It's no great shock that Showtime's newest hit “Polyamory: Married and Dating” has created buzz. Relationship bloggers — mono and non-mono — have beaten the piss out of it, “experts” have declared this, that and the other bullshit, and I'm not going there. The subject did, however, inspire a train of thought on relationship dynamics in general and the fact that, as with polyamory, everyone does things differently.
Take Couple/Triad/Whatever 1 over here. They love each other, they're committed, and they rip each other to fucking shreds. They've got a humour-oriented relationship dynamic and whip sarcasm around like it was a frisbee on the beach. Not everyone could deal with it. They seem to get off on it and everyone is in the loop about what it all means. Cool.
Couple/Triad/PolyFam/Etc 2 is over here: they're so lovey-dovey, they make us all sick. As soon as they're in the same room, they're eyefucking each other like it was the 3rd date, and sooner or later someone is guaranteed to “jokingly” yell “Get a room!” They're romantic, emotionally expressive people and that's what works for them.
Neither couple/triad/polyfam gets the other in the LEAST. The Sarcastics strike the Romantics as darn near mentally abusive and the Sarcastics think the Romantics are a bunch of passive-aggressive saps. But everyone is being themselves and everyone gets the dynamic within their respective relationship. Because they're the ones who established the fucking thing in the first place.
The same applies to polyamory — specifically in this case, our version of polyamory. Joe and I do things on a casual, “datey” basis because that's the way we like it. We keep things simple, and we've both found warm, loving relationships that flourish under this dynamic. He's got L, I have A. We're not looking to take things as far as having other spouses because we don't want to or need to. We enjoy our outside relationships. They are an extremely valued part of our life, and as soon as we can find a way to coordinate everyone's schedule, we'd still like everyone to meet and have a drink, just to get that goddamn bogey off our necks (hasn't happened yet, thus we remain trepidatious).
This is how we do things. Our relationships with L and A enhance the life Joe and I share. That's all we need. L and A tell us they're happy with how things are too. She's been around perhaps five months, A and I have 2 months in (yeah, yeah, yeah, shut up lol) but it's still all good. He's one of the most calming people I've ever met and I'm still amazed at how he always completely relaxes me. Things from Day 1 with him have been amazingly easy, with an unprecedented lack of anxiety, ambiguity, or any of the romantic games so many people seem to play. A fucking saint could set off my anxiety triggers and two months later, he still somehow manages to never, ever do so.
Things we DON'T need from polyamory: drama. Bullshit. Rules. Control. Policing each other. Recruitment. Militancy. Joe and I don't want any of these things in our lives. Thus, we don't have them.
Drama and bullshit? Well, people try. One chick Joe dated for a while was in the midst of a crises every time they spoke. Thus: they no longer speak because he said “fuck that.” In the last 3 weeks, I've had two “ex's” (for lack of better term) pop up, months after either being dumped or doing The Fade just because they were “thinking of me.” Translation: horny, then suddenly remembered me after being unable to find action anywhere else. And fuck off, guys who do this.
Rules, control, policing each other? We don't. Our one true final remaining “guideline” with each other is we don't spend nights away from home. Otherwise, we employ common sense and consideration for each other if anything comes up.
Recruitment and militancy? No, no, no, and hey guess what? Fuck no. This is how WE live. We don't give a sweet fuck how YOU live. Anyone who asks about our life will get the truth. Anyone with questions will perhaps get answers — so long as it's not idle curiosity masquerading as interest. What you do with the knowledge and experience I share here is your business and if it goes well, good for you! Otherwise, I'm not kidding — I DON'T CARE.
If I leave you with anything today, I'd like it to be this: that your life and the relationships in it will be what you decide they will be. Beyond the imperative to live honestly and with integrity, there are no rules. There's no right or wrong way to “do” polyamory. Nobody is an expert. NOBODY. And as our title today may indicate: anyone who claims to be shall be invited to a party up in my ass.
We do this because we can, and we do it as best we can. Does that mean I think it would work with anyone else, in any other relationship? Hell to the no. It's working for us because we've all tried to make sure it does. Under other circumstances, with other people, it could be wrong as hell.
For instance, L and A are essentially of monogamous nature. They've accepted a place in our lives despite that. In A's case, one deciding factor was that I made things simple for him. He didn't get poly. He hadn't really heard of it and he wasn't sure what to expect or what would be expected of him. He thought there might be obscure, freaky rules he wouldn't understand or even anticipate. My response: what do you want us to be? And off and running we were, talking about what kind of relationship we'd like and making it happen. Ta-daa, motherfucker.
You can do this, too. Dispense with blame, resentment and jealousy and decide what you'd like to accomplish when you and your partner/s sit down to talk. If you want to make any relationship work, whether it be poly or mono, learn to first articulate your needs. What the hell do you WANT? More sex? More foreplay, compliments, less joking, that he puts the fucking toilet seat down more often? Respect? Get it out there. Speak. Say it. As cliché as it sounds, honestly, integrity and communication are still the finest tools you have and what will build and maintain the foundation of all your relationships.