Why I Am Not Polyamorous, But You Might Want to Be, Part 2
Leaving a poly relationship, and three reasons I do not identify as polyamorous.
Posted Jun 02, 2014
This is the second part of a three-part blog explaining why I am not polyamorous but you might want to be. The first part explained why I started studying polyamory and how my relationship fell apart because of making many cliché polyamorous mistakes. This second part details how I came to leave Rick and the three main reasons I am not polyamorous, each followed by the quality or characteristic that could contribute to polyamory working for other people.
Poly Single (in practice)
After being with Rick for 15 years, I wanted some time to myself and had no interest in dating. My kids remained my most important relationship, with work and roller derby competing for secondary status. After more than a year of loving being single, I started thinking about casual dating and rapidly realized that I had become the unicorn – an unattached bisexual woman. At the time I did not consider myself to be polyamorous because I was not seeking an ongoing relationship, but many of the people who responded to my profile in an online dating website were polyamorous or at least mono-flexible. In retrospect, I see that my behavior could have been categorized as that of a poly single or solo poly, primarily because so many of the people I dated were poly.
After I had sown my wild oats, I fell in love again (something that does not happen very often) and simply stopped dating other people. Not because she asked me to, or because we had a big talk about it, but because I was just not interested in other people. Now “Kira” and I refrain from polyamory for three main reasons.
1. Low(ish) Sex Drive
While I enjoy sex, my partners have wanted to have more sex than I wanted in every serious romantic relationship I have had except for one. In addition to the mellow sex drive, I am surprisingly vanilla for a sexuality researcher. As an intellectual I intellectualize things that frighten me, so I have ended up studying polyamory and sexuality because each of them freaked me out until I understood them.
*Poly leaning: If you enjoy sex and like new partners but want to keep your long-term relationships, polyamory could offer you an honest route to sexual variety.
2. Too Busy
My external life is so full with work, parenting, roller derby, volunteer work, animal tending, and daily minutia that sometimes I barely have enough time for Kira. With free time in short supply, I also don’t get to see enough of my beloved friends I already know. Attempting to include additional intensive relationships sounds more exhausting than exciting.
3. Love of Solitude
While I am quite social and enjoy spending time with people, I love to be alone and find it challenging to carve out enough time to be by myself. My internal experience is quite engaging, both because my mind is busy thinking about the books I want to write and how to refine my fourth round of data collection, and also because I am emotionally high-maintenance for myself. With such a full brain and hectic emotions, I relish time to myself to let go of external stimulation. Adding more partners would cut in to the scarce time I do get to be alone.
*Poly leaning: Would you generally rather be with people than alone? If you are an extrovert then polyamory can be good for you, although some introverts find smaller poly groups quite comfortable as well.
While I do not identify as polyamorous, I am also not in a traditional monogamous relationship. In the final installment of this topic, I explain my monogamish and polyaffective relationships.