I love my man. We’ve had problems, but I’ve never had a relationship this deep. Ever. Yes, we’ve had to really work at it, and we’ll have to do so—but yes, the good far outweighs the bad. Are there things that would absolutely run me off? Yep, there are transgressions for which I have absolutely zero tolerance. But I’ve found that my willingness to forgive, to work past obstacles, etc. is deeper than it ever has been with anyone else. He sure as hell does plenty of forgiving and working and tolerating, too!
But you know what? He’s actually worth fighting with. Truly. I love him enough to say the hard stuff, get angry, and deal with it. I don’t just withdraw and prepare to jump ship, and I’ve been guilty of doing that in the past. I hate conflict so much that I’d rather break up than deal with it in most circumstances. Yes, it is immature. It leads to relatively shallow interactions. It’s also related to PTSD, and expecting to get the shit knocked out of me if I ever allow myself to be angry or if someone else is angry—but I’m working past that stuff.
Still, if you know me and I actually bother to argue, disagree vehemently. or otherwise engage in some kind of conflict with you, know that you’re pretty damned special.
There are times now when I wonder, for the first time in my life—am I really polyamorous? Was I poly before because I hadn’t ever had the depth of what I have now, and I knew that something was missing?
Other than that moment of doubt, I do believe that I am really poly—I still firmly believe that I can love more than one person at a time. I know that I have loved more than one person at a time. I certainly am not invalidating my previous relationships simply because this one is different. I definitely experience compersion and love it.
But my relationship with Sam really has raised the bar. I do not in all honesty think I could ever settle for anything less than this in a primary relationship again. I know that I’m much pickier about secondary relationships now, too—I’m spoiled. Would I be willing to start from scratch again, knowing how much work would go into ever getting another relationship up to this point? I don’t know.
That’s a little scary to me. I’ve always known that I could find someone else, another relationship, etc, and do so pretty easily. The only times I have ever been totally single, it hasn’t been for lack of interested parties. Did that make me less willing to work things out than I am now? I don’t honestly know that either. I’m finding myself with a lot of “I don’t knows” today.
And I also know that I am wholly capable of being completely single and being happy. That hasn’t always been true. It does lead to being pickier because when you know you’re fine alone, you don’t feel that driving need to find someone, anyone! to be with. It helps to avoid some of the worst kinds of mistakes, of course, because you aren’t desperate. But it can also lead to simply being unwilling to go through the hassles of a new relationship. I’ve seen that in one of my lifelong bachelor friends and in others.
I do wonder, too—does the freedom of polyamory lead us to be less devoted to working past the hard places in our relationships than people who focus solely on one relationship at a time? Are we hedging our bets? Is there any grain of truth to the things people say about us just being unable or unwilling to commit to one person? I’ve always denied that as being valid in the past, and now I’m questioning it.