Note: This page includes content originally written in my blog, Love Letter from Dad 63.
I am happily married to Zak. I also have a committed relationship to my boy Robert, and a long distance relationship with my Son Dan. I’m not ‘cheating’ or on ‘the down low’, I’m polyamorous. Polyamory means that I have more than one intimate relationship simultaneously, and that I do so openly. My partners are aware of my relationships. They know each other and are friends.
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. A lot of the same people who clutch their pearls over the idea of multiple intimate relationships have no problem internally rationalizing an affair.
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. 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 openly non-monogamous, with more than one partner. It is perfectly ethical for two consenting partnered adults to sleep around if trust and honest, healthy 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 these 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. When we stop looking for one person who will be our everything, we not only remove that intense pressure from them, we also free ourselves to truly see what a person brings to the table without holding them to a near-impossible standard. We allow ourselves to love and appreciate them for who they are, not what they can give us.
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.
This is part 1 in a series on polyamory. If you’d like to continue, part 2 is called The Green-Eyed Monster.