I reminded myself of this fun schlager reject today, which proves to be apt – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAc48ghFfbQ
This is a blogg post prompted by reading many articles in popular culture (mainly from the BBC it must be said, I may have moved countries but my internet searching is still the same), and a stronger sense of understanding of myself than I ever had before.
It may also be to do with the fact I will start teaching Sex and Relationships Education at school in a week. It might not, but certainly these thoughts have crossed my mind a little in the meantime.
So anyway, coming out might be the wrong phrase for it to some people, perhaps it is more of a lifestyle choice, and one that I certainly think should be more normalised regardless. For me though, it is so hard to explain to so many people who just can’t or won’t get it that having it all written down on paper would be so much more preferable as a reference point forever in time.
I know an amazing person called and this is about me and her.
She was a girl in my physics tutorial class in the first year of university. I didn’t notice. I did my classic thing of performing my favourite song ever to a group of new people as soon as that piano in our lecture theatre became free and supposedly then that is when I caught her attention. Unbeknown to me, she thought I was being quite flirtatious with her, and she pounced on me in the front row of a physics lecture and we ended up having a first kiss in the University Library. Floor One. Middle Eastern Studies Section.
It didn’t really last long, she was the first girl I had kissed and I was a naive, idealistic, frightened and confused 18 year old boy who did not want to call this girl his girlfriend, despite her being so nice and supportive.
However she was persistent, and it took most of that year, but eventually I grew to know and understand through the emotional hormonal rollercoaster and yes, we were ‘in a relationship’ – as facebook still quite rightly says and I love her to pieces and I need her to be there emotionally attached to me.
So what is the problem, you may ask? The problem is that our relationship has vitally different boundaries that make it possible to work.
What we have is a lovely and fantastically stable commitment to each other, but that does not mean that our commitment means we are tied to the other person. There is a mutual sense of agreement that we are there are a positive beacon in each other’s lives, and that our love for each other should ‘add on’ to the world around us. There is no sense that requires us to be faithful to each other as one would expect boyfriend and girlfriend would be. We have a belief, to use the popular BBC terminology, that polyamorous relationships may be beneficial for how we live and what we want from the world around us and the liberal ideologies we represent.
This is something held dear in the beliefs of both of our hearts. It’s something that has taken years of understanding each other to fully comprehend, and not a decision that it is possible to ever take lightly. It is not open, or casual, what we are is serious and whether that is romantic or not, she is a huge part of my life and that is never changing.
There is a story behind this slightly to tell. The main reason behind me not being happy when we first met up. I said I was idealistic, and I had years of thinking I knew what it felt to be in love all pent up in me, to find somebody who was everything all your fairytales could dream about.
I would still love to meet that girl. Arguably, based on my ideals Scandinavia is an ideal place to find her… (And girls here are a little more beautiful than Rochdale too). Regardless though, I couldn’t honestly cope with somebody like her as my girlfriend, my imagery in my head was too certain, too strong. I went to her house over our Easter holiday genuinely and mutually as friends, although some kissing may have weaselled in there too. I broke down as I left from the emotional strain and confusion and realised that I was with somebody who understand me, but it did take months to break the lock to my way of thinking about love that had be carved through years of deep thinking and wishing. It saddens me looking back that I remember lying on her bed and talking about where I would propose to the girl of my dreams, adding that I can say because it won’t be her, and how even I was so shallow that I couldn’t accept any other way other than my way.
My natural response originally to all this, was that we were ‘it’s complicated’ on facebook. Naturally again, I broke down as we left university that same year, and hence, publicly via facebook we are in this current steady relationship. And it has been growing stronger and stronger ever since, and we’ve both learnt to realise what it means and how it works since then.
From my side I am happy to say a little, there have been other girls that I have liked in that time. I attempted in 2008 to have a second relationship. It didn’t work very well, and it was kept as a closely-guarded secret between good friends for a long while, and ended rather quickly. I obviously regret some of the situations from that, but certainly nothing at the time. There was a young girl I met very soon to arriving to Sweden. I still get on with her loads, although I probably should try and find more time for her now as a good friend. We aren’t meant to be I don’t think in a relationship, some of our deep ideas were too far apart, but I am so glad and so reassured that we have been fine since.
In that same period in 2008, I awkwardly stood for the role, and was elected as, the LGBT Officer for the Durham University Labour Club. I was in shock at the time, I had the complexities of my relationships swarming around me (as one wasn’t working out I was questioning myself a lot), and just lost re-election as the Campaigns Officer for the Club (which was completely fair enough), and I stood on the spot. The issue is, that one has to self-define as LGB or T. Now, it is not out of the realms of possibility that extra relationships may be with a member of the same sex, but there is more chance of Serbia not qualifying from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest Semi Final than that happening. I stood for it, and had to confirm I self-defined into the role, which was so awkward and I couldn’t find words to express everything which would make sense to anybody there.
It so happened I did a useless job as LGBT Officer, although I was vaguely useful in writing a new constitution of the Labour Club I believe.
Given the issues that people in genuinely polyamorous situations are, such as legality of many parents for a child in a household etc, I would like to see these included in the LGBT portfolio if the LGBT rights campaign is to continue. Then again, I believe it should drop the whole LGBT thing together, and just be an equal rights movement about love for all.
Anyway, I probably stumble somewhere into today’s situation. I have a girlfriend back in the UK, and we’ve been living many many hours apart now for other two years and for 6 months in different countries. The intense moments we have together are generally great, and I would be happy should our paths cross for us to settle down, as an ordinary couple, and live happily ever after.
However, of course we both see people often that we wonder if they could be an improvement to our lives, and while our hands are not tied why should our relationship be a barrier to that exploration? To use the term ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’ about Alison and me doesn’t do us justice. It implies a possession of us to each other that we don’t want and may never want. I want to know if I meet somebody nice here, who makes me happy; she is not a barrier to that and vice versa. And yes, this may be more theoretically than put into practice, and you may think this is all impossible rubbish, but our relationship is built up this way, to be the boyfriend and girlfriend roles from convention would weaken who we were.
I love my life now.
I would love it to find somebody so amazing that they knock me off my feet and the best case scenario is for me and her to being a rollercoaster of fun and excitement that leads to us living in the perfect fairytale scenario, with her still there as a best friend forever.
I would love it to find somebody who makes my life even more amazing than now, and is able to fit into everything that makes me me now and share the love and support even further.
I would love it to know that Alison has found somebody even more wonderful than I could ever be for her, and that she still has the time to give me to tell about how things are going and me there as my emotional rock of support.
I would love it to see her find somebody who adds extra to her life that perhaps I don’t have, and perhaps makes us again share the love we can give to more to make everything stronger.
I love my life now.
But getting to here, and to this deep understanding of how we are, has taken years. It disgusts me how possessive people can get in relationships. Surely relationships are there to make things better, and to produce wonderful things, rather than to be there to keep people together. The anger I see and have even witnessed when relationships fail saddens me in our human race, they are at tender ages such as mine and my close friends experiments, and we can hate the lack of trust and compassion between people, but I hope not those themselves for what is done. That is what I believe. Although me and Alison both recognise that the odds are heavily odds-on me and her being together as per any other couple, we have no need and no wish to feel stuck to our relationship, especially with the lifestyles we have now, and youth and adventure on our side.
Therefore today, on this blogg, I wish to come out and make the following statement.
I, am in a potentially polyamorous relationship. I love her immensely, and will always in an emotional context minimum. That is completely mutual. As long as any person can tolerate the facts that this will always be true, we are looking for even more love to make our world’s a better place.