Don't Call Me An Expert At This

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

When I read essays about polyamory, a lot of people say, “Some so-called ‘polyamory experts’ tell you that you should do it this way…”  And that always worries me, because I write a lot about polyamory and relationships and love.
But I will never claim to be an expert on polyamory.
It’s just too fucking complicated.  It’s like claiming to be an expert on monogamy, which would be ludicrous, too.  I write about *what works for me*, and if that resonates with you, then awesome, I’m happy.  But there are tons of people who poly it up in ways that don’t make sense to me, and they appear to be pretty happy.
And I try not to make predictions, because of my mother.
I have to hand it to my Mom.  I mean, her son spent his twenties in psychodramatic relationships, cheating constantly, swinging from dysfunctional affair to dysfunctional affair like some sort of priapic Tarzan.  I know she shook her head.  I know she despaired.
Then I called her up one day.  “Hey, Mom!” I said brightly.  “I met this really wonderful girl in a Star Wars chat room!  Online!  And I’m quitting my job to move to Alaska to help her raise her two children!”
Give my mother credit: she didn’t say a word.  She just expressed happiness and hope.  Even though, on paper, this relationship seemed sketchier than a XKCD cartoon.
Yet here we are, fourteen years later, happily married.  Who knew?  Christ, *I* wouldn’t have bet on me.  Yet Gini and I have managed.
Truth is, love can win out in the wildest of places.  And a lot of those polyamory experts, so-called or not, seem hell-bent on telling you what will inevitably cause doom.  I don’t know that.  I don’t think anyone does.  And I think the number of ways that people can fall in love far outstrips my ability to become acquainted with them.
I’ll write about polyamory, and what works for me.  And if you’re like me, or at least that particular writing is something we connect on, then awesome.  I hope it’s good advice.  I’m lucky enough that more than a few people seem to think that what I say approaches wisdom, and it may well do, for them.
But can I be an expert on polyamory?  I don’t think you can be.  I think you can cite some best practices that work for most people, and maybe cite some common problems, but polyamory is like programming and writing in that I could dedicate twelve hours a day to studying it, every day, for five decades, and at the end of it I suspect there would be still myriads of wonderful surprises.
Which is the good part.  So don’t call me an expert.  Call me what you will, ranging from “helpful” to “bloated asshole,” but an expert?  Never.  Couldn’t.  Shan’t.

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