I knew, in a low-key way, that I’d be comfortable with polyamory the first time I heard of the idea. Just “Yeah, I could do that. I could be happy with that.” And then I didn’t think about it much for years, because I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, much less several people.
It seems like a lot of polyamorous people are really systematic and intellectual about it– they want to analyze and categorize and name everything about their experiences, and Work On Their Relationships in a really conscious and organized way. Some people even come to polyamory as a conscious decision, a thing to try, an experiment. That’s kind of hard for me to relate to. Not that I don’t think relationships need work, but it’s never seemed like so much work that I would need to intellectually analyze it and think about it constantly. For me, it’s a feeling that was obvious as soon as I thought to look for it. It’s not something I had to analyze or think about. It just feels comfortable to me– it’s as basic and nonverbal a feeling as being happy because you’re sitting in the sunshine and there’s a cool breeze.
That feeling, my sense of being polyamorous, is more focused on being willing to “share” my partners than on having multiple partners myself, although I’m definitely not against the idea of having multiple partners.
I’ve often seen the idea “poly people get jealous too, we just learn to cope with it healthily,” passed around as a sort of polyamory myth-busting effort. Maybe I don’t define jealousy the same way other people do, I don’t know, but I honestly don’t get jealous, 99.9% of the time. I get lonely often enough, but there’s no difference in that feeling whether I’m missing a friend or a partner, or what they’re doing that took them away from me. I have only ever had the very briefest, smallest flashes of jealousy. It isn’t something I struggle with or have learned to cope with. It’s never been a factor for me at all.
Initially I assumed Sparkly would want to be monogamous, just because ey’d never mentioned anything else, and I was okay with that. Our first discussion of the idea was when ey confessed to flirting with some of eir friends and I assured em that it was fine.
It really bothers me that some people promote polyamory as better than monogamy. I have seen WAY too many people who tried poly and were really uncomfortable with it and ended up badly hurt. I don’t want to encourage that.
I regret not completely opening Sparkly’s and my relationship all at once. I let myself be led by the assumption that sex must be more important and it might make me jealous when nothing else did. I ignored my own actual feelings and let assumptions about how relationships ~normally~ go control me, and I think it was hurtful.