A few months ago, Lovey went out on a date. This was nothing new. He had been on a few dates over the past year, but nothing ever stuck. This one, however… this one stuck. And while seeing his happiness and getting to know this new metamour have been amazing, it also caused some growing pains.
Red, as we will call her here, has her own life and living space on the other side of town. She prefers the solo-poly life. She has a career, kids of her own, and is working towards adding some fancy letters to the end of her name. All in all, she is pretty amazing.
Adding a metamour to my life was not a new step for me. So I may have underestimated the impact adding a second one could have. No, not may have. I did.
I underestimated the time commitment of adding a new person into our lives, even if they weren’t physically moving into our home. My feelings about a new metamour were underestimated because I had been through the process before. I also underestimated the impact it would all have on our own relationship.
A break down
First, the time commitment. I had adjusted to scheduling things around Lovey, our kids, and Bats. We all had access to the same calendar and had a group chat between the grown ups. So appointments, work schedules, school activities, dates… We all knew what was happening when. We had a system, a routine, and most importantly for me, advance notice. Now the system was not perfect. There were still plenty of times someone said something to one person and not the other until it was almost too late. But those were few and far between. We were typically pretty good about all being on the same page.
Then Red entered the arena. And NRE, short for New Relationship Energy, kind of took over for a little bit. There were more spontaneous plans I needed to adjust to. (One reason I love my planners and calendars so much is that I know in advance when things are happening.) There was more time away while Lovey juggled dates and sleepovers with a third person. There was a whole nother schedule to plan around when we all wanted to go out and do something together. So, of course, there were more slips in communication when it came to all these plans. “Who did I tell?” became a common mantra among us all.
Let me tell you, 7 days in a week is just not enough when you want to split that time equitably between romantic relationships, familial relationships, and metamour relationships, both in and out of the polycule. Especially when there are new ones that require maybe a little extra time to build and nurture.
Next, those emotions. We had already added a new person to our lives. I had been through the NRE phase, and the awkward getting to know this person who was also dating my partner phase. I was pretty confident in knowing that all of the emotions I felt during that time had been dealt with. So I thought I knew what to expect. And I did… ish. I thought it would be easier this time because it was familiar territory. In my mind, adding another metamour would be no different than adding the first.
Turns out, not so much. The same old ones popped up.
Jealousy that he was spending time with someone new and that was taking time away from me. Jealousy over the giddiness I could see in him over this new shiny thing in his life. We’ve been together 16 years and the shiny has rubbed off a little for us. There was also resentment that he got to go out and do things while I stayed home with the kids. Not that I particularly wanted to go out and do things. I quite enjoy (and would much prefer) to stay home. But he had the option, and that meant I didn’t. And lastly, loneliness. This one mostly popped up later in the evening, when the kids had gone to bed and it was just me. It was not a feeling I had experienced in a while. But it was there. And it sucked.
Getting by with a little help…
Thankfully, I had my first metamour Bats, and my experience from their entry into our lives to help navigate these feelings. And Lovey too. He was great at checking in with us, making sure we got time with him as well. Whenever I needed him to, he was available and willing to listen to whatever I needed to say. He would push me to go out, to make plans with friends, to see Boyfriend. And it has helped. Also, learning to love the quiet and alone time has been an amazing blessing. Though now I find myself finding the balance between wanting to be with my people and wanting to be with the quiet.
Lastly, our dynamic changed when Red came on the scene. It wasn’t a big change. Nor was it an obvious one. But it was there. We had to step up our communication game. We had to learn to take advantage of the small windows of time we found that were just us. As parents, time for just us is hard to find. And when it is found, we end up talking about the kids. Both Bats’ & Red’s entrance have forced us to double down on our efforts to just focus on us during those times.
A good argument?
It’s still not an easy adjustment. And it seems like it would make a good case against polyamory. Red has only been in our lives a short time and there are all these “problems” already. So let’s clear that up real quick. These “problems” existed before Red came into play. They were already there, already being worked on. I was already navigating my way through weird instances of jealousy. Lovey and I were already finding ways to add that sparkle back to the dull bits of our relationship. We had blips in communication that caused some minor spats. All things any monogamous couple would experience over the course of their relationship.
Red’s appearance simply brought the focus back to those things. Reminded us not to get too comfortable because life is about changes and adapting to those changes. My relationship with Bats is improved now because we have more time together while Lovey is out with Red. My relationship with Lovey is better because we have a renewed focus on us when we are together. And my life is richer because Red is in it. I have a new friend I may otherwise have not met if not for this life.
If you have multiple metamours, how did you adjust when they came into your life? If you have multiple partners, how do you share your time equitably between them?