I Wish I Knew Dating a Couple Was Even an Option When I Was Growing Up

a Hickory Farms gift platter with an image of the product on it. It depicts 2 rolls of summer sausage, golden toasted crackers, a jar of sweet hot mustard, and a block of jalapeno cheddar blend cheese. The packaging is red. The label also says "Est. 1951" and dept 1 $ with a price of 14.98
Image by Mike Mozart / CC BY

My first crush was on Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.

Yes. Both of them. Not Jeff or Geena. Jeff and Geena.

Especially when they were married, during the Earth Girls Are Easy days (and yes, The Fly, but that movie gives me and most other sane peeps the heebie jeebies).

Back then, I was young enough that my notions of what exactly love and sex entailed were quite fuzzy. I knew it involved sleeping in the same bed. Kissing. And trading secrets — because my parents always seemed to know things that they kept from me and my siblings. Had their own crackers and cheese sliced all fancy that they’d take into their bedroom at night, snacks to eat while they watched rated R movies.

So I thought it would be great to snuggle up under a comforter with Jeff and Geena with a Hickory Farms gift basket stolen from my family’s front porch. Gossiping about people. Being part of a mutual admiration society.

It was a vivid fantasy to be sure — but one I recognized almost instantly as weird and impossible.

There were a few obvious problems. They were famous movie stars. Decades older than me.

And perhaps the biggest obstacle of all? They were married to one another. And three people couldn’t date each other. At least not harmoniously. I’d never seen it anywhere. Not on TV (an obvious source of education, especially the Movie of the Week). Or in school. Or in any of the families I knew.

People partnered up, matched one to one. Three people could only result in a love triangle, and everybody knew that was a bad time.  The third person, a would-be homewrecker.

But I didn’t want to wreck their home — not unless “wreck” meant to help tastefully decorate. Burn vanilla cupcake scented candles. And have dinner ready and waiting for them whenever they got home at the end of a long day working on the set.

I Wish I Knew Dating a Couple Was Even an Option When I Was Growing Up

Jeff and Geena ended up divorced. I grew up thinking monogamy was the only ethical way to do long-term relationships. And confused by my bisexuality, thinking that the fact that I didn’t have “special feelings” for boys (like teachers and other adults said I would have) meant that I was asexual. Because I found that kissing girls and boys was pretty much the same level of gratifying.

I didn’t even know what bisexuality was until college. A friend exhausted from my changing my sexual orientation from gay to straight and back again one week to the next, depending on who I was interested in at the time, interrupted me with “You’re obviously bi, silly.”

To which I replied, “What’s that?”

After I discovered polyamory in my 20s, I did go on to date some couples. Some of those experiences were downright wonderful — and others? Not so much.

But one thing was for sure: It was intense.

*

“I wish I knew dating a couple was even an option when I grew up,” I tell my friend.

“Right?” she commiserates.

“Even if it meant sorting through some dicey unicorn hunters to find unicorn ranchers,” I say. “Would have been nice knowing it back then.”

*

My new book is out!

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching: Advice for Couples Seeking Another Partner 

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