The Evolution of A Polycule

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

People have asked me about the make-up of my romantic relationships, my polycule. I write about Roland, Stefan, and Benjamin, but how do they fit? How do they all connect to me? To each other? To their partners? It certainly can be complicated. It is also constantly evolving.

So, to give a visual of what a polyamorous constellation can look like, I took a “snapshot” of my polycule once a month for the past 5 months. One of the things I write about is allowing relationships to “find their own level.” These visuals certainly show that. It is interesting to see how things have changed, or not changed. I’ll show the images below with some explanations.

In the context of polyamory, a “polycule” is a connected graph of people all of whom are in a relationship with one or more other members of the group. The term is a portmanteau of “polyamory” and “molecule”. A “metamour” is a partner of a partner; by this definition, a person and their metamour would be part of the same polycule. -Wikipedia

Please remember; labels for relationships are tough for many of us in polyamory. (Well for many adults in non-marriage relationships really.) I mean, at what age does someone stop having a boyfriend or girlfriend? But man/woman friend has a totally different connotation. For some people a partner is a more connected relationship, for others a boyfriend is. It’s a mess out there people! So, take the labels with a grain of salt- I think you will get the idea of the connectedness of these relationships from the images.

I started dating Stefan in August 2015, he introduced me to polyamory. You will see that he is always constant in the polycule.

William and I started dating in December, so by this point, we had been together about 6 months.

I met Benjamin and his wife Mia in April. He and I very quickly formed a real emotional connection and by May I considered him my boyfriend. I was also friends with his wife from our very first date. (You will see friends in the polycule by the light-yellow line.)

June saw the addition of Carson. I really liked him, and we very quickly had a very trusting and connected bond! He had a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” relationship with his live-in girlfriend. If you don’t know what that is, it’s exactly like it sounds. They both have permission to have affairs, but they don’t discuss details or talk about dates etc. He and I went to our first swinger’s clubs together.

June was also my one year “Berlinaversary.” I had a party at my flat and both Benjamin and Mia, and William and Alison attended. It was one of my favorite poly moments. Two of my guys, their partners, and me, all together! Being able to express my love for each of them, while the other one and their partners were in the room? Some pretty amazing stuff. I have a photo of the five of us from that night on my bookshelf.

July was busy!! I met Roland. He is amazing. I didn’t know where it was going yet, but I was truly enjoying getting to know him.

It might seem like I wouldn’t have time for anything else with this many partners in my life. But Benjamin lives more than 2 hours away on the train, so we don’t see each other often, at this point we were seeing each other about twice a month. William and I were only seeing each other once every 4–6 weeks too. So, there was still plenty of room in the calendar.

August was tough. There were a couple of changes in relationships. This is the ebb and flow I talk about. The allowing different relationships to find their level, as difficult as this can be sometimes.

William and I changed our relationship. It just wasn’t working for me any longer. It was one of the toughest things I’ve done in this poly life so far. I adored him so much. I still do! One of the really great things that happened through that though, was that his partner Alison and I became friends.

You will see Carson was gone too. The relationship he had with his girlfriend was designated “Primary” and I was “Secondary” and had no say when she determined that she needed his full attention for a while and closed their relationship. Our relationship was short but intense, and following so quickly on breaking up with William, breaking it off made me very very sad.

September brought another one of my favorite poly moments. I went to a spoken word event I like to attend every month. Roland met me there. His boyfriend Max also met him. A friend of his girlfriend Stella was there too, and the four of us sat together. (Roland was sitting between me and Max and held both of our hands and kissed us both at various times in the night.) Sitting behind us were William and two of his girlfriends. This was the first time we had seen each other since we broke up and we were so happy to see each other, we kept hugging and kissing! Two of my girlfriends came to hang out and Benjamin’s wife Mia was in town and attended the event as well. (Did you keep all that straight??) So much poly love that night!

Also- Roland! (If this was a text I would use the heart emoji in place of the O!) I am seriously falling so in love with this amazing human. I tell people that we’re in that “ooey gooey lovey dove phase” where people want to puke when they are around us, it’s so sweet. He has met many of my friends at this point, and I seriously just adore the guy!

I don’t know what this month will bring. I am going away on holiday for three weeks, so I suspect not much will change. I will FINALLY get to see Benjamin this week after two months apart! That will be great and sure to reconnect us in a big way, and we really need this time alone together.

Perhaps here is a good time to add (well maybe not, but since my aim with this blog is to be honest and show how I practice my poly life, I am going to say it anyway...) I also have “random play dates” all the time. I meet people for “sexy time” fun without a need to form a more traditional romantic relationship with them. I do however, prefer they are “connected” relationships and go into them with the expectation that they will not be one-night stands. Currently there are two men and a couple that fall into this category, but that changes regularly.

Does this sound crazy to you?

Are you poly? What does your polycule look like?

***01/06/2019*** Updated — Year End overview…