“If I increase my number of partners, I reduce what I have to give any single partner.”

“If I increase my number of partners, I reduce what I have to give any single partner.”

True.

For some people this is 100% true. And it’s a valid way to live and feel and BE.

And those people often have a hard time understanding nonmonogamy. Or perhaps they get it in “threesome” format, because “well, that’s limited,” or whatever.

The thing is, no matter how obvious it seems that the more partners you have, the less for each partner, it’s not exactly true for everyone.

For some people, having multiple partners (or the freedom to have) makes having even one of them possible.

For some people having multiple partners makes having even one of them healthy.

For some people, having multiple partners is what keeps the boredom from setting in, and gives them a new appreciation.

And so on.

I am writing this and I KNOW this, and it’s still hard for me to put into words that can get past all the conditioning and MAKE SENSE.

But Im gonna try.

SCENARIO 1

I spend every moment I have with Partner A. I don’t have time for, nor do I want another partner. We share most hobbies and interests. I don’t even really want friends. I’m happy this way, being pretty much totally involved and I’m best able to relate this way, too.

SCENARIO 2

I spend a lot of my time with Partner A, but to spend ALL of my time with them would drive me batty. I maintain friendships (not romantic entanglements) of various types, and this gives me the time and experiences without my partner than I need to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with them (without axe-murdering them in their sleep). My partner does the same. Our friendships enhance our current relationship.

SCENARIO 3

I spend a fair amount of time with Partner A. Partner A and I both have a lot of hobbies and interests that we don’t share. We are also pretty independent people, and need our time apart. During that time, each of us has one more more other partners and/or friends that may join us in our activities. We are able to miss each other while we are not together. When we do spend time together, those outside experiences make for fun stories, ways to grow together and learn more about each other, and maybe even inspiring things we can and want to do together in new ways. We appreciate each other as we are, and we get the opportunity to see our partners through others’ eyes as well. Our other relationships enhance our current relationship.

SCENARIO 4

Partner A and I are housemates and lovers. We both have other friends and partners in our lives, and we never take for granted that we will be available for the daily stuff with each other (although we are partnered for the BIG things we’ve negotiated). We are both free spirits, and we love having someone to nest with, without the pressure of having to be everything (because that might kill us inside and kill our love). It’s also incredibly gratifying to know that we are loved for who we are, and encouraged to grow and become whomever we want to be with who we choose. Our other relationships enhance our current relationship, and grow on their own.

SCENARIO 5

I cannot have a live-in partner. I have tried it, and it makes me feel stifled and dead inside. I close off into myself, and I’m a shitty partner and friend to all. So, instead I have 7 different partners. I may love them, I may be friends with benefits—doesn’t matter. My ability to choose for myself helps me maintain my relationships, and actually have more people and connections in my life than I could if I “settled down.” None of my relationships are taken for granted, and all are about spending time together when we want to, and then parting to go back to our own spaces and lives.

And so on.

In some of these scenarios, having multiple people to spend time with in various capacities make the relationships they have POSSIBLE, and so don’t take away from it.

In some cases, the main partnership is enhanced and grows as a result of the other partnerships.

And I’m sure I’ve missed dozens of scenarios, including mis-matched partners like mono+nonmono, or people who need only one other partner matched with people who play the field with many.

Let’s look at an analogy: You love pizza.

You love pizza, because who doesn’t (no, you really don’t HAVE to prove that someone in the world does not love pizza. I’m being hyperbolic here)?

You love pizza A LOT. Like A LOT A LOT.

Neopolitan style pizza.
Sheet pan pizza.
New York Slices.
Detroit Style pizza.
Chicago style casserole—I mean pizza.

You get the picture.

And so, every day for dinner, because that is the most important meal of the day, you get pizza. Because you love it, and you ONLY have dinner with the one food you love best.

Breakfast and lunch, you can have other things. Because breakfast and lunch aren’t as important as dinner.

After a while, you might find yourself a bit less enthusiastic about pizza.

You may not. You’re a totally loyal person, and you can eat the same thing over and over again for the rest of your life. That’s cool.

Some people, however, are going to miss having the option of something other than pizza for dinner.

And in case you’ve not figured it out, dinner = romantic love/sex relationships. And pizza for dinner every night = monogamy.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE pizza. LOVE it! But I love it partially because I don’t have to have it ALL THE TIME. Having Chinese one night makes me appreciate pizza. Pasta another night. Greek. Thai. Lebanese. Hell, even Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (is it cheese? Is it really?).

Now sure, people aren’t pizza. Or even food. And sex isn’t food, either.

But I can give you another example:

The pandemic.

Staying home. With one person. Restricted.

I LOVE my person. Deeply. We get along better than any other partner I’ve ever had. Better than I ever imagined. And I know he feels the same.

And yet…

Even as someone who can be alone for weeks and cherish it. As someone who sometimes cancels dates to chill by myself as self-care, I missed other people.

A lot.

And the experiences and excitement of meeting others.

And the connections.

And sharing with my partner.

And it changed who we are as a couple.

Still in love.

Still easy together.

A little less sparkly.

More mundane. Less magic.

More expected, less surprise.

Not bad.

Also not enhanced.

And were that monogamy (forced by the pandemic or otherwise) to continue with no end in sight, I feel the dulling would also continue.

Like Oz slowly turning into Kansas.

FOR ME.

Also, for him, I can confidently say, as he is a good partner for my nonmogamy and experiential exploration, because he needs his own stuff AND mine.

And we would lose more than we lose when I have the ability to seek out other connections. And we gain SO MUCH more for my seeking. And our play together. And my pimping of him.

Our nonmonogamy adds to our love and happiness, it doesn’t subtract.

What are your thoughts?

Which scenario fits you best? Have you always been that person, or have you grown and changed and learned as you’ve lived? Are you living your best scenario now?

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