I am going to be candid. I, at the age of 27, only recently discovered myself to be polyamorous. I think I’ve been approaching this realization for a couple of years, but it suddenly leapt out to me with a clarity I’d not had before, just about a month ago. And what a relief it was to name that thing that was there all along.
Of course, the relief was short lived because the conversations that ensued, particularly those with my monogamous, long term partner, were difficult, and sometimes heated, volatile even. I don’t blame him for his initial reaction—his anger, sadness, bewilderment, uncertainty. I can see how it might be unsettling to discover that you’re in a relationship with a polyamorous woman six years into your relationship; likewise, it’s difficult to discover yourself to be polyamorous six years into a monogamous, committed relationship.
And you know—I’m kind of angry. I’m angry that we live in a culture that dictates monogamy as the only viable relational style; which repeatedly, demonstrably, and volubly dismisses all other relationship styles as illegitimate, wrong, and harmful. I hadn’t even a word with which to label my inclinations until a few years into my university career (which also happened to be a few years into my committed relationship), so how could I possibly know or name it for myself?