Thursday, October 07, 2004

Like traveling with out moving…

Previously I made mention about the idea of falling in love while poly and would like to explore it a bit more.

So, just how does “Love” work when dealing with a secondary partner? Sure we all grow to “love” a person or feel “love” for another human, but what of the act of being “in love" with a person who is not our primary partner?

Please allow me to clarify.

Most primary, non-poly relationships have a sort of path they travel down. A trajectory if you will. First you meet someone. After finding common interests and mutual attractions, you start to date and if all goes well, you choose to take things to the next level. Now I think we all can agree here that this moment is a turning point, a mile post, in a relationship. Once you fuck someone, you can never ever go back to being “just friends”. Sex changes everything. How many of us have regretted taking that step and lost a friend because we slept with them and then the nature of the relationship changed?

Things now “changed”, you have a relationship on your hands. No longer merely a friend you are now dating this person. If all goes well, you will continue to date this person, traveling together along this relationship trajectory. Eventually you will both find yourself at another mile post. That moment when you admit that these feelings you have for each other are more than just hormones and mutual attraction. That’s right; you are in love and confess that to each other. In a flash, your “relationship” becomes a “Relationship”. Now you have done it, another mile post has been passed and cannot be undone. Just like the first time you have sex, you cannot undo this. At this moment everything changes.

If we continue with the idea of a traditional trajectory, then the “Relationship” needs to go somewhere. You are now talking about the future, your future together. Meeting family members, moving in together, picking out drapes together and all that. There is a destination for all this, that white picket fence dream of finding your soul mate and living together as one till you are both old and gray.

That is, in a frictionless gravity free world, the way it is supposed to work.

However what do you do when this is not your primary partner? What if you already are on that trajectory with someone, having a grand time with no intention on leaving, and find yourself falling for another?

Now in the “ploy fantasy” world, you fall in love with your secondary, they get along great with your primary, and you all move in together and buy a house in an artist community on an island somewhere and live happily ever after. Meanwhile back in reality, your secondary has a career, a primary of their own and possibly other secondaries as well. So the traditional trajectory of a relationship is just not going to work. You can try, but it will lead to heartbreak and frustration, trust me on that one.

Been there, done that, and not going to do it again.

So the question I pose is this. Is it possible to be “in love” with someone and not have a final destination? To short circuit the flight path, if you will, and change the trajectory of a relationship such that you are content be in love with out expecting it to go somewhere?

Or, are we hard wired to this idea that a relationship must have a destination and once we pass the sign post marked “I LOVE YOU”? Committing ourselves to a certain path or we must pull off the road all together? Must we deny these feelings for fear that we will jinx it, content to forever be “madly in like” with this person?

I would like to think that we can, like the Guild Navigators from Dune, travel with out actually moving. To explore all the points in the universe and touch upon them all yet not actually go anywhere. Content to simply be in love and expect nothing more than to have that love respected and returned?