I worked for two days on a post about polyamory and realized that it really wasn’t reflecting what I wanted to say. (For the unfamiliar, being “poly” refers to a lifestyle in which a person may be in distinctively separate loving relationships with more than one person.) Instead, this open letter to you contains what I really need to communicate. It isn’t a set of expectations or rules. It is the best explanation I can manage, lovingly written especially for you.
Whether past, present, or future, know that I am polyamorous. It doesn’t mean you mean any less to me than another, or that you occupy a smaller part of my mind or heart. It does mean that I am at my most content and peaceful when expressing this aspect of myself. This state is the one in which I thrive. I want you to thrive also.
Realizing that I am a polyamorist did not arise from a desire to make a statement or adopt a new practice. It has taken many years of introspection to reach this level of understanding and acceptance of myself. It’s not something I set out to acquire or develop, nor is it an outgrowth of some prior heartbreak or disappointment. It is simply my default state to feel and give love, and this manifests in different ways.
To Lover Past
It is informative to hear how someone speaks of former lovers (if it all). Most paint unnecessarily negative images of their exes, presumably as justification for parting from them, but I try not to do this. Of course, if a description is unvarnished, tell it that way. You want me to speak fairly about you, right? I always try to. I hope you respect me enough to do this too.
I may still think about you and sometimes miss our time together, though I always come back to the same conclusion: Whatever separated us did in fact occur, and this is how things are now. We might even encounter each other again someday, and I sure wouldn’t want to be hesitant about seeing you. But if we were supposed to be together we probably still would be, so neither of us should dwell in the past.
Yes, there’s been others since you. You know I’m not the “can’t live without you” type, and no one since then was intended to replace you or be a better version of who I thought you should be. What we had was special but “special” can also be found with other people. I truly hope you have “special” again.
Do I miss sex with you? Maybe, sometimes – do you? Do I think about you when I have sex? Maybe, though sex is so much more than simple mental imagery or physical contact or technique. For me, how I feel about a lover is just as important as any other characteristic of the experience. I always want to feel aroused and stimulated when I think of you, no matter our past.
We are and ever will be part of each other. I would no sooner wish harm on you than on myself. We were lovers, after all. I sincerely apologize if my lack of understanding about myself was responsible for any discomfort or unpleasantness.
To Lover Present
First, let me clear up some things. I am “straight” in sexual terms, but I appreciate all orientations, not seeing gender as much of a condition as it is an identity. Same-sex play does not bother me though I have never sought it. I have no particular kinks or perversions but I appreciate them all on some level and may even dabble from time to time. Likewise, I am not in any way uptight about your orientation or proclivities. We can’t help who we are. I accept you.
I make no claim over you. I will never try to run your life, say who you can see, spy on or judge you. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be helpful or caring or concerned or involved; quite the contrary. I will tend to fill any role that I reasonably can, as best I can, unless it’s improper or unwanted. Your health and success and happiness in life are important to me. I am your lover.
I’m not a pushover, though. I’m pretty stubborn but I will always listen to you and give honest opinions – and maybe advice and aid, if warranted. But it may not always agree with what you want or think. Please don’t be mad at me when I put your best interests first. Understand, I only want the best for you.
Also, I do not make promises that I cannot or do not intend to keep. I hope for the same from you. Over time, our commitments to each other are what will keep us together and happy. Successfully executed commitments build trust and strengthen our bonds.
No matter where we are in the universe, understand that we have the relationship we do because it is our will, individually and together. We are only bound as strongly as we choose to be. Know that you would not be in my constellation were you not a bright star. I want you.
We haven’t met but please allow me to extend my warmest greetings. I don’t know where we’ll meet, though we’ll both be surprised that we encountered each other in that setting. We’ll probably flirt and tease a bit, drawn into each others eyes. Soon we will share ourselves fully.
I believe that love finds us; to go looking for it is usually fruitless. We won’t be looking for each other, and chances are you weren’t considering a poly relationship. But find each other we will, and I hope you will be open-minded when that time comes.
I won’t fill your head with false images or try to convince you that anything will be other than the best we can make it. All I can offer you is me, myself, my love. That I share my attentions with others is not a shortcoming on your part, or on mine. It is who I am. You will always get my best.