This story was originally published on February 26th, 2016. Here’s how it normally goes down. I meet a guy who has something special in his face, a soulfulness that resonates with me. There’s this firecracker moment when our eyes connect for the first time and bing — we want each other. It’s more than physical attraction; it’s spiritual, it’s deep, it’s something really real. We go out a few times, we have intense, intimate conversations into the wee hours of the night, and the kind of sex where you start seeing God. Everything’s going swimmingly for a few weeks or months, and then suddenly, he’s gone. Not completely gone, I’ll hear back from him if I contact him first and maybe even see him once in awhile, but he’s no longer making an effort. It’s inexplicable to me, because things were going so well. We were falling in love, and it was glorious. Why would anyone walk away from that? I’m an attractive girl. I’m smart, funny, cool, self-sufficient. When I find guys who I’m only into for the sex, and vice versa, I can keep them enthusiastically coming back to me for years. The problem happens when I meet someone with whom I clearly feel the beginnings of a love connection. These guys, these real connections, are the ones I am most interested in developing long-term romantic affairs with — and they are also the ones who are the most freaked out by my assertion that I have no desire to be monogamous with them. I don’t do monogamy. I’ve done it before, didn’t like it, never wanna do it again. And at this particular moment in my life, I’m not super stoked about relationships in general, since I’ve just come off of seven years of back-to-back relationships. I desperately need to be single for a while, so I can focus on all the things I want to do for a change. But while I might be off relationships, I’m not off sex, and I’m certainly not off love. I want both of those things with cool, respectful, hot people who don’t need or want a commitment from me. You would think this would make me every man’s wildest dream — except it really doesn’t.
While I might be off relationships, I’m not off sex, and I’m certainly not off love.
You see, as a practitioner of solo polyamory, a form of polyamory that means you have multiple romantic or sexual relationships, but no committed primary partner — I come with a certain level of upfront honesty. When I meet a new guy, I lead with this information, just to make sure they understand that, 'Yo, I ain’t ever gonna belong to you, dude. Be cool with that and we can hang! ' But what I’m finding over and over is that even the most commitment-phobic guys don’t like it when you close the door to a possible future commitment. Why does this happen? Is it that shitty double standard that says men can sleep around and be praised for it, but women are met with slut-shaming and disrespect? Or is it because most people are inherently possessive of their lovers on a primal level? Or is it just basic fear and insecurity that makes men run from wild women? I’m thinking it’s probably a combination of these factors and more. Either way, it’s a pain in the ass. All I want is to have fun, respectful, passionate, loving relationships without monogamy or commitment, and I can’t seem to catch a break. Maybe it seems counterintuitive in light of mainstream culture’s obsession with monogamy, but I see no reason why people can’t fall in love with each other without forsaking all others in the bedroom. I’ve fallen in love with more people that I didn’t have committed relationships with than people I did. There’s no reason that love has to equal commitment and primacy. In fact, in my experience, the lack of commitment can make romantic love last much longer than it would have had I followed a conventional relationship path — you know, dating, moving in, engagement, and then marriage. I’m a firm believer in the concept that familiarity destroys passion, and I would rather have the passion. I’m familiar with my damn friends. I want my lovers to be as hot for me as possible. And I want them to stick around. I just don’t need to see them all the time. I mean, geez, go home already, I have work to do. I also feel like we put too much pressure on new romantic relationships to turn into something. When we meet new potential friends, there’s usually no one pushing super hard to turn the friendship into something. Everyone kind of accepts that maybe this could be a closer friendship and maybe not, and let’s see what happens. It’s chill. That space and lack of pressure is what allows friendships to develop organically over time. So why do new romantic partners seem to think romance has to be all or nothing?
I see no reason why people can’t fall in love with each other without forsaking all others in the bedroom.
The crazy thing is, a lot of single people I know are actually practicing something that looks very much like solo polyamory. They date or sleep with multiple people at the same time. The only difference is, most of the people I know don’t communicate that to their partners. They hide this information in the fear of pissing someone off or freaking someone out, which is a totally valid concern — hence, my dilemma. Friends have advised that I change my approach with new dating prospects. They think that if I withhold the information that I never want to be monogamous, and I’m not interested in a primary relationship right now, I’ll experience less of this disappearing bullshit. But I don’t want to be dishonest. I feel like it shouldn’t be so hard to find real connections with people who are as willing to let things develop naturally as I am, who don’t want to possess me sexually or emotionally, who are as invested in their own development as individual human beings as I am in mine, and who value their romantic and sexual connections with other people enough to not give them up. I just want to fall in love, and I don’t want to tie anyone down or be tied down myself. I don’t see why these concepts should be mutually exclusive. If you're a man who is dating, sleeping with, or otherwise seeing me, this is what I want you to know. When I look at you like I love you, it's because I probably do — or at least, I'm on my way there. But for me, falling in love doesn't equate to inhibiting your freedoms or my own. When I fall for you, it means you mean something to me, and I ultimately want to be a part of your life that makes you happy and builds you up. I'm not expecting anything from our relationship beyond the present moment, but I'm also not closed to the idea of a deeper connection developing. I want to see what happens when neither one of us is pushing or angling for anything. I will never lie to you. I will never break my promises. I will never ghost on you. I'll never let insecurities or jealousy affect the way I treat you. I'll never tell you what to do or how to live your life, and I don't expect you to make me a factor in all of your decisions. And I won't be mad at you for having romances and attractions and hot bedroom adventures with other people who make you happy. All I ask in return is the same level of consideration and respect. You can fall for me right back, and I'll give you warmth and killer sex and romance and laughter and absolutely no bullshit. Not such a bad deal, is it?