Dating Diaries
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Dating Diaries

Early Non-Monogamy

Photo of four hands, each spelling out a letter for the word “LOVE” The background is a blurry seascape.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

I was 15. He was 17. He was a self-proclaimed slut with extensive experience — dozens of girls sought him out, and this was verified. I knew many of them. I was one of many he was openly seeing. I had certain boundaries (which he fully respected) and many curiosities and questions, which he was happy to oblige, including talking to me and answering my questions about activities I was choosing to not do. I was happy for him to connect with other people whom he chose to be with, and he was happy for me to connect with other people, as long as they treated me with respect.

In the 5 years that He and I related in our shifting connection, he helped form some of my foundations for relating, compersion, and shifting dynamics that maintained love, care and consideration. I still think of him with gratitude and appreciation.

Openly non-monogamously dating was a way for me to enjoy and be in integrity with my boundaries, while my partners could have their needs and desires met, including those which were outside of my boundaries.
It became a way for each person to have a buffet of their needs and desires met, without the pressures on one person to (impossibly) provide for all of those needs.

I explained it to many people, and gifted countless copies of The Ethical Slut.
Unfortunately, some partners didn’t accept compersion, or didn’t understand the concept. Early on, I’d told some partners that “x” wasn’t something I did; I’d be happy if we continued dating and they had full freedom to fulfill that desire with someone else. I said it honestly with open and clear energy, but it often wasn’t heard that way. It’s been interpreted as me being disingenuous or manipulative, as me testing their loyalty, or as me not loving them enough. I’ve been asked to be honest — because the thoughts and feelings I expressed were not accepted as valid or true. These people often claimed to know my feelings or motivations, or told me what those should be. I’ve had partners get upset at me for not being jealous enough. I’ve been told that if I loved them, I’d get upset at them for even talking to another woman, that I should have been more upset when a partner did one thing or another. I’ve been told that if I loved them (or if I grew up), I’d just change my boundaries, or do “x” anyway. I’ve been told a lot of things about what I “should” do, think, or feel.

Many of the things I’ve been told have now become indicators for me of when a person is not in alignment with me. I’m still learning.

I’ve connected with wonderful people who appreciate my direct communication, where we learn from each other as we experience connections with open minds and open hearts. I’m still learning.

I’ve made lots of mistakes. There’s a lot that I could have done better; hindsight is always wiser. I’m still learning.

Although my terminology has changed over the decades, my preference for (and practice of) consensual non-monogamy has strengthened, and so has my commitment to myself. I’m still learning.

My form of non-monogamy is a freedom for all partners to be in integrity and fulfillment, in connection and love, without the constrictions and pressures of one person being expected to fulfill all of another’s needs. I understood the beginnings of sovereignty and self responsibility before I ever had the words, just like I embraced consensual non-monogamy before I had those words. And with these, I’m still learning too.

Consistently in progress…
Ever growing…



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