Monday, 4 March 2013

Poly Means Many - Banging Your Head Against the Wall of Love

“Why do you keep banging your head against the wall?”

“Because it feels so good when I stop.”

Albert Einstein is credited with the quote “Insanity: doing the same thing again and again expecting different results”. For a lot of us, this is never truer than in relationships. This time it is going to be different, this time I won’t make the same mistakes.

The truth of it is, figuring out what is right for us is an incredibly difficult thing. Forget paying bills or waking up on Monday mornings, I think it is the single greatest challenge of being a grown-up. And finding the right thing in love and relationships? Well, that is the biggest doozy of them all! Some people are lucky, and figured it out young. Me? I’m nearing 30, and I still don’t quite know.

Looking back over my dating history, I've made a lot of the same mistakes, again and again. It didn't much look like it at the time, but hindsight is 20-20, so they say. I’d like to be able to sit here and say that I made a mistake, learned from it, and never did it again, but that just isn't the case.

The thing is - what is right for us changes. What is right for us at 18 is not what is right for us at 28, and certainly not what is right for us at 58. So how do we figure this out?

I would love to say that I've always known that polyamory was right for me, but recently, I had my doubts. After a string of being ‘unlucky in love’, I thought, perhaps this wasn't what was right for me. Maybe I just couldn't do it. I made myself some ground rules and changed my priorities, vowing not to make the same mistakes again. I said I wasn't going to get into a relationship, and instead focus on school. I said I wasn't going to date someone who already had a primary partner.

I can tell you now, that didn't last long. Without even knowing it, I ended up in a relationship, and with someone who had not 1, but 2 partners already. Insane? Maybe. Was I not just doing the same thing, and expecting a different result? Well, yes and no.

This is the funny thing about love and relationships. The second you say you are not looking, or you are not going to do something, it just kind of lands in your lap. When this happened to me, it made me spend a lot of time reflecting and thinking about why it was suddenly working, when previously it hadn't  Then I realised: it wasn't the ‘being in a relationship’ or even the ‘being in a relationship with someone who already had a partner’ that wasn't working for me, it was that I was trying to control things, trying to make them what they weren't and then being unhappy when that didn't work. Then in order to correct that, I started limiting myself, when one of the things I loved most about being poly, was that there were no limits on love.

As soon as I ‘let go’, and just let things happen; I found something that worked and suddenly became happier than I had been in a long, long time.

So that is it, that is my advice for finding what works for you. Don’t set up arbitrary limits. It is OK to have boundaries and rules, rules help protect ourselves and those around us, but be open to what comes your way. The things you've oft said you would never do, or weren't right for you, are the things that are sometimes just the ticket.

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts can be found at

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