In my never-ending quest to ostracize myself from every last member of my community, I would like to state for the record that I hate non-monogamy.
Non-monogamy, polyamoury, whatever approach is up for discussion, I hate it. And I am tired of being treated like some kind of naïve, apolitical loser with low self-esteem because of this.
Let’s get one thing straight off the top: I know what I’m talking about. I’ve read the requisite books, done the research, joined the online groups and, yes, I’ve even tried it. Repeatedly.
It’s not that I don’t get it. As a matter of fact, I think I get it more than many who purport to practice it.
I am continually amazed by the number of poly people who act like they are some kind of more highly evolved life-form that I end up wanting to buy some how-to books for.
I mean, I can get myself a snappy white lab coat and walk around yelling “Stat!” and “We’re losing him!” but that’s not enough to make me a good doctor. There’s a little more to it, you know?
I have yet to be involved with anyone who does non-monogamy or polyamoury well. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying I haven’t dated them.
Hands down, the no-mo-ers that I’ve been involved with are people incapable, unwilling, or just plain not interested in doing the work involved to truly get close to someone.
Which is all well and good if it weren’t for the accompanying condescension that is so often involved.
I grow weary of being asked to respect that some people are intrinsically polyamorous while my monogamy is seen as patriarchal brainwashing and a lack of political savvy. The assumption is that monogamists are not being true to their needs, are settling for little when they could have much more, are acting from a place of damage and insecurity. I resent that.
Yes, I have trust issues. Yes, I have insecurities. Show me someone who doesn’t. But the idea, so often suggested, that the best way to deal with these issues is to consciously put myself into situations where I’ll be forced to address them is just plain loopy.
I don’t care much for tarantulas either. I guess I could try getting over this by letting 30 giant spiders loose in my house, being confronted with them daily until my fear subsides. On the other hand, one of them might bite me in the face while I sleep and I would die a horrible death as its poison slowly strangled my heart.
Maybe I’m a big baby but I prefer to keep my heart tarantula- and poly-free.
My life is challenging enough without my relationships turning into some queer version of Fear Factor. I can hear Joe Rogan yelling now, “First you’re going to sit home alone while your partner goes on a date with someone else, then you’re going to process for 14 hours straight and then you’re going to eat seven of these Madagascar hissing cockroaches and this 100-year-old pig’s rectum!”
Even if I wanted to be polyamorous, frankly, I don’t have the time.
The amount of processing that goes on in one relationship exhausts me! Who are these people with enough time on their hands to pursue multiple relationships? Do they not have jobs? Hobbies? Pets’ litter boxes to change?
I can’t manage to get my laundry done let alone juggle partners. And if I ever decide to switch jobs, I don’t think 40 hours a week of relationship management will be the career path I’ll embark on.
The argument is that monogamous relationships offer a false sense of security. That people cheat all the time, leave out of the blue and generally mess up. That to believe in monogamy is to be in denial about all of this.
I’m not an apologist for monogamy. People do terrible things to each other all the time; monogamy doesn’t ensure that they don’t. I know this only too well.
But I want to act from my hopes, not my fears, and I try to create my life the way I want it to be rather than beginning from a place of defeat.
I want someone in my life who leads a fulfilled life on their own and wants to share that with me. I’m not asking for emotional and psychological perfection-lord knows I don’t have it to offer-but I am looking for a certain level of openness and willingness to invest.
Call me goofy but my idea of a relationship is a place where I can feel safe and cared for, where I can build something solid to return to and where I can grow. I like having a partner to share my life with, I like being someone’s one and only love and I like sleeping beside the same person every night.
If this makes me naïve or brainwashed or foolishly romantic or just plain boring, so be it.
I’ll take boring over pig’s rectum any day.