Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts can be found at polymeansmany.com
What is happening with them? Are they having fun?
Why am I home alone? What’s the point of having more than one partner if I’m still alone?
Are they having a better time than we do? Is he more fun? Is she more entertaining?
A lot of the thoughts and emotions I have around polyamory are still being filed under ‘new stuff’. I do spend a fair amount of my free time wondering: What are this?
However, this area seems to have caught me out a little bit. It’s definitely new for me, as I’m typically quite happy with my own company, to feel a little lonely at times. I guess I just hadn’t really considered how different it was to be alone when none of your partners are free.
It’s an odd thing, and not something I experienced in any of my monogamous relationships. Back then, if I wasn’t with my partner, then I knew where they were and roughly what they were doing. The sense of being alone wasn’t really the same as I knew it wasn’t because my partner was choosing NOT to be with me. It’s a subtle point I think, but an important distinction.
In polyamorous relationships choices have to be made. I can’t be in two places at once and neither can my partners so there is an element of having to choose who not to be with on a given night. Of course the aim is to find a balance and make sure everyone is happy with the amount of time they spend with each of their partners but it’s easy to see how, sometimes, someone might feel like they are second best (I realise this is very much down to your own dynamics and what agreements you may have between partners, I can only speak for myself and that I’m very keen to make sure both of my partners know they have the same voice and value in our relationships).
Regardless, there are nights when I know both my partners are choosing not to be with me. It’s not done negatively, it’s a fact of life, but it still happens and even though I understand why, logically, there is still something there that feeds the irrational brain.
Once you get past that, and I’m never convinced those thoughts fully dissipate, I’ve found I start to wonder what they are doing and, ultimately, whilst I am sat home alone, what am I missing?
The fear of missing out is not unique to poly/open relationships but if anything, for those in our set of relationships, it does seem to be heightened as the fear is built upon knowledge of the choice your partners have made.
The wondering, the comparisons start. Curiosity follows, and you wonder how much you think you want to know versus how much you actually should know about what they may, or may not, be doing.
I’m lucky that, for me, it doesn’t seem to strike me too hard or too often. I know for my partners it’s had an effect on them in the past, and may well again in the future. Thankfully we are all fundamentally happy and committed to making things work, we’ve all been honest and that should keep these fears at bay.
The thing is whilst you may be missing out on one night, or one event, if you are in more than one relationship, the inverse can also be true. Having two partners means I’m experiencing things differently than I would with one partner, enjoying a different point of view of a shared experience or the opportunity to attend events with someone who shares a passion.
The hope is that the time spent together at those times helps keep any irrational thoughts or fears at bay should they arrive during those nights when you are alone.