Am I Polyamorous?
I have been a serial monogamist since I was sixteen, but there has always been that undeniable urge to love more than one person. I have had several year-long or longer relationships, but never cheated.
About a year ago I dated the person I thought to be my "soulmate," John, but our relationship ended after a year because my inward feelings overwhelmed me. After John, I had about six or seven lovers before meeting Sébastien, my current boyfriend. It was very difficult for me to leave John, considering how much I loved him and how much I thought the two of us were meant to be, but I am proud of myself for breaking up, because as he considered himself very traditionally monogamous, I would've hurt him and denied myself.
When I am in one relationship, I tend to feel trapped, unable to exercise my sexuality, nurturing and creativity to its fullest extent. I discussed these feelings with Sébastien, and he seemed to be very understanding and allowing, and stated that he wanted to respect me but he was not interested in other lovers. We made a deal that I could have sex with women. Hallelujah! However, several nights later I met a girl to whom I was attracted, and who was also attracted and interested in me. I mentioned the compliments she had given me to S. and he reacted with jealousy. I went to a party with her two days later and we ended up sleeping together at my apartment. S. was furious, and I guess I expected it, but I wanted to do it, and I justified it in a very immature manner. I imposed polyamory on my boyfriend, which I regret doing. I have since told him I won't do it again. She was also hurt because I considered it just sex, seeing as how we were both in LTRs with other people.
I would like to understand how something like this can work. I am deathly afraid of jealousy, however. At 22 years old, I have just come to the point in life where I have accepted myself as an attractive and lovable individual. I was orphaned at 14 and after that lived with a very emotionally abusive, controlling, fundamentalist family for six years. I am still dealing with the fallout: guilt, self-hatred, anxiety, fear of rejection and abandonment, and depression. I was very jealous with boyfriends in the past, but have been trying to purge that from my life and have succeeded in ways I never thought I was capable of. I feel like with the right person it could work.
I don't know if my inability to stay happy in a monogamous relationship is just an outward manifestation of my own insecurity, a.k.a. my desire to be an object of attention. Honestly I think my denial of my poly nature is due to insecurity and fear of jealousy. My compliance with traditional norms is perhaps my way of keeping a secure relationship despite my own frustration.
Any advice is much appreciated.