Thursday, February 09, 2006

One true love? I only get one?!? Valentine's Day and Polyamory

I had a few minutes in between classes & work last week and I ended up spending it in front of the daunting display of Valentine’s Day cards at the store. Leave it to polyamory to make even the simplest task of card shopping incredibly difficult! Cards that use phrases like "be my true valentine" or "my heart belongs only to you" are simply out from the start. As is “there will never be anyone else but you.” Um, I can’t guarantee that… but I can say there is no one else like you in the world and my love for you is distinctly unique! What IS wrong with loving more than one person? What's wrong with expressing love for those multiple relationships? If everyone involved is a consenting adult (emphasis on the consenting and the adult part), why is this so wrong?!? Why did society decide this was the acceptable norm over dating one person and moving from relationship to relationship over and over again? I don't get what the big deal is.

Now let me say this: I’ve never been one for the “wordy” cards. You know the kind- the front page is filled with a paragraph or long verse, and on the inside, there are several paragraphs on either side. Sometimes these cards even have multiple pages that could be considered a small novelette. I’ve always preferred to write my own message even when I do find a card that expresses my exact sentiments. I just like to be personal. Polyamory has only reiterated that fact- I just have to pay close attention to what I’m saying and how I say it.

So what I’ve ended up doing this Valentine’s Day is work on two very personal gifts that don’t have a Hallmark stamp on them. While one could say that I am forced to think outside the box when it comes to love sentiments, I consider it a blessed opportunity to declare how I feel about each person that I have romantic feelings for. It’s nice to have to face that degree of specificity and intention. They get two highly personalized valentine’s that are sincere and from my heart (and if they’re really, REALLY lucky, these valentines will include lots of macaroni, glitter, and crayon scribblings).

I’ve spoken to my Beloved and made my intentions clear that I wanted to acknowledge the holiday with both him and The Wife. The holiday falls during the regular work week and so it’s impossible to be around them on the actual day since we live 2 hours apart. So it was totally possible that the holiday could be ignored all together. I was worried about dealing with the day at all- I mean we aren’t exactly in a full on poly relationship yet as a triad- but I came to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore it and essentially ignore my feelings as a result. I’m in love with him and I utterly adore her and it’s my right to express my affection to them even if many issues go unresolved at the moment. I only hope that we find an appropriate balance for the current situation.

In searching for some personal stories on the web about polyamory and Valentine’s Day I came across this excerpt from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, dated February 2004:

“Valentine's Day for the polyamorous is similar to Christmas for big families. One has to make sure to give each child a gift that is special and individualized and yet also feels equal to the gifts all the other children receive. Luckily for the polyamorous, though, all the myriad relationships they need to maintain are with adults. Unlike children, adults are occasionally coherent about communicating what they desire and generally will respond to disappointment without screaming, refusing to breathe, or running away from home. It may be hard to believe, but fully grown humans have the potential to behave in a mature fashion in [multiple] romantic relationships.” [oh, let’s hope so… although I haven’t tried the breath holding tactic yet. That just might work if I can actually turn my face blue! ]


Blogger Brian, Krystina and Rhylie too! said...

I have tried to email you a few times, so I thought I would leave a comment to get your attention:) In less you were not responding for a reason?!? Hehehehe... anyway, sounds like lots have happened since last time I talked to you. We need to catch up.

11:07 AM  

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