Making Yourself Become Polyamorous
by Alex Mead

Editor's Note: This was originally posted to the UUPoly listserve, in response to "Why do some people think they can make themselves become poly?" It is reprinted here with the full knowledge and consent of the author.

Hi. I'm Alex. I'm a storyteller/author from Buffalo, New York and I successfully became polyamorous.

I was a very successful monogamist. Well, insofar as I was very skilled at focusing all of my romantic energy on one woman to the exclusion of all others in a completely sincere way. It was my fondest hope that I would some day be rewarded for having that skill with a woman who could appreciate and reciprocate it.

I was an unsuccessful monogamist insofar as I just couldn't seem to find Mrs. Right. As a developing adult my needs kept shifting and everytime I thought I had found someone to paint into my picture, I would undergo one of these shifts and need something different. That's all just circumstance. Having met certain people at different times or having met different people at certain times I can safely say that I could have lived a very happy and fulfilling life as a successful monogamist.

But that wasn't how it went.

After the death of my mother --and the subsequent shattering of my universe-- I became a very bitter person, highly dissatisfied with humanity's ability --or more accurately lack thereof-- to relate to one another and care about one another. I had all but given up on people and especially female people and then... I met Heather.

I had the kind of instant connection with Heather that I had always known in my gut was possible. Her capacity to care about others is endless and all of the alarm bells went off and wouldn't be silenced. She had special knowledge of all kinds of things beyond my ken that I was very eager to learn of. She became the immediate focus of all of my romantic energy and I very much wanted for her to agree to marry me, start a family and fix the world with me. She wouldn't hear of that though. She wasn't into marriage, and besides, her other boyfriend wouldn't appreciate it.


Other boyfriend? How is that even possible. There's no such thing as other boyfriend. Oh, but there was. Heather was a lot of things that I had never heard of, very frightening things, but I could not extricate myself from her no matter how many of these frightening things she revealed. She was a Unitarian Universalist (UU), a polyamorist, and still, nevertheless, the perfect woman for me.

I decided to become a UU. That part was easy. Once described to me, UU was quite obviously something I had always longed to be and just didn't know of its existence. Having learned of its existence I quickly became UU and still am very UU (though she presently is not (they had a falling out)). I figured that maybe, if I kept an open mind for the things she was --UU and all that-- that she would keep an open mind about monogamy. You know, could happen.

A very confusing year ensued with a relationship that was half-poly and half-monogamous and simultaneously extreemly difficult and impossibly easy. And then we went to Opus. Opus is a UU retreat for UU Young Adult that meets once a year in North America somewhere. Opus is an amazing place (in whatever place it happens to be). I was surrounded by shiny happy UU young adults who had the same level of concern for humanity that Heather and I shared. There were beautiful women everywhere. And there were beautiful men everywhere. And Heather liked some of each. And I became an emotional jealous wreck, and at the same time, strangely fascinated by all of these beautiful young women and Heather's complete lack of jealousy irrespective of their level of interest in me.

I had a very slow burning epiphany. If I could "become poly" everything in life might gain a certain clarity. I mean, WHAT IF, hypothetically, it's not Heather that's eventually supposed to change and become monogamous, what if it's me that's supposed to become polyamorous? There was a very beautiful young woman with penetrating eyes that used to walk past me and rake her fingernails along my back and give me the most meaningful hugs. What if she wanted to love me AND Heather wanted to love me and they both were okay with it? I tried to figure out what's so wrong with that. I tried very hard. I focussed a lot of concentration and spent a good amount of time trying to remember why that would be wrong and I couldn't figure it out. So I stored the idea away for further consideration.

A few months later there came the unfortunate day that Heather and I had scheduled for breaking up. She was going to move away and we had figured a break up made the most sense. That would free me up to search for Mrs. Right. So we gave it a shot. We communicated to one another how deeply we loved one another, and how commited we were going to be to keeping up with one another's lives, and how sorry and torn we were that it had to end this way or end at all, and then we broke up. And that lasted for about an hour.

Breaking up wasn't going to work for either of us. There did not seem like any good option or workable option, so, in desperation, I quickly divulged all of my Opus feelings and insisted that I could become polyamorous if I tried. She was... highly skeptical.

There was no other option. Continuing on as half-poly and half-mono was not working for me. Breaking up was not working for either of us. It was something to try for lack of any other workable options.

I put in a lot of "work" becoming poly. I looked it up on the internet. A lot. I listened to a lot of other poly people and discovered there were other ways to do poly besides Heather's way, some of which actually appealed to me. I began to pick and choose from the poly buffet out there and try to craft some way of being poly that would work for me. As I absorbed all of the kooky terminology and incredible personal human stories out there my mind began to shift. Where there had previously been one way of thinking, there gradually became two ways of thinking. And I could translate between the two with more and more ease as I practiced.

One day, it stopped being work. Because I fell for another woman. I fell for her pretty hard. She was very much like Heather except that she was monogamous. I found that I had these amazing powerful feelings for her, and at the same time, believe it or not, I didn't love Heather any less. It was AMAZING. All that was left was to convert the new woman to polyamory and we could all be set.

Yeah. Didn't work out quite that way. The new woman had what we could call a "highly adverse reaction" to the very idea of any of this. There were some angry words and the like. She was very insistent that the solution was very simple, and that I should just switch back, and become monogamous again and have my happily every after. So I tried to find a reason why I couldn't do that. And I came up with a reason. Surprised me. But the reason was, because I'm polyamorous.

Have been ever since.

Alex Mead is an Author / Artist / Activist from Buffalo New York. Two of his latest novels: "Relations: McEmpire" and "Relations: SMASH YOUR TV!" feature wonderfully polyamorous characters and are available from AMProSoft Books.