Last week I saw a show about polyamory and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
I think about it in relation to myself—how I have never not cheated in a monogamous relationship. In relation to my current partner. In relation to the kind of life that I want.
I don’t know if I’m polyamorous. I think that learning about what it means (loving more than one person at once), has forced me to unlearn many societal standards. I do believe that it’s possible to love more than one person at once, but I also don’t believe that I love any two people in the exact same way.
The one-woman show featured monologues created from interviews from polyamorous people, their partners, and their children. Two major ideas stuck out to me. One is that there is always more love. The idea that love could somehow run out or must only be reserved for one person just isn’t true, at least for me.
The other is that all too often we rely fully, emotionally, on another person for our own happiness. I can’t do that anymore. In every monogamous relationship I’ve ever been in, at some point, I start to expect that other person to make me happy. And they expect the same from me.
My best friends and I recently had a long discussion about saying “you make me happy” to a partner as a compliment. It’s a sweet sentiment, but I’ve grown to hate the idea of being someone else’s source of happiness. I want to have happy (and bad and upsetting and hard and exciting) moments with my partners, but I do not want to be anyone’s reason to wake up in the morning. And I don’t want that from anyone else.
After all, at the end of the day, all I have is myself.