It just occurred to me that it's only the Lancastrians on my flist who know what meme's going around, so before I begin..."Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it."
Polyamory and your changing relationship with it.
Sooo... yeah. For those of you who don't know, I've been in a polyamorous relationship for coming up on a year now and dabbling on the fringes for about a year before that.
This has definitely changed my belief that I could never cope with being poly.
I encountered polyamory as a concept through open relationships first; like many, my initial response was "No, hang on, that's cheating" until someone pointed out that everyone had agreed to this going in, whereupon (I would've been fourteen when the idea was first floated past me) it turned into "OK cheating" like using a godmode code when you weren't deathmatching.
I'd be a lot older before I encountered polyamory in the flesh, so to speak. By then I was aware that it was more than just open relationships, but I was convinced it was Not For Me. I had a lot of Rules about relationships in my head at that time - rules I didn't expect others to follow, but that I would follow, and thus that dictated some of my relationships and some of my relationship fuckups. One of those Rules led to a lament on LJ a while back - around the time we were writing letters to ourselves at 15 or 16. Blue jeans. Yeah. That one was my own fault - the degree to which I only realised much later.
(I still have one Rule of relationships; never fuck two up the same way. At the very least, learn from each mistake. But that's tangential.)
Most of my Rules were stupid, by the by. But then I've always maintained my younger selves deserve a slap.
I encountered a few people who were poly, and a lot more who gave it a try and had it fail. I boggled faintly at the former and sympathised with the latter, and privately reached the conclusion that it wasn't for me; that I'd never get a hold on my jealousy, or my pride. That I'd take it as a contest, and lose, and things would explode. I got to uni.
I took a number of baths and a degree in English.
I took a lot of opportunities and missed others. I saw some folks put down poly roots, and it worked for them. I put down monogamous roots, and somewhere along the way that stopped working. I can point at where and when, at least roughly, but that's completely tangential to this, and dragging two names through the mud and I've only the right to drag my own.
I got called out for referring to a poly woman's partner as her other half.
And I more or less rolled with it; it was working for that lot, and working for that lot, and sort of working for that lot, and oh god no for that lot. But it'd never work for me, so good for the folks it worked for and bummer for the folks who tried and it didn't, and... well.
Besides, I had other stuff on my plate. Among other things I was abruptly nursing a crush on a lesbian. Clearly this was never going to work.
Circumstances conspired. They have a way of doing that; you can't trust the shifty buggers. And I say that while still a vocal believer in, not reading
synchronicity as a signal, but in making
The lesbian got engaged. They made a cute couple.
By now I was starting to weigh up the possibility of poly for other, unrelated reasons. Life rolls on, after all. It was becoming something I was slowly beginning to feel could work for me. But I wasn't sure.
I had some very stange conversations over MSN with the lesbian's fiancee. This in and of itself was not new; this in and of itself has not stopped. She's good people. But the subject matter was, for a time, different.
The lesbian came over to watch a movie. Grosse Point Blank remains an excellent film. We kissed. I spent the rest of that evening panicking. Clearly I had just driven a friendship right off a cliff, and Lieutenant Columbo was going to ask me a lot of probing questions.
They still make a cute couple, but as nexus points of a polycule. And sometimes, when circumstances conspire, what appeared daunting can feel natural, can feel easy.
And really, that's the core of how my thinking's changed; my perspective on how all this relates to me. All the rules of not fucking up are still there. There are some others, too, sure. Mind you, this year my uncle's engagement fell through. My sister and her long-term partner are splitting up.
When it comes down to it, a relationship that works has always been and will always be about finding a combination of people which hangs together. So far, so good.
I'm... not looking
for anyone else, right now. It's still a little odd to reflect that that's an option. But I'm happy with things the way they are; someone else may become part of that. We'll see.