A Second Coming Out - Eros United

I have a boyfriend.  I am also dating another man.   Both know of each other and get along, but are not dating each other.  I am a polyamorous man, but I have not always been so.  For sixteen years I was in a monogamous relationship.  Eight of those years we did not engage in relations.  I was working as a massage therapist, and I developed a friendship with one of my clients.  Over time, we became good friends and with it both of us became aware there were more feelings involved.  When he professed his love for me, I was shocked because I had come to love him too.  But I also loved the person I was with.  Because I believed the culture's teachings that one person for all your life will make you "happy ever after" I ended the friendship with this man, breaking his heart in the process.

 Fast forward to years later, after my partner had passed away.  I began dating a guy and his husband.  Honestly I entered it having feelings for one of the men...but over time the three of us grew to love each other.  What I did not understand then, as I really knew nothing of polyamory is that it is okay to love more than one person, that you may love them differently.  The two men were different as different could be.  One was more serious and organized, and we would often get up in the morning and drink coffee and enjoy deep conversations on life.   The other was more playful and spontaneous and provided an outlet to my playful and spontaneous side.

You see I believed I would meet one person who fill all my diverse personality needs, and I would meet theirs.  I believed I would find prince charming and they would be perfect.  We would live in bliss for the rest of my life.  That is what the cartoons and movies say anyway.  So in dating, I would leave people if they only had aspects of what I wanted in a person.  I wanted the whole package.  But like Prince Charming, he does not exist as a single person.  What if Prince Charming is several people?

The first triad I was in was closed, in that there were three of us, in love with each other, but we practiced polyfidelity in that we did not seek other romantic nor sexual relationships outside of the triad.  Sadly none of us really knew what we were doing, as I had not even heard of polyamory prior to us, and was utterly uneducated.  Communication was not happening about feelings, jealousy, and feeling inadequate and things fell apart.  Yet it was that first poly relationship that had me considering, how it could be.

I would try dating another triad, and together we read the poly friendly book The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.  We worked on communication, but as it was dating, I realized we were not compatible and moved on.

Since then I have been on numerous dates, never finding anyone who was my Prince Charming...but I began to read more and more on polyamory, plural love and such.  I listened to podcasts such as PolyWeekly and Dan Savage's Savage Love.  And it all came together for me.  I could create my own relationship.  I did not have to subscribe to the societal fairy tale "the one partner for life till death do you part" if I did not want to.   I met a guy who while we dated wanted us to have an open relationship.  It did not dimish our growing feelings for each other, but rather kept either of us from feeling trapped.  We both noticed we lost a lot of our neroticism and neediness that had suffocated us in previous relationships.  We did not have to spend every minute together.  He is open to poly, but is not wanting to rush into one relationship much less add more.  However, he allowed me to.  So I began dating another man who is poly .  They know of each other and so far with no issues of awkwardness or jealousy.  The second fella does not live in the same town, but will be down soon, so it will be interesting to see how this goes.  For me, this feels like a coming home, much like when I made peace with myself being a gay man.  Perhaps it is an orientation of sorts, or perhaps it simply fits my personality type.  I can love more than one person.  I can enjoy the time with them, and each relationship is different.  I never in a million years would have guessed I would be here, if you had asked me five years ago, and yet here I am, and I have never been happier.

Comments

  1. My husband and I have slipped from open to closed to poly as we see fit and it has certainly worked for us, we've been together for twenty years. Finding yourself is a wonderful, extremely liberating experience.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing Joshua. I was having this discussion with one of the men that I am dating yesterday whether poly is an orientation or a choice. My personal slant is that it depends on the person. For me, it fits everything I am. It is like a coming home and as soon as I heard of it, it felt so natural. Much like coming out as a gay man.

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