Saturday, October 20, 2007

An open letter for my dear friend,

A sweet and wonderful friend of mine is going though some first time poly angst. I started to write a comment of encouragment on her journal and it sorta spilled into more. So I thought it best to share.

Dear ...,
So you are about to embark on your first poly foray. Kinda scary huh? It was so much easier when it was you and your husband sharing a girlfriend. But now you are about to embark on a solo relationship, your own secondary partner. One that you will have to care and maintain on your own. Scared? Exited at the prospects? Not sure what it all means?

Let me tell ya something sister, I been there and its gonna be ok. I remember the first date that I ever went on solo. Up to this point all our explorations into non-monogamy had been together, sharing our bed with several sweet ladies or forays into the swinger world. Always something we did together. Now things were to be different, I was going on a date alone. My greatest fear was, would this be the beginning of the end? Would my desire to have this relationship, however casual it may be, with out my wife’s involvement (beyond her meeting and approval of said girl of course) be the high watermark that we could look back on and see just where the marriage went south? Was I about to cash in the love of my high school sweetheart for this?

Short answer, no. In the 12 years since that first date I’ve had a lot of secondary lovers. Some good, some bad but in the end the constant has always been Tambo. She is the foundation, the rock that centers me and makes it possible for me to do what I do. Your husband is that same centering force for you. In the few short years I have known you both I can see how much love there is and how strong that relationship is. You guys get it. Take it from someone who has made every poly mistake in the book and fucked up more relationships that I care to remember.

To be poly and having multiple partners is not about replacing something that is broken in your relationship, but rather adding to something that works and creating something altogether better.

So first and foremost, I bet your head is zinging with the buzz of the new relationship and all the potential that lies with in. This new relationship energy is a wonderful thing; it keeps you up at night wondering about the smallest details about this new person. It can also be confusing, the constant buzz drowning out all other thoughts. You wonder, "OMG does this mean I’m not in love with my partner if all I can think about is this new person?" Nope, it is still there. Once the flash and smoke of the new thrill has subsided, there it will be like it always has been. Don’t confuse these feeling for love. On the same token, don’t just assume that your primary partner is going to wait patiently for the buzzing to stop. Make a point to give extra attention and reassurance to his during this time.

I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but this confusion will pass. The shine wears off. I’ve had so many people who in the first 6 weeks I was so infatuated and thrilled by them that I thought for sure that I was “in love” for sure. After 6 months? Like any good drug, the high wears off and you find yourself thinking, is this really working for me?

Or it may not. It was a good 6 months before we said the “L” word to each other and have not looked back since. That was almost 4 years ago and we have not left our partners. While we are woven tightly into the fabric of each other’s lives and deeply in love, I still spend most of my days with Tambo. She is the one I’m planning on growing old with, still my foundation.

Alas, I am rambling on this rainy Seattle morning.

In closing, my dear, relax you are going to be ok. Enjoy the high of this new experience but don’t forget that the love you and your partner have for each other is reason why you are here. This boy may not be “the other one”, but enjoy it for what it is and remember, you are not replacing love just adding more love to mix.

I’m here for ya,