Flovers and Flerburgs

“I have only one language, but it is not my own” ~Derrida

I find myself frustrated by not having the vocabulary to accurately describe what I experience in relationships. I’ve always found that, whilst I can grok a concept without necessarily needing a matching vocabulary, when it comes to articulating the concepts to others, the right words often evade me.

Right now, there’s a few different individuals I am looking to more casually date and have fun with. They each present a tantalising dynamic that I want to explore, and in each case, things are still quite fresh. With each of them, I absolutely love the idea of ‘dating’ without all the posessiveness and drama that seems to come along with that territory. Perhaps further down the road those terms could apply, but I feel like they do an inadequate job of describing them. I want to go to dinner, run amok in Stanley Park taking photos, hike in remote areas, go to costume parties, have more amazing mind blowing sex, and stay in this space of perpetual open-ness. And at the same time, I have an assortment of friends that have been lovers in the not-so-distant past, and could be again in the near or not-so-near future. With them, there’s no on-going arrangement, so I can hardly call them friends-with-benefits. And the term fuck buddies is nowhere near this equation for me, because with each of them, I feel incredible connection, emotional and spiritual.

So, we seem to need a new term. A term to describe someone who you would/could/have/will/will again have as a lover, and when they aren’t in bed rocking your world, are amazingly good friends, friends who can feel like extended family, or tribe. I’m going to play with the term “flover” for now. A friend who is also a lover. A lover who is also a friend.

 

Having said all of this, maybe we should get rid of all the terms altogether. It seems there is endless discussion amongst poly forums and groups as to defining words in finite terms, rather than recognizing them as fluid and subjective, and I am loathe to get roped into this. As the wife of one of my potential flovers writes, “I’ve decided to give up on the English language where any words that routinely cause confusion are concerned. I shall heretofore replace such words with “flerburg.”

Perhaps the bottom line here is this: A little less conversation, a little more action please. And a lot more flovers and flerburgs.

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Origins

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When did I first know I was polyamarous? There’s a loaded question.

Let’s start at the begining shall we?

Like many little girls born in the 80s, I grew up on a steady diet of Disney fairytales and Barbie dolls. And yet, when it came to my own make believe stories, I crafted out epic tales of a magical alter ego who had not just one, but three (yes, three!) ‘husbands’. I remember telling my mom the original story and being told, “No, no, no, you can only have one husband at a time!”. I went back and a few rewrites later, the story was adapted to fit the societal norms a little closer. Other make believe/fantasties seemed to be ripe with this common theme- more than one significant other.

I wonder now to what extent I was influenced by knowing the stories of my parent’s own pasts. My mother would tell me stories of her ex boyfriends, and I recall thinking that she still had a lot of love for them. And my father, well- prior to meeting my mother he had been living with his ex wife and his girlfriend all in the same house. I’m still not totally clear on how that dynamic worked. I do know that coming out to my dad was a whole lot easier than coming out to my mom. That’s a story for another post though.

I struggled with dating in high school. A lot. Mainly because I couldn’t make up my mind about who I wanted to date. At age 15 I had this complicated chart where I tracked the different boys I had a crush on, and who I was feeling more attracted to that day. Never dated a single one of the boys on that chart. On the other hand, my favorite game to play at parties was truth or dare. Somehow it would always end up being a game of getting everyone to kiss everyone else. I’m pretty sure I was, on more than one occasion, a tad aggressive about getting everyone to play. It was fun, kissing all my friends (wasn’t until 17 that I kissed a girl though) and I seemed to enjoy watching my friends make out with eachother too.

Despite the innocent kissing orgies, I remained ‘single’, with the average ‘relationship’ no longer than 2 weeks, right through till graduating from University.

The best piece of advice came to me out of the blue and from the most suprising source- my ex boyfriend, actually he was my first boyfriend, from when I was a tender 14 years old- we dated a whole two months, making it still, my fourth-longest ‘relationship’. Lets call him Chef, for the sake of this blog. We stayed good friends (and still chat frequently) and one day, after listening to me mope about relationships, he turned to me and said, “It’s not about finding your soul mate, M. It’s about getting to know someone a whole lot better, and in a totally unique way.”

This was the Eureka moment. The oh my god I dont have to be a Disney princess I can just be me and relax about it moment.

It was still several years before I learnt what polyamory was and what that would mean for me in relationships. In fact, its only now that I think I’m really beginning to totally grok what the full implications of that realization are. I knew in the moment, however, that this was the truest piece of advice I had ever had given to me about relationships, and my approach to them began to change and shift from there on.

Singleish: Adventures in a Polyamarous Lovestyle

Singleish: [noun]

i) describing a non-monogamous attitude towards intimate relationships where an individual, not in any form of primary, committed intimate or romantic relationship, wishes to experience dating or seeing multiple people at the same time, with no expectation of long term commitments, such as a Relationship Escalator trajectory. Such an individual is differentiated from being a ‘player’ through the honesty and integrity they bring to their dating approach, without concealing any of the relationships from the other people they are seeing.

ii) the relationship status of an individual who is dating several people casually, yet is open to dating more.

iii) a style of both Solo Polyamory and Relationship Anarchy.

Welcome!

One day, I decided that it was time to introduce a new word to the polyamarous lexicon.

For a while I have struggled to describe my attitude and approach to polyamory. I didn’t mesh with the couple centric, polynormative majority that I kept encountering again and again. I decided to find my own approach to ethical non-monogamy. At last, I had the eureka moment I had been yearning, and in the gift of that moment is an intriguing sense of freedom and liberation.

My name is Mel, aka “Polly Singleish”. I’m  30-something, queer, singleish, and I live in Canada.

This blog was created to chronicle my adventures in an ethical, non-monogamous, and anarchic love-style. Please check out the other sections of the blog, and the links on the side.

Enjoy 🙂