dear poly “couple,” remember that you started out as secondary, too

Interracial couple being intimate in front of window By rocketclips

…or maybe less.

Maybe you were some offhand, one night stand. Not that there was anything wrong with that. You both wanted a bit of release. You found it with each other that night.

Or maybe you started out as friends that grew into “more,” (though I dislike that concept as it imagines that friends are ‘less’ valuable, when in reality it simply means less entangled and less future commitments with each other).

Anyhow, however you came together, you are now each other’s rocks. The centers of each others’ worlds. The one you say goodnight to. It’s what “everyone” wants, right? But at any rate, it’s what you wanted. And that’s okay.

But remember that it wasn’t like this from the first moment.

You took you time to get there. Perhaps not the same amount of time as another couple you know, but still. It took time. And maybe you called each other a primary sort of label, but it wasn’t really the same as when you grew together, was it? You didn’t commit to raising a family and growing old together the first day, did you? The labels might have been the same, but the feelings behind them deepened.

When you meet that second love, remember that, please. That it took time. You can try to force whatever label you want, to make you and them happy. But it won’t change the reality you both live in. It won’t change the fact that you (relatively speaking) barely know them and you are still figuring out what you want from each other. At least at first.

You can move them in; call them all your “spice”; buy a house together. But if you do it all “too” quickly (by which I mean quicker than you are truly comfortable with), it will turn out just as disastrous as if you moved too quickly with your first primary relationship.

So let it be secondary, non primary, whatever for a while.

There’s nothing wrong with being in a secondary relationship with a romantic partner; you already are with plenty of others, friends, maybe an especially important coworker. It’s not bad to be important to someone, but not one of the most important.

Because that doesn’t make it worse, remember. You and your first partner were Just. The. Same. It just happened a while ago. And eventually it became more. But those early years were still pretty amazing, no?

If it does become “more,” wonderful. And if it doesn’t, it is still just as wonderful. Only different. And if it doesn’t become more, but you wish it did? It’s okay to move on to a different relationship, IF the person you are with wants less than you do.


A well intentioned kitten

P.S. If you are the unicorn, or the new partner, and you need someone to relate? Plenty of people have done this. Every stepfather went through this when he dated a woman whose first commitment was to her children, not him. Every woman who dated a CEO of a company had to realize and adjust to the fact that she would share his life alongside his responsibilities to his company and employees– as much as to her. Almost anyone who dates a person later in life goes through this. Because that person has established commitments that aren’t their new dating partner. It’s different, yes, but it doesn’t have to be sour.

1 thought on “dear poly “couple,” remember that you started out as secondary, too”

  1. Tom "Buck" Klindt

    I’ve never felt friendship to be less than any other kind of love. In our Poly, we consider friends, non-romantic and non-sexual partners, to be every bit as meaningful in our lives as those we are romantically or sexually intimate with. We also recognize and are open to any partnership evolving into something “more”…additional, extra, beyond, expanded. More, for us, is not better, it’s evolution.

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