Note: I’ve updated this post to reflect my focus on nonmonogamy as the umbrella term, rather than using polyamory as a catch-all. Not just because that’s wrong and unfair and does not include everyone, but also because I have personally found that I am much more than polyamorous myself, and I prefer to support and educate about the wide variety of ethical ways that humans love and connect.
All over Dating Kinky and online, you can read about nonmonogamy. And if you have, you’ve probably realized that there are as many different versions of being nonmonogamous as there are people doing it.
There are common threads, though.
One of these threads that I’ve seen is the trope of, “Secondaries are people and deserve to be treated equally with primaries.”
It’s often used to skewer couples opening up to a third, telling them they are doin’ it rong.
And this is a truth, but in my mind is not THE truth.
Because nonmonogamy is not instant gratification.
Developing a relationship takes time.
If you come into my life, no matter how much I like you, you will not have the same trust, intimacy and primacy that my Pet has.
You will likely not even have the same trust, intimacy and primacy that my very good friends have.
Because you and I haven’t put in that time. We haven’t had those experiences. We’ve not developed that bond.
To me, nonmonogamy is not the guarantee of friendship or love or sex.
It is the POSSIBILITY of it.
It is being open to allowing any relationship to develop as deeply and widely as the relationship can handle.
It is the opportunity to create something deep and meaningful and loving and sexy and creative and silly and moving and profound and committed and… whatever…
OF YOUR OWN.
Yours and mine. Or yours and whomever.
But, what about equality?
The way I see it, it’s perfect equality. You have every opportunity to earn love and depth and respect and desire and all the good stuff, alongside the arguments and misunderstandings and little hurts and “we have to have a talk” times, just like my Pet did. just like my friends have.
Just because I’m nonmonogamous does not mean you get a shortcut to the head of the line, so you can feel equal to another without putting in the safe types of time and effort they did.
Just because your new potential partner is nonmonogamous does not mean that you get to sacrifice all the dating and romance and stuff and go straight to the sex, because “They get the mushy stuff from their primary.”
The primary gets all that amazing sexy fun and prioritizing because they put in the mushy stuff (or whatever else they put in).
You can, too.
Nonmonogamous relationships take time to develop.
They take time. They take commitment. They take communication.
And even with all of that, there is no guarantee that it will work. You have an equal chance, is all.
Just like with every other relationship.