We are socialized through the media (and what we often witness first hand) that love should be about communicating to your beloved that they are better than everyone else, and you will love them forever.
In polyamory, it is important to break the habit of making comparative statements such as, “You’re by far my best lover!” Although in the moment you may feel that one of your lovers is objectively “better” than any other, it can easily become a set up for future drama. Feelings change, and levels of intensity vary as well. It is far more effective in the long run to love someone for who they are in this moment, without needing to appease their ego by making them #1.
This can be challenging, particularly with a lover you’ve been with for a long time, or perhaps live with and therefore see all the time. But if we look at the roots of why it feels good to be told we’re the best, it is really about appeasing core insecurities. If we can learn to love ourselves, we no longer need to be superior to anyone else. We can simply be who we are…and it is enough.
There is still a great deal of room for expressing compliments and gratitude without comparing one person to another. It is healing to vulnerably reflect your appreciation to another, and share why they are an important part of your life. Letting go of an inherently competitive perspective in no way diminishes our ability to communicate love.
When it comes to making future statements such as, “I want to be with you forever!” it would be wise for both monogamous and poly people to slow their roll. However, statements about being with someone always and “growing old with them” are so ingrained in mainstream monogamous culture that it’s hard for anyone to questions this behavior unless they’ve done a great deal of work on themselves. The statistical odds that a relationship won’t actually last forever doesn’t typically diminish the desire to assure (and be assured) of eternal love, because we’ve been repeatedly taught that “forever” must be what true love is about.
In reality, we don’t really know if any relationship is going to last decades, months, or even another day. Unless we develop the ability to become secure with whatever unfolds, we are psychologically held hostage by the fear of change. When we understand that the ending of a relationship is inevitably a sign that a more congruent situation awaits, we can release the need for fantasy statements about how tomorrow will take form.
Polyamorous people can easily fall into the same trap of appeasing each other’s insecurities about the future, but many polys are at least more willing to recognize that love configurations can change over time…like a kaleidoscope…and that clinging will actually harm love.
Ultimately, peace arises from loving people as they are in the present, and developing our individual wholeness to the point where we feel safe whatever is unfolding in our lives. When we no longer feel the need to compare those we love to each other, or pretend that we know what will feel most congruent in the future, we can relax into the liberation that comes from living in the moment, and accepting that uncertainty is a part of life.
Check out Chris’s (pen name, Mystic Life’s) book Spiritual Polyamory
Intuitive Guidance — Ethical Sites at LiveReaders.com