A Year Plus, Five Times Over: On Stable Polyamorous Relationships

I realized something weird the other day:

I am currently dating five people.

I have been dating each of those five people for more than a year.

And part of that is luck, of course; I’m a tough person to date, honestly. I work eleven hours a day, and can’t often travel to people to visit them. Machete don’t text, Ferrett don’t phone or Skype. I’ve got pretty clear emotional needs, and I’m not shy about ensuring they’re met, and yet I have panic attacks.

But seriously.

Every relationship I’m in right now is stable. Can’t remember a significant fight I’ve had recently – there’s been differences of opinions that needed to be resolved, and crises to work through, but an actual psychic combat situation? Not any time recently.

And I attribute that to me, well, growing the fuck up. I’ve learned that just because there’s a new attraction there doesn’t mean I have to go chasing it. I’ve learned to spend time with potential partners, sometimes as long as two years, before jumping into Relationships with them. I’ve thought about who I date, and about assembling my polyamorous Justice League. I’ve internalized the concept of the comet when it comes to dating, and recognized the value of not trying to wrestle an irregular event into constant connection.

I’m smarter.

And I don’t think a breakup is necessarily a failure mode of polyamory, because relationships are complex interactions of needs and wants mashing together, and sometimes you stop dating just because it’s not working for you. But the way in which I’ve broken up in the past has been these frantic attempts to patch things together, because I chose the wrong partner and was desperately trying to spackle together a building during an earthquake.

These days, it’s a lot smoother. And that’s a milestone for me; on our date yesterday, Gini noted that my love life used to have so much churn she couldn’t really get invested in my partners because the average swoon-time was about six months once the top was popped, but now she felt comfortable getting attached to who I dated.

That was one of the weirdest compliments I’ve ever taken, but by God I’ll take it.

So, you five, you know who you are. Part of the reason you’re with me is that you don’t need to be acknowledged by Blog-Ferrett, and are comfortable just hanging out with the insecure weasel who exists behind these words.

But I wanted to thank y’all for making me better.

I wanted to thank y’all for staying as long as you have.

Let’s hope this keeps working.  And let’s hope I stay smart.

1 Comment

  1. Soldancer
    May 10, 2016

    Thank you! I am poly and also counsel other poly and those with alternative sex and relationship styles. I love hearing about poly relationships that are sustainable and basically healthy!! It helps me answer, “YES!” with more vigor when I get the usual question of can this work.

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