Stocksy

I fell in love with a fantasy: my first experience with non-monogamy

When I was twenty-five, I met a young man on a promising first Tinder date in Seattle, WA. The only caveat was, he was “committed” to a non-monogamous lifestyle, and in order to date to him, I had to agree to certain….terms. Sounds a little fifty-shades, doesn’t it?

Illustration by Ceécile Dormeau, GQ

He was used to partners hating his vulnerability, and categorizing it as weakness instead of strength and a bid for connection.

You see, the only thing he ever really promised me was emotional support. At the unfortunate young age of sixteen, he had lost his mother to cancer, and his relationship with both his biological father and step father were never conducive to what you would call love in a palpable sense. He was used to partners hating his vulnerability, and categorizing it as weakness instead of strength and a bid for connection. At one point he even confided in me that he was going to attempt to curb his vulnerability and focus purely on the person that he wanted to appear to be — strong, a caretaker, secure, and completely in control. Regardless, I saw him as especially well equipped to help me through the year leading up to my father’s own untimely death.

Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

By martyring my own wants and needs for his, I was also robbing him of what he was searching for.

I ended up breaking all the rules and boundaries that he set out from our first date in Volunteer park, and falling in love. My therapist had been telling me that I was already falling in love with him for some time, and I had conveniently chosen to ignore her. How dare I share my love with him! At least, that’s what he told me when I finally broke down out of necessity and shared how I was really feeling about him, and what I really wanted from him. Turns out non-monogamy wasn’t really my thing after all, and I wanted what he had rejected since the beginning: a more traditional relationship where I would be allowed to express my love for my partner, and receive love in return. Where vulnerability would be valued instead of feared, where boundaries around my own feelings would be kept, and my ability to take care of myself would be trusted.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Life Coach & Author. https://leighhuggins.com Twitter: @LeighHuggins

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