Monday, 3 September 2012

Fear and Loss in Polyland

Many of the posts in this series focus on the good and the great things about poly. But, like many good things in life, there is a darker side. This week's topic really highlighted to me, the 'less than great' parts of being a poly. Loss, a pretty broad topic, be it break ups, loss of a loved one or family member, or even of a familiar experience or item, is a traumatic experience.

Being poly means more partners, more love, more support. Sadly, it also means more loss. Having 3 people who love you is great, but losing 3 people who love you is less than great.

Last summer, I had the misfortune of experiencing 4 break ups in a very short span of time. All of them devastating, and several of them messy. Having so many losses in such a short time was quite a blow, and it all left me reeling. I wondered if poly was really the right thing for me. Each prior loss seemed to cause more problems in the relationships I had left and each consecutive loss seemed to compound the hurt of the previous ones.

On the bright side, having that much more... exposure... to hurt, allowed me to learn that much more about myself, and to experience that much more personal growth. To improve and be a better partner, lover and friend, next time. My experience dealing with different lovers and different types of relationships has better equipped me for future lovers and relationships.

I addition, the very same support network I spoke of last month, meant that in experiencing this loss, I was never really alone. I had people around me who knew what I was going through and understood. One must be careful to never imply that losing a partner when you have another partner would 'soften the blow' in any way, each relationship is different, and has their own nuances. They each need to be grieved. Similarly to a parent, experiencing the loss of a child, will not just shrug and say 'Oh well, at least I have another one', having more than one partner does not negate the pain and trauma of losing one of them.

But, having a larger tribe of those who love you makes any dark time easier to get through. In the end, I know that poly is for me and, despite the greater potential for heartbreak, the greater potential for love makes it all worth while.

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month seven bloggers - ALBJ,DelightfullyQueer, An OpenBook, More ThanNuclear, Post ModernSleaze, Rarely WearsLipstick, and The Boy With The Inked Skin - will write about their views on one of them.


lipsticklori said...

Some people will never learn as much as you did last year. Although no one would choose to experience that much hurt, I'm so glad you have come out the other side feeling somehow better for it.

Anonymous said...

I love how clearly you recognise that making the choice to love more also opens you up to the potential for (much) more loss and hurt, but how even that can in the end have valuable results and irreplaceable insights.