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
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
Family

How Cross Country Friends Became A Happy Poly Family

The year is at its end. And the new one is here. It’s a been a weird, roller coaster of a year. And this last week of it has led to a lot of reflection on how we got here. Lovey and I will be celebrating (God willing) our 16th year together. We will also (God willing) be moving our not so little poly family into a much larger home, where we can all be under the same roof. These are dreams we have had for our entire relationship, though they did look a little more monogamous at the beginning.

A long distance friendship

Lovey and I met 22 years ago through a mutual friend. He was a Senior in High School and I was a lowly Sophomore. And there was an entire country between us. Or three quarters of one, anyway. We were friends, exchanging long distance phone calls and the occasional email. It was one of the first real friendships I had had with a guy.

Over the years, we managed to “meet” one time during our friendship. And it sent my young innocent heart all a flutter. I was sunk from that day on, hopelessly pining away after the older guy that lived oh so very far away. So could you blame me if I secretly hoped whatever relationship he entered during our friendship would sour and fall apart?

Relationships came and went, for both of us. Phone calls and emails were a little more sporadic as time went on as well. We were young adults, coming into our own, and we lived on opposite sides of the country practically. But when we did connect, it was as if the time elapsed was only minutes instead of weeks or months.

A blessing in disguise

And then, finally, the catalyst that started what would be us. An accident put him out of commission for a bit. And so we talked almost daily while he healed. It seems weird to thank God for an accident like his, but I did. And I still do. It slowed him down enough to reevaluate his path and where he wanted to go. Luckily it lead him to me.

Somewhere in those multiple phone calls and emails following the accident, our friendship shifted. A relationship began to grow. And before we knew it, we were sharing I Love Yous and falling asleep talking to each other at night. Several oversized phone bills later and he took the next big step in our budding romance. He jumped on a plane and moved to my town. To my house, specifically.

It was intense. And wonderful. And scary. And the best several months of my short life to that point.

A happy poly family

Before our new relationship had celebrated an anniversary, we were pregnant and engaged. On our second anniversary, we said I Do. Anniversary #3 (or #1 the reboot, depending on how you count) saw us pregnant again. Four years into our relationship we were a happy little family of four.

We’ve had several more anniversaries since. And a lot of ups, and some pretty dark downs. But we are still here, still together, 22 years after those first awkward phone calls. I could never have imagined our life would look the way it does now. Three kids. Five cats. A boyfriend for me. A partner for him. And a dog. Just one happy poly family with some big plans for the future.

Categories
Family Polyamory

Navigating Family Gatherings When You’re Not Out

Family gatherings can be difficult to navigate no matter the season. The holidays don’t make them any more or less tricky, despite what we may think. The trickiness comes from the sheer number of gatherings that happen during that time. For 2 months, we get pulled in all directions to spend time with family and friends. Add in a partner, and you have doubled those numbers. Add in multiple partners and… Well, thank goodness for Google Calendar and planners.

If you’re polyamorous, and open about it with everyone, then these family gatherings are easier to deal with. Everyone will assume you’ll either bring multiple partners or trade off, depending on schedules and personalities. If you’re polyamorous and not open about it, you have got your hands full!

Who knows about which partner? Who has met which partner? Are you open with some, and not others? Did Aunt Betty spill the beans to Grandma about your “unique” relationship? Will Grandpa Joe spill the beans to everyone over Christmas dinner because someone poured him one too many cups of the eggnog?

And let’s not forget the effect this can all have on your partners. If, like me, you started your polyamorous journey from an  already established relationship, where family members know your main or primary partner, then your other partners can feel left out. Or like the dirty little secret that you are keeping from your family. And nobody wants that.

Family Gathering Negotiations

So how do we navigate all of the trickiness that comes with multiple partners and family gatherings? Carefully, and with a lot of communication.

The best place to start is to sit down with your partners. If you can do this all together, at one sit down, even better! If schedules don’t allow for it, don’t sweat it. But make sure no big decisions are made until everyone is on the same page and on board.

