Trying polyamory?

After another breakup, French lesbian activist Élie Chevillet felt like exploring other ways to love. She reports back on what she’s found.

Falling for someone, consuming the passion to the fullest, and dropping the relationship as soon as it’s gone. In my life, history tends to repeat itself. After an umpteenth breakup, I decided that I was done with serial monogamy. I wanted to explore other ways to love.

Trying polyamory…and honesty

I then engaged in a long-distance polyamorous relationship with another woman. The rules were simple: we were free to experience whatever we felt like, but she wanted us to talk about it.

It was clear that she would have much more to share because she was having lots of casual sex. Since attraction typically resulted in me having an emotional connection, I usually avoided one-night-stand disasters.

When I fell for a straight, married friend, I decided to tell my long-distance relationship about it. The talk went sour. She not only got cold as ice, but she also had strong feelings about me interfering in this marriage. As if I had just confessed adultery in a monogamous relationship.

Punished for being honest, I quickly ended the relationship…and my polyamorous journey.

It’s all about the why

The truth is, I don’t feel the need to engage in romantic or sexual relationships with several people at a time. Yet, I had cheated on one of my girlfriends in the past and offered to another one to open our relationship.

A romantic and sexual explorer, my friend Seah had then told me about this couple she’d started to engage with and about her unpleasant feeling when she discovered that the two of them were only having her in their bed to overcome a crisis. “It’s all about the reason why you want to open your relationship,” Seah had concluded.

I’d suddenly realized that my reasons were wrong. It was not multiple partners I was missing back then. It was the courage to break up.

The bloom of polyamory

Lately, polyamory is all around me. My polyamorous friends engage in the deepest introspection, full of beauty and challenges. I see them growing beyond the concept of mutual ownership and facing their vulnerability. They defy their jealousy by being willing to meet it.

Their plural relationships feed my friends and bring them a brand-new kind of happiness. I admire them, but I don’t envy them.

Exclusivity is outdated

Today, I am in an exclusive relationship with my straight best friend who has turned out to be a lesbian. She still lives with her ex-husband and their two kids. And for the five of us, being a family is a blessing.

However, exclusivity is not fashionable. That’s how my partner has been feeling since she realized that polyamory was all around me. And it’s scaring her. She wonders when I will reject serial monogamy and go poly for real.

The hormonal roller coaster

I share her concerns. Each time I’m in a relationship, I think about this study showing that passion lasts from six months to three years. I dread the moment when my body will stop producing its incredible chemicals and when the relationship will end. And that usually happens.

But not with her. The deadline has passed, and I’m still in love.

Routine is a passion-killer

The truth is, I’m scared of losing what is. I’m scared of the domestic routine that living together creates. I’m scared of grocery shopping talks, household fights, and other passion-killers. I’m scared of stopping seeing my partner and not even noticing.

I’m allergic to how-was-your-day questions that we ask because we’re used to it and to hello-kisses we give like robots. I’m allergic to the “we” that erases individuality.

I want to cherish every kiss, every touch, every talk. I don’t want to take anything for granted. I want to celebrate my partner.

Freedom, my love

What I want to explore right now is not polyamory. I want to learn to live my life and my relationships consciously. I want to deconstruct my patterns. I want to cherish what is.

However, monogamy is not my answer either. I don’t want my partner to be exclusive with me because that’s the deal. I want her to be exclusive with me only if she wants to. I don’t believe in rules—I believe in freedom.

Élie Chevillet is a French lesbian activist and writer of queer-feminist columns. Read her other blog posts for Ylva Publishing here.

Follow Élie on Instagram: @eliechevillet

Share this Post!

About the Author : Élie Chevillet

1 Comment

  1. Logan Storm July 30, 2023 at 06:02 - Reply

    My wife and I have been together for 30 years. Our relationship has always been exclusive. Chronic illnesses limit out physical intimacy now we are each over 65. But our love is more emotionally intense now than ever. Our years together have built a strong and deeply abiding respect and admiration for one another. I thought she was special from our first date as she is today. We only began truly trusting one another after we had been together for 25 years. I do not think we would have developed the emotional depth in our relationship today if we had been in an open relationship. I am not judging, simply what has worked for us. Some years I did not think our relationship would survive but we continued to work on it. Now we are flourishing as individuals and as a couple. We are facing old age together and it is wonderful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.