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More Than One
...friends, parents, siblings, and romantic loves.
Perhaps one of the hardest things to shake off after choosing polyamory over monogamy as the way I conduct my romantic life is the “monogamy hangover”. The old ways of thinking that cling and can appear in our own heads as well as out loud from others in our lives.
What’s important to remember is that those thoughts are habits—trained responses from a lifetime of expectations around finding “the one” and building a life. Even if we were not schooled in the idea of the one true love forever and ever ‘til death do us part, nearly all of us were still brought up to assume that finding a person you’d like to spend many committed years with—just the two of you—is what we should want.
But I never wanted that. Even as a girl, the idea of one person for my life felt strange. It wasn’t terrifying, but I just couldn’t understand why it was something I should want. (I had very similar thoughts about the religion that was expected of me, but that’s another thought…. although the MINDSET behind the two are certainly related.)
In high school, I had a boyfriend. But I knew it would be at most only while I was in high school and never go beyond that. Besides, I had at least one other strong crush at the same time that was rarely out of my thoughts. In college there was one monogamous boyfriend, but the idea of something long-term did not sit right, no matter how wonderful he was to me. And then I had more casual partners, some of who were friends, and some were experimental. (I mean, come on, it was college.)
But then, what happened? In college I had gay friends, but no one who conceptualized ethical non-monogamy beyond friends with benefits. No one using the term polyamory. (With somewhat good reason - The Ethical Slut was only published the year I graduated college.) So I continued having relationships that did not have a long-term projection in my head. Many of them I did not connect deeply with, for reasons that were inside me.
FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS…