Kasi’s Poly Realities

13 Nov

Hello, everybody. Kasi here. In light of Reggie’s very thought-provoking post last week, I thought I’d do my own version of “what people ask the most about poly.”

Of course, the first question people usually have is “How do you deal with jealousy?” And yes, jealousy is probably the number one thing you have to handle in this kind of lifestyle. I consider myself lucky that I’ve been on both sides of the equation: the recent addition with the New Relationship Energy, and the older, more established partner with a history.

Both of those positions are rife for jealousy–experiencing it and causing it. As the new person, you look at existing relationships and envy the long history, shared stories and interests, and private jokes. You feel like the least important person in the family, since you haven’t been involved with everything the family’s been doing. You wonder if you’ll ever have as strong a connection as the people who’ve been together for a long time.

On the other hand, when a new person enters the family, there is a definite New Relationship Energy (NRE) and a strong physical attraction. (If there wasn’t, why bring them in?) So the existing partner starts to mourn the fact that their partner doesn’t seem as “into” them as they were before. They used to be the “special” one, and now someone else has stolen that spot from them.

Of course, both of these things are just thoughts, and they’re a manifestation of the biggest mistakes that you can make in poly: comparing relationships.

One of the most important things (I think) that you can learn in this life is that just because you think something, that doesn’t make it true. You can’t allow yourself to get caught up in the thought “He loves her more than me.” It (or something similar) will occur on a regular basis, and if you don’t learn to just let those thoughts drift on by, you’ll end up getting trapped inside them, and then everything will start to look like evidence to support it.

The main premise of polyamory is that it’s possible to love more than one person. If you accept that, then you’ve got to allow for the fact that just because your partner loves someone else, that doesn’t mean they love you less than they used to. It’s easy to start looking for signs that you are being replaced, that you’re not important anymore because there’s someone new. That will just send you into a vicious circle. Once you start looking for the bad things in life, that’s all you’re going to see.

But the truth is that if your partner loves you, that’s not going to change if they get a new partner (any more than you quit loving the first child when the second one is born). You both still have to work on your relationship, find what’s special about it and cultivate that, while allowing the other relationships to have their own special things. And you also have to take responsibility for your own reactions. If things have to be perfect for you to be happy, you will never get there, because things are never going to be perfect.



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