I May Be Polyamorous, But I’m No Homewrecker

a cocktail with ice and an orange slice in it with an orange hot pepper next to it, sitting on a gray countertop
Image by lisa mclaughlin / CC BY

If it makes you uncomfortable, we can pretend it never happened.

That moment lives in a hazy part of my memory anyway. The place where things that don’t seem real when they’re happening live. Those moments when it feels like reality is shimmering.

We’re standing in my office with the door closed. Just you and me. I went in there to find something, and you followed me. And apparently closed the door behind you. I’m wearing a dress that’s short and tight. The fabric is a cute pattern, but the dress is definitely more revealing than anything I normally wear.

And you’re there, looking at me expectantly, a certain hunger on your face.

Outside the closed door, there’s a party going on. Your fiancee is out there. She’s a nice person. Someone who has treated you well. She’s my friend, too.

You and I have both had a couple of drinks. I’ve known you for 8 years. I’ve had a crush on you the entire time, but the timing was always awful. There was one point when you were single, but I wasn’t available. Married to one of your closest friends.

That marriage has been open for a few years now. But by the time it opened up, you got into another long-term monogamous relationship.

We have been circling each other for years, just missing each other.

I’ve always had a thing for you. And you’ve always had a thing for me. The connection is obvious. But the timing has always been rotten, both of us bound by promises we made to others.

I’m moving to another state soon. This is one of the last times you’ll see me before I leave.

You’re coming closer to me. We can hear the party outside. You’re about a foot away. You lean in to kiss me.

And I move away. I laugh nervously.

“Do you want another drink?” I ask.

You stand there, stunned. Looking like I’ve slapped you across the face by dodging your kiss.

“You have a fiancee,” I add. “I can’t.”

You frown.

“Don’t get me wrong. I want to,” I continue. “But I can’t. I can’t do that… especially not to her.” Not to anyone. But certainly not to a friend.

I’ve told dozens of people this: I may be polyamorous, but I’m no homewrecker. This is the moment that tests if what I’ve been saying is true — or if it’s a lie I tell myself to feel better about my unconventional life.

But you bring the test to me. And when you do, I pass it. What I’ve been telling myself turns out to be true.

I move out of state not long after that. I never do get to kiss you. Maybe it would have been great, maybe it would have been terrible. I’ll never know.

But this way I get to live with myself.

Frankly, I think I’ll always love you. Time and distance stretch connections but don’t break them quite as cleanly as some people think. At least not for me.

But if it makes you uncomfortable, we can pretend it never happened.

*

Books by Page Turner:

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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