"I’m bisexual. I’m dating two people who are also dating each other. We are all in love and have no other relationships outside of these ones, casual, serious or otherwise. I feel like there is no category for me in society and no awareness that people like me exist outside of an abusive context. I know there is a kind of "poly" community but I don’t know how to access it or even if I’d be accepted there. My friends know but can’t relate. My family doesn’t know at all. How do I stop feeling lost?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I know right now you feel totally lost and different and I want to just tell you that you’re not different. You’re not weird. AND you are not alone. At all.
There are about a billion people out there in a successful poly relationship.
I can understand what position your friends are in, I could never be in a poly-ship. If the person I was in love with looked me in the eye and told me they were in love with someone else, my insides would absolutely fall out of my body and I would pull an Izzie-Stevens-Greys-Anatomy-Season-3 and lay on the bathroom floor for three months. Your heart, however, is different from mine, you’re in a relationship with two people and all three of you are in love and you are so lucky. Being in love is one of the most incredible feelings in the entire world.
So, let me tell you about how this feels from a perspective of someone who doesn’t relate. I still relate to you. The feelings that you’re feeling are the same feelings your friends have felt. Love, jealousy, confusion, sadness, joy, that pit in your stomach that you can’t explain, the exhaustion from staying up all night laughing, all of the feelings that come along with being in a relationship. These feelings don’t change based on the gender of the person your dating, the race of the person your dating, the religion of the person your dating or the number of people you’re dating.
Right now you feel like no one gets it, but I think if you give your friends a chance, you’ll see that we all have a lot more in common than you initially believe. Love is love you guys, we all feel differently about it, but we all feel it.
Well, Anonymous, first things first. If you feel like there is not a community out there, you can just check out the notes from our post yesterday to see that there is a huge support network for people in the poly community. Our response yesterday read to many as a lack of awareness surrounding the poly community, or a lack of respect therein. While neither of those things felt true to us, many people got PISSED AS HELL, and for good reason. Our words were easily, and unfortunately, read as an erasure of the poly community. What was brilliant about the post and response was that many of our readers who weren’t aware of polyamory wrote to us to say that they were thankful that they had been made aware, and the voices of the masses who are in polyamorous relationships got a bigger platform to be heard.
So, that’s a great start.
Dannielle’s words above are exactly on point. What you feel in your relationship, that feeling of love, that is the same feeling of love that any of us feel for those we care deeply about. Those are the feelings that you should try to communicate to your friends; when they say, “I don’t understand,” you can say to them, “Well, actually, you do understand a lot more than you think. The way I care for Sally and Todd is the same way you care for Bobby – it doesn’t have to be different just because there are three of us and not two.”
If you don’t want to tell your family right now, do not feel pressured. If you do want to share this part of your life with them, then, like we tell everyone, allow them time to go through the process of understanding. That process may begin with yelling and a lot of hurt. It may begin with a lot of questions. Don’t give up on the people who love you, because so many of them will surprise you by doing their damnedest to understand as much as they possibly can.
Now. I would like to call on the many of you who spoke up yesterday – can you please reply to this post and let Anonymous know about additional space of support on the internet, in their community, and beyond?
As Dannielle and I grow, we also continue to learn, and all of you are a part of that process with us!