AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Metamours, Metaproblems?

There’s been a bit of discussion on this blog recently about metamours and I thought I would give my 2 cents about it. A metamour is your partner’s partner. You may have some sort of connection to them or not. In many cases, metamours are not involved romantically. I feel fairly lucky in my experiences with metamours. I used to be involved with someone who was married. The spouse had a partner who was also married. The 5 of us hung out from time to time, had dinner parties, exchanged messages, etc. The fact that the line of communication was open made everything much easier. If we ever had problems or concerns, we could talk about it. I remember the first time I met all of them. I was very nervous, which is uncharacteristic of me. We went out to dinner and we sat in the back of the restaurant next to a couple. We talked a lot about sex, poly, relationships, etc. I think we scarred the couple pretty badly. Then, I asked the partner of my partner’s spouse if he was into guys at the exact moment that our male waitor walked in. We all laughed very hard. That’s not something I’ll easily forget. Recently, someone I’m involved with starting going out with someone who I know. I asked my partner if I could have her phone number. We ended up talking for almost 2 hours on the phone and made plans to have dinner. I told him that if the 2 of them for some reason broke up, I’d be upset because I think she’s a great person. This is another complicating factor in poly- it is possible to miss your partner’s partners if the relationship ends. One thing I really appreciate is that when that partner and I talk about our relationships with other people, we feel closer. If we need to bounce ideas off each other about ways to improve relationships, we can. The first rule of poly- communicate, communicate, communicate. I also had dinner recently with someone else I’m involved with and his wife. I didn’t expect that I would feel attracted to his wife, but I did. She seems interested as well. This could make for exciting times…

In other news, OkCupid is beginning to bear fruit. I had a first date last weekend with someone from there and we had an awesome time. It was one of the best first dates I’ve had in awhile. We’re seeing each other tonight. So, what makes a good first date? Easy conversation, feeling comfortable with each other, good food never hurts- we had all of those. According to OkCupid, we’re a 91% match. No wonder…

As always, feel free to email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca All questions are anonymous.

That Green Eyed Demon

Question: One of my partners says that they never feel jealous of me but they do feel jealous of people that they barely know. Sometimes this bothers me because I wonder why they would feel jealous of somebody they just met, and not me. I’m not sure what to make of it. I’m not sure whether they’re just not admitting that they’re jealous of me or whether they think that I’m not going to attract anybody else. Thoughts?

Answer: Over and over again, I hear something among poly friends. It’s very easy to feel jealous of new relationships and partners. If you have been with someone for awhile, it can be easy to lust for that period known as NRE, new relationship energy. At that time, everything is exciting. When you know someone well, the mystery goes away. Also, we are programmed to think that when our partner meets someone new, they might leave us, which of course is not true in the context of poly. A wise friend said to me that dealing with jealousy takes self-confidence and communication. I would recommend talking to your partner and asking them why they feel this way. I’m intrigued by what you said about whether they think that you’re not going to attract anybody else. I think this merits some discussion. I like to think of relationships as universes unto themselves. The people in the relationship contribute to it and get out of it what they want. Other people cannot really affect that universe so much. There are always debates about whether jealousy is innate or learned. If your partner can get to the bottom of why they’re feeling that way, they’ll be able to solve many problems. Thanks for your question! If anyone else has a question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca. All questions are anonymous. 

Forever and Ever?

In this day and age, what does forever mean? I recently had a date with someone who had thought that I didn’t want to get married. I told him I wasn’t against the idea. As the child of divorced parents, there is a part of me that’s skeptical of marriage. I would definitely have some sort of celebration if I decided I was going to be with someone for the rest of my life, but I don’t think that marriage is necessary. The word ‘wife’ slightly turns my stomach. I like the word ‘partner’ because it entails equality. I like knowing that both people, or perhaps more in the case of poly, will share responsibilities in a way that suits all parties. There is some social recognition of marriage and pressure to get married. Families like being invited to weddings and many want to have a say in different elements of the wedding- the guest list, food, flowers, etc. However, this can go too far… There’s also a part of me that doesn’t want to get married precisely because it is the social norm. If I wanted to be “normal,” I would have been monogamous. My life has always been different in some way and I expect that to continue for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, it’s also nice to pledge that you’ll be committed to someone for the rest of your life. Currently I’m searching for some kind of primary partner. The recent date could be one and I’ll be meeting more this and next week. OKCupid has delivered several interesting and interested people. I normally do much better when I first meet people in person so I’m intrigued to see how this batch of people works out. 

I recently went on a trip to Montreal and saw my grandparents. I’m very close to my dad’s mom. I attempted to explain polyamory to her. I told her that I was seeing someone and both of us were seeing other people. She seemed to be okay with the idea, however she did ask what would happen if we got married. I told her that it might be possible to continue seeing each other, but this didn’t seem to compute. I feel lucky that I can at least talk to her about these sorts of things. On that side of the family, there are a few gay people and she’s completely fine with it. How nice would it be if more grandparents were like that… Thankfully, in our generation, homosexuality is accepted by a majority of people. Perhaps poly is the new gay, as we have to explain ourselves to more and more people…

Reflections

Yesterday I turned 30. 29 and the latter part of 28 were pretty tumultuous for me and I have to admit I’m kind of happy to be turning a new page. That said, I went through a tremendous amount of growth. I’m very thankful to the people in my life who allowed this to happen. Polyamory has also played a part in that. Having the opportunity to be with many different people allows you to learn a lot about yourself. I’m grateful for that. I’ve definitely felt a boost in my confidence.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about something surprising- polyamory and laws of economics. I’m not a huge fan of economics, especially as an environmentalist. However, I find myself thinking about laws of abundance and scarcity. If you surround yourself with relationships, do you value them more or less? If you have many relationships, do you put them at the centre of your life or not? It’s wonderful when you feel supported by your partners to try new things, take on a new job, etc, but the question is, how motivated do you feel to actually do those new things, especially if you want to spend time with your partners. I met someone awhile ago who said that she had 4 partners and no hobbies. I could never lead a life in that way- I write poetry, this blog, love dancing, cycling, playing ultimate frisbee, etc. Those things make me who I am. I’ve been interested in learning guitar for many years. I started playing last fall and then when I started dating a partner, I found myself not playing the guitar. Someone joked with me that it was ok because I was having sex. That partner and I recently broke up and I ask myself if I want to pick up the guitar again. I’ve recently written a couple of songs and it would be very nice if I could play guitar (or perhaps another instrument) along with it. That being said, I’m not exactly sure where my guitar is… As I’ve written before, it’s important to have enough time for yourself. If you have goals in life, don’t forget about them because you’re in several relationships.

I look forward to whatever 30 brings. I think it will be an interesting year. 

 

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