Note: The information contained in this post is no longer accurate. It was originally written more than a year ago when my situation was different. I’m reposting it as I thought the concept was worth keeping in mind.
Love As A House
All through our lives we build foundations. The second we meet someone (in a non-professional capacity), from that first impression we start drawing up blueprints for a relationship. A lot of times, they stay blueprints. When we spend a fair amount of time around that particular person we build foundations for a future relationship with them. With the foundation down, that relationship between those two people can become anything easily.
Foundations can take days, weeks, months, or years to build, depending on the people and the circumstances.
The house that’s built on that foundation is love. It can contain different rooms, each a different kind of love. Romantic love may be the kitchen, dating love the hallway, sexual love the bedroom, friendly love the den, familial love the living room, companionate love the home office, intellectual love the studio, so on and so forth.
A new house may only have one room–friendly love or sexual love, for example. But then as the relationship grows between the people they may add on different rooms–maybe a kitchen or a studio. Some houses, however, will be complete with just one room. Others may have a dozen or more. Sometimes there will be some remodeling done and certain rooms will be added onto others–but that takes time.
The size of each room can change as the relationship develops. Maybe in the beginning sexual love is the most important thing in the relationship, so that one room is the whole house. Then friendly love comes along, starting off as a little closet sized room but becomes just the same size as the sexual love room. The other way around can happen as well–a room can diminish in size to the point where it might just be better to tear down the wall between it and another room. Sometimes the house will become abandoned if there is no love left.
I have been with T for over two years now. I started building my foundations with him the day I met him in 2010. After the basic foundations were laid, which took a couple weeks, the first room added was the bedroom (sexual love). Then the kitchen (romantic love) followed shortly after. It took awhile to start, but now we are building a home office (companionate love). We have a den (friendly love), but it is not as large as the bedroom or kitchen, and that’s okay.
With C, the foundations took more like a month to build, and the first room added was friendly love. Sexual love and romantic love were built about simultaneously. With the issues we were having, sexual love and romantic love shrunk so much that all I have left now is friendly love and that’s not a terribly huge room right now.
Now with CE, the foundations were more than two years in the making before the thought of adding a room was brought up. However, since it was brought up the house has been expanding at quite a rate. First we built the hallway (dating love). Then after about a month we built the bedroom, then about two months later, we’re building the kitchen. KE is concerned mostly about how fast our kitchen is expanding.
For a non-romantic, non-sexual example: I met ME at a party at that poly house about a year ago and started laying foundations as we started to see each other more. We have built a fair sized den (friendly love) over that time period, as well as a very slightly smaller studio (intellectual love). The latest development in that house is that we are building and expanding on a living room (familial love). Some day, if all the pieces come together right, I think we very well could have a home office, but that will take time.
For an example outside of myself, I’d like to use KE and CE’s relationship. Now, I do have to put a caveat on this: I do not know for sure that this is how it happened, but this is my best guess from what I do know. Foundations were built, then the first room added on was sexual love. That had some time to grow before it was joined by dating love, then after months, romantic love. Due to certain work-related circumstances with CS, their home office (companionate love) became extensive. Familial love is growing still, I think. I think their house is a rather pretty house.
It is a common meme that bisexual women are slutty, or need one of each sex to make them happy. Whereas this may be true for some bi women (as it could be for anyone) it is not true of all. Which brings me to an odd point.
Of most women I have talked to, either in person or online, who identify as polyamorous, also identify as bisexual. Is it just a coincidence? I do not think so. It is a matter of choice. We like having lots of choices and see no reason to limit ourselves, to close ourselves off from the possibility that there is more out there. There is debate about whether polyamory is a choice or something inborn in a person, and honestly, I’m not so sure about this, so I’m not going to touch it.
The religious right likes to say that being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is a choice–which is bullshit. The gay and lesbian community sadly parrots this to bisexual people–you must make a choice, as if we can decide who we are physically and/or emotionally attracted to. If they can’t, why do they assume we can? The same goes for the poly community–we can’t make a choice as to who we are physically and/or emotionally attracted to–it happens, often out of our control.
The choices we do have regard who we have relationships with. Where it is true that we cannot choose who we are attracted to, we can choose who we want to have relationships with–especially with regards to the poly community. We know that there are some people who we may be attracted to who may be bad relationship partners–who may not be able to respect our identities or existing relationships. And it is our choice whether we want to include these people in our lives.
While it is true that there are poly women who have both male and female partners, it is equally true that there are bi poly women who have only male, or only female partners. A multitude of partners of the “opposite” sex does not make a bi poly person any more straight than having a multitude of partners of the “same” sex makes them more gay. It is also true that having a mix of sexes with partners does not make a person any more bisexual than one who has partners of just one sex.
As for being open and out, I am of two minds. I will and do freely admit to being bisexual–it is part of who I am and a part of my dating history and I think it is important for people, especially those whom I am attracted to and may be interested in forming a relationship with. While I do believe it is important to be honest to all of one’s partners, there’s a certain point where I think poly becomes must know information. So, in summary, bi=freely open, especially to prospective partners and poly=on a need to know basis, but as early as is practical. Maybe the last half is because I am not fully comfortable with this part of myself yet–it took me years of knowing I was bisexual to be this comfortable about it and I have only been dealing with poly for months.
I’m not quite sure how I was intending to structure this when I started, but I think I’ve said all I can say on this subject at this point in time.