Categories
Family Polyamory

Are Metamours the Best Kept Secret in Polyamory?

I have wanted a metamour relationship for longer than I knew the word existed. Before Lovey and I embarked on this polyamory journey, I had quietly wished for a family style that would give me a relationship that was deeper than sisterhood. A relationship that was part friendship, part sister, part partner. I have friends, best friends I’ve known for ages who know me better than I know myself sometimes. I have a sister.  But we aren’t as close as I wish we were. Distance, age, personalities, all played a part in keeping our relationship more distant than I’d like. And I have partners. Two men I love more than almost anything else in this world. And who love me the same.

Thankfully, the type of relationship, of connection, I’ve been wanting exists in polyamory. And I have been lucky enough to find it.

Something unique

I’m talking, of course, about metamours. Those people who have no connection to us except for the fact that they are dating our partner. In my life, that person is Bats. And did we luck out with them. Let me preface this by pointing out that not all metamour relationships are great. Not all metamours want to be friends or have any kind of relationship with their partner’s other partners. It all depends on the person. And that’s okay. But when they do, when the relationships form on their own, it can be pretty amazing.

To an outsider, it might seem very odd to form such a close bond with a person who is dating your partner. Odder still to want it. There are even some in the polyamorous community who prefer that separation between them and their partner’s partners. Sometimes this is referred as a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell relationship style.

But for many, the metamour relationship is something they look forward to building.

In the real world

I am very quiet and introverted, and don’t make friends easily. I learned, growing up as a military brat, that nothing is permanent. And friendships didn’t typically last long past the next move.  So, if someone made it into my inner circle, they were there for life.

So imagine my wariness when Lovey met Bats, and they kept coming around. I liked them instantly. They were fun and geeky in much the same ways I was. And, probably most importantly, they brought out a side of Lovey I hadn’t seen in a long time.

This, in my view, is one of the best parts of polyamory. You get to watch your person, your partner, come alive again with someone new. Without the threat or insecurity, without the worry that they will leave. You can just enjoy who they are with this new person.

Our metamour relationship

Our friendship was slow to start. But then in November, we discovered a common challenge to build on. It was NaNoWriMo, a month long writing challenge that I had been participating in on and off for years. And so had Bats. By the end of it, we were friends. And now, a year and change later, we are closer than I could have hoped for.

We have weathered a pandemic, and made it through a harrowing election season together. We have celebrated birthdays and holidays together. And most recently, we have shared in the grief of losing a beloved pet.

Bats supports my relationship with Lovey in a way I haven’t experienced before. They celebrate anniversaries with us, and have even “babysat” so Lovey and I could have a date night. Outside my relationship, they support me in new adventures, and cheer me on whenever I reach a goal or accomplishment. the best

A definite perk

Metamour relationships are amazing. A great one can positively impact your relationship with your partner, and even bring you closer together.

They are not magical. It takes work, like any other relationship. But that work is easier somehow because they are in your corner, cheering you on.

Tell me about your metamours! How have they impacted your life? Or your relationship with your shared partner?

Categories
Polyamory

Polya and Polyam Are The New Poly Terms

Every once in a while, topics will circle back around in Polyamorous groups. Usually when there’s an influx of new people, either to the area or to ethical non-monogamy (ENM). Recently, one of these topics was about the terms we use. For those of us identifying as polyamorous, should we use poly, polya, or polyam when we want to shorten it? On this blog, I try to stick with polyamorous, just to avoid any confusion. But I’m not perfect and some shortened versions slip through.

It can be surprising to see the debate that crops up over a few letters. But debate they do. And sometimes it gets heated.

Poly vs. Polya or Polyam

So what is the debate exactly? Well, it seems to have started with a post on tumblr from someone in the community suggesting that the use of “poly” was muddying the waters for those identifying as of Polynesian descent. Someone else, after hearing about this, wrote their own thoughts on it and shared a suggestion they had come across: out of respect for the Polynesian community, polyamorous folx should try to update our language to say polya or polyam instead.

Simple enough, right? Lines were quickly drawn though. On one side were those of us who think we should listen when BIPOC speak up and tell us how to be better allies. On other side are multiple reasons for not adjusting the language used. They range from cries of white saviorism to shouts of how “Polynesian” itself was no longer accurate.

