My Polyamory Isn’t Weird

Recently at a party (a party where I wasn’t present, perhaps crucially) one friend told another how weird they find my relationship. Specifically weird was how I’m friends with my partner’s girlfriend*. Even more specific still, the friend found it weird how we sat next to each other, chatting and laughing, at a recent gathering for my partner’s birthday. They found it weird that we liked each other, that we get along. 

My nesting partner and I have a relationship based on ‘kitchen table polyamory’. Simply put, everyone gets along with everyone. The term comes from the principle that all partners and partners of partners could happily sit around a kitchen table and have a meal or a drink or talk and generally enjoy each other’s company. When we enter into relationships, there’s an expectation that our chosen partners will be friendly with our nesting partner. But no, we don’t play board games together. In our form of KTP, there’s no pressure to be friends as such or operate as a family or defined polycule and we’re not into creating a throuple; it’s more a feeling of ease and comfort and informality, being able to socialise with each other on occasion, everyone being cool with each other when a partner comes over to the house for a fuck. 

For us, it’s easier. It’s easier than trying to keep different streams of our life apart or dividing up our time precisely. Sometimes there is blur and that’s OK. Having to separate one life from another wouldn’t work for us; the people we love are intertwined with everything. They are everything. We don’t live within a hierarchy, with us there are no primary or secondary relationships, and my partner’s girlfriend is entitled to the same relationship as I am; I’m not more deserving than she is. To not have her as part of our group of best friends, whom I adore, and being together for birthdays, Christmas, New Year, is incomprehensible to me now. She’s an important part of my partner’s life, therefore she’s part of my life, and part of everything. 

Despite there not being any pressure to be so, it just so happens that my partner’s girlfriend and I are friends. How couldn’t I be friends with her? She’s funny, articulate, incredibly creative, and a bit eccentric in a cute way and they’re all the things I love in a person. It’s very natural to be friends with her.

Before my partner and I became poly, there were times in our relationship where things were hidden: emotions, problems, other relationships. In the end, hiding didn’t work out very well for anyone involved. We resolved not to hide anymore, to be open and transparent with each other and our partners. Sometimes that’s very simple, sometimes more difficult; it’s a process. To us, part of that candour is knowing each other’s partners to some degree. Knowing them makes it all feel more safe and secure; for our own relationship, but also having confidence their other relationships are safe and secure, that each other is safe and secure. A good rule for me is if someone wouldn’t get on with my partner, they ultimately won’t get on with me. Sure, the sex might be awesome, but would you enter into a long-term relationship with someone you couldn’t imagine sitting down having a drink and a laugh with your best friend? 

Our relationships don’t exist within a vacuum: they are separate, but they influence and are influenced. We have dedicated, private time like any couple, mono or poly, and that remains important. But there is also shared time and that’s become important too. A couple of days before Christmas, my partner, their girlfriend, and I spent the evening exchanging presents and it was honestly one of the loveliest times of my entire year. The highlight was being able to witness them opening presents from each other and have a window to the love they share; the excited looks exchanged while ripping off the paper, the thought and care that they had put into the gifts, seeing them so happy with each other. To see other people happy, especially people you love, is one of the most radiant feelings; it warms you like sunlight. 

Some might question if seeing your partner’s other relationships up close fosters more jealousy. For me, it doesn’t, in fact there’s probably less. I wouldn’t want to be second-guessing unknowns: do they do this with her too; is she prettier than me; what is she thinking about me, what is she saying about me? I like it all just there, in front of me, where it’s known and impartial, and I’m the same with all my relationships, even the purely sexual ones. I live easier with knowns. 

Perhaps this friend would find our polyamory more acceptable if parts were hidden? Hidden from them, hidden from society even. Maybe it would be more acceptable, more familiar, if we were in a monogamous relationship and having illicit affairs. I find it difficult to comprehend how witnessing affection, even platonically, between consenting people could be weird. Why is different weird or frightening to you; is it insecurity or bigotry, or both? To be afraid of a life that’s different to yours, to want to shove it away from you, is a very sad way to live. If my polyamory is weird to you, then love, friendship, and honesty should all be weird to you too. 


*Some may refer to the partner of your partner as a metamour but, personally, I really dislike the term; I think it ‘others’ that person. Her preference is to be referred to as their girlfriend or partner and I respect that. 

4 thoughts on “My Polyamory Isn’t Weird

  1. Well articulated discussion that should, hopefully, bring others around to, at least, have a thoughtful understanding of relationships rather than throw crude terms, “weird”, around for things they are ignorant of.

  2. Well said. I hope we as a society can get to the point where we see other relationship structures from one’s own as no less valid. Too many people view polyamory through the lens of monogamy, where your partner’s other partners are your competitors for their affection and, like in the Highlander movies, in the end there can be only one.

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