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Metamours: A Lot Like Sharing a Best Friend

·503 words·3 mins

“You should be on the podcast we’re gonna do!” I say to Gull. She’s one of the most poly-friendly monogamous people I know. And she’s a hell of a lot funnier than she realizes she is. She would be perfect for the show.

“That requires talking, and talking is scary,” she replies.

“Oh, I bet you’d be great,” I say.

“I just know me, and I’d clam up,” she says.

“Well, Justin could edit the shit out of any awkward parts. But no pressure. You do enough for us as it is,” I say. “You’re a sherpa and practically an honorary meta to me at this point. I did date your bestie, after all.”

“You know,” she says. “That makes metamours less of a foreign concept.”

Maybe We Do Have a Model for Metamours, After All

It’s funny. Metamour relations are a form of improv — sometimes hilarious, sometimes awkward, sometimes painful, sometimes glorious. But never dull. Part of what makes it all so kooky is that we don’t have scripts for how we’re supposed to act towards our partner’s other lover. We didn’t see it modeled for us in Disney movies. And I can’t remember ever reading about it in my favorite adolescent pleasure — Sweet Valley High books (oh the antics the Wakefield twins got up to!).

But here’s the kicker – we actually had plenty of good models around us. They just weren’t romantic.

You ever know someone who had 2 best friends? I sure did, and do. For most of my life, I’ve been a person with 2 to 8 best friends. And I’m currently best friends with Fluffy, who has a second best friend (LH is the other).

It’s not a bad model, really. I’ve totally run into cross-purposes with LH when trying to make plans with Fluffy:

“Hey, I have Monday off, want to hang out and do this one thing?”

“Sorry, I made plans with LH to do this other thing.”

Most of the time, I’m invited and can come, too. But sometimes it isn’t something that can work out that way. And that’s okay.

And just like a co-best friend, sometimes they’ll become YOUR best friend, too. But sometimes? It’s a regular friendship. Or maybe you can’t stand them.

It’s all okay.

Ask Yourself “What Would I Do If We Weren’t Sharing a Lover But a Best Friend?”

So the next time you’re trying to navigate the uncharted waters of metamour relations, try asking yourself “What would I do if we weren’t sharing a lover but a best friend?”

And maybe that’ll help. Maybe it won’t.

But at least you’ll have a starting point, a place to launch your own personal metamour script from. Because sometimes it’s easier to rewrite something that you’re familiar with than to start completely from scratch.


My new book is out!

Dealing with Difficult Metamours, the first book devoted solely to metamour relationships, full of strategies to help you get along better with your partners’ other partner(s).


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