Polyamory Update

January 18th, 2009 by Steve Pavlina

Here’s an update on the journey Erin and I have been taking along the path of polyamory during the past couple weeks. I had the option of posting another incredibly lengthy piece, but I deciding to do something different this time and break it into smaller, bite-sized chunks that will be posted throughout the week. So this is the first of many segments to follow.

Progress Thus Far

When I first began writing about polyamory at the start of the year, I was mainly in a reactive state. Erin and I both agreed that it was time for us to take our relationship beyond the bounds of monogamy, but we didn’t know where exactly to take it. Going polyamorous was a pretty vague direction.

Consequently, much of my writing on the subject was a reaction to what we were leaving behind rather than a clear explanation of what we were moving towards. There was no getting around that because we didn’t know where we were going. We only knew what we were ready to leave behind.

I wrote those first few articles as a way of thinking out loud, trying to give form and substance to something I didn’t fully understand.

In accordance with the principle of Love (Chapter 2 from my book), Erin and I had to disconnect from what we didn’t want before we could fully connect with what we did want. We burned the ships behind us, but we didn’t know what we’d find across the sea.

In the past two weeks, I’ve gained a lot more clarity about what I want, so now I’m able to be a little more proactive and less reactive in writing about this new direction. In this sense I’m probably further along than Erin, but it’s best for her to take as much time as she needs with it. This is by all means a very exploratory process. We can’t really know what polyamory is like until we experience different aspects of it.

This has been a VERY exciting time for us. We’ve been learning so much — and so quickly — changing and growing every day. It’s hard for me to believe we’re only 18 days into 2009. I feel like it should already be Spring by now. The first of the year seems like it was months ago.

Opening ourselves to polyamory has released a tremendous amount of trapped energy from our marriage. Hidden resentments evaporated overnight. Our relationship feels stronger than it’s ever been.

I can’t possibly share everything we’ve learned so far because it would be enough to fill a few books. But I’ll do my best to hit the highlights over the next several days.

Communication

Erin and I have been spending a lot of time educating ourselves, partly by reading but mostly by communicating directly with happy, long-term polyamorists. Most of this has been done via email and phones, but we’ve also spent hours with new poly friends face-to-face.

The volume of communication I’ve processed so far this year has been staggering. For the past two weeks, I’ve been working on little else. Most of my days have been spent on email, phone calls, and face-to-face meet-ups. I’m loving every minute of it though because I’m soaking up new ideas like a sponge. Little by little, I’m adopting a whole new way of thinking about relationships.

I’m so glad I don’t have a regular 9-5 job. If I did, it would likely have taken me months to get this far instead of just a couple weeks. I’m probably devoting 80-100 hours a week to this pursuit. It’s wonderful to enjoy sufficient freedom to pursue my passions at full speed.

Every day Erin and I check in with each other to make sure we’re both feeling good about how things are progressing. I want to be sure we aren’t moving too fast or veering off in the wrong direction. So far everything has been going great, and no serious concerns have come up that we couldn’t handle easily.

I’m extremely appreciative of all the poly-friendly people who contacted us to share stories, advice, resources, and more. It took dozens of hours to read through all of those emails, and sometimes I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information to digest, but you really helped us get off to a great start.

At this point we are largely past the hump of our initial burst of education and mindset-shifting. In fact, I’m already moving into action now. For now I’m afraid I can’t be more specific than that. Since polyamory involves other people, I’m not going to share any intimate details unless any such partners consent to what will be shared publicly. I may not be a particularly private person myself, but I respect the privacy of others.

Suffice it to say that I’m still a poly-virgin in the sexual sense; however, I am progressing forward in other ways. As I’ll soon explain, the sexual aspect isn’t what primarily appeals to me about polyamory anyway.

I hope to be able to share at least some details down the road, but at this time that would be premature. I can tell you that I’m exceedingly happy. This is turning out to be an amazing year! :)


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