There are all sorts of relationship configurations out there. I get a lot of people questioning me about being poly, because I’m open about it to pretty much everyone (I haven’t explicitly talked about it with my grandma, but she has read my Facebook, and I am open about it there; she may or may not ask at some point).
I like to point people to this graphic as a beginner:
I like that it describes, without judgment, various ways to have love relationships with others.
After that usually comes the question, “So where do you fall?”
And that’s a little more complicated.
I’ve never had any sort of hierarchical relationship structure, which seems to be the model most people expect of me because I’m married. After all, I’m married. Spouse and I should be protecting that relationship above all others, right?
But that’s not the way Eren and I view things. Of course we want to be together forever. That’s why we committed to one another in the first place. We weren’t sure we would ever get legally married–and in fact, our reason for legally tying the knot had more to do with Eren getting insurance and me being an incredibly klutzy person (ask about my dislocated elbow for an example) than with any sort of notion that we needed to do so to cement our tie to one another. And while the wedding was great fun–I attempted to put on a mini-Renaissance festival for it, complete with sword fighting and a friend playing the hammered dulcimer–it didn’t change our relationship with one another at all. Nearly 10 years later, we’re still just as happy with one another as we were then.
But: we also view our long-term partners as equal partners, or as equal as they can be. The boyfriend who lives with us has as much say as either of us in things like financial decisions, living arrangements, etc. The long-distance partners get to voice concerns about well-being. We talk and share with one another. We plan together. When we can, we eat together.
However–there are also non-long-term partners, or people we consider play partners. Some of these are people we are good friends with, who are around a lot, but are not part of the household. Some of these are one-time partners. Some are people we love, but who have their own households and so we are connected but not as interwoven, like the best of friends. Some are those who consider themselves solo polyamorists–who like to have partners and lovers but prefer to live independently. So in terms of the chart, there’s some of the equal partnership but also some of the relationship anarchy going on.
Poly can be really simple and really complex all at once. And I find that so beautiful.
Previously posted on my FetLife profile.