Jan 04

I didn’t learn how to be poly

When I was discovering this poly side of myself. Jarreg directed me to poly forums. Sometimes the best and the worst thing you can do is to find people experiencing the same thing as you. The stories, successes sprinkled among failures (cause let me tell you much “new poly” fails) become tiny rays of sunshine in a tragic world. Sometimes you are doomed. Sometimes this can work. Absolute roller coaster.

The worst part is that you try, and try, and try to find someone Just Like You.

It is a snipe hunt. Sisyphean. Relentless, in that the fruit of similarities are always dangled just outside your grasp.

“This couple has been together ten years just like us. Oh but he said he wanted more partners. I just want one.”

“This guy is mono like my husband. Oh but she just wants a tertiary. I want two primaries.”

“This person fits. Falls in love with someone else while in a long term relationship. Wants two primaries. Husband struggling but managing. Girlfriend is patient as well….Damn. That one’s not me either. They don’t want to live together.”

And the giant stone you”ve been laboring up inches at a time rolls back down the hill just before you hit the peak.

I say this not to dismiss the role or forums and support groups and thematic social circles. They have a role, and truthfully, poly forums did help me. I learned a lot of new terms. I learned some of the science behind attraction. i learned to recognize more and more of the woo behind attraction. I learned some communication skills.

I didn’t learn how to be poly.

It was what I was searching for. I wanted a Guidebook for Poly in the Lives of Willo, Jarreg, and Nissa. I wanted to know that the end of the book was going to be successful. I wanted certainty and I found none. I only found people with similar struggles, similar fears, and similar hopes.

Instead, I learned there is no right, one, or true way to be poly. Funny enough, you hear that mantra every few seconds in the forums. Veterans, for the most part, know it well. Like good-parents they advise with caveats certain only in their lack of certainty. Somehow, their warning gets ignored every.single.time.

Probably because most new poly folk like myself are looking for the same thing. They are looking for more than hope they aren’t freaks (that is easy enough to find). They are looking for more than how to organize dates with multiple people. They are looking for more than how to tell their kids about the girlfriend.

They, we, are hoping that our vision. Our image. The way we see our future is a possibility. We are looking for a ray of sunshine that tells us that poly isn’t a death sentence. That love, true and absolute love, is a possibility.

And no amount of poly stories will give us that. It is something we have to discover on our own.


  1. 1
    Curvaceous Dee

    I’m kinda glad there weren’t any poly forums about (that I knew of, anyhow) when I was discovering poly. Yes, I/we made some mistakes, but they were our mistakes and our progress. We talked to friends who knew us – some in real life and some on the internet – but it wasn’t a large community like it is today.

    I started the ‘Poly and Kinky’ community on FetLife when it was just getting going – which was useful and interesting and I was really pleased that a space like that could exist (I’ve passed the ownership and moderation along to others, now). But after a while you just kept getting the same questions and dramas and disasters and desires… and I wanted to focus on my own life and loves.

    Your post was really interesting. You’re right – ultimately you have to discover on your own.

    xx Dee

  2. 2

    On the subject of Poly, I have questions. LOTS of questions. I find myself on unsure footing.

    See, when my wife had her massive midlife crisis at 30 (It’s a long story), she divorced me. But after telling me she wanted a divorce, she told me what she really wanted was a Poly relationship. She seemed sincere, but what do I know? But her new beau, now husband, wouldn’t share. That was almost 4 years ago. In that time, our families have grown VERY close. His kids love me, and he loves my kids. We spend time together, and do and care for each other. She’s still my best friend. They’re talking about moving closer to Chattanooga, to be closer to his job and hers (If she gets the job she’s after), and there was never a question of me moving with them. Their 1 1/2 year old toddler calls me Daddy. (To be fair, he calls every adult in his life “Daddy”, so…) And when we move, she wants us to either rent one large place big enough for all of us, or rent two places side by side, until we can all buy a large tract of land we can build a home with a built in place for me.

    In short, we pretty much have a Poly relationship going, or in it’s infancy, except she and I have no physical relationship, mores the pity.

    I don’t know what she has in mind, and can’t seem to find the time to pin her down and ask. I don’t know what to call it or do about it, and frankly, it’s making me bonkers.

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