For the Faces of Polyamory project:
Chubby, geeky, artsy, bearded, tattooed, bi … and poly. Poly since I’ve been old enough to understand what attraction was.
It started when I was a kid, actually. As early as I remember feeling attraction to someone and truly understanding what that was, what I didn’t understand was why it had to be exclusive. No one expected me to only have one friend, or to choose one parent, grandparent, sibling and promise to love only them … what was it about this burgeoning new type of love I was starting to discover, why could it only possibly flow in one direction?
I don’t mean for this to sound like I think I was ‘born’ polyamorous. I don’t really feel like your choices in who you pursue romantically (as opposed to who you are actually attracted to) are biological – I think they’re formed by society, and you decide on your own if that makes sense to you or not. For me, it never really made sense; and as I read books and realized that there were people who felt differently … well, it wasn’t until university that I actually accepted it as a part of myself, just like my being bisexual (though again, that I believe is biological, but it’s something I couldn’t accept until I was on my own) and extremely liberal and everything else my upbringing wasn’t.
Of course, understanding this about myself hasn’t made my life / relationships automatically easier - I’ve been married and divorced twice, and I’m still searching for connections that will last - but I’ve also had some pretty amazing experiences and known all sorts of love that has overflowed and spread across the boundaries. I can’t imagine feeling as fulfilled in any other way.
I need love. I need to be open to it, exploring it, reaching out for it in every direction. Loving, and being able to love freely, is so much of what sustains me.
I hope I’m going to find the best ways to find love, and give my own in return, as I move forward.
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