Assembling Your Polyamorous Justice League

There was a time when I didn’t think much about who I dated; it was largely a question of she likes me I like her let’s go go go! And that amorphous process led to me dating pretty much any smoochable body on the chance that it might lead to something cool.

It often did not lead to cool things at all.

If all I got was just the occasional bad date, then I’d have laughed it off. But these “Why not?” experiences led to me taking chance on people who were prooooobably not that great for me, but how could I tell for sure until I popped that seal?

What happened was that “Let’s see how it turns out” led me to date lots of folks who could be shaped into a good partner for me with six months of constant and careful effort. I dated people who didn’t quite get my sense of humor, people who got offended when I got insecure, people who couldn’t express their needs clearly enough to get through to me consistently.

Sometimes they worked out, but more often they just burned energy. I’d be spending time clarifying expectations with them – time I could have spent with my wife.

And as my dance card filled up, the cost of a bad relationship swelled – I’d go away to spend a precious weekend with someone who I recognized, on some level, I could never make happy. And when I had two other sweeties and a beautiful wife to spend time with, why was I wasting time here?

That dating paradigm of “Sure, why not?” applied when I had nothing to lose except time. But with each additional lover I dated, that time became infinitely more valuable.

This weekend, I realized what I was doing wrong. As a busy polyamorous man, I should not be dating people.

I should be assembling my Justice League of perfect lovers.

That sounds super-egotistic – but that’s the love and admiration I have for existing partners. I mean God, I’m blessed to have them in my life. My wife is my Wonder Woman, the strongest warrior in all the stars. My girlfriend of seven years is my Batman, as she’s inevitably right about polyamorous strategies and packs a mean right hook.

(My other partners, well, I’ve got one who’s asked to be Green Lantern, but I’m pretty sure the metaphor breaks down from there.)

Point is, you can’t just take a shot on putting heroes into the Justice League. You just don’t throw any old hero into an adventure with Batman and Wonder Woman and hope they keep up! It’ll be Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit all over again. The Justice League isn’t where you train heroes to be the best – it’s where the best congregate.

As someone raised on comics, that metaphor is potent to me. I might shrug at my own talents – and do – but if I look at myself as a member of an amazing team, then I’m much more discerning. That allows me to recognize I’m doing a disservice to my existing lovers whenever I date someone who I’m like, “Eh, who knows? Maybe it could work…”

That’s not the superhero spirit I need in my life. I need people who get the spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish off the bat, because there are too many exciting adventures to be had to spend whole issues mired in explaining backstory and motivation.

So when I’m dating these days – and I’m doing increasingly less of that – I’m thinking, “I’ve got some fantastic fucking people in my life already. Is this person another world-class superhero? Or are they someone I’m just kind of following around to see what’ll happen?”

Because the truth is, the people I’m dating right now are all JLA all-stars. And if I keep adding new members, eventually I’ll have to put an Aquaman on the roster.

Nobody fucking wants to date Aquaman.

2 Comments

  1. Rider
    Jan 5, 2016

    Does that make you Fury? I mean, I ship it but huh.

  2. James
    May 25, 2016

    I’m curious… how old are you, and how long have you been married? Indeed, your conclusion here is sensible – but also, a bit of a no-brainer. For how long were you (two) poly before it became apparent that your time is a most valued resource and that you should have a quality standard for spending that time away from your home?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Year Of Cutting Down | Ferrett Steinmetz - […] […]
  2. A Year Plus, Five Times Over: On Stable Polyamorous Relationships | Ferrett Steinmetz - […] years, before jumping into Relationships with them. I’ve thought about who I date, and about assembling my polyamorous Justice…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *