Lately I’ve been called upon to accept a great deal of ambiguity in my relationships. In fact, not one of my current relationships fits into one of the standard-sized boxes. You might be inclined to say this is because I’m poly, so of course I have non-standard relationships, but that’s not a given: plenty of poly people keep their relationships to the standard molds of friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, lovers, spouses, etc. Mine don’t work that way: the various mixes of love, time, sex, attraction, commitment, attachment, interdependency and friendship don’t match the usual recipes, and it’s hard to put names on what results.
I have a hard time with ambiguity. As a friend of mine recently said, “I don’t like non-things; I like things.” I was educated as a scientist, and I like to know things. Inside and out, ideally. I like to take them apart and understand them and know how they work and be able to make predictions. Relationships don’t work that way—or at least, mine don’t. I can fight that—look for new relationships, or try to force the ones I have to define themselves—or I can accept it. I generally find acceptance is the better route for me.
But as they say, one door closes and another opens. What I lose in definition I make up for in abundance. When I let go of my need to define and analyze, to know, what I find is that I am actually floating securely in a web of enough. Each person I love, I love because they’re unique, and they bring something to my life that no one else does. They enrich my life (and hopefully, I theirs), and open up new experiences and ways of seeing, feeling and being. I would feel deeply the loss of any one of them. But because together, they make up this web, I don’t need to hang onto any one strand tightly—even the strongest ones, because if one strand is cut, or weakens, the others will still hold. In fact, the better approach is to spread out—relax into the web.