It’s difficult to convey what love is. If you asked someone, I’m guessing they would spew something about commitment or maybe regurgitate the few verses from the Bible that are overused at weddings. It’s kind, patient, blind, whatever.
I’ve been in a relationship with one man for over eight years, and I’m still trying to figure out what it is. It’s constantly changing, and I can honestly say that I think it varies from relationship to relationship. My love with him may not look like my love with my other partner. We love in different ways. I do know this, though, that I love him.
How do I know? It endures. It has endured everything that we have been through. Psychotic breakdowns, ambulance rides, petty arguments, larger arguments, adventures to new cities and states, through getting to know other people together. Through the good and the bad. It endures the mental illness that changed the way that he acts; it recognizes that he is not his illness, and is in fact so much more. It endures this, even when his illness causes him to act selfishly.
I can say that love is not finite, there is an endless supply. I love both of my partners equally, albeit differently. I’m sure they would agree that they too love in different ways. This was hard to grasp at first, but through the love I have for my first partner and communication we were able to come to terms with it. Feelings we may have for another individual does not mean we feel less for each other, although many would argue that it does.
For me, it signifies that our love is so strong that I trust that he can love me and others. That I recognize love is not finite, and that his love for me is not changed by his love for another. Societal structures may tell us otherwise, and we often get asked “Well if you’re happy with one another, why do you need anybody else?” Better question, why not? What harm comes from us loving more than one person? Initially, jealousy may cause harm but again communication alleviates this. Jealousy arises in any relationship, and is dealt with just the same.
We have been in a poly-fidelity relationship for over a year. Will this shift? Perhaps, perhaps not. As I’m learning with love and life, things change and we adapt. As long as you’re happy, that’s really all that matters.