It may be an "off" week for the advice column, but I recently came across an extraordinary piece of writing on social media that I could not not share with you all.
One of the most frequent observations made about my #polyamfam is the fact that my partners all have relationships with one another in addition to their relationships with me. I don't mean that they all date or sleep with one another, but they all get along, can share space with each other, and are invested in each other's well being. That being said, one of the most frequent questions I field is something along the vein of "How do I build and sustain a relationship with my metamour?". And there's a BIG reason for that!
Building a relationship with one's metamour - if desired or expected - is one of the most difficult parts of non-monogamy. In the process of shedding the societal scripts of monogamy that have been bred into us by our culture, automatically assuming nefarious intent of those interested in our partner(s) is one of the hardest lessons to unlearn. Getting rid of the idea that a person who has intimate feelings for a partner of ours' must be "violating" or "disrespecting" us with their "manipulations" or "duplicity" often involves a stark facing of our own insecurities, a process of working through competitive impulses, and a conscious effort to get to know your metamour(s) not as looming shadowy figures waiting to "steal" our partner(s), but as HUMAN BEINGS.
But how do you initiate a relationship with your metamour?
The letter below (shared with permission) was written by a woman who - despite having eight years of non-monogamy experience under her belt - had been deeply struggling with how to "break the ice" with a new metamour. It's so authentically raw, genuine, honorable, and heartfelt that I wanted to share it as a model for future folks to utilize if/when they find themselves in similar circumstances. I especially love that the author is comfortable acknowledging her vulnerability and that she openly admits to struggling despite this being FAR from her first rodeo. Goes to show that non-monogamy is a lifelong process. I hope you find it as beautiful and precious as I did.