AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Words on Journeys, Appreciation, and Confidence

Many people have described polyamory to me as a journey. I remember feeling that way when I first started attempting to practice it. It felt like I was setting out into the unknown and my only companion was knowledge; I knew I wanted to have the opportunity to have relationships with multiple people. Polyamory itself has also accompanied me on many journeys such as my month long train trip in the US last year. I went to conferences, talked to people about poly, talked to poly people about their identity, etc. Last week, Patrick, a fellow poly blogger (itsnotaboutthesex.wordpress.com) made a very long journey to see me. A month and a half before or so, we had a skype conversation where he said he wanted to visit me for his 40th birthday. I was taken aback by his decision, but definitely excited. We started corresponding at the end of November through Twitter, then through long emails, and then on skype. Over that time, we became more familiar to each other and the excitement about each other grew. There was some disappointment this weekend, but overall, we had a good time. Patrick was enthralled by Toronto and how open and accepting we are. We went to a few areas of the city, had some great food, and talked a lot. We visited a sex club and watched each other be sexual with others. I actually met someone who I’m going to see again; recently I feel like I have only met people at that sex club who live out of town, so I was happy to meet someone who actually lives in Toronto. I was also glad to see Patrick step out of his comfort zone and eventually feel comfortable being naked in front of others. On Sunday, we decided that we would only be friends, but he is still quite interested in living here and I don’t blame him. Toronto affords so many opportunities when you are poly. As I wrote above, we are very open and accepting, we have sex clubs, etc. It is so nice to be reminded of how good we have it here. Occasionally I forget…

I also wanted to discuss appreciation within poly relationships. Many monogamous people think that if you are poly, it shows that your relationship is faulty; you have to seek things with other people because you are not happy with what you have. This could not be further from the truth. I have observed that poly makes good relationships stronger. This is exactly how I feel right now about Ben and I. Since we are confident in what we have, we are able to have relationships with others. We don’t take each other for granted and we always communicate what is going on, which takes all the jealousy away and we actually get turned on when we talk to each other about what we’ve done with others. We also appreciate each other more because of the variety. For example, we often think the same thing at the same time, and that rarely happens in many relationships. Conversely, poly makes weaker relationships worse. Poly  often brings things to the surface that would cause a breakup in that relationship if they do not get addressed. So, if you are already in a relationship and you want to open things up, make sure you aren’t doing it because something in the relationship is off. There are times when something IS missing like rougher sex, for example, but poly can be a genuine solution to that. There are lots of poly BDSM folks out there.

One last thing- I have been thinking a lot recently about confidence. Personally, I don’t think I could do poly if I wasn’t a confident person. As I said before, jealousy often arises because of insecurities. I know that I’m not a perfect person and there are things about myself I want to improve, but overall, I’m happy with the person I am. In our culture, women are not supposed to be confident and when we show it, it can be threatening. We also aren’t supposed to accept compliments and I do. I often take things literally, so when people compliment me, I feel that they are being genuine. Perhaps they are lying to me, but if they were, why say a nice thing? They could just say nothing at all. I think many people are hard on themselves, but personally, I feel that life is too short for that. You have to work with what you have.

If you have a question or a comment, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca Stay tuned for more blogs!

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