I’m a 24-year-old nonbinary person living in Florida. I have two wonderful girlfriends. One I have been with for four years (we live together). The other I have been with for a year and a half. They’re both brilliant, interesting and kind. Both relationships have their issues, but they are minor. They know each other but aren’t close. Neither is interested in people besides me right now, although my longer-term girlfriend identifies as poly. They have both said that they see a future with me, but something doesn’t feel right. I’ve been having fantasies about leaving them both. It’s not about wanting to find someone I like better — if I met someone I really liked, I could pursue it. I just feel like neither relationship can progress while both exist. My other friends are getting married. I don’t think I want to stay in this setup indefinitely. Even if my girlfriends liked each other, which they don’t, I don’t want sister wives or two families. But I also can’t imagine choosing between them. I feel like a scumbag for even thinking about it. I’ve talked to them, and they are both having reservations about the current situation. Neither of them wants some kind of three-person family structure, either. The only thing I can think to do (besides running away) is wait and see if one of these relationships fizzles out on its own. Are my fantasies of escape normal? Is wanting to be with “the one” just straight nonsense?
Engaged Now But Yearning
“The one” is nonsense, ENBY, but it’s not straight nonsense — lots of queer people believe that “the one,” their perfect match, is out there somewhere. But despite the fact that there are no perfect matches, people are constantly ending loving relationships that could go the distance to run off in search of “the one” that doesn’t exist. As I’ve pointed out again and again, there are lots of .64s out there and, if you’re lucky, you might find a .73 lurking in the pile. When you find a serviceable .64 or (God willing) a spectacular .73, it’s your job to round them up to “the one.” (And don’t forget that they’re doing the same for you — just as there’s no “the one” for you, you’re no one’s “the one.” Everyone is rounding up.)
Zooming in on your question, ENBY, you say what you have now — two girlfriends who can’t stand each other — is working. Are you sure about that? While fantasies of escape are normal — we all spend time thinking about the road we didn’t take, the door we didn’t try — it’s odd to hear someone with two girlfriends wish for one or both to disappear. Perhaps it’s not who you’re doing that’s the problem, ENBY, but what you’re doing. The kind of polyamory you’re practicing — concurrent and equal romantic partnerships — may not be right for you. I’m not trying to YDIW you here (“you’re doing it wrong”), but if you’re envious of your friends who are settling down with just one partner, perhaps you’d be more comfortable in an open-not-poly relationship (sex with others OK, romance with others not OK) or a hierarchical poly relationship (your primary partner comes first, your secondary partner[s] come, well, second).
Finally, ENBY, it could be the stress of having two partners who don’t like each other that has you fantasizing about escape and/or one of your partners evaporating. Each of your girlfriends might make sense independently of each other, but if having to share you doesn’t work for them … it’s never going to work for you.
I’m 27 years old and I’ve been married to my partner for two years. I’m facing a conundrum: A relative sexually abused me when I was younger. It happened a handful of times, and I’ve never told anyone other than my partner. I’m now struggling to decide not whether I should tell my parents (I should), but when. The abuse messed me up in some ways, but I have been working through it with a therapist. The problem is my siblings and cousins have started having their own children, and seeing this relative — a member of my extended family — with their kids is dredging up a lot of uncomfortable memories. I see this relative frequently, as we all live in the area and get together as a family at least once a month. I don’t have children of my own yet, but my partner and I have already decided that this relative will never touch or hold the ones we do have. So, do I tell my parents now? My extended family is tightly knit, and I fear the issues that sharing this secret will inevitably create. Am I starting unnecessary drama since I’m not even pregnant yet?
My Family Kinda Sucks
Your kids may not yet exist, but your young nieces, nephews and cousins do — and your abuser has access to them. So, the drama you fear creating isn’t unnecessary — it’s incredibly necessary. And since you were planning to tell your parents eventually, the drama is inevitable. But let’s say you wait to tell your parents until you have children of your own — how will you feel if you learn, after the curtain goes up on this drama, that this relative had sexually abused another child in your family (or multiple children in your family, or children outside your family) in the weeks, months or years between your decision to tell your parents and the moment you told them?
On the Lovecast, a scientific study on gay cuckolding: savagelovecast.com.