“How would you feel about me making my relationship with my other partner Facebook official?” is quite a question. It falls under ‘questions life in a monogamous society doesn’t prepare you to answer’ if I’m honest. I’ll admit that as much as I have a fuck tonne of compersion for my enboifriend and their girlfriend – my metamour – I did have a small moment of jealousy.
Content note for negative self-talk around the subject of compersion and jealousy. If any of the terminology in this post confuses you, check out this polyamory glossary by Coffee and Kink.
I’m in love. I technically tweeted this before I told my enboifriend that I was cunt-over-tits in love with them -which is possibly a relationship faux pas.
I’m so glad that the first person I’ve ever dated is just as much as a sex nerd as I am. It’s not only that they’re ok with dissecting our sex in detail, but since our third date (three days after we first met) they’ve been down for defining how we’re using the word ‘love’ in relation to each other. We communicate about how we communicate, and we frequently check in about how we’re feeling.
When we’re together, those check-ins are accompanied by kisses. Yes, we’re sickeningly cute. I know that New Relationship Energy – or NRE – is probably part of why my whole fucking face lights up every time I talk about them, but our relationship feels amazing. It’s not perfect, because we’re both flawed humans who will fuck up even if we haven’t so far, but it’s brilliant.
I’m still a solo poly slut: I love going to sex-positive events where it’s safe to assume that the folks in attendance are queer and/or polyamorous, even before you see their awesome kinky pin badges. Recently though, I’ve been wondering if it’s easier to navigate your first relationship if you’re monogamous.
There are very little media representation of non-monogamous relationships – and even less positive media representation. People look at you strangely when you mention that your partner is on a date, or that you’re on your way Few people know what polyamory means – and some folks who think they do think it’s non-consensual or one-penis-policy based. Society does almost everything to dissuade from developing compersion.
So, when you’re asked if you’re ok with your partner changing their Facebook status to say that they’re in a relationship with your metamour, it’s hard to know what you should feel instead of jealousy.
I’ve met their other partner, my metamour, and really like her – even if I felt slightly awkward during the dinner when she sat opposite our partner and I sat next to them. I’ve celebrated with my partner when they’ve made out with cute, queer humans or gone on dates. I’ve also sexted with and lusted over and slicked my knickers because of folks I’m not in a relationship with.
I’ve checked in with my partner before I spend time with both them and my metamour, asking questions so I’m certain about how much physical contact and flirtation is ok when you’re doing it in front of one of your partner’s other partners. I’ve asked if it’s ok for me to message them when I know they’re with their other partner, and have held back my lewds to send them when I know they’re not snuggled up with their other girlfriend and her cat.
And I’ve been very honest, throughout all our conversations, that I’m aware for the potential of jealousy feels to arise.
I don’t want to be jealous. I want to be a good polyamorous partner, and prove – to myself, rather than anyone else – that this is the kind of relationship style that works for me. I want to be a good metamour and feel compersion for my partner and their partners. I don’t want to be a jealous bitch. Not that jealousy means that I’m a bad partner or metamour, or that I’m bad at polyamory. Experiencing an emotion means I’m human, not a bitch. Beating myself up about this isn’t only unhelpful, but it’s unhealthy.
Jealousy is normal in polyamorous relationships – even if you’re on great terms with your metamour. For the most part, I haven’t felt jealous. Maybe once or twice, but I’ve acknowledged those feelings and shared them with my partner, making it clear that it’s my shit to work on and not their job to make me feel better.
But I did feel jealous they told me that they wanted to make things Facebook official with my metamour, and that jealousy was immediately followed by guilt. Unpacking that jealousy – which of course I did: sex nerd, remember? – was really interesting. It came from not having ever been taught how to react when the person you’re in love with wants to make a public declaration of love to someone else you’re dating. Even though I know my partner loves me, the lack of societal script for this situation made me revert to a rom-com heroine whose response was obviously jealousy. I much prefer writing my own scripts.
“How would you feel about me making my relationship with my other partner Facebook official?”
I feel that we live in a society that tells me that I’m doing sex, relationships, and love wrong. I’m not, even though my partner is Facebook official with my metamour.
Want to help me keep writing about my adventures in polyamory? Do my words make you feel things and want to tip me as a sign of appreciation for reminding you that emotions exist? Please buy me a coffee – I’ll raise a festive Starbucks in your honour!
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.