Welcome back, World! This week’s More Than Two question is “How important is my desire for multiple romantic relationships?” That’s a complicated question because it is both very important and not important at all.
I am not the type of person who actively goes looking for more than one relationship at a time. It’s just not my style. Looking for it, actively seeking it out, to me sends the message to my current partners that they are not good enough for me. I would never do that. So, in that regard, it isn’t important at all.
I am, however, the type of person who abhors lying to myself and my partners about my attraction to and feelings for other people that I have connected with. I want to experience my life fully and openly with the freedom to pursue connections as they develop organically. I don’t want to lie or hide them, and I don’t want to spend my life feeling guilty, or like I’m a bad person, for how I am wired. This makes it very important.
But let’s put it under the microscope, shall we?
Through The Monogamy Lens
I can be happily monogamous with just one person if we are compatible enough to do that. It’s not that hard for me. However, my partners tend to feel uncomfortable with that level of my attention; all the love, all the devotion, all the need in me gets concentrated on that one person. It can be difficult to handle when you are not used to a partner whose sex drive is probably just as high as Mount Everest with touch as a primary love language. It is quite common for me to hear “you’re just too much” from a monogamous partner.
Take my current circumstances as an example:
I have my live-in partner, Danny. He’s not a touchy-feely kind of guy, and he’s new to the world of BDSM. I love him dearly because I know his heart, and he is good at being a hands-off Daddy Dom, but with an experienced submissive who happens to be a little who literally needs to be touched — in some way — every day, this would not be a good monogamous match.
I also have Drake, a switch who is a very good Daddy Dom and probably qualifies as my best friend, but he lives 300 miles away. Drake also has the need to submit. Y’all, I get zero joy from dominating anyone. So, I still don’t get that touch I need, and my partner is not getting something he needs to be happy. Still not a good match for monogamy.
Now, add in social situations such as the play parties that Danny and I attend. He isn’t comfortable with playing in a public setting just yet, so I don’t get to play much — if at all — with him. There is a member of the group, though, that I find myself drawn to who I might like to scene with at some point in time. In a monogamous relationship, this could be taken as intent to cheat, a betrayal of my unspoken vow to only be interested in activities with my current partner. No offense to the monogamous side of the coin, but that just doesn’t work for me.
In all those scenarios I wind up miserable, and my partners wind up miserable. It’s just not something I feel is healthy for any of us.
Through the Polyamory Lens
With polyamory, I can have my live-in partner without forcing him to conform to what I need and still enjoy who he is and what we bring to each other. He doesn’t have to hug me or hold me all the time when he would rather not be touched. He doesn’t have to try to rush his own learning process when it comes to BDSM just to suit my urge to submit. He can take his time and enjoy who I am, knowing my needs will be met.
I can have Drake and revel in my littleness with him, knowing he will care for me to the best of his ability. He doesn’t have to stifle his submissive side simply because I have no dominant side. In fact, he can actively seek out someone who will enjoy dominating him without having to fear repercussions from me. Again, we can love each other and still have the freedom to be ourselves.
I am also free to follow my attraction to a new person if I feel the need. I can have unmet needs satisfied and enjoy the wonder that is inherent in new relationships without worrying that my connection to a new person is going to cause harm to my current relationships.
Yes, there is still a need for discussion and consent; there will always be a need to have that respect given. For most who practice polyamory it would be tantamount to cheating to overlook those precursors. They do not, however, signal a coming battle or break-up. They are the clear and honest expressions of what we want and need, how we are growing and evolving. Everyone has the freedom to be their authentic selves, to have all of their needs met, without sacrificing what makes them who they are.
With polyamory, we can spread our needs out among two or more partners. That isn’t to say that I see potential partners as need-meeting machines. I don’t. I am not one to engage with any person that I do not feel connected to on some level. However, it is nice to know that I don’t have to fit precisely into anyone else’s box — and they don’t have to fit into mine — in order for us to enjoy one another.
At the End of the Day…
My desire for multiple relationships is more like a desire to be my true self. I am able to commit myself to being held accountable to and caring for more than one person. I do not go seeking multiple relationships, but I do not like stifling a new connection simply because I have a pre-existing connection to another person.
There are too many people on this planet for there to be one true way to do anything, including relationships. Not everyone can be monogamous, nor can we all be polyamorous. There are some people who don’t consider themselves to be either. It takes all kinds to make up this wonderful world of ours. How you manage your relationships is your personal choice.
Until next time, remember: This is your life; live it your way!