Insta, Insta, Insta…

I’ve been doing alot of thinking about something lately. I think I will tell a story and then explore how it relates to what I have thinking.

We all know them. You know. The people who seem to have poly figured out. They are happy in their– quad, triad, V, W, X, Y or Z. They are always smiling at each other. Their body language in social situations communicates ease, love, acceptance, comfort. They radiate happiness. They are a joy to behold. They have it going on. Some call them poly poster children. Everyone wants to be them. Goals. Their relationships are goals.

 

I think we can all look around our communities and think of groups of people, tribes, polyfams, polycules who fit this paradigm. We all know the ones who live together and it is magical. Or the ones who just radiate happiness.

Who would not want this kind of harmony in their life? Isn’t this what so many of us are seeking.

This is the view from the outside. Let’s for a moment– flip perspective.

Wow. I feel like the hard work has finally paid off. Those weeks and years of therapy, all that talking, the journaling. It has really paid off. We are all communicating so much better.  Those long nights in tears, yeah, they seem to have work themselves out. Last weekend at the PolyComminuty event– that was so much fun. After several years– it really felt like it came together. I could dance with both my partners and my crush and no one sent passive aggressive texts. Sally also managed a conversation with a new guy and did not yank Bob away from our dance in a panic. The new house is awesome. We all seem to feel less financial stress and have more time. It took awhile to find the right place, but now that we have, all the worrying about would it work seems a thing of the past. I missed therapy last month, but I know I have to go back this month. I don’t want to risk getting too far off track, especially now that I feel I have made such a wonderful breakthrough.

So what is my point? Often times– what we see from the outside as easy breezy bliss is the the end result of alot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. It is my observation and frankly experience that “poly bliss” is directly proportional to the amount of effort all parties invest. Invest in themselves– owning their own shit, investing time and energy into themselves, and investing in their individual relationships– be it working to solve communication issues to group therapy. So often it is being comfortable, being uncomfortable for a period of time, as folks get comfortable. It means sacrifice sometimes and sometimes it means asking for what you need or setting a very clear boundary. It also means accepting that human relationships are rarely linear and oftentimes it is several steps back for one step to the side– to a few steps forward again.

PolyBliss isn’t instant. It also does not magically rub off on a new partner. If a new partner is entering an existing web– once in a blue moon, magic has been known to happen. More than likely– the new partner will have to put in the time, just like everyone else did. This applies to polyfam relationships and individual relationships. Just because my relationships with my husband and my partner look drama free, easy, and breezy does not mean every relationships I have or will have will look that way. Furthermore, I do not have magic metamour sauce or poly pixie dust. There is no short cut to doing the work, to build the foundations, that will bear the weight and test of time.

My caution to everyone is fear the Instant. Do not let the NRE make you think the new relationship and all that comes with it– will be like cup of soup. We all love gratification… but the poly “success” you often see isn’t magic. It wasn’t instant. It took the concerted effort of SO MANY to be achieved. And your milage will totally vary. Relationships are a complex blending of feelings, experiences, chemistry, and effort. All relationships. Be they sexual, romantic, friendship, partner, dating, metamour or adjacent family member.

So often when I talk to people about their struggles or their relationships, I am struck by how instant we want everything to be. No effort, just magic.

I can easily say– after 13 years on this path. There has been nothing easy or instant about it. Not a damn thing. There has been some magic– magic that took the efforts of so many to make happen. It is worth it. But it is not in fact easy.

And it certainly has never been instant.

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