Written in response to the monthly theme on Poly Means Many: Types of Nonmonogamy
I’m not big on definitions and labels, and as I’m still new to the concept of non-monogamy itself (he said, neatly avoiding having to label my own relationship type for the moment) all of the terminology around this lifestyle is something that I’m still getting my head around.
However, whilst my preference is to try and avoid applying labels I understand that they help communicate the construct, status, or hierarchy of a relationship to other people. Mind you that presumes that anyone that I’m discussing my relationships with knows what each specific label means and, for the most part, that isn’t the case. So I find myself trying to come up with a workable, easily understood, description.
I’m trying to take a wider (higher level?) view which allows me not to have to define specifics nor worry about which box I fit in, or which label applies.
The facts of my current relationships are thus; I have two girlfriends, both of with I have amorous feelings towards. They have their own (non-romantic) relationship with each other, and one of them has another boyfriend.
The boundaries of each individual relationship are understood but as yet are not completely rigid. We all understand that these things may change over time, that life is not static and the emotions may change over time. I am steering away from such terms as primary and secondary, as I’m not sure they apply (other than in terms of time spent with one partner or another) and may cause more harm than good.
Of course, at present we still have the benefit of all of this being ‘new’ to us all. That fact drives a lot of the discussions, revelations and agreements, so it’s safe to say that our relationships are still evolving.
Fundamentally, I believe I am capable of loving more than one person at a time, and that my feelings for one partner don’t diminish my feelings for another (oddly it seems to enhance them instead, still trying to figure that out).
When my initial partner and I originally discussed trying an open relationship, we realised we were definitely aware of the idea of polyamory, of loving two (or more) people and if that’s where the new relationships ended up then we would figure things out when the time came. If the relationships didn’t pan out that way then we’d simply be in a different situation emotionally, but still have to talk, understand and agree boundaries with respect to that form of non-monogamy.
In short: I am an ethical non-monogamist and at present I have two loving relationships.