Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw
Changes happen all the time. The nature of life is fluid and uncertain, but we, humans, resist this part of reality. We like when things are stable, predictable, and in our control. Sure, some element of surprise is okay, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could control how many surprises we actually get?..
When my husband and I decided to open our marriage, I had a vision of what our life would be like. I hoped I’d compartmentalize my various needs among a few partners and I’d live happily ever after, showered by the love of multiple people.
Well… that wasn’t exactly what happened. Sure, I compartmentalized for a few years until I understood that I didn’t have to. I learned to love myself and replaced a few semi-satisfying relationships with one that had such abundance of love that I didn’t have to scramble for it among multiple people anymore.
Going from a monogamous marriage to polyamory was not easy. When I admitted to myself and, eventually, to my husband that I needed more than the normal life we had, everything changed. Thankfully, he was supportive of my needs and was willing to take that leap of faith with me. He agreed to an open marriage embraced the new lifestyle.
Non-monogamy is still very much frowned upon by the society and I didn’t feel like I could openly share that part of my life with most of the world. When I went out on a date with someone I picked activities based on the least likelihood of running into some random family friend or relative. When I walked down the street with someone other than my husband I felt nervous to hold hands with them — what if we’d be seen together?.. What if someone would tell my in-laws they saw me with some random man other than their beloved son? My husband was very selective about what he shared with his parents about his personal life and this aspect of it didn’t make the cut.
Things changed when I got the courage to let go of fear of being judged and had a heart-to-heart conversation with my mom. Thankfully, she was very accepting and supportive of my lifestyle and the decisions I made. Her reaction encouraged me to be more honest with others too. It turns out my mom’s support and approval was exactly what I needed to feel validated. After I got that, I stopped caring what anyone else thought, including the in-laws.
Just as I got comfortable openly talking about polyamory with the rest of the world, my view on relationships started to change. I realized that it was possible for me to feel fulfilled with just one partner and that I didn’t want to be with anyone else. That was a tough idea to process... Here I was — writing about polyamory on Medium and almost preaching free love, yet wanting to be in a monogamous relationship again.
I had to convince myself that it was okay to change my mind again. I had to admit that it was okay to no longer want something I’d wanted before. Then I had to tell my boyfriend that I no longer wanted to have multiple partners and ideally would like to go back to a monogamous relationship with him.
I was nervous to have that conversation… What if he wouldn’t be okay with my desire to be monogamous? He wasn’t dating anyone else at the time, but what if he would still want to find new partners, and what if I wouldn’t be able to handle that?..
Thankfully, my partner was okay with switching back to monogamy. He told me he was in love with me, felt fulfilled, and didn’t need to start any new relationships.
I felt at peace.
Changing my mind again about the kind of relationship I wanted wasn’t nearly as scary the second time around. Having a supportive loving partner who validated my feelings helped a lot too.
I don’t know if we will stay in a monogamous relationship forever. Perhaps when I’ll replenish the love I was lacking, it will start overflowing and one day we will go back to polyamory… I know now that I can handle change and that changing my mind about how I want to live is absolutely acceptable.