As I’ve written before, it can be as overwhelming as it is freeing. Once you move away from the standard template of what romantic relationships are supposed to be, how things are supposed to progress from stage to stage (the relationship escalator), there’s a dizzying variety to the types of connections we can actually forge with people.
It’s always remarkable to watch people relatively new to polyamory come to this conclusion. Some of them have a very hard time accepting it. They may reach a certain place with a partner where things are comfortable but not “progressing” to a more serious entanglement, and it confuses them. Further complicating the picture for some is that they don’t necessarily mind that things are “stuck.”
But they aren’t necessarily stuck. Rather than products stamped out on an assembly line, relationships are custom jobs.
However, we’re raised to believe that they all follow a particular pattern. When you start a relationship, you step on an escalator and magically progress to the top. It’s clear-cut, straightforward, uniform.
But that’s not necessarily true. And one very common relationship style you will see in polyamorous circles are sometimes known as comets.
What Are Comet Relationships?
A comet relationship is a romantic and/or sexual connection that passes through one’s life in an intermittent way. Yes, just like a comet only passes by Earth occasionally, when people have a comet relationship, they don’t see one another often. Typically, they live at a distance from one another (although this isn’t a necessary component of a comet relationship) and have busy full lives.
But when they do connect — whether that’s every year at a certain event or even less often, comet relationship can be just as deep and meaningful as relationships that are higher entanglement.
While comet relationships aren’t for everyone (nor are they for every connection, even for those who enjoy comet relationships), for some people they’re extremely gratifying and rewarding.