Where I stand

If you weren’t sure, I fall into camp #1. BIPOC voices should be heard on all things that affect them and their cultures. And the world should respect what they have to say. Doesn’t matter if it’s one person or a whole community. If they ask us to stop using certain language because it hurts them in any way, then we all need to adjust.

I truly strive to see the good in humanity all around. I enjoy my rose-colored glasses, thank you. So it’s a little disheartening when I see polyamorous circles debate something like this. We are a marginalized community. We face many unflattering stereotypes. Many of us often have to hide that part of our lives from family and coworkers. We should be willing to embrace the words of other marginalized groups, and be better at changing our language when we learn it hurts others.

But we are all human and have vastly different life experiences that lead us to form the beliefs we do. In any community, there will be many different viewpoints. That is what makes it beautiful.

Sound off!

What do you think of changing language to reflect the wishes of marginalized communities? Will you be adjusting yours to reflect what BIPOC voices are saying?

Categories
Family Polyamory

Meal Planning & Polyamory. The Perk No One Talks About

There are a million posts and articles out there about the benefits of polyamory, including some by yours truly. They talk about things like freedom, and autonomy, and support. But there are some perks that don’t get as much airtime. And one of those is meal planning help.

If you, like me, have a fairly large family living under one roof, you know that any help around meal time can be a godsend. I don’t know about you, but my days are pretty busy. Munchkin takes up the majority of my time during the days. And in the evenings I’m off to the office for work. I also have this blog and other writing projects I juggle in between. So cooking dinner for my family is not high on the list of things I enjoy doing every single night. Shocking, I know.

As for the others in the house, well Lovey’s work keeps him out of the house all day at least 5 days a week. Sometimes more, depending on the season. Sass & Crumbs are still learning their way around the kitchen, and have the palates of a toddler most days. Not to mention the school work and friend time they fit into their days.  So dinner & meal planning inevitably falls to mom.

Some months, I can get my ducks in a row long enough to work out a meal plan. But then those ducks decide to run amuck, and Poof! There’s goes the meal plan. And the kids end up eating more ramen than they probably should. And it doesn’t seem to matter which meal planning technique I try. I’ve done the calendar, the list, the weekly, the bi-weekly, etc. You name it, I’ve tried it.  It always falls apart sometime before the plan ends.

But! The last couple of months, Bats has been staying with us. They teamed up with me to help make dinners and do some meal planning. And let me tell you, it has been a game changer!

How we do it

At the end of the month, we make a list of about 21 meals for the next month. Some new recipes we’ve been itching to try out. Some classics that everybody loves, like spaghetti and tacos. And some easy ones for those crazy days where everyone seems to have a million things going at once. We found that 21 gives us just enough to not feel overwhelmed with the prospect of having to cook every day, while also giving us flexibility to order out once in a while. And it leaves days open to get through the leftovers that fill the fridge, because there are always leftovers!

Once the list is done, Bats & I pull the recipes together from their various sources and make out a big grocery list of everything we will need. Things that won’t keep for the whole month, like salad and rolls, are left off to be picked up on an as needed basis. Everything else gets picked up in one big shopping trip. Bulk stores like Costco are great for this! After the shopping list is made, the recipes & meals list go on the fridge together for easy reference.

Sticking to just a simple list instead of a calendar spread gives us more flexibility too. We can pick and choose what we feel like that day. It also lets us adjust how much time we have available to do the chopping and prepping and cooking, without having to rearrange a whole slew of other meals. And, since we do our shopping for the meals all at once, we don’t have to worry about not having the right ingredients at the right time. Except maybe for those salads or rolls we want.

Big Events & Meal Planning Ruts

Big meal events will probably be easier too. Not that there have been many so far. The beginning of the year thankfully doesn’t have a whole lot of those. But we got to practice with the Super Bowl this month, planning out snacks and drinks to enjoy during the game. Everything could be divvied up depending on who was home when.

