Michelle is a busy single mom. She has a ten-year old daughter, and two adult sons, one of whom lives with her.
How long have you known you are poly?
I ended a marriage about five years ago. After that I just knew marriage wasn’t going to work for me. I didn’t know what to call it until someone told my what poyamorous was. When I was dating after my divorce, it just seemed silly to have to make a decision about who I wanted to have a romantic relationship with. Why did I have to do a choosing? If everyone was agreeable why couldn’t we have more than one relationship?
What was the discussion like when you talked about polyamory?
I had tried dating a few times but the first time I clicked with anyone he lived about 70 minutes away. We decided to try an ‘open’ relationship, because of the distance. He was presuming we each might have a ‘casual’ encounter now and then, but not an additional ongoing romantic relationship. I didn’t know what polyamory was, or have any definitions. It was a little more difficult to adjust to when I found an additional romantic relationship, because of our casual definitions. I had to find my own way, negotiating into polyamory. He got over it. In the other relationship, he was polyamorous, and knew how it worked. For him it was , “Yup, that’s great!” He is a lot closer, he only lives a few miles away.
Do you have to schedule your time between them?
I tend to see the closest man more, it is just easier. We are really pretty loose with any schedule, we are all busy people. We all make our own plans, and sometimes we may include each other, if it works out. We are independent and just take whatever time we can and offer it however it matches up with each relationship. If it is out to an event or occasion, we might all three go if it is desired and it can work out that way.
Do you keep each other always informed about who you are seeing?
We really just go about our lives and do what we need to do. If we are seeing someone new, we would let each other know about it. For our ongoing relationships, prior permission or knowledge is really not necessary. Plans with one may come up in conversation with the other. Then we might talk about it, and maybe include them, or not. It seems to work fine very loosely.
Do they have other relationships?
Right now neither of them has any other relationships. One of them has said that unless something fantastic come along he really isn’t interested in another relationship. The other said, “If something comes along, then I’ll let you know”. I just said, “Okedoke”. We don’t have any kind of condom compact since there isn’t anyone else involved, but if there was the rule would be indeed, yes, use one!
What challenges are there for you with polyamory?
Just not enough time in the day. Too much time working and maintaining a household. I would like to spend more time with each of them, and I just can’t. Sometimes we do get a few scheduling conflicts, but mainly because I can only do so much!
My kids take priority over anyone else, that’s how that works. They know both of the men involved and like them. My youngest only knows the nearer one is a romantic relationship. We keep the poly on the down low until she is a little older. I do spend a lot of time by myself, and just with my kids.
What are some of the benefits for you with polyamory?
Both of my relationships are very different, They both are very nurturing, but in very different ways. The benefit for them, and they have talked and agreed this is a significant benefit, is that I am really kind of hyper active and overwhelming at times, Them being able to split the time with me keeps me from driving either one of them totally crazy! I am a lot of woman!
Who can be successful with a poly relationship?
Jealous people need not apply! Jealousy would be completely counter productive. You need to be very open and honest. Honesty is imperative, it really is. It is the secrets, once you start keeping secrets it gets really destructive.
Is it easier to be Pagan and poly?
I have no doubt that it is, they are a lot more accepting. I think that is one of the reasons I keep it from my daughter is her father is Christian and would cause problems if he knew, now. My partners are an Agnostic and a Pagan.
Would you recommend poly to a single person or mom?
To me poly wasn’t so much a choice. It was something that I felt for a long time, but just didn’t realize. Monogamy, was for me, trying to be someone I wasn’t. It just didn’t work right for me. I would recommend it for someone who finds monogamy not working for them. It is a different lifestyle, with perks and drawbacks. It is nor for everyone. For me it is just a great way to live.
This end this series of interviews with Pagans who live a polyamorous lifestyle.
What is clear to me is that Pagans practicing polyamory are as diverse and adaptable as Pagans themselves. Our world has changed from one where the intact ‘nuclear’ family is the place where the majority of people find intimacy. People universally want to experience love, and they will go through much to have more of it. For some people polyamory is the perfect solution to getting as much love in their lives as they can. I am glad someone is learning all the skills needed to maintain that much love! We can all learn from that.