One of my love languages is time and attention. Another is words of affirmation. My (now) long distance partner doesn’t give me much of either of those, and so what I’ve had to learn to do is to let him love me in the way that works best for him. It’s a part of what has helped me grow as a person, become less co-dependent in love, etc. This doesn’t mean to discard all of your needs. My nesting partner speaks my love languages, and so I get that met there with him.

It takes a bit to go from monogamous to not, in part because we have such deep programming around what relationships are supposed to look like and be like. There is immense freedom in leaving that behind and creating what works for you both — finding out who you actually are and what you actually want devoid of roles that others designed. I didn’t have much issue with jealousy, although James had some at times. What we learned is that when there is completely honesty and real agreement about things, and jealousy still crops up, its about something going on with the jealous person; something they are insecure about or need to give themselves. It’s not the other person’s job to manage that for them, and when you both show up and are willing to do that kind of work on yourself, it’s really beneficial for both the individuals and the relationship. We are happier than ever because we are living a life that we designed together, based in who we actually are, and not rules/roles that others created. We are in a true partnership.

As to how we got started, the short version is that we were in a very close but also sexually exploratory phase, and I had this desire to add in another man. What that was actually about is described more fully in the Twin Flame piece I’ve linked at the bottom. James agreed to another man (I wanted him and the other man together) if we could also do that with a woman. I agreed, not sure that I would be attracted to women in that way, but found that I’m actually entirely bi-sexual. This isn’t necessarily standard for poly, but James and I decided to only see other people together because we were wanting to enhance our relationship, not just have access to other ones. It’s worked out well that way — both stability of pair-bond, but additional love and fun with others in various types of relationships.

James has never been intimate with another guy (to date) but truly loves MFM too. Maybe not as much as I do, or as much as he loves being with multiple women, but he finds it really fun and exhilarating also because it puts us all very squarely in the present, and he gets to see me in new ways.

I’ve written about this extensively. Obviously, only read if and what interests you, but here are some links.

There’s a lot here, I know, but feel free to continue this conversation if you want to. It’s a topic I love to talk about.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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