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and along came poly…

August 10, 2010

I was introduced to the concept of polyamory, the idea that you could have responsible, adult relationships with more than one person at a time, in theory online.  It appealed to me on some level, but I couldn’t actually comprehend anyone doing it.  It was more like a nebulous idea, an ideal for love.

I saw it in actual action after moving to California.

I met people living it as a lifestyle.  I met families founded on the concept.

It was an intriguing idea, to take pleasure in a partner’s happiness, even if that partner is happy having another partner.  It spoke to a part of me that knew I would never be comfortable being someone’s one and only love.  I am such a solitary creature by nature that the thought of sharing my life with someone, every minute of every day and night, is a terrifying concept.

Done right, polyamory is not an excuse to sleep around, but a way to love without condition, without boundaries.  Finding polyamory when I did was an amazing experience, as I was discovering that love need not be bound by gender and with the idea of poly, it no longer needed to be defined by a single relationship.

My life had changed so very much in the course of a decade.

I was just north of thirty, and everything was brand new.  I had a job making a ridiculous sum of money and a great apartment, a new path spiritually, a new understanding of myself…what could possibly go wrong?

Well, it begins with a bursting of the whole job market bubble.  The tech world in Silicon Valley was imploding, and my job was among the first on the chopping block.  I lost my job making ridiculous money.  It was the start of a depressive cycle.  Not that I knew it at the time.  I’d never really had a depression problem.

Then 9/11 hit and I had a friend try to commit suicide, all in about 3 days.

I was supposed to go to Hawaii at the end of October, the trip all paid for long before the layoff, and I had figured I would find a job before then…but the job market was dead.  There was nothing out there.

So there I was, less than a hundred dollars in my pocket, on a plane for Hawaii and thinking I had lost my ever loving mind.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 1:27 pm

    I was introduced to the concept of poly reading Robert Heinlein, the whole Lazarus Long, Stranger In A Strange Land books, and Oberon Zell of Green Egg.

    The whole concept intrigued me from the standpoint of being social or solitary as needed. I never found a group where it actually worked–usually due to the usual jealousy, possessive tendancies to which most people cling.

    These days it makes me happy and a little envious when I find people that make poly relationships work. Still don’t have the handle on the why of that one yet, maybe the thought that we can rise above such things.

  2. August 10, 2010 1:38 pm

    Oberon Zell and his clan was among the first I met where they made the concept work. I had heard of the idea, and read about it before meeting them, but when I visited their home, and saw it, not just in their partners and family, but in the extended community that circled around them, something just clicked for me.

    Like any other relationship, a poly one will not last with jealousy and immaturity. It takes work and a willingness to be happy when someone you love is happy.

    I’ve seen them crash and burn due to jealousy, or due to someone attempting to live as a poly person who is completely monogamous in nature. It isn’t something we’re all cut out for.

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