It’s Complicated


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu.

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller


On occasion I get the chance to have coffee with someone, and discuss polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, and how I found myself on this journey. This week, I had that chance again, with a very charming man. We met, as I said, for coffee one morning, and ended up strolling from the coffee shop to a nearby restaurant for a long lunch on the patio. The conversation was pleasant, deep, and intellectually stimulating…and as we shared, I was reminded that my journey has been far from simple.

In fact, I believe my entire life has been particularly intense, and complex. It’s quite possible that I’m wired for complication.  I recognize that I tend to fill my life with activity, to dig into thoughts and ideas that challenge me, that I thrive on stress, and struggle to balance just enough with not too much. I am much more content when there are multiple people in my world, with whom I can share connection, friendship, love and relationship.  In truth, if things get too simple, I get bored.

I seek out connections with others, and generally I look for people who are deep thinkers, self-improvers, and those who are interested in falling in love. I consider myself this type of intense person. Conversely, I’ve spoken with people who choose not to be non-monogamous, because of the complication, the risk, and the inevitable hurt, and I’ve learned that for me, putting up walls against pain is not an option. If I block out the risk of pain, I also put up walls against intense joy, contentment, and happiness. This is how I am wired.

This does not mean that I don’t have room in my world for people who prefer simplicity, in fact, I’m in a lifelong relationship with a man, who loves me wholeheartedly, and who lives by a much simpler philosophy than I do. I appreciate that about him. It takes all sorts to make up this diverse and wonderful thing we call humanity.

So, my musings continue, as I try to sort out they why of my polyamorous wiring.  My new gentleman friend has not yet determined whether his life has room for multiple, ethical, romantic relationships, and that’s okay. I am grateful for the friendship, and the conversation that has raised these questions in my mind.

I’ve come to at least one conclusion: In my experience, those “it’s complicated” relationship statuses you find on social media sites are pretty accurate — especially when it comes to non-monogamy. Relationships are dynamic and the more people you involve, the more communication you need, the more opinions matter, the more needs and desires come into play.

My current, lingering question is this: Is there some connection between ethically non-monogamous poly folk and a tendency to be more intense, complicated, and desirous of less simplicity induced boredom in life?

I suppose inquiring minds want to know.