How Many Is Enough? How Many Is Too Many?

23 Sep

What is the ideal number of polyamorous relationships?

Difficult question. Everybody is different, has different needs, different capabilities, differing amounts of time and energy. You might as well ask how many children is enough/too many.

For me this is definitely a practical question, a matter of juggling time and commitments rather than limited affection. Each new relationship I add takes just a little bit away from my existing ones And no matter how carefully I try to plan, conflicts will arise.

Just about the only real drama I experienced with Isadora(other than the sadness of losing her) arose from such a situation. Kaliope. Now, I was pretty damn content with Bayani and Isadora, I wasn’t looking for anything more when Kaliope messaged me on the dating sight I most often use. We started talking, and hit it off pretty well, we met for coffee and discovered we were seriously attracted to each other. We met a second time, and after the third meeting(which is when I usually know for certain if I am going to continue dating a woman), I told Isadora about her. I believe I used the words ‘going to continue to see her’. This implied to Isadora that I had been seeing her for some time now, rather than just the first three ‘test’ dates.  She was upset at first, but we worked it out without any further problems. Kaliope didn’t work out in the end, which was really a good thing, because I found I was unable to balance my commitments to Bayani and Isadora with finding time for this new relationship.

Looks like I can handle a Primary and one Secondary, but not two. I can even handle a Tertiary in the form of a FWB, but that’s about it. One of each. The priority ranking system seems to work pretty well for me, at least for keeping track of what I can and cannot handle. I can have one Primary, but could not handle two without taking too much away from Bayani. A Secondary does take some time from her, but not enough to really cause drama, while another Secondary would take away from an existing Secondary. And I can handle a FWB without taking any noticeable time/affection from my Secondary. So I get one of each.

This is of course only about practical considerations, I’ve not even begun to talk about how my Secondary might react emotionally to the presence of an existing or new Tertiary.

Most telling if my experience with Kaliope is that ‘not looking’ is not enough, I have to keep myself from even meeting new interesting girls or something might develop that could interfere with my existing relationships, unless I can be absolutely certain she will remain firmly in the FWB/Tertiary category.

I have a new Secondary. I have a new Girlfriend, and I am so very excited about her. Meet Lylith.

As things with Isadora began to come to an end, when I knew we had had sex for the last time but had not yet had ‘the talk’, this lovely and interesting new girl messaged me. We started talking, and hit it off very well right from the start. Her timing was impeccable. One week earlier and I would have determinedly kept her at arms length because of the lesson I learned from Kaliope. One week later and she might have had competition from a few of the other women in the poly community I know. News travels fast in poly circles and within only a few days of breaking up with Isadora, three different women were applying for her position. I would have had fun interviewing them, several times each in fact, but ultimately would not have hired any. Just not enough of an emotional connection with them, not like I am developing with Lylith.

And so now I am doggedly determined to not do anything that might jeopardize my new relationship. No meeting girls that could possibly turn into new Secondaries, it’s not worth the risk. Tertiaries are another matter.

I have one FWB right now. Sort of. It’s hard to count such relationships, as Tertiaries come and go, moving in and out of and back into my life. Sometimes there are none, sometimes as many as three. I don’t chase them, don’t go looking for additional sexual partners, but I really do like having the option to add casual sex to existing friendships. I don’t fuck random women, no one night stands; but with someone I already know and trust, yes I will happily toss sex into the mix. I have to tread lightly right now though, as I am still developing my relationship with Lylith. Of course I will tell her about any new sexual relationships, just as I trust she will extend to me the same courtesy. One of Bayani’s boyfriends has not been doing this, but that’s another subject entirely.

Everybody approaches polyamory differently, entering into new romantic or sexual relationships more or less casually than I. And who am I to judge? Just as everybody will have a different ideal polyamorous life. I know where I am comfortable, I know what I can handle, I know what gives me the most joy and contentment.

Right now Lylith is bringing me joy and contentment. I don’t know where this will lead, or low long it will last, but I am happy right now with what I have, and that is enough.


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