A Path to Poly

I can confidently say after 15 years of faithful monogamy I’d properly tried it but I guess we were one of the relationship casualties of Covid. I wish I could also say that my entry into polyamory resulted from a long and conscious journey.

Truth is, covid hammered the final nail into a decade of marriage and divorce takes an awful long time to finalise. I wasn’t prepared to moth my balls for the better part of a year while my wife was enjoying her freedom abroad.

A compulsive need to label things accurately (particularly where there is a chance of appearing shady) drove me into the arms of OkCupid, which had an adequate diversity of relationship dynamics (as well as a great matching algorithm). It also introduced me to a bunch of terms used by profiles of interesting folk: relationship escalator, unicorn hunting, relationship anarchy, amatonormativity.

There’s an amusing irony that if divorce wasn’t such a drawn-out process, I might not have become acquainted with ethical non-monogamy.

So, I like to do my research. The more I read, the more I realised that marriage – and even monogamy – were not necessarily the only relationship model I could subscribe to. Moreover, I had problems with the romantic presentation, feeling like I’d been indoctrinated somewhat by a bunch of middle-class Victorians.

I’m still pulling on this thread wound around patriarchy, religion, consumerism. I’ll try to lay out the strands here alongside my personal experiences. Lockdown dramatically demonstrated the need for people to weave themselves into meaningful, personal social networks to live rich, robust lives. I want to take this broken thing apart, work out how the pieces fit together and build back something stronger and more durable and rewarding.

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