Recently, I gave my love a “golden ticket” to go play. It had expiration dates, clear clauses outlining agreements and voids where prohibited in it. We were separated for a week and he used his ticket. I did not have an opportunity during my time away to use my golden ticket. When we came home and had a wildly joyous greeting, nearly ten minutes into our reunion, he told me that he’d cashed in his ticket. I suddenly hated him. I physically pulled away, I told him I was upset. For the next few hours he wooed me back, the breakthrough moment was when I cried and told him I felt “replaceable” and he convinced me I could never be replaced. Here’s the kicker—I believed him. The next day I playfully punished him and in our erotic play we started to come back together which felt thrilling and new all over again.
So why do this dance? How can this disruption in your relationship be worth the hassle? For me it’s worth it to have some openness–because it oxygenates the relationship. It brings back the clear knowledge that there is a space between you and you don’t own each other. Why not do it privately? Just do the same thing but don’t discuss it, hide it? Because if you can get through the initial grind it can actually build more trust and vitality in a relationship that is already good and working.
However- this is a big IF. I have only done poly successfully (meaning I did not have a nervous breakdown and poly enhanced the relationship) with people I loved and felt deep trust with or in relationships that were fleeting — people without much investment on either side—both ends of the spectrum. For me, the tender beginning of a relationship when vulnerable attachments are beginning to grow is not a great time to do polyamory. This is what works for me—I am in no way saying that it can’t work for someone else. In some long term relationships a little openness can keep things vital. And isn’t this the point of long term relationships? That people feel a sense of vitality and aliveness in their union?
People sometimes assume that I am not jealous and that’s why I can do poly. The truth is I am wildly jealous and possessive too—however; I want my partner to be separate and sexually autonomous because I find it to be the healthiest way to keep going long term. After my love used his golden ticket and I got past the part where I wanted to claw his face off—we had a wonderful honeymoon period that has gone on for weeks. We had tremendous passion sexually but also tender moments when we declared how much we loved each other. But a caveat to this idyllic picture—if you are not experiencing lots of good parts of this lifestyle—well over 70% of the time–don’t do it. Don’t let someone talk you into a poly relationship. It has got to be something you do for yourself.