This was the post that was made in a private Facebook group of which I am a member.
I posted a reply of *raises hand*.
Soon after, I received a message from the woman. “I have questions – could you answer them?” Sure I told her; ask away.
The message I received back was about how she was connecting with a woman, how she had always realized she was poly, but she had a boyfriend who was open to poly but only if she didn’t have a “real” relationship with anyone else.
I gave her the usual lectures about communications. I suggested she needed to find out what her boyfriend was really worried about. I told her she may be poly but until she can go try it out, that it is only a guess. I offered some book suggestions – told her to take it slow – all of the usual stuff.
Her response made me ask a few questions:
How old are you?
How old is he?
And how long have you been together?
She is barely older than my oldest kid. Her boyfriend is a few years older than that. And they have been together since high school.
I realized at that moment that we were not dealing with a polyamory question but a larger life question.
I discarded my poly hat and put on my mom hat instead.
I told her she is at a VERY familiar crossroads. It is where life as you know it meets life as it could be meet. If she continues the same path, all will stay the same. But if she chooses the other, she could lose her boyfriend but find herself.
“But I’m scared. What if I choose wrong?”
That’s the brilliant thing, I explained, choosing wrong is a myth. Any choice you make is the right one on YOUR path. I explained she was fretting and sad and frustrated and scared because to make a life change from what she is familiar with to what she wants is scary sometimes. And life is full of these moments – it is how you respond to them that defines you.
“It’s putting faith in yourself versus someone else. It’s saying that you love someone, but in order for YOU to grow that you need to go your own way.”
It’s scary – it’s crazy – it’s risky – but the reward in the end – when the years have gone bye is to feel like you are where you should be and not stuck where don’t want to be.
“And when you find yourself here, the partner you are with either urges you forward or holds you back. If it is the latter (which it sounds like it is), it’s time to set yourself free. Doing that doesn’t mean you don’t love him – it just means you love yourself as much. Get on that rollercoaster that is life – scream through the curves – laugh at the thrills – but stay on the rollercoaster. Don’t trade the thrills for the safety of a merry-go-round – you are too young to do that.”
“I have some things to think about,” she responded.
Yes, kid. Yes, you do.
I hope she chooses the rollercoaster.