One of my favorite poly-epiphanies is this: my partners are with me only because they want to be. And there is magic in that concept that I never got to experience in my monogamous marriage. That is not to say monogamy doesn’t hold the same magic for others – only that it took my fully realized polyamory for me to wrap my brain completely around this idea.
When I became more intentional with my partners out of necessity, I realized the time we spent together was intentional as a result. We may be limited by the hours in a day (a week, a month, a life), the responsibilities of adulting, and the other significant relationships in our lives – but our time together is a choice and not an obligation – that is the magical distinction. It’s not work. There is effort there, but it’s not work.
As a result of this intentionality, I only ever part from my loves feeling better than I did when we connected, no matter the span.
For me, polyamory is an orientation rather than a choice, and in my long-term monogamous relationship, I found myself co-dependent on the idea that we had to stay together. To meet expectations (our own, and those of others), to prove we could overcome whatever it was that was eroding us, and to stave off the idea that we could never love like this again.
Now, I don’t feel trapped by society’s expectations of how I connect because I already love outside the parameters of the dominant narrative. In a way that is very tangible to me, the bonds I create with my partners feel more solid for that. Nothing is pushing us together – we simply are, because it works. Because it’s good. Because it feels like it’s meant to be.
And it will stay that way, until it no longer is.
And it’s the only way I want to be in a relationship.
Should it ever become laborious . . . should it ever turn into something that drains our energy instead of feeding it – we will know it’s time to let it go. One of the ways polyamory feeds my soul is by removing the pressure of trying to make an unworkable thing work. And I have been there, believe me.
So I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea that loss is inevitable. Whether that means I lose my loves tomorrow, or at the end of my life. Eventually, what I have with them will cease to be. In that comfort, I’m finding the courage to love them with my whole self. And I’m pretty sure that’s how love was meant to be.