"I Fell For The Perfect Guy, But Not For His Open Relationship"
BuzzFeed may be the king of clickbait, but occasionally the content is worth a click. I skipped the video of a guy's impacted-earwax removal to read this monogamist's perspective on starting a relationship with a man in an open/poly marriage-to-be.
I Fell For The Perfect Guy, But Not For His Open Relationship
By Jess Haberman
Love, to me, is simple. Love is a man who will stay over after sex (without being asked). A man who will drive on our road trips to national parks, but let me navigate. A man who knows I’m his Number One (and Only) Girl. But it took spending time as someone’s Number Two Girl — dating a man who made no secret of already having a fiancé — for me