So you wake up and it's all happening.
At the beginning you fail to realize at all, you have the impression you're just getting together with this cute and crazy chick of waist-long hair and no sense of fashion. And who wouldn't? She spills high-brow hip jargon like a broken coffee vendor machine: polyamory, compersion, NRE, non-monogamy, radical honesty, ethical sluttery, threesomes and quads, butterflies and unicorns.
You're all pumped up, need I say more? Your eyes open wide like you're watching a trailer of paradise. Coming this summer: Heaven. "This girl puts the awe in awesome", you think, "she's on fire like an Iraqi oil field during the Gulf War!"
And perhaps it couldn't come at a better time. You've been poly for a while, or so you say. Some five years using the funny word and at least another five trying to do something that was equivalent.
“Ready? I was born ready!” But let's be down to earth here: in a decade of dreams, have you learned anything from trying, other than how to fail and survive failure?
Are you really ready, hot shot?
You're gonna get a run for your money, that much I can tell you right now. Your girlfriend, if you can call her that, she follows this blog that's called “Everything begins to make sense”. At the beginning that's you ten times over, “Hell yeah, this is what I'm talking about!” But by the time you hit the first weeks in, this phrase really starts ringing a bell inside your head. Everything begins to make sense. No. No, it's quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, it's the perfect opposite: Everything is stopping to make sense, nothing is making sense anymore.
Reality is decomposing before your eyes.
You feel like a conscript sent to 'Nam. Few months of confined boot camp and then one day they thrown into the Asian jungle just so you can discover the text book was a hundred years old way before you picked it up. Nothing looks like in the exercises, nothing feels like in training. It is all horrifyingly new.
You're not prepared for this, you never were. If you do well, you had it in you, 'cus whatever this is, 'You ain't never seen shit like this before'.
You couldn't blame yourself either, it's just called being mono. You were monogamic 'til yesterday, face it. You were keeping up monogamic relationships because you 'had to', thinking “one day I'm gonna take me a poly girl and poly will be my new name”. But so far you've only been saying that on Facebook. You know you can be attracted to other women while being very in love with one woman and you think that's as poly as it gets. But that's just mono. Loving any amount of women, different among them, and having mixed and diverse feelings for them, all exceeding friendship, while at the same time being happily in love and in a stable relationship with one woman you 'had to get together with' reluctantly, is still just what every other monogamic person on the planet can do and often does. Many monogamists will deny this, but they do so to reassure themselves about the impossibility of such identical feelings popping up in their partners' hearts, which would threaten the relationship and themselves. The truth of the matter is, however, that everybody can love many. Not everybody can share.
But you know this, don't you, cowboy? You've read the manual, you know how it works. “No panic,” you tell yourself, “it's all cool”.
Then you look into her eyes and you realize that if done right, this could be the biggest thing you've ever put together, the brightest star in your night sky. And if you don't, you won't have anybody to blame but yourself. There will be no evil ex coming back from the grave to snatch you away, no better looking, bigger-cocked stud to make her think twice about you, and no passive-aggressive fits of jealousy to gut the relationship either. Hell this is not even about her, about losing or keeping 'amazing her'. That's why the people that fail at poly don't just call it a day and go home. They go fucking postal, and they go postal because that sad little trembling figure in the center of the stage... is you. If you fail, it will be one of your biggest failures ever. Ever! And if that doesn't make your stomach turn, then just take another look at her, her deep eyes and soft skin, her wide smile and cat-like demeanor, and you'll be dashing for the toilet in panic.
You fuck this one up, and it'll haunt you. But hey, at least you couldn't say I didn't warn you.
I'm Léu, and I'm the new guy,