I spent the summer loving openly and honestly, trying for the first time to love and be loved by more than one person at a time. I realized that my relationship with Emily left me jaded about the notion of monogamy and I turned to something else entirely in hopes of not repeating the same mistakes. Polyamory was something I’d toyed with the notion of in the past, but I learned a lot about myself in the process and confirmed a thing or two about myself in pursuit of it this summer.
I have a new appreciation for some aspects of polyamory, but the biggest thing that I learned this summer is that it isn’t for me. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned in this regard, but I would rather hold out for that one person that I’ll be able to spend the rest of my life with and share everything with than to share pieces of myself with different people. I’m grateful for the time I spent with Laila and Aurora and I see the ways in which polyamory suits them, but I could see the outlying boundaries of our relationships and I wanted more than what was possible with them non-monogamously and from a distance. The moment of confirmation of this for me, was the day my grandmother had a heart attack and I had to leave for the weekend unexpectedly to go see her I couldn’t get ahold of either of them; they were both on dates with new people, which there was nothing wrong with, but I could never get the notion out of my head after that either of them was more than a friend that I happened to sleep with when we are in the same city at the same time.
The conversation in the car made me realize I’m not looking for friends with benefits either. I want something real, something lasting, something in the here and now that I can look forward to growing as it unfolds. I don’t know how to love part-time. I don’t know how to love in pockets or corners or between the lines. I almost envy those that can, but it isn’t me and it won’t ever be. I know myself, perhaps now better than ever, having tried something that I’d always wondered about and confirming what I knew to be true about myself. I can say with confidence that an open relationship isn’t what I want. I want one love; big and bold and occasionally messy, but above all, true.