For those of you who know Ben and I, you know that we are now engaged. For readers who don’t know me as well, Ben asked me to marry him a week ago and I said yes. A few people have asked me recently, what is the significance of marriage in the context of a polyamorous relationship? I have mixed feelings about the subject of marriage. I have almost never wanted to be someone’s “wife” because of the connotations associated with the term. I am not someone’s property and I don’t have a strong desire to be a mother. However, I love a good wedding. Back in 2010, I went to a wedding with my ex. The groom was my ex’s cousin and I had only met him once. I was honoured that my name was actually on the invitation. The wedding was performed by the groom’s grandfather and he did an excellent job. It was short, nonreligious, and very meaningful. The bridesmaids were from various countries; it was a true Toronto wedding. I couldn’t help but cry.
A wedding is a great way to showcase your love for each other and that’s exactly how Ben and I feel. We want to get up in front of our family and friends and show them how much we care about each other and how much we plan to keep caring; that’s the part that I like. I have a friend who wants to marry us; she is a drama teacher and a poet, so I think she will do a wonderful job. Since she doesn’t have the legal credentials to marry us, we will go to City Hall and have a small ceremony there as well. It feels very surreal to be planning this wedding but also very natural. About a month after Ben and I started dating, I told him that I would probably say yes if he asked me to marry him. Over the last few months, we have kept talking about it and as Ben said, we were quasi-engaged. Then, last week, I decided to give Ben his birthday present early (his birthday is today, actually). I gave him a notebook with which to write a poem to his dad, as he has expressed wanting to do. In the notebook, I included a letter to him and I wrote in all of the poems that I have written to/about him and us. He teared up and then got down in front of me and asked me to marry him and I said yes.
So, what does marriage mean in the context of polyamory? Obviously, we will continue seeing other people. Neither one of us has a serious relationship but we would like that in the future. I have the fantasy of a triad wedding; obviously, this isn’t legal right now, but I’m curious about what would happen if we went to a judge and said, we want to get married. However, given that Ben and I both want different things from another partner, a triad most likely won’t happen. I would like to be with someone who’s a bit more artsy and he wants with someone more science-y. Unless we find some kind of super person, the triad will not coalesce and that’s fine with us. One thing that does worry me is that anyone else we get involved with will never be able to be married to us later if we do want that option. I really don’t like excluding people but at the same time, I want to marry Ben. One has to be vigilant that any other relationships aren’t given the short end of the stick… I am certainly not a fan of hierarchy and I think all relationships bring something to the table. Being able to recognize and celebrate that is what makes us polyamorous.
As a side note, I’m off to Denver on Friday for a polyamory conference. I’m facilitating a discussion about how people meet in the context of poly. For details, check out the website: http://www.lovemore.com/conferences/polyliving/pl-denver-2014/ Hope to see you there!
If you have any questions about any kind of relationship, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org