Finding My Ideal
M and I have had a couple discussions, both measured and heated, recently about our relationship, and it has caused me to do a lot of thinking.
M feels like I’ve pulled away in the last few months, and I feel like he has pulled away in the same time. He has a new girlfriend (A), the first he has had in years that he actually has strong feelings for - she’s a partner, not just a play partner. Likewise, my life has been busy and I’ve been enjoying the extra freedom of having him around less, leading me to be more independent and yes, to pull away a bit.
In one of our discussions, I said that part of the trouble I have is that I can’t figure out what my ideal situation would be. On one hand, I love my independence and in many ways, I think my ideal situation would be to be kind of a permanent secondary, living in a cottage in the back yard or something. But by the same token, I can’t stand the thought of not being M’s primary, because he is mine. This leads to an impasse, because I’m basically asking to be less of a partner to M while at the same time asking him not to fill that hole with anyone else, and that’s not fair. We ended up not really coming to any resolution on this, which has led to more thinking, on my part.
M has spent a good chunk of time with A in the last week or so, and that, combined with a conversation I had with another poly friend of mine, has helped me to clarify my feelings, wants, and needs a bit.
I think the problem is that we’ve been focused on being a “hierarchical” poly couple for too long. Hierarchical polyamory basically means that there’s, well, a hierarchy of a primary, secondaries, etc. While this worked for us at the beginning, I feel that it has now become more restrictive than it is helpful, and I think that the labels have become a problem.
I’ve realized that what I really want is to *share* M with someone. I get him sometimes, they get him sometimes. Logistics regarding housing, legal status, etc, would be made by having a discussion with all relevant parties. Rather than any one of us being secondary, instead we’re just different. We have different roles in M’s life, and that’s okay.
It can be hard to think about polyamory outside of a hierarchical system, because our society is built around the idea of the “couple” as a top-tier unit, with everyone else coming beneath it. It can be difficult to think about your life outside of the normal societal constraints, but ultimately, it’s often the right answer for many. I think that it might be the right answer for us.