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I’d recently moved to the city, and through browsing online dating apps, I discovered a surprising prevalence of polyamory. In a room full of pillows and erotic paintings, I found myself in the middle of a refreshingly honest conversation.
We addressed the importance of knowing what we’re comfortable with, and communicating our wants, needs and desires with our partners.
How often had I gone along with relationships and sex without a “hell yes”? Soon, I was part of his very busy calendar of quality time, split between myself and three others. He was meeting so-and-so for lunch, but would I like to meet him for a walk after? I’d met John’s other girlfriends, and I decided for myself how much information I wanted about those relationships. But reality set in when John had to take a call from one of his other partners at my apartment.
I realized the abundance of unsure and uncomfortable answers I’d given men, just to avoid conflict or hurt feelings. She was experiencing intense anxiety over the state of their relationship and needed to talk. I realized that polyamory wasn’t what I was looking for.
[To be young and polyamorous in the age of Ok Cupid] I wasn’t sure if I could ever be a “Hell yes” to the idea of having multiple relationships in my life. People shared so much of themselves and expected honesty from me, too. He apologized before closing the door to my bedroom to speak with her in private, while I found myself sulking outside. I told John that I couldn’t handle this kind of open relationship, and he thanked me for putting myself first.
Was it selfish to be hurt when she clearly needed him right now? For so long, I’d been failing to find honesty in others.