Walking home in the rain, blind drunk, sending defamatory text messages to an ex, and then discovering the absence of one’s keys might be considered a low point. I choose to view it as a turning point.
I behave myself for a month. No partying or sexual contact, coupled with yoga and meditation for thirty days straight, and I start getting antsy. Shall I get back in the game?
I don’t want to put all of my eggs in one basket. But how many baskets can I hold without dropping them all? My goal: to prove the doubters wrong by having multiple fun and fulfilling relationships simultaneously.
Yoga brings more than just balance to my life. After a year and a half of perving over the ripped, blonde-haired instructor at my studio, all it takes is finding him on Facebook to set the ball rolling. He asks me out for coffee. I’m hesitant. Will getting to know him destroy the fantasy?
We’re sitting on the floor of his apartment talking. Hanging plants, assorted crystals, posters of Hindu gods, swirling paintings of energy and auras in bright technicolour. We’ve just eaten a vegan meal and smoked a joint. He’s telling me that he can see energy radiating everywhere; he can actually see it vibrating between us.
Leaning back against the couch, I become aware of his fingertips brushing my elbow. He looks at me and tells me that he wants to kiss me. Any delusion of relationship potential has by now dissipated. But hey: he has the body of Adonis. Summer is a good time for lovers, no?
Fast forward about a week. I’m at a friend’s house for a barbecue. His roommate, who I met a month ago is sweet and smart and a sensational chef. I have been warned off, however. Apparently, I’m trouble and he has baggage. It doesn’t change the outcome. Immersed in conversation, I suddenly realise that everyone else has left and five hours have passed. I walk home grinning. The following occasion, I don’t walk home at all.
I’m back in the game. Finally content with being single in a healthy way (i.e. happiness can only be found within, although other people can certainly enhance my enjoyment of life), my decisions to date, have a good time, and avoid complication and commitment seem to be working out.
At a high-end restaurant, I am being indulged by another good friend, who happens to manage it. Wine, oysters, sushi, and other epicurean delights flow unceasingly. My glass magically maintains its level all evening. Friends pass through. More drinks are drunk. Deciding that biking intoxicated from at 3:00 a.m. is not only unappealing but inadvisable, I sleep over. What? He has a king-sized bed.
There are a few words to describe what I’m doing. I choose liberated, open-minded, curious. That said, I know others would frown upon it. Insert derogatory adjective here: ________. It’s a matter of perception now isn’t it?
To many people the concept that one can juggle and end up with joy rather than jealousy is both foreign and foolish. This is the principle that underlies polyamory, although I think most poly people would disagree with the term juggling. What I really mean is seeing, loving, enjoying multiple people at the same time. Well, not the same time necessarily. Although it could be …
Love isn’t a zero sum game. When a second child is born, a mother doesn’t love the first any less. When you make a new friend, you don’t have to drop an existing one. Just because you are sleeping with someone doesn’t mean you will stop being turned on by other people. And you don’t love someone less if you make love to someone else. Sometimes it has nothing to do with them at all. Sometimes it’s a matter of chemistry.
In a society where divorce and adultery reign supreme, it’s becoming blatantly evident that monogamy is a social construct that might make sense if you’re a strict Catholic, but for a lot of us condom-using city folks it doesn’t really fit.
How to navigate the road of open relationships? Honesty, honesty, honesty.
Honestly, think about it. People get upset about cheating because of betrayal. That’s why it’s called cheating. However, if you’re honest and open with your partners, then jealously needn’t exist and you’re not doing anything wrong. Jealousy is an emotion, like any other, and can be overcome easily if you see it for what it really is. Why is it that rage and anger are supposed to be controlled, but jealousy is allowed to run rampant?
Other people don’t make you jealous. You make you jealous. If you take responsibility for your emotions and just take them as they come, feelings of jealously simply can’t overwhelm you.
We all have boundaries. We all have bad days. Sometimes you just want your sweetheart all to yourself. Once again, open lines of communication can avoid potential upsets.
I’m not saying this is a sure-fire recipe for polyamorous pleasure. I know there are people out there who have no desire to be involved with more than one person at a time. But what I am saying is that if you are playing the dating game, how about trying to play the honesty card and seeing where it can get you. Lies are for losers anyhow.