspective; perhaps I’ll save that for a future blog post, though. Anyway, my point here is that literally every single person that we interact with (regardless of where we physically are) has the ability to help us grow as individuals, in unexpected and life-enhancing ways. In addition to these things that I’ve already mentioned though, it makes sense for me to build a community of people around me, my tribe if you will, who loves one another/helps one another through the good and the bad times in our lives. This particular thing has become even sexier to me as I’ve gained a ton of serious health issues…and my choice to use the word “sexier” here was totally intentional. Because I think of the fact that for so long, I didn’t have a reliable family to love and who I could love in return. And while I’ve developed the skills that a survivor of any sort needs in their figurative toolbox, that doesn’t take the place of creating a community called “Team Chelsea.” Because as a monogamous person, when I’d think of my potential partners’ not being sexually active when one of my serious health issues flares up, that would hurt my soul. Like, the thought that their sexual needs wouldn’t be met for an unknown amount of time, filled me with a deep sadness and dread. I at least wanted them to know that they could have the freedom to be sexual with others. But literally every sexual partner I’ve had, whether we were romantically involved with each other or not, seemed offended that I’d so casually tell them that it was OK with me if they had sex with others, even though the sex they could have with me was temporarily non-existent. But for me, outwardly accepting that we as human beings do find other human beings attractive and that we even lust after others, even when we’re already in romantic relationships with someone, that is true love. Because in my opinion, love truly is limitless!!