After one final blow with a situationship of two years, I had gotten fed up. My heart was obliterated by November of 2014, and I was ready to take some much-needed time for self-love and rebuilding; I obviously wasn't looking to start anything new. But on December 31st, 2014 I initiated a Twitter DM that would change that.
I met my Puerto Rican Papi (For the sake of privacy that's what we'll call him) at a Sunday Funday event through a friend of his. After meeting him I was immediately intrigued; He was tall, slim, outgoing and racially ambiguous which offered him a sort of mysteriousness, and after chatting with him briefly, I learned he had a passion for cooking, just like me. I was only hoping to know him from afar, so we exchanged Twitter & IG names.
After some necessary extensive social media research, coupled with food related posts, I became even more interested. BUT, I was still dealing with the impeding failure of my last situationship, so I didn't make moves to pursue him... yet.
Bringing it back to December 31st: after a few brief exchanges on IG & Twitter, I finally decided to make a move. We messaged a couple of times before I gave him my number which he used the very next day with a text that read "Hey mamita!". His playfulness made me smile. We went on to converse, trading bits of information about ourselves, until he dropped two bombs on me:
Okay. The first one... ehhh not so concerning, I believe that people come from all walks of life and choose their paths for a reason, so I'm cool with that. But the second one? I've never met anyone who was polyamorous. So I did some quick research on the subject.
Polyamory (n): The philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.
Wow. Instead of being put off, I saw this as an opportunity to learn something new about love. And considering I had just ended a relationship that left me in shambles, how bad could that be? Besides, I wasn't looking for love anyway.
Time went by and he made sure to be consistent. He'd text me almost every day just to see how my day was and I made a habit of visiting him after class. Well on one of those visits, he pitched a proposition. He wanted to enter a relationship with rules and we'd only discuss those in depth if I accepted. So after thinking about it for a couple of weeks, I agreed to the invitation.
Here were the term’s and conditions of our “relationship”
- It was in fact possible that at any given moment he could/would enter into a new relationship with anyone he pleases, however their world would never cross paths or interfere with mine.
- I would see him only once a week in an attempt to respect my personal time. And rules would be changed or added as needed.
I didn't have any rules for him at the time, since I couldn't think of anything so we just rolled with it.
The first of those rules he broke very early on, but we worked through it and after about 6 months in, I realized I loved him. I’ve loved him now for 1 year and 9 months, and I can say my relationship with my polyamorous Puerto Rican Papi was one of the best choices I've ever made.
What's great about my relationship is that it gave me a new level of insight and perspective on how people are able to love in their own unique way. It's by far the most fulfilling relationships I've ever had but I struggled a lot early on with ridding myself of the idea that he could be my future, because as a person who’s monogamous, I couldn’t fathom not being enough for him. I cried a lot and misunderstood a lot about our relationship in the beginning, because there was nothing I could do to change him, and I eventually realized that I shouldn’t want to. I had to teach myself love could exist in the moment of right now without the need for long-term attachment.
He's one of the most gentle and passionate creatures I know, and on the flip side he's very stubborn and selfish. He has taught me many things about life, finances, and about myself as a woman. He is strong and patient, and logical. He's a lot of great things that I admire and lack within myself, which is why is our relationship works so well. Most importantly he's not perfect. He has at times broken rules that I established, and unintentionally done hurtful things. So I said all that to say this, he's no different from any other regular guy that I could be in a monogamous relationship with, because he also has his fair share of flaws and weaknesses. But the difference is made up with communication.
Some questions that I often get asked:
Am I Polyamorous?
Yes, a few times I attempted to engage in having a second partner but all were are short-lived because I have a hard time creating a separate space to accommodate for the emotions of multiple people. When I did find myself having the desire to be with someone, it was only because I was not fully satisfied with Puerto Rican Papi or I was angry with whatever situation that was happening; And in my eyes that was the equivalent to cheating. You shouldn't seek others because you are not happy, you should only seek other partners when you have a true desire to know them and can give them what they need without neglect or mistreatment. So I have not yet successfully dated anyone else other than my main significant other.
Has he engaged in relationship with any new partners?
Yes. A few times that I know of for sure, probably more.
How did I cope?
Each time, not well at all L-O-L. The situations were all complicated and unique in their own way. All of which surfaced in ways of him being dishonest or simply being selfish. I eventually requested a new rule: He had to tell me before he engaged with someone else sexually I would have the right to choose if I wanted to continue our relationship on that level.
Has he hurt you?
I thought, with the way he lived his life, he'd always keep us safe and be honest. But he eventually broke my one rule. So yes, I've been hurt, the same type of way as with monogamy. I've cried many tears, and I've also been jealous, but it takes a strong will to keep working through it. I can never fault him for certain things that I agreed to in the beginning, because he was who he was before I met him and I repeat, I have no desire to change who he is.
Am I in love with him today?
No, I believe that to love someone and to be in love are two separate choices. I think a person’s ability to separate the two is very important. I love him and accept him for all that he is and for now, that will suffice, making the choice to fall in love with someone you know you can’t have a future with is just silly to me.
Is he in love with me?
No, I also think he, like myself, has no desire to fall in love. He gives love in a way that only he knows how. But when my love cup is running low, he never let’s it get empty, and that makes all the difference.
So what's the point in being with someone if you don't see a future?
A question that I get asked often. The best answer that I can give is simply, I love this man. I believe that happiness is subjective, and for me currently my happiness and direction are not dependent on what we may have later in life. It's about living in the moment of right now. And to love someone unconditionally means to accept them and love them to the best of your ability regardless of the circumstances, because that is what I want in return. For now I am satisfied and I am enjoying my relationship for what it is, just two people helping and loving each other. I do have a mental expiration date in mind, and that's only because I know that I want a baby and get married.
So when it's time, I’ll be ready to willingly detach myself from him and hopefully our friendship will remain. People are not things we possess in life, and I think that’s one of the hardest lessons we learn through love. A person can leave at any given moment and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you love them you shouldn’t want to stop them from being happy anyway, even if it’s not with you.
Polyamory in a nutshell is difficult and requires just as much commitment, if not more, than the standard monogamous relationship between two people. It requires complete honesty, and the ability to be fluid and most of all, to openly communicate. If you cannot do any one of those things, then I would say polyamory is not for you. If you have jealousy or trust issues, polyamory is not for you either. It can be extremely draining if you are an emotional person. However, a polyamorous relationship gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore attractions within others, while maintaining what you have with your main partner. It can mean physical connections or just emotional, or neither. And it can be done without the feeling of guilt.
The dynamics of polyamorous love are very different but can be genuine with the right person. As taboo as it is, you can be 100% happy and satisfied so long as sound judgment and transparency are a standard. If you are considering being polyamorous yourself or being with someone who is, just know that trust is everything. Most of all be true to yourself about what you really want out of a relationship, and do what works best for you.
Ladies, would you try a polyamorous relationship ?
Follow Akeia on Twitter at @_akeia. Feature image property of KittyClique.