Like many, Angel stumbled into polyamory quite by accident. She and her husband have been happily married for four years, and recently opened their marriage and their hearts to the possibility of poly relationships. She shares the ups and downs of being new to the lifestyle and navigating the emotional and practical issues that come along with it.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

More single than usual

For the past couple of months I have been experiencing what I call a relationship lull. Not between Jack and I, but in regards to poly and my interest in dating outside of my marriage. I haven't been involved with any additional partners for a couple of months, by my own choice, and I have actually enjoyed the break very much. You don't really realize how much work it is or how exhausting multiple relationships can be, until you spend a little time without them. I have taken advantage of the extra time by strengthening my relationship with Jack, since I think we needed it after the turmoil that poly caused us in the beginning. It's nice to be able to focus totally on him without any other distractions.

I think that sometimes people have the misconception that if you are not currently in multiple relationships, it makes you less poly, less interested in poly, or somehow considering giving it up altogether. At least that has been my experience. I've had more than one person ask or speculate that I must be reconsidering poly, which hasn't been the case at all. I simply did not have the extra time, energy, or inclination that starting a new relationship often demands. That does not mean that I am "less poly" than someone who has umpteen lovers, it just means that right now I'm not dating anyone. It's really not a big deal.

You don't even have to be in a relationship with anyone to be poly. Although I suppose it depends on who you ask. In my opinion being poly is very similar to being homosexual, or bisexual, or kinky. It's a part of you, even if you chose not to embrace it, or if you don't realize it right away. Just because you are not right-this-moment involved in a poly relationship, that doesn't make you suddenly monogamous, it just makes you more single than usual, he he he.

I think that most people, single, married, mono, poly, etc, go through phases if disinterest in relationships. I've been focusing a lot of energy inwards, working on improving things about myself that I have been ignoring or neglecting. It doesn't leave me very emotionally available for other people, even Jack sometimes. He's used to it, but I don't think it would be fair to get involved with someone else when I can't offer them even a minimal level of love, support, or interest. I AM interested in some people, and I think that soon I will be in a more healthy place to have a relationship with one or more of them.

I have done a lot of evaluating concerning poly, what it means to me, and what form I desire for it to take in my life. Sometimes it's important to step back, regain your bearings, and decide on the next direction you will go. NRE and general relationship madness can confuse a person and skew their sense of self and what they want from relationships and life in general. Taking some time for yourself, to make sure the decisions and directions you are embracing promote your best interests can be a really valuable exercise. Not to say that you must be single to do so, but the beginnings of a new relationship is not the optimal time.

A little clarity is a positive thing. It's ok to take time for yourself, to close yourself off to new relationships for a while, and figure out a few things. It doesn't mean that you are 'turning mono' or that something is wrong with you. It's ok to not want to be in multiple relationships, or any relationships for that matter, if you don't feel inclined. Don't force yourself to carry on because you feel like you should, or you are trying to prove something. We are all entitled to a little ME time, and people who are close to you and love you will understand that.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I wish all of you the best in 2007.

Nobody's Angel is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Nobody's Angel; January 15, 2007


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