What’s In a Name?

There are a lot of decisions to be made once you commit to the polyamorous lifestyle. Not least of which was how to share this information with people. It wasn’t ever a decision of whether to share this information with people. That isn’t in my personality. I’m loud and I’m not shy, so if you ask a question, you’ll get the answer even if you don’t actually want it. But the specific lifestyle that I am leading also does not lend itself to keeping it secret. I have a partner, that I’m not having sex with, but live with and share finances with and will have children with. I also have boyfriends. So not telling people would lead to me at family Christmas with kids, partner, boyfriend, and a lot of explaining. Easiest to get it out of the way now.
But easy is a very relative term. Most of my friends ask questions, but accept it. They may not understand and may not want it for them, but they don’t question it for me. I’ve always been the black sheep of most friend groups, so nothing comes as much of a surprise. My family is a different story. They prefer the term “best friend” to partner, no matter how often I try to explain the difference. And they _definitely_ prefer me to not talk about it at larger family gatherings.
But who cares? Why does it matter if they recognize that I have a partner instead of a best friend. Why should I try to pull my family members out of their one track mindset of what a relationship is supposed to look like? In the grand scheme of how I’m going to live my life, it doesn’t matter if my mother calls her my partner, I’m still going to. But when looking at how I interact with my family, it matters to me a lot. 
I am very close with my family and don’t like having topics that must be avoided (other than politics). Especially when it involves my day-to-day life. I want to to go home and talk about what’s going on in my life without them getting uncomfortable or throwing each other looks while I’m talking. I don’t care if they don’t agree with it for themselves, but I want them to see how well it is working for me. It’s not pleasant to say something and have my mom immediately turn to my brother and make sure he knows that he doesn’t have to do everything that I do
So that’s why I continue to bring it up. With everyone. Family or not. Because the more people are aware that there are other options out there, the more they are willing to ask questions and maybe try new things. And if it becomes more normalized, I won’t have to worry about the weird looks my family gives me. Or maybe I will. But someone else’s parents might be a little more open to the idea. And that makes it worth it. 

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