Amy Shiner is someone I follow on twitter, and she writes occasionally for the Huffington Post about her life as a kinkster and poly person. Yesterday she posted this article, which prompted me to think really hard about how my interactions with the poly community here in Chicago have shaped the way my relationships have grown and the way I've dated.
When the Mister and I first started this, I was excited to date around and explore getting to know new people. The first few months I met and dated 3-5 men, and talked to many others online without them getting past the initial screening process. But as I made more and more contacts with others, I came to realize that many of the people labeling themselves as polyamorous weren't truly looking for relationships, they were looking for friends with benefits. I'm not trashing their choice of label, I'm saying that their interpretation of polyamory didn't mesh with mine. Perhaps that's why I had such a hard time finding a place in the community.
As I got closer and closer to the Libertine, and also the Prime, I realized that I was looking for meaningful, lasting relationships. I didn't want men to flit in and out of my life willy-nilly. I didn't mind sharing them with other partners, as long as I was still able to see them often enough to maintain a meaningful bond and not have everything be about sex.
Now that we are down to just the V, I look back on all the dating and chatting I did... and it was fun, but it was not fulfilling. I still identify as polyamorous. I still think that we are sex-positive and open to many different walks of life. But for US, this family unit we are creating is the lifestyle we currently want. That's not to say that in the future one of us won't want to date again. And that will be okay as long as we are able to maintain our family bond through communication and trust.
Polyamory doesn't have to be like a deli line, as Amy describes it. It can be so deeply fulfilling, and warm, and full of love. Just like everything else in life, you get out what you put into it.