For a while now, my cousin, Kiko, and I have shared dialogue about polyamory and open relationships. I so enjoy these conversations, because, while we rarely agree, we are always respectful with each other about our opinions. I think I also enjoy it because, like me, he is seeking to understand something that is unfamiliar to him. My whole life I have struggled with understanding relationships and understand people’s behavior while in relationships.
When I was in high school, I was continually amazed by my friends and their ability to declare undying love to one guy, then break up with him one day and be dating an entirely different guy the next day, who was of course their soul mate. It was confusing to me how transient and transferable their love was depending on their mood or the day. I never felt that way about anyone when I was a teenager. Though I daydreamed about finding my one true love, I never found it while traversing the hallways of my high school.
So I’ve never understood love – what it means, how people fall in love and stay in love with only one person. I’ve loved, don’t get me wrong. I meant society’s definition of love – it’s always flummoxed me.
I got married way too young – I’ll be the first to admit it… now. So right off the bat my first serious relationship was already seriously flawed because I gave in to impulse and said yes when I should’ve said no. And then add on top of that my seriously flawed new husband (who is now an ex-husband) who saw nothing wrong with demanding loyalty and fidelity from me while philandering around with just about anyone who would give him the time of day.
At one point in our marriage, my ex asked me if I would ever consider swinging. I’m sure the appropriate response would’ve been extreme horror. But, of course, I was curious. At this point, he was my first and only lover, I’d never explored my bisexual side and natural attraction to women, nor had I really looked at another man because, frankly, my ex was an extremely jealous man. (It figures he was the jealous one when he was the only one screwing around at that point.) I was intrigued at this idea of mate swapping.
Though I was relatively innocent when this topic was introduced, I admit I was quite familiar with the “deviant” side of sex. I, after all, was raised during my teenage years by my brothers. Porn was something I was familiar with, as well as the adult magazines. I enjoyed reading erotica, especially if it had a less-than-normal slant to it. I even admit to fantasizing about sexual experiences with multiple partners and my favorite porn scenes included girl on girl action.
Too much information? Hee… Well, it’s out there now. I’ve always been a sexually curious girly girl with a pretty impressive imagination. So now I was being presented with the possibility of sharing with my “one true love” what had up until then merely been fantasies. So yes, I was interested. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. My ex immediately shot down the idea and treated me poorly for admitting an interest.
What does all this have to do with the conversation with my cousin? One time, Kiko and I were discussing the theory of Inner Child. Or rather he was telling me about his research on the concept. In turn, he wondered if the loss of my parents and my subsequent childhood played a part in my attraction to polyamory. Was I looking to recreate the love I lost during that time, attempting to recreate it by having two partners who loved me? Was my inner child begging for love in order to finally be healed?
What an interesting concept and not one I can readily dispute. I think everything I’ve experienced and learned has shaped this fascinating woman whose words you now read. Not just the loss of my parents but certainly the love they gave me before they died. The lessons they taught me about honoring them, honoring elders in general, having respect for those outside myself – they all contribute. As well as the experiences I had with my brothers, with my friends, at school, in life – they all played a part in my seeking out something like polyamory.
Even now, when I am beginning to understand that polyamory is just another concept like monogamy, with its own inherent flaws that go along with this beautiful idea of love and relating to and with others. It is because of who I am and what I’ve experienced that I can take something like polyamory and learn even more about myself.
I’m still not really sure about people and relationships and what motivates people to behave as they do when in love. But I’m even more certain of myself and how I choose to behave in relationships. I’m sure I will continue to discover new and exciting things about myself as I continue on in my life’s journey.