Monogamy would be easier, but…

There are days when I, as a polyamorous person, think that it would be easier to be monogamous. There would be less schedule coordination to worry about, fewer people’s feelings to be afraid I’m going to hurt, less laundry to do, fewer things to remember about each person, and less worry about having to meet new people. (I mean, right now I’m polysaturated, but when I wasn’t, I was always worried that I would meet someone new and be rejected.)

Of course, monogamy has its downsides too, not the least of which being that toxic monogamy is a thing. Having been in a monogamous relationship/marriage from 1997-2013, I know there’s the potential for a lot of toxicity, much of it centered around fear. I get along with women far better than I do with men, and most of my friends are women. I was afraid to let my female friends get too close to my ex-wife (the first one, not the second) because she might get jealous — or, worse, she might steal them from me and then when we divorced I would lose them forever.

There’s also the fear of being attracted to someone who isn’t your monogamous partner. Look, we’re all attracted to multiple people; you don’t get married and suddenly stop noticing that sexy person walking past you on the street. Monogamy, though, makes it impossible to act on that attraction — even when you’re not doing it with the intent of dating or sleeping with someone. Something as simple as saying, “you look pretty today,” can lead to jealousy from a partner, and the core of jealousy is fear.

One of the best things about polyamory is that you don’t have to be afraid if you can’t be someone’s everything, or if someone can’t be your everything. Just as monogamous people have different friends who fulfill different needs (the gaming friend, the shopping friend, the poop friend), so too can polyamorous people have different partners who fulfill different needs.

I think sometimes about a woman I talked to earlier in the fall who was monogamous and decided that my polyamory was something she couldn’t handle, so we said goodbye. We had a lot in common, and if I was monogamous, I think we would have fit together very well. And in some ways, that kind of relationship might have been easier for me. But I’m just not happy in monogamous relationships; I don’t feel fulfilled, and I don’t feel happy. I chafe against the restrictions that are placed on me, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Besides, as Dumbledore said, there will always come a time when one has to choose between what is right and what is easy. Monogamy may be easier in some ways, but for me, polyamory is what’s right.

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