my family (mostly) knows what’s important

Would I like to let my family know everything about me?

All my dalliances, my loves, my crushes? Would I like to casually mention the pink haired pixie I met at the gay leather bar/kink munch last week? Perhaps she was a bit too young for me, but she was driven, intelligent, and, yes, very pretty.

I don’t know.

Live loud and proud, they shout! Me? I live “quietly but purposefully.” If that offends you, you may leave now. I would love to be privileged enough to speak openly about everything, but I am not.

Therefore, I have no interest in virtue signalling. At the moment. I believe it will be different in the near future, but it isn’t that way today.

Oh, I’m not super secretive.

I do tell -some- people I’m polyamorous. I think my parents might have forgotten about it, though my siblings have not and are supportive. I’ve even started telling my friends in my “vanilla” spaces.

Recently, I let it slip to a few friends that they’re welcome to come to my birthday party, but it will “mostly be alternative lifestyle folk.” One of those friends definitively knows I’m polyamorous. It came out Valentine’s Day (last year, or the year before?) while we were, unbeknownst to me, hanging out with her friend who was also polyamorous. But, you see, I didn’t entirely mean for that to happen, and a part of me wishes she didn’t apply that label to me.

I don’t know that I want everyone to know that I’m “polyamorous.”

Yes, I have a bit of an obsession with honesty, even when it gains me nothing. I give my real name to almost anyone; something nobody in the community owes to anyone. I tell people if I think they’re not treating their partner fairly. Or if I think they are ridiculous in their demands and expectations.

So the more I tell, the more everyone knows– and I don’t know or trust everyone. I’ve moved pretty far along my journey, but this is one step I’m hesitating to make. I guess that’s okay.

So some people- maybe a lot of people- don’t know every single thing about me. But they know all the important stuff. 

I neglect to mention key particulars. Even with my closest friends and family. They don’t all really know who I kiss.  They don’t all know the labels I’ve chosen.  I’ve danced around those questions at times, if it even comes up. My immediate family definitely does not know about my M/s relationship or kinky escapades! Sorry, no, that’s just not something that’s ever gonna happen with me, but, hey, if you’re different with your parents, that’s cool.

My family, chosen and blood, do know I am not married to my partner. They know I have little, if any, intention to get married in the future.  They’re aware I am close to my munchkins and that I am their stepmom, friend mom, etc. I do family stuff all the time in one city or another. I feel differently about friendship and romance than most people that they know. They know I that I have friends everywhere. They know almost everything about me and how I live my life- all but the label, which only confuses a lot of people.

It’s almost better that the polyamorous label doesn’t muddy the clarity of actually understanding who I am, for people unfamiliar with alternative lifestyles.

And the kids?

Everyone always asks, “How do you handle explaining polyamory to children?” Simple enough. I’ve only very, very recently hinted at being romantic with their father.  Because I don’t want them to misunderstand what I mean.  They’re still little.  But they’re getting older and they really do get what I mean to them and their family.  So I’m okay with them knowing a little bit more about my private life- and it’s called that for a reason!  No, I am not obliged to share my private life with anyone.

Besides, they already know so much.  I’ve shown them healthy romantic relationships, sans the romance. I reassure them, through my actions, that I can be emotionally committed and loving with their father, while dating other people. I teach them boys can wear dresses; girls can have girlfriends; some people want to get married while others do not. They know that I am part of the family. They know I want to be a mom and am, sort of, already a mom. Okay, they know I want to have a baby. That’s what I meant. Every day, I give them another little life lesson, one of thousands. And, yes, they do absorb them.

I do, as a matter of fact, have a life outside of polyamorous dating.

I have plenty on my mind, without talking about myself and my personal life.  I’ve learned that it’s more interesting to talk about life, work, space travel, almost anything else but, “I went on a date the other night, this great Italian cafe! And, oh, by the way, it wasn’t with my partner, it was with my girlfriend.” Because now THAT’S the conversation. Explaining the difference between my partner and girlfriend and what it means to have multiple romantic partners– and I just don’t want to talk about that all the time.

The other day I caught up with a friend of mine. We talked for three hours (almost none of it small talk), and I had to book it to dinner with my brother. I wanted to have at least an hour with him and the day was growing short. If I must pick and choose what I talk about (and I do) than I’ll leave off my boring romantic details.

But what happens if someone important to you runs into you at a party?

…you know, I think I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it (in seven plus years of being “in the scene,” I’ve had one minor incident with someone who barely knew me). Until then, I’m good with my current plan of telling people stuff that I personally find awkward on a need to know basis.

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