Then, it’s time to go through the calendar, event by event. Include their family gatherings too. This is a group project, after all. But not the dumb kind from school where only one person did the work. Everyone is pulling their fair share of figuring out how to maneuver through the holidays together.

Important things to ask each other

  1. Who is out about being polyamorous? And are they out with everyone, or just a select few?
  2. Assuming most are not out, which partner has the family already met? And is that partner available to attend those events? And do they want to? Sometimes the answer is no, and that is okay. No one said we have to get along with everyone all the time.
  3. Are the partners that will be staying home for those events okay with how the evening will go? Are they invited to attend as a friend? Or would they rather just sit this one out? This is going to depend on that individual. Some are not okay just being introduced as a friend when the relationship is so much deeper and more intimate than that. And others are okay with it, so long as they get to spend time with their people.

Family Gatherings: Out or Not Out?

A big thing to remember during all of the negotiating is to not pressure anyone to come out to their family. Don’t push that door open for someone who is just not ready. No matter their reason for keeping that part of themselves private. It is up to them to decide if, when, and how to share that information with other people. If you are already out, I’m sure this can be frustrating at times. As one who is still in the closet to some, I can tell you it is frustrating on this side too sometimes. So please be patient with us.

Holiday gatherings can add another layer of stress to an already stressful season for some. Just remember, it’s also supposed to be one of the happiest seasons. If you find yourself stressed about navigating gatherings, then it’s perfectly okay to just stay in. And this year has given everyone the absolute perfect excuse to skip the big family gatherings, so feel free to take advantage of it! But if you want to go out and (safely!) spend time during the holidays with family, remember to communicate with everyone in your polycule beforehand. Ask questions. Be ready to hear their answers.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays, no matter which ones you celebrate. And enjoy the people you get to spend them with.

Categories
Family LGBTQ+

New Holiday Movies Are Coming to Make the Season Gay-er

It is the middle of November! And the Holiday Season is in full swing. Retailers are pulling out the holiday themed sales and products. More people are breaking the post-Thanksgiving tradition of decorating that weekend by pulling those Christmas trees out now. And the networks and streaming services are gearing up to release a slew of new Holiday Movies.

The best part of this last tidbit is that several of those are also going to release LGBTQ+ holiday movies! And I’m not talking about those feel good stories that have a wacky gay best friend and/or roommate. I mean a feel good, cozy holiday story that FEATURE an LGBTQ+ storyline.

In case you’ve missed the news, I’ve rounded them up here. Read on for the 5 new Holiday Movies coming this season and where you can watch them.

The Christmas House

Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis and patriarch Bill, have summoned their two grown sons – TV star, Mike Mitchell and Brandon Mitchell – home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house, will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband Jake make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi, his high school sweetheart. (Coming November 22 to Hallmark.)

Happiest Season

A holiday romantic comedy that captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas. (Coming November 25 to Hulu.)

I Hate New Year’s

Rising music star Layne heads home to Nashville for New Year’s Eve to break her writer’s block, but sometimes you find inspiration – and love – where you least expect it. (Coming December 4 On Demand.)

The Christmas Setup

As they enjoy the local holidays together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable but as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him. (Coming December 12 to Lifetime.)

Dashing in December

When Wyatt Burwall finally returns home for the holidays in an effort to convince his mother Deb to sell the family’s Colorado ranch, a romance unexpectedly ignites between Wyatt and their dashing new ranch hand Heath Ramos, who dreams of saving the beloved property and the ranch’s magical Winter Wonderland attraction while reawakening the spirit of Christmas in Wyatt’s lonely heart. (Coming December 13 to Paramount.)

2020 has been a rough year. So I am going to be embracing the joy of this holiday season as much as I can. And that will include watching these movies with some popcorn, a cuddly blanket, and my family. Then I will watch them again to show those networks that we want more LGBTQ+ representation in our holidays!

So tell me, which one are you most looking forward to?

PS

If you want to watch more LGBTQ+ holiday movies this season, and want to add some to your Holiday Movie Sticks, fill out the form below. I’ll send you a list that includes the 5 new ones mentioned above plus some older ones that I’ve found.