Another great part of this is the variety! I don’t know about you, but our family gets into food ruts. We recycle the same old recipes over and over, despite the good intentions of wanting to try new things. But now, there is a whole other human in the mix! And they have different tastes. It also helps that Bats enjoys some of the things Lovey enjoys that I do not. Poor Lovey hasn’t had regular seafood meals in ages because the smell is just… a big no for me. But Bats loves all of that. So when I’m out, they cook up the seafood dishes just for the two of them.

Breakfast and lunches are still all over the place. But at least dinners have been made easier. We have regular, yummy meals that mostly everyone enjoys. And when a particular recipe is a big hit, it gets marked to have it again. Eventually we’ll get through all the recipes we’ve added to our cookbooks. Maybe. If we stay off of Pinterest.

Let me know how you guys handle the dinner dilemma every night. Are you a big meal planner? Or a wing it every night kind of family? And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for some of our favorite meals!

Categories
Polyamory

13 Fun New Date Night Ideas for Twosomes and Moresomes

It’s February! And that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Whether you choose to mark the annual lover’s holiday or not, it is a good reminder to check in our relationships and maybe plan a date night. I don’t know about you guys, but date nights for us are rare things. So seeing all the store displays of chocolates and hearts and teddy bears gives us a good excuse to really try to make the time for us.

February also makes it easier to try new places or activities because everyone seems to have date night specials going on. The only drawback for those of us living the polyamorous life is that they are couple-centric. A little creativity can sometimes net you that discount though. Such as doubling up on date nights with multiple partners and/or metamours. Or using the group discounts, if your polycule is large enough to meet the minimum number of people.

Even with all these specials, it can still be hard to think of fun and new date night ideas. Falling into a rut is fairly common. Lovey and I, and Boyfriend and I, are definitely guilty of that. So this year, we are resolving to try new things. If you need some ideas, like I did, keep on reading. There is something for everyone. On a budget? I found several free options! Have to take the kiddos with you? I get it, which is why there are also several that are kid friendly. Looking for something that is good for a couple or moresome? I’ve got some ideas there too.

Twosomes

Shopping – I’m not talking about your everyday shopping trip for household stuff. Nor am I referring to those fun trips to the adults only shop. I’m talking about a special trip to a place near and dear to your relationship. For example, I love bookstores. Lovey is not a huge reader, but he enjoys when we read together. So occasionally it is nice to wander the stacks and find a new book for us share. Plus, our local bookstore has an amazing coffee shop attached. And this girl loves her coffee.

Take a free class – Youtube has free lessons available for lots of different interests. Language, dance, cooking, etc. Skillshare is a great site that also offers a lot of free lessons you can try together, all from the convenience of your home. For local events to get you out of the house, you can check out Eventbrite.

Museum or gallery showing – Some of these have discounted or free days a few times a year. They usually fill up fast though, so be sure to plan ahead by securing tickets early or arriving when they open.

Moresomes

Get creative – Places like Color Me Mine and Painting with a Twist are great options. You get to do something fun and creative, regardless of skill level, with your whole polycule.

Shoot some pool – Lovey likes playing pool. And I like watching him. The nice part is going on weeknights, when the crowds are much smaller. And there is plenty of opportunity for some flirting and conversation.

Geocaching – It’s kind of like a giant treasure hunt. It gets you all out and exploring your local area. For more info on how it works, or how to get started, check them out here.

Hiking – Great for all skill levels. And there is nothing like finding a quiet spot for a little romantic spontaneous photo shoot while your surrounded by nature.

Game night – Go for a classic like Monopoly or try a cooperative game like 5 Minute Dungeon. Not big on board games? Try cards, some poker or rummy. Or, fire up the console and try some multi-player video games.

Family

Mini golf – Giant animals? Trick shots? What’s not to love about mini golf? Plus, most have concessions on site so you can even grab a quick bite to eat.

Bowling – There is something about bowling alleys that just bring back memories of high school, at least for me. Gooey nachos and rented shoes shouldn’t be as much of a good time as it is.

Arcade – I’m not talking about Chuck E. Cheese. Nothing against the mouse, but I prefer my arcades with a few more adult options. And there are plenty out there that offer a little something for everyone.

Scavenger hunt – Make up your own or print out a list from the interwebs. There are so many out there! These are especially fun if your out at your local nature center or on a hike. But they can be just as fun indoors, at home on those not so nice weather days, so don’t let that stop you.

Craft night – No fancy supplies needed! You can use up things you have around the house to create something unique. And it can be a group effort, or everyone can make their own little something.

So there you have it! My short list of fun new date night ideas. A lot of these can be adjusted depending on your what your family looks like. Try them out, explore your town, and support some local businesses. I promise fun all around.

Let me know which ones you guys are going to try out!

Categories
Faith

New Year. New Resolve. New Bible Study.

I was recently invited to join a Bible Study with the daughters. A friend of mine had shot me a message about this new study she was excited to start. And she hoped that my girls and I would be able to join in.

Now Crumbs and Sassy are what we affectionately call “heathens”. They have no interest in faith right now. And we are raising them in an environment that lets them decide and figure it out on their own. We answer questions when they come up. We share out beliefs, and also what their grandparents believe. But we let them decide for themselves what they believe. Once upon a time we also took them to church. An activity they never seemed too thrilled about.

The Bible Study

It was to be focused on our daughters, with us moms guiding and walking along with them. To build up their faith and allow them to see it in action in us. Since it wasn’t about growing our own faith, but rather our daughters’ faiths, this wasn’t the right fit for us. I bowed out and wished them well.  Which is when she offered this: “Our church has a Women’s Bible Study on Wednesday nights that you’re welcome to join.”

I passed, and thanked her.

But Lucie, why would you pass up that invitation? Isn’t a Women’s Bible Study a perfect place to grow and learn in your faith, while also building community with others in your boat?

Let me count the whys.

First, the church hosting this group was one that Lovey and I had previously attended. Once upon a time, this had been our home church. It’s where I met this friend, and many others. This is the place that initially led me to the step of accepting Christ into my life. I found my MOPS group at this church, and I found myself.

It is also the place where Lovey and I fell apart. And while the friends we had made surrounded us with prayer and support, the church leadership did not. Leadership followed the protocol laid out in the Bible, rebuking and praying. Then washed their hands of the situation and moved on. They did very little reaching out to help our relationship heal and move forward. In fact, in one instance, they even actively tried to block me from participating in a conversation with Lovey about our marriage and their handling of it. They seemed more concerned with the repentance of one individual than with the healing of a family. That is not the church leadership I want setting an example for my kids.

A difference in beliefs

Second, Lovey and I are at a very different place in our faith than we were when we attended church regularly. We have both grown in our separate faiths, and honed in on the core things we believe in. And we slowly realized that a lot of those things are at odds with Church Life. Not at odds with the Bible, as far as we have read and studied. But certainly at odds with Church culture and the Christian Conservative views that permeate it.

We believe in religious freedom for all, which to us partly means keeping religious views out of policy making. We pray for an end to so-called conversion “therapy”. All of us are proud allies of the LGBTQ+ community and support equal rights all around. And these beliefs make finding a new home church tricky, and attending a church-based Women’s Bible Study even trickier.

I’ve been to those studies. They are usually larger groups with a handful of seasoned older women speaking louder than others. Their beliefs, as a group, don’t align with mine, at least in my experience. And if I am going to dig in to a Bible Study, to open myself up to the lessons I need to learn, I want to be my authentic self with those walking along that path too. It’s hard to grow otherwise.

Bible study during a pandemic

Third, in our neck of the woods, there is still the concern of Covid-19. Life is slowly returning to a new normal here, with shops and restaurants opening again, and gatherings being a little more common. But our family is still operating out of an abundance of caution, and limiting our interactions with new groups of people. Which means, any Bible Study group I want to attend needs to have a virtual or social distance option, something we have not found a lot of in our little corner of the world.

So what’s next for my faith?

While I am bummed I won’t be able to do this study with my friend, who is quite amazing in her own faith, I am not totally disheartened. I have recently found an amazing devotional that I can’t wait to start. And Lovey and I have also picked out a couple foundational studies to work through together. (Updates on all of these will pop up on the facebook page once we start, so be sure to like it if you haven’t already!) And once the pandemic is a little more under control, and we feel safer going out, it will be off to the churches to find our new faith community.

Let me know your thoughts: Are you a fan of the larger group Bible Studies? Or do you prefer smaller, intimate groups? What are some of your favorite studies or books that have helped you to deepen your faith?