BOTB: Seven Year Switch


I’m sure there are poly people who have long and committed relationships with all of their paramours. I haven’t been able to pull that off yet. It’s tricky. I’m poly in a world where most people are not. Matt’s had a nice steady girlfriend, but I’ve been all over the place. Which means my little heart has been hurt a few times. And after being monogamous for almost ten years—that vulnerability is a new and surprising feeling.

I’ve just had a relationship end with someone whom I really liked and loved hanging out with. In terms of a break up, this is about as good as it gets. No drama, no hard feelings, and it seems like we may have ended the relationship at exactly the right time. It’s sort of remarkable to be able to step away exactly when you should breakup.

(Photo Courtesy of Seven Year Switch)

Annnnd, I’m still pretty blue. I’ve had devastating breakups where my still-beating heart was ripped out and tossed in a ditch. This is nowhere near that. But one thing I’ve noticed with all breakups is they all make you feel like you’ve shed a second skin. In a strange way I feel kind of awakened and aware of myself and the world around me. Polyamory will bring out strong emotions, which I like. Even the hard ones. It’s like I can see, smell, taste, and feel more with my new raw skin. My heightened emotions make me motivated in my sport and in my artwork, and they make me want to hold tight to my other relationships (romantic and not romantic).

If I hang on to that feeling—versus the feeling of being rejected (again)—then I feel excited and awake, like I’m in a new city that’s strange and a little scary. If I squint my eyes past the dark alley I’m in I can see another window lit up with new faces, spicy new colorful food, steaming hot drinks, new music playing, and a strange local liquor that everyone is passing around.

Some people (maybe even me too) have said that you have to be thick-skinned to be polyamorous. I don’t agree. I’ll take the raw hypersensitive skin that feels everything over the calloused numb skin.

From Seven Year Switch.
For more from Matthew and Jane tune into this week’s Biology of the Blog!