Proof of Concept

I spend a lot of time thinking about various “what if” outcomes. Sometimes this ends in me having arguments over situations that have yet to or will never happen. More often, this ends in me making assumptions about what future me would do, given specific circumstances. Mostly, these circumstances never come about and I don’t know if I have a good grasp on my personality. But sometimes, I get the chance to prove that I’m not full of shit when I boldly proclaim how I would react.

You talk to a lot of exes. How would you feel if your boyfriend was talking to his exes. 
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You’re still on various dating sites and messaging people. What if your boyfriend was doing that?

Go for it. Talk to whoever you want. Flirt if you want. Send dick pics.

It’s not about who you sleep with, it’s about who you come home to.

I think that I may have mentioned this idea before. And I’m not saying that I want my boyfriend to go out and sleep with whoever he wants to. But the idea applies. As long as you’re coming home to me, and not taking time away from us, talk to whoever you want. About whatever you want. Everyone needs an outlet.

You talk a pretty big game, but how do you know that’s how you would actually feel?

First of all, imaginary asshole antagonist, doesn’t everyone talk a pretty big game? Isn’t that what life is? It isn’t as if we’ve experienced even a small part of everything there is to experience.

Second of all, I don’t. I don’t know that’s how I would actually feel. I just have to take what I know about myself and apply it to the unknown.

So when life hands up one of my imaginary scenarios and I am proved right, I feel vindicated. To myself and my imaginary asshole. There isn’t anyone else to flaunt it to, but that doesn’t take away the sweet taste of victory.

I recently received a message on Instagram from a chick, calling my boyfriend by the wrong name, and claiming that he had been cheating on me for two years. Which is, coincidentally longer than I’ve known him. She had some legitimate evidence that she probably knew him. And when asked, he said that he knew her because she had added him and started up conversation a couple of years ago. But she lives across the country. They just talk on Facebook every few months.

Maybe her version is true. Maybe his is. More likely it’s probably a version of both. And that’s okay. Were they both calling it a relationship? I don’t care. If so, it was a long-distance relationship with someone they had never met, carried out online through messages and maybe pictures. And he was in bed with me.

I went through all of this in my head in a few minutes and realized that whatever was going on, it was okay. Just like I had always said it would be. But this was real life now. And I was right.

I am polyamorous. I have a partner that is not my boyfriend. I sometimes text exes. And sometimes I message people on dating sites about the parameters of a watch that could stop time. And that’s okay. Because I’m still coming home to my boyfriend.

Sex Makes Things Complicated

Sex immediately complicates a relationship. Not by a little, by a lot. This isn’t me advocating for a sexless life. Far, far from it. But I am saying that when your sex life starts to fail, so does the relationship. What if you share a house, finances, children, etc… and your partner decides that they’ve lost all sexual attraction towards you? But you’re still attracted to them? And they’re still attracted to others? What happens then?

Maybe, maybe, you’re comfortable enough to open up the marriage. But that isn’t traditional. So scratch that. You either suck it up and go on in a sexless marriage —for the children— or you divorce and find someone else you want to sleep with. Fuck the children. And neither of those options really appeals to me.

I know myself well enough to know that I’m fickle. I’m currently happy in a sexually monogamous relationship, but years down the road? I’m going to get bored. And that doesn’t mean that I want to break up. But when that happens to most people, you do break up, and move out, and figure out finances, and split parental rights, etc… It’s awful. Just because you want to go out and get your jollies for a few hours and then come back home.

One of my professors once told me that he and his partner’s stance was “it’s not who you have sex with, it’s who you make your home with.” Or something similar. And that was pretty integral to me figuring out where I stood on relationships.

The idea started me down the road to where I am now. There are people out there in happy relationships that can sleep with other people. And it works. Who knew? Maybe I could date someone and know that they would cheat on me and just not think about it. Or be okay with it. I wasn’t familiar with the ideas of polyamory or open relationships at that point. Or at least I hadn’t put much thought into them. That came later. But now I knew that not every relationship was full of people deluding themselves about the fidelity of their partners. There was hope.