thoughts from “More Than Two”: it’s not just the “poly folk”

A quote from the author of More than Two,

“Make sure there are no monsters under your bed before you do it, because if there are any weak points in your relationship if there is anything you’re not sure about, if there are any little fears or insecurities you have polyamory will find them it will find all of them and it will push on all of them and it will highlight all of the flaws in your existing relationship, so make sure your own house is in order before you invite other people into it because you’re putting other people’s hearts on the line and you want to make sure you do that responsibly.” – Franklin Veaux, Loving Without Boundaries Podcast Part Two 18:42

I appreciate the quote.

It isn’t that I disapprove of the message.  It’s all well and good, but what about everyone else? I don’t believe this advice applies only to those considering a polyamorous relationship, only to those in a polyamorous relationship. Polyamory may be more likely to expose weak points, but a weak relationship is a weak relationship.

I mean, sure, in “traditional” relationships (monogamy not always being the norm) it can be easier to sweep problems under the rug. Easier to pretend everything is okay. But that doesn’t mean it is okay.  That we somehow deserve less if we are not wanting multiple romantic loves. How silly would that be?

We pretend, we lie to ourselves, and we think that’s enough.

So long as is remotely conceivable.  It’s insane the degree to which we can lie to ourselves.  My friend who convinced herself she wanted nothing but what her mother, sister, anyone but herself wanted for her for thirty years.  My ex meta, for God’s sake!  I didn’t truly understand just how deep denial ran until I saw my ex meta’s relationship with her own children disintegrate into, well, dust would be overly generous.  I want to scream at her every time she comes for the every other week pickup, Can’t you see?!? Don’t you see that you’re losing them??? These kids barely register when you come to get them. They don’t care that you are there. How does this not kill you???  But she seems fine.  Is that fine?  I don’t know.

I tell myself that’s good enough. I guess it is, for her. I guess that’s good enough for most marriages, most family relationships, most…people. Just as life is for my ex meta and her husband. My ex meta and her children. Who am I to judge or worry, if she is happy with what she’s got?

I read a story just the other day about a daughter who reminded me of my youngest munchkin. I throw on a fake smile, she says, Mom doesn’t notice it’s fake. I wonder, but, hey, maybe the daughter is right. Maybe her mother genuinely bought it.

But I don’t believe it. I think we can do better.

A million other indifferent couples keep up this pretense, this barely there (by my own standards) connection.  Isn’t that most relationships?, they think.  But I’ve read too many stories, observed too many relationships.  They aren’t really happy.  Certainly not when they find themselves confronted with the reality of what is actually possible.  Some become depressed.  Many become angry.  I don’t blame them; I’d be furious if I discovered I settled for such a fraction of what others were experiencing every day.

Perhaps most have less at stake than my ex meta, but that doesn’t mean they deserve less.

I want more, not only for my lovely polyminded friends, but for us all.

It’s great that people notice after they open up.  Of course we notice when our partner starts dating someone else. Suddenly there’s emotion with the other person. There’s passion with the other person. There’s sincerity with the other person. So now we start asking questions, start being honest with our own needs, wants, and boundaries. Start talking in ways we never did before.

And I want that clarity, that depth of connection, for everyone.  Not only those of us who happen to fall in love more than once, or even want to fall in love more than once.  I don’t care how many people they date; heck, I don’t care if they date anyone!  I just want them to know.  To feel an actual, genuine connection with another living human being.

It’s freeing, isn’t it? Beautiful. I don’t particularly care if people have one partner or twenty, that’s not what spurs my compersion. But knowing they truly know themselves? Unbelievable. Knowing they can be honest, perhaps for the first time, with the one they love most? I cannot even begin to describe the waves of happiness that makes me feel. Like when my friend confided in me that she’d finally told her husband of ten years (and that’s just as her husband, probably fifteen years, really) her true desires. I could’ve kissed her right then and there.

I’m tired of living in a world of half asleep people that exist alongside each other, settling for whatever it is they think they ought, whatever is “good enough.” I’m just…tired.

I want the world to wake up.

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