Frankly, at the moment, I’m a bit blissy. Things are going well, and my gal is relatively accessible. In fact, I’ll see her tomorrow, which at three days will mark the fastest turnaround time after parting in our relationship thus far. The pressures I’ve been talking about aren’t eliminated, but they’re minimized to the extent that’s possible right now. I’m just happy, and things are going well; I don’t even have that sense of foreboding that I often do in times of plenty. It’s good.
However, this time of plenty makes poor harvest for a blog about my problems. I’m not really feeling much that I need to hash out publicly. There are a couple of things, of course, but I’m feeling none of them particularly strongly right now.
So, this makes for a good time to get into particulars that I’ve skipped over before. I thought I’d start with polyamory, what I think about it, and why I’m not doing it. As I’ve said a couple of times, I’m “open”, but not “poly”. I have a couple of objections to the word itself, and a couple of reasons that I don’t think it applies.
First and least of all, the word bothers me because it is a Greek prefix attached to a Latin root. The word, if fully Latinate, should be multiamory. However, even more than that I’d prefer a fully Greek construction, as Greek affords us many more words for love: eros, agape, philia and storge, each of which has a very different connotation. A lot of the difficulty in describing one’s relationships would be resolved better, in my opinion, by words like polyerotic, monoagapic, or, polyphiliac than by things like primary/secondary dichotomies.
Second, “polyamory” implies a level of definition and rules-laying that I’m uncomfortable with. I don’t want “veto power”, I don’t want to talk about my “metamours” or “OSOs”, and any time someone describes my current relationship as having “NRE” my teeth itch. Polamory is like relationship nerdery, and while I approve of it in the way that I approve of many geekeries that I don’t share, I don’t want to be held part of it any more than I want to be called a Trekkie/er. I get offended easily when anyone tries to boil me down into a specific grouping. Also, listening to two polies argue over relationship models is like listening to two comic book nerds fight over whether Superman or Obi-wan would win in a fight.
Aside from the geekery above, I’m also just uncomfortable with placing rules on a partner, and reciprocally uncomfortable about having them laid on me because of that. If I won’t set something as out of bounds–and I generally won’t–I wouldn’t want to be told something was out of bounds for me. I have a relationship. I’m in love, but I may see other people. That’s all the definition that I care for.
Additionally, it’s just not really applicable, at least not yet. I’ve at no time in my life had multiple, simultaneous romantic relationships, or multiple physically intimate relationships, or multiples of any of the things that get wrapped up in the “amory” half of the word. My interest in doing so is currently minimal, although probably not nonexistent. Nor am I convinced that I ever will; I think I’d like to, but I’m not sure the option is open to me. We’ll see. For the moment, the distinction is immaterial.
These shouldn’t (aside from the first one) be taken as indictments of polyamory qua polyamory. I’m not only tolerant of the subculture, but expansively approving of it. But, as I’ve just laid out, I have some very specific reasons to feel that it doesn’t and won’t apply to me. At the same time, the word “monogamous” is also inapplicable, except in the temporary-and-technical sense. Frankly, I’d be uncomfortable applying any of these terms to myself, as opposed to my relationship. Carrie and I have an open relationship, and it’s as simple as that.