I saw this meme posted on social media recently, and it really felt like an important moment to speak up. We’ve all grown up surrounded by songs professing endless, undying devotion to our one true love, and Hollywood’s nonstop barrage of happily ever after films starring perfect people who have been married more times than Liz Taylor.
I think a lot of people could stand to learn the difference between being happy with a monogamous relationship and being happy with the idea of a monogamous relationship. This meme is projecting someone’s ideal on others, which to me is the opposite of love.
In No Man is An Island, Thomas Merton wrote, “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
I’m not saying that polyamory is for everyone – it undeniably isn’t. What I am saying is that things like this come from the same origin as phrases like “ethical non-monogamy”, which sends the subconscious message that non-monogamy is by default not ethical. There’s already a word for that, it’s called cheating. I have open and honest communication with my partners, which is who I am and how I live my life. I am an ethical man who happens to also be non-monogamous, with more than one partner. Don’t mix it up.
It is perfectly ethical for two consenting partnered adults to sleep around if trust and honest communication are present. It is perfectly ethical for consenting adults to have multiple relationships. I dare say that if what I have today was the model I was given as a kid, my early relationships would have been a lot healthier.
It’s ok for one person to not be your ‘everything’. I am beyond lucky to have two incredible men in my life. It’s ok that they meet different needs, and neither of them is less ‘sexy’ because they don’t meet all of my needs all of the time. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure to put on someone in the first place.
I don’t want my partners to be too busy loving me to miss out on someone that might bring something beautiful into their lives. That’s not because I don’t love them enough. It’s specifically because I love them so much that I want them to experience the fullness and richness that love offers, with people who touch their hearts and bring the unfathomable joy to them that they bring to me.
Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.