Poly and Single

Tristan Taormino wrote about "solo polyamory" in her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. She describes solo polyamorists as those who are "dedicated to polyamory but...choose not to have a primary partner." She writes that they're a group of people who intentionally deviate from the cultural expectation that "everyone wants to be and should be part of a couple." (Pg. 87)

Looking from the outside at my life and how I spend my time, it could seem like I'm a solo polyamorist. I'm currently dating five people (if we don't count the folks who live far away and who I see when we're in the same time zone) and none of them are primary partners. There are a couple of people I've been seeing for a few months, one who I've known for a bit but just started dating, and a couple who are new. I'm different degrees of serious with all of them, but there's nothing I'd put into the "committed" category. I spend a lot of time on my job and on learning things for myself, experimenting. I live alone. I'm financially independent.

I think, in fact, that when I say I'm polyamorous a lot of people assume that means I'm not looking for a relationship. It's kind of a rare thing to find someone who's polyamorous and single. There are far more halves-of-couples and determined bachelors (of all genders). Not as many folks are single in the "more traditional" sense of not being in a partnership and looking for one.

But that's what I am: poly and single. I'm not in a committed relationship, not in a couple, but I want to be. I want a primary partner. It is, in fact, near the top of my priority list. I came to this polyamory thing on my own, not as part of my journey with anyone specific, and I'm looking for someone to share it with.

That's not to say that I'm trying to force every relationship into a primary space. I strongly believe in letting things develop organically and letting every relationship grow into a place that feels comfortable. That's one of the major benefits of polyamory: I can have different relationships at different levels and it's all okay. I am hoping, though, that one of my relationships turns more serious, and I'm ready to nurture anything that goes in that direction. I want to fall in love.

I think these desires give more depth to my meaning of the word "single." When I have the option of saying I'm a solo polyamorist and instead choose to say I'm single, it's more meaningful. I'm not just saying "I'm not in a relationship with anyone right now," I'm saying "I'm looking for a serious relationship along with the other less serious relationships I already have." Which is different. That's all.


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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