These writings contain my experiences and opinions. The opinions are personal in nature, not professional. I am not a professional; I have no degree. These are the insights I have gleaned from living four years in a polyamorous relationship.

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

Expanding a Family

Maybe I should have called this particular column "Why Poly Works for Me", because this is going to be an extension of last monthís article in which I stated that Iíd decided that I wanted to date. This is an analysis of why.

Everyone knows the superficial reasons that theyíd like to dateóheís funny; he's smart; he's kind; he makes my heart go pitter patter, etc., etc.óbut I'm pretty sure that we donít do a deeper analysis of why. I never really have. Not until I found myself in a poly relationship, anyway. It's actually kind of ironic that I never so much looked at my motives when I was single, a free agent, free to date whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. It takes a lot more soul searching to date when you are in a committed poly relationship, because if you donít have some valid answers for yourself, how on earth do you expect to have any for your spice? And believe me, theyíre going to want some valid answers.

So why did I come to the conclusion that I would like to date? Simple. It all goes back to the more the merrier. Itís a load of pressure off of your spice when you do not want, need, nor demand "everything" from them. I know that I need XYZ to be happy. Hubby can only give me X, and Wife can only give me Y. I was still lacking Z. It wouldn't have been right, nor would it have been fair, to ask either of them to provide Z, because Z is not something either of them wants, or should be expected, to provide. Was I miserable without Z? Well no, not exactly. I was mostly content, even if I felt from time to time that I may have been lacking something. However, when Z came along, I sat up and took notice. "Ahah! This is what Iíve been missing. This is what neither Hubby nor Wife can provide. This is how I get this need/desire/expectation met."

Voila. Expanding a family. Adding someone to your circle that can meet a certain need that no one else can or does. There just cannot possibly be anything wrong with that.

As an example from my own life, I have a need to not go to an outlet mall. Not ever. Please shoot me before you drag me into that hell. However, no matter where we are, if Wife sees an outlet mall, she starts to salivate. Sheís described it as an almost physical desire. She also has somewhat of an issue with crowds, and she wonít go anywhere where there are a lot of people without someone she knows well. While I love Wife with all my heart, and while I truly would pretty much kill or die for her, no questions asked, I will not enter an outlet mall for her. However, Hubby doesnít mind. She gets her need for both shopping and friendly companionship met, and I donít have to provide something I donít want to do. I donít feel an ounce of pressure to do something I donít want to do. I donít feel like I "should" do something I donít want to do.

I have a need to be in the ocean as much as possible. I need a mask and a snorkel and a shell bag. I need to spend hours snorkeling up and down the drop off, where the waves hit the hardest, and more often than not crash you hard into the shoreline. I need to fight the waves and the seaweed in my never ending quest for trophy shells. Itís not safe or smart to snorkel alone, however, and Hubby wonít do that particular activity with me. When he goes to the beach he wants to relax. He wants to stay out of the waves. He wonít get in the water if itís cold, and to him, cold is anything under 85 degrees. He could care less about seashells. He has no desire to "swim up and down for hours like a spastic mullet." Wife fulfills this need for me. Sheís my snorkel buddy, safe partner, and fellow seashell hunter. Itís quite possible that she was a mermaid in another life. I donít know what Iíd do without her in that regard, because I cannot even begin to fathom not spending as much time as I possibly can in the sea.

Hubby has the need to share all his technological know how, his gadgets, the programs he has written. All of that makes Wifeís eyes roll back in her head from sheer boredom. I, on the other hand, soak it up. I love gadgets and technology and endless lines of code. The more he wants to show me, the happier I am. Geek speak fascinates me.

These are all relatively small examples, sure. Yet, in the day to day grind, in the overall stress of life, these small things turn into very important things. Itís nice to have someone with whom to share the things you love, even if they are the little things. And if the little things are that important, then you know how important it is when the Z that you are missing is a big thing. Iím thrilled that Z has now entered my life. Iím thrilled that I donít have to ask either of my spice for Z, and quite frankly, theyíre both thrilled that neither of them has to try and provide it. This is one of the many reasons that poly works for me.

PolyAnna; March 06, 2006

PolyAnna is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

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