(excerpted and expanded from this thread.)
MY INTRODUCTION TO POLY
In high school
I always felt simultaneous multi-crushes, intense ones. I had relationships with several boys that were close. We did not know what else to call it so we put it in the "sister-brother" bucket but I remember the most intense one SO
was not brotherly in MY mind. Neither were the others. But... at that age you go with what feels safest in your public persona. Actually a lot of people just assumed I was dating one of the guys -- it was me and 3 other boys who were all friends together. And I would have dated them all at once if I could have.
Sometimes someone would be brave enough to ask "So what's UP with you and X, Y, and Z? Are you going out with one of them?" and I'd just smile and shrug and say "Nah. We're good friends."
We all dated others and danced around it -- me never formally dating ANY of the three I most wanted to date. I don't think I could have had a "V" in high school though much less a 3 man quad! But I did have a few of those non-date dates with 2 of them -- dances, and movies, and whatnot.
The strongest, oldest crush in that trio of boys did not confess his own feelings to me until much later when we were in colleges miles apart and it no longer was an emotional threat. He had the strongest pull for me of the trio even though I cared for them all. It was sweet, but a "Damn! what could have been?" moment when he told me he would have been open to it. We have not spoken in years and his life has taken turns I do not understand but to this day I still love him from afar and wish him well in his life. Even if he doesn't know it.
My actual public HS BF? I think of him fondly too. And wish him well. He hard a hard time coping with me being Me. I'm not mad about it despite the mess it became as we struggled to keep dating in college. I needed something he could not provide at that time of his development.
That's part of why I'm so stern/strict with my limits. I love for life. I'm dog loyal on that even when relationships move on and evolve to other forms or fade away. I just don't want to be THAT loyal to all and sundry.
In college I had the start of my unnamed "V"
-- that's where it ended up at after I played the field a bit. Closing down to me as the hinge of an MFM "V" structure for a few years. It was sweet. One (my future DH) did not see anyone else. The other side, my ex OSO did and I totally encouraged him because he had the hardest leg with it being LDR. I told him to find a local Sweetie and not limit himself. I did not expect exclusive. For me it just naturally fell that way. I didn't want more than the 2, DH didn't want more than the one though he could exercise the option, and ex OSO kinda HAD to exercise the option or endure a very lonely existance in LDR with me. One year, it changed to both of them being LDR to me and at that time I wondered if I wanted to exercise my option to see a local sweetie third... but I didn't. My plate was full enough as it was.
At the time I was still ignorant about vocab. I did not even know the word "polyamory!" Much less "V" or being a "hinge" person. I just knew I wanted to live and love how I wanted to live and love and nobody was going to stop me. And I was going to do it up front, honest, and ethically. As best as I could with nothing but my instinct to help me -- resources for me were nonexistent. So help me, even if it killed me, or doomed all my relationships, I was just going to be me all the way across. Loving Hard.
Then I was married
and moving toward thinking of having a kid by the time the first edition of "Ethical Slut" rolled around. I was amused that it came too late for me. I was out of the dating pool!
Today? I've been in a closed polyship of 2 with DH
for 16 yrs and we've been together almost 20. He was one of my college "V" arms. We're not at a place where we'd consider Opening again right now. Too much on our plates with kidcare, eldercare for aging parents, etc. But we talk a lot, and he knows how I'm wired and he loves me how I am and I love him as he is. So we're happy.
If opportunity comes to fly another polyship one more time... and we decide to take the flight? I think we'd be fine. It's been done before unnamed. Why would a Named one be different? We're still the us we are.
So my intro to poly? I'm not sure. It's always been kinda... there.
It's just been learning to roll with it and own it and live it.
I love hard. I live hard. I want to live my life full on fierce and in color and all the way out to the edges. Because I only get the one.
Life is not a dress rehearsal.