Yay for you! 🌟 I get that poly isn’t for everybody and that there are potentially other ways to learn these lessons, but I’m a pretty self-reflective person who has done a lot of work on dealing with my “stuff” around relationships. It wasn’t until we opened up that I truly made significant headway on this topic.

One of my partners is long distance and we communicate only once or twice a week. He’s very independent and I’m more nesty. My love languages are Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. Nat doesn’t give me much of either of those, but he shows me his love and commitment in other ways — the ways that work for him. And I’ve realized that mature love isn’t co-dependent (which I didn’t realize was even being co-dependent, because that’s the way society says you should be with each other). In fact, it doesn’t have to follow any pre-fab format about what a satisfying relationship is supposed to look like. It doesn’t have to go anywhere on the “relationship elevator.” What we have makes us both happy and that’s all that matters.

Being more independent and less enmeshed in each other from the place of “should” has improved my marriage as well. We bring our whole, healthy selves to each other because we choose to, not because “that’s what you do.”

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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