This story is an edited version of one of the many personal narratives of polyamory collected by Bangalore Polycules.
Ten years ago, I had already given thought to and discussed non-monogamy in my mono relationship with my partner at the time. I used to work very long hours in a bank, and he was a student who gave massages for a living and was often propositioned. It seemed unfair to hold him to an exclusively sexual relationship with me, young as we were. He’d never actually acted on any of the propositions, since he worried that I would not be able to handle it when it happened for real, and he didn't want to risk our relationship.
When our relationship turned long-distance I started to have trouble with my end of monogamy. I was meeting interesting people in interesting contexts and I wanted to explore things further. I ended up cheating on him and felt so miserable for breaking the rules of our partnership. Yet, the act itself did not seem wrong. It came from a place of love,how could that be wrong?
Traditional relationship knowledge had taught me that if I truly loved him, I would not want to cheat on him. However, here I was cheating, and yet I was perfectly sure of my deep and true love of him. Could traditional relationship advice be wrong then?
That relationship ended, but I had realised something that I could not unsee. There was more to relationships than what I saw around me: people who stayed together, often lying to their partners and themselves, denying their natural feelings, and yet they were considered to be a ‘relationship success’. That's not the kind of relationship success I wanted. I wanted real intimacy, real depth, complete honesty!
Polyamory to me is the right to be myself. The right to explore my full human potential, in love and in life. Polyamory has taught me not to take myself for granted, nor my partners. I have never been shy of doing hard work to invest in my loved ones. In polyamory, the effort pays off with multiple strong, honest, loving relationships I can count on, just like family. It holds each of us accountable for ourselves and our actions.
I feel blessed and lucky to have found partners who also envision and believe in the kind of life and love I seek. I absolutely love it when my partners enjoy each other's company. That is my favorite feeling in polyamory... to see two people I love sharing and coming together.
My monogamous friends don't understand it. They keep asking me: How do you do it? How do you take a vacation with two partners and an ex? How do you host a party where three of your partners are cracking jokes with each other? How do you do a date night at home while your live-in sweetie joins you both for a drink?
Equal credit goes to my partners who have done the work with me - building and fortifying our relationship, talking and staying through the hard times, trusting that it is worth it at the end. Polyamory has made me far more individualistic and collaborative, both at the same time. Funnily enough. I am less dependent on my partners, less prone to blame games and rigidity, more honest, more open to closeness. What I have learned: Poly is not easy. It is not for the lazy or change averse.
Polyamory has made me far more individualistic and collaborative, both at the same time. Funnily enough. I am less dependent on my partners, less prone to blame games and rigidity, more honest, more open to closeness. What I have learned: Poly is not easy. It is not for the lazy or change averse.
Insecurity triggers can be super random or unreasonable. When you invest well though and stay honest, the payoff can be immense.
Anon identifies as a liberal bisexual Indian woman.