sad girl polyamory
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sad girl polyamory

The worst kind of polyamory is no polyamory at all

Losing couple privilege and embracing solo polyamory

Stray dogs in Serbia (photo by Andrej Isakovic)

No, I did not “try” polyamory to save my marriage. It’s not an ingredient I found in the ethnic food aisle of the grocery store that I am experimenting with. I started an open relationship. It was great for a while and when it started sucking, it continued to suck until we couldn’t stand each other any more. We ended it. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Last week was rough. Changing my language from “we” to “I” has been challenging. The absence of a wedding ring at a table of high profile, high caliber men and women, revealed another layer of insecurity I didn’t know I had. For the longest time, I thought my participation in an institution would help elevate my career. And it did. I was able to network more, and I used the universal husband voice to make jokes about my domestic life. And now, the lines are so clearly drawn as a minus one without the same couple privilege.

In the context of polyamory, losing couple privilege can feel like a demotion to second class status. How do I avoid being treated as a single bottom feeder with endless availability or seen as a plug-and-play poly partner who is ready to be molded into any relationship dynamic? I also feel that my commitment to polyamory is constantly challenged. There’s this notion that if you’re not juggling at least X number of schedules and relationships, then how poly are you really? The worst one, the one that people commonly struggle with the most, is this lingering fear that someone will choose partnered monogamy over polyamory.

The pressure is there. Vanilla friends expect me to abandon polyamory because in their view, it was a failed experiment. A bad breakup isn’t going to catapult me into believing that one person should fulfill all my needs. Monogamy was never an option for me. I was a serial non-monogamist who struggled to fit into the typical dating world. And now I find myself in a state of limbo as a solo polyamorist struggling to fit into this alternative dating world.

So dating others is not appealing to me right now. I’m focused on writing which automatically turns me into an introvert. I’m reconnecting with friends which exhausts my ability to socialize beyond close friendships. And I’m in love with someone truly amazing. I miss him when he’s away but I’d rather miss him than feel suffocated because he’s always around. The ability to miss someone without feeling lonely… that’s something I’m looking forward to embracing as I master solo polyamory.



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