On Honesty As A Foundation For Love – Part Two Of A Series About Polyandrous Love

I am very well loved. (Check out Part One for the background, it’s worth it). But in an open relationship, being “very well loved” isn’t always enough. One also needs to be very well honest and very well communicative.

These are common stumbling blocks. Monogamy is so enshrined in our culture that when starting out an open relationship, it is very easy to default to secrecy and lies. Making polyandrous love work relies on a commitment to honesty from all involved.

Loving someone is easy. The feelings just come on their own. But growing love and maintaining love takes more work, especially when there’s more than two people in the relationship. It’s tempting (and easy) to ignore issues in the hope that they’ll either fix themselves or just go away. This is where committed honesty comes into play.

Local Boyfriend doesn’t want to hear about every detail about what I get up to with Interstate Boyfriend. It’s enough for him that I tell him where I am going, when, and with whom, and then he goes about his life. I have committed to being honest with him about these things, and this honesty is the foundation upon which we have built our relationship.

He has committed to being honest with me about his feelings. If he’s feeling jealous, or sad, or angry, we have a commitment to each other to discuss these feelings and to working through them, so we can grow together.

We have made a commitment to building a life together. Our love is built upon trust, honesty and respect. Each one feeds the others. Without one element, the whole house of cards falls down.

Interstate Boyfriend and I have a different type of honesty. I have never heard details about other girls he dates, and I have no interest in hearing about what he gets up to when I am not there. I know his “type” (hint: fat radical feminists aren’t it), and I know that he sees other girls (because why wouldn’t he?) but despite that I don’t feel threatened or jealous because of how fiercely he loves me when we are together.

I genuinely don’t have any feelings of jealousy when I think of him with other women, because I know that he’s not truly mine. We have made no commitment to building a life together, so the idea of him seeing someone else doesn’t threaten anything apart from the likelihood of my getting orgasms from him – and even that isn’t truly at risk because he’s not the sort of person to get into a long-term monogamous relationship. He’s far too solitary for such a thing.

The love I share with Interstate Boyfriend is built on a different kind of honesty – honesty about what feels good and what doesn’t. Honesty about our fondness for each other. Honesty about who’s turn it is to visit. There’s less at stake with Interstate Boyfriend than there is with Local Boyfriend, but the need to be committed to honesty is just as important with both men.

Honesty and open communication is not just for non-monogamy. It’s critical to any kind of relationship, especially one where you’re hoping to build a life with your partner. In some ways, I would argue that my open relationship with Local Boyfriend has forced us to talk about things we may not have talked about had we defaulted to monogamy and never explored non-monogamy. We’ve been forced to talk about jealousy rather than just assuming that monogamy means jealousy doesn’t happen. We’ve been forced to talk about our expectations rather than just using the standard definition of monogamy as our relationship structure. I wonder how many monogamous relationships may not have ended if the people in them talked honestly about what they expected out of their relationship?

Committed honesty is hard work and requires the laying bare of your feelings, and the throwing away of expectations. I know that this sort of radical truth-telling is critical to how I love both my boyfriends, and I couldn’t imagine doing it any differently.

Coming soon: Part Three, in which I gush about my delicious Local Boyfriend.

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On Being Very Well Loved – Part One Of A Series About Polyandrous Love

This is part one of a series about polyandrous love – both the love I give and the love I receive. I have no idea how many parts are going to be in this series, so let’s dive into the unknown together!

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On the Thursday before Christmas, I spent the night with Interstate Boyfriend. He was visiting My City to spend Christmas with his family, who still live here. We spent the night in a boutique hotel in the heart of the city, ate amazing Italian food, and then drank the night away at a sake bar.

And we had sex. Lots of sex.

That is, of course, the original reason I started dating him; he was hot and good in bed. Me, shallow? Perish the thought!

But on that first night that he picked me up and invited me back to his (awesome, inner-city) apartment, and we discovered a shared love of all things geeky (as well as a shared love of having sex with each other), I had a feeling that I was going to enjoy his company and want to see more of him.

We spent the next six months drinking, fucking and watching sci-fi together. Once a week, I’d go to his apartment, we’d drink at a bar nearby, come back and watch an episode of True Blood or Caprica together, and then have sex. I was thoroughly enjoying his company, his bedroom skills, and making obscure geeky references with him, and I didn’t think there was anything more to my feelings than that.

Then he was offered an (incredible) job with a company at the pinnacle of his field, in an interstate city. That’s when I realised my feelings for him were more than just oxytocin-induced happy feelings.

I didn’t want to call my feelings love. Even admitting that to myself felt lie way too much commitment. I knew i liked him a lot, and I knew that I loved his company and loved the sex we had together, so I settled for telling him he’d been the highlight of my year, and that I would miss him keenly.

I would NEVER have told him not to leave, or not to take the job, but I knew that when he left, I would mourn him. And mourn him I did. I was convinced that I’d never see him again, and even though we talked regularly after he moved away, I went through all the motions of an ending relationship. I cried – a lot. I moped around the house. I drank heavily at strange times of the day and night. I ate lots of junk food and listened to Bruce Springsteen and watched Sex and The City. My poor Local Boyfriend didn’t know what to do with me. Coping While Your Girlfriend Mourns Her Other Boyfriend Leaving isn’t in the Polyandry Handbook. But he did an amazing job: comforted me when I cried, distracted me with cat videos from YouTube, took me out on little dates, and loved me fiercely the whole time.

A few months after he moved away, Interstate Boyfriend visited My City. We stayed in a very, very fancy hotel, and that’s what touched off our now long distance relationship. We go back and forth every couple of months, taking turns to visit one another.

In May this year, I was visiting him in His City. We’d been out for dinner and drinks, and in our post-orgasmic chill, I decided to tell him I loved him.
“Not in the ‘I love you and want to get married and have your babies’ way” I clarified, “but in the ‘I love you because you’re one of my dearest friends’ way.”
He nodded and smiled and told me he felt the same way, and I thought my heart was going to burst, I was so happy.

This visit, we were laying in bed, again in an oxytocin-induced semi-coma, and he was languidly stroking my (ample) belly. I’m not a skinny girl. I’m tall and I have a big round soft belly and big thighs – characteristics that many girls would try to hide or minimise, but I love my body, and I really love it when my boys touch me like that – it makes me feel like they are rejoicing in my body and enjoying it. I feel very sexy and very loved when one of my boys is running his hand across my body.

I told him this, and he leaned over to me, placed a soft little kiss on my forehead and said “You are incredibly sexy. And you are very well loved.”