I‘ve wrestled mightily with this apparent contradiction. You see, a few years ago, I realized that a polyamorous relationship style was most compatible with my long-term happiness. Not just that I can love more than one – I had already known that without internal controversy. But, that loving more than one sustained me in a way that monogamy did not and could not. I was then faced with the reality that not everyone wanted to love me as I wanted them to. In those much darker early days, I frequently felt unaccepted and rejected. I took more detours down shame alley than I care to remember.
I accept you for who you are, but I just can’t be in a relationship with you… Are these contradictory sentiments? If you really accept me, why can’t you love me and be with me?
Ultimately, I gathered my own footing, put shame in its rightful place, and accepted myself fully. I began to insist that others accept me fully as well. I was confronted with the difficult choice of either walking away from a wonderful woman or ditching polyamory. As difficult as it was, I chose to walk away. Rinse, wash and repeat. Despite communicating clearly about polyamory to potential romantic partners, after these relationships became serious, I was still confronted with this same dilemma. In short, these wonderful women suggested that if I loved them, I would forsake my polyamory for them. My instinctive response was that if they really loved and accepted me, they would accept all of me including my polyamory.
That sounds reasonable, right? (more…)