I have been thinking about polyamory for a while now. However, I don’t mean in the context of my blog posts on the subject. I have been thinking of polyamory and what it means to me personally. For almost a year now, I have had one relationship. Last December I wrote about how I could still be polyamorous whilst being in a single relationship, and in January I pondered further what being poly means to me. I wrote on the end of the piece that “whether or not I choose to refer to myself as polyamorous, I shall always choose an ethical brand of non-monogamy”… and that was definitely the start of me wondering whether or not polyamory really is my thing. If I don’t want a relationship or any intimate physical contact with anyone other than my primary partner, where does that leave me? Certainly not in a position where I want to talk about polyamory on a personal level, so that meant the publication of Arianne Cohen’s piece in The Guardian last weekend was not the best of timing. To say I panicked was something of an understatement.
People now want to talk about it with me, but I just want time to work it all out for myself. I certainly don’t want to be a poster girl for polyamory when I’m not even sure it’s my thing any more. How can I explain that to someone when they don’t understand the concept in the first place? When they don’t know that polyamory is one of many forms of non-monogamy? How can I show that poly folk are caring, open and honest, when all they can see is a woman “sharing her boyfriend”? Without the emotional energy to figure out what I want from relationships these days, how can I even begin to explain it to other people? I spoke to Arianne in August last year and could not have imagined how much my feelings on the subject would change in eight months. The panic has now gone, but so has the desire. I just don’t know what to say any more.
I am very happy with my relationship but was naive to think that talking to a journalist about our unusual set up would be treated as anything other than an ‘example’ of polyamory. I’m not an example of anything other than… me. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a work in progress.
Image via stevebkennedy‘s Flickr photostream.