PQ 8.3 — Does the idea of my partner having another lover mean that whatever my partner sees in me will no longer be valid, or that my partner will want to choose that other lover over me?

Two gray cats cuddling. The cat in the foreground has a worried look on its face.
Image by Keller Holmes / CC BY

PQ 8.3 —¬†Does the idea of my partner having another lover mean that whatever my partner sees in me will no longer be valid, or that my partner will want to choose that other lover over me?

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When I was brand new to poly, I spent hours reading other polyamorous people say that love was infinite. And that love for one person didn’t take away from love for another. But it always felt like grasping. Like hollow validation without basis.

I wanted to believe it, especially on nights when my partner Seth was off with my metamour. But I couldn’t quite.

It wasn’t until the first time that I came home from a date of my own and reunited with Seth after having fun with someone else that I understood:

Love for one person didn’t take away from love for another.

It worked nothing like how I was told. Like how I had feared.

I wasn’t comparing Seth to anyone else. And what was more, I was enjoying my time with him more. If anything, being with my other lover was like a palate cleanser. Seth felt different. And in a good way. It was like seeing him and holding him for the first time. And as I continued to date both people, I found that they contrasted with each other beautifully in a way that wasn’t competitive. But collaborative.

It wasn’t the first time I’d felt romantic love for more than one person at a time, but only when I was unattached or as fantasy. I’d never acted on those feelings while in a committed relationship.

In hindsight it made so much sense: When I’d fantasized about others, it hadn’t taken away from my relationship. It didn’t invalidate what I felt. And my partner didn’t pale in comparison. Why did I think acting on it would be any different?

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

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