AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Life and Love Lessons Learned

I have a particular fondness for looking back, especially when it comes to the various poly experiences I’ve had. The other day, I put on a dress that I wore on a particularly important night. Less than 2 months after I ended the 8.5 year relationship back in 2012, I had a very good threesome with a couple I met through Craigslist. I had recently bought that dress and wondered if it was too dressy to wear to meet that couple for drinks. One of my roommates at the time told me it was fine, so I wore that and met the couple. We had a really good time together and 2 days later, I went to their home and had the threesome. They taught me a lot about inclusiveness. I felt that during the threesome, everyone was involved at some point or another and it felt great. I think that was a great way to begin my non-monogamous life.

Unfortunately, I never saw that couple again, but they definitely taught me a lesson. Poly is really about inclusivity. Sometimes Ben and I get comments that we look so cute together that people just want to leave us alone. At the end of last week, we attended a competition for some of our students. Until 2 weeks ago, we had taught a speaking class to graduate students and for their final project, they had to put on a play. One of our co-teachers thought that we should have a competition for the best groups, so Ben and I chose the best groups from our classes. Ben’s group ended up winning first place and mine won third, so we were very proud. We asked the students if they wanted to have dinner with us after the competition and they told us that they wanted to leave us alone because we looked so sweet. Unknowingly I said to them, we like being with other people. We did go out to dinner and had a great time and I’m certain they didn’t understand the full meaning of what I said.

I think that poly can teach us a lot about life in general. We should never exclude people just because they aren’t our partner. Every person plays an important role in our lives and I think poly celebrates that. It can also teach us what we want and don’t want out of relationships. When a person has more than 1 relationship, I think it’s important to think about what we expect. We have to articulate our needs in a clear way to our partner(s). Poly has also really helped me to say no. I was never good at that before I became poly; I always wanted to please people and sometimes I didn’t really know what I wanted. There are times when I’m comfortable saying yes to the unknown. I like testing my limits and as Eve likes to say, I like new experiences. However, in situations where I don’t feel comfortable, I feel much better now saying no. That being said, there are times when we have to say yes to things we don’t always like. Sometimes Ben has stayed up late talking to Eve and I sacrifice some sleep. Sometimes, Eve is upset that Ben and I are doing something that she can’t be involved in. Relationships always involve these sorts of things. In poly, we need to look out for each other and sometimes that can mean that our needs don’t come first. In an optimal situation, people have other partners and friends that can help them out when something is really important.

People have asked me if I would ever go back to being monogamous. The answer is always a big no. Why would I give up having lots of romantic love in my life, even when it can be complicated? Yes, bad things can happen because of poly, but bad things happen in any sort of relationship. Poly can be an emotional challenge, but it can also help us grow. It has also helped me question and challenge society in the best way possible: with lots of love.

Thanks for reading. My email address is miriam@askmiriam.ca if you have any relationship queries.

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