Friday, November 11, 2011

The shape of poly

When I first started exploring poly, my relationships consisted of my partner, myself, and another female. In my mind that was the only combination--it wasn't that I was closed to others, I just was so busy looking at my life, and my situation, that I didn't really think about other possibilities. To me, this triangle was poly.

At that time my poly community was also pretty small, so there weren't a whole lot of different relationship structures from which I could learn. Every poly relationship I knew was the man with his two women, and in all of those relationships it seemed as if the women were also involved to some degree, though their main relationship was always with the man. It was somewhat like a triangle with two solid sides and one dotted line between the women.

It wasn't until my last relationship that I started really looking at the all of the many, many varieties of poly that are out there. In that relationship it was myself, my partner, and his other girlfriend, but she and I had no real emotional or sexual connection—so now instead of a triangle I had a V. I didn't go into that relationship expecting a triangle (hell, I barely went into it expecting a relationship), but when she and I did meet I had to do some mental adjusting when I realized that for the first time I would not be involved sexually with my partner's other partner. It was a quick adjustment, however, and I was happy being one of the points on his V, though I knew that at some point it would not be enough.

Now I am in an entirely different poly situation and I must do some more adjusting. I find myself once again in a triangle, but in this relationship I am the girlfriend to an engaged couple. It started as a connection with him, but now I am as equally her girlfriend as I am his, so I am not entirely sure what this triangle looks like--a solid line between the two of them, certainly, and maybe lighter solid lines between me and both of them. 

This has really gotten me thinking about what poly is to me, and how I want it to manifest in my life. I realize that what I want is a combination of all of these relationships. I know that a closed triangle is not what I want, and I don't just want to be a point on a V with no other relationships, but beyond that I am open. I don't have a perfect poly family type in mind, but my poly family is growing and I don't want to put limits on that growth. All I know at this point is that I want to share love, and energy, and sex, and life with people who make me happy, regardless of what shape the relationships eventually take.

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