“I have to thank you for me having sanity,” my monogamous friend Gull says.
“Ooooo,” I say. I lean forward in my chair. This sounds like it’s gonna be good.
“So okay, I’ve been talking to this dude for about six months,” she says. “And the friendship kind of got thrown into close friendship quickly due to stupid stuff from external drama.”
I nod, because I know exactly what she’s talking about.
“He’s just a really, really good person and a really neat personality to bounce off of,” she says. “So I developed a crush on him. And then I realized it. And then instead of freaking out, I invested the pseudo NRE into my relationship with my husband, and it’s done amazing things.”
I’m smiling so hard it hurts my face a little.
“Thanks to you, I’m mostly okay in my brain with the fact that I’ve fallen hard for this guy, while still intending to be and acting completely monogamous,” she says.
She tells me she’s even been able to have conversations with her husband about it, who is also really familiar with my writing. And he’s been amazingly chill about the whole thing.
“Awww,” I say. “That’s super awesome. I know I write a lot about non-monogamy, but as you know, I’m somewhere in the middle myself. Ambiamorous.”
She acknowledges this and tells me I’ve been really clear about the fact that I think monogamy is wonderful. I’m just not a fan of the unhelpful cultural beliefs that all too often accompany monogamous relationships. Ones that people tend to internalize unless they’re consciously questioned (a step too many people skip).
Shaming Yourself for Having Crushes Doesn’t Really Help Anything
“That’s a big part of why I write,” I say. “Regardless of your relationship style, whether or not a person decides to act on them, I’m all for the decriminalization of crushes.”
“Yessss,” she says. “It’s the actions that matter.” She says she definitely has feelings, but denying it or beating herself up for having those feelings doesn’t help anything.
“Yeah,” I say. “It just makes you crazy. It’s unnecessarily stressful. I had so many ’emotional affairs,’ that were actually just fucking crushes.”
We talk a little bit longer. I talk about how little human brains have really changed over thousands of years. How it’s likely our mates got killed by nature all the time, and it would have been incredibly unreasonable for us not to be able to develop attractions on new mates if and when that happened. That catching feels easily is likely a factor in how we even survived as a species.
“Sorry, I just started killing people,” I joke. “And while you’re trying to gush about your crush. Oops.”
She laughs. Tells me it’s okay. “But this is why I read poly blogs as a monogamous person,” she continues. “Because dear God is monogamy and just life a bit better when you stop shaming yourself for those emotions.”
“Oh my God,” I say. “I’m totally writing about this.”
“Go ahead,” she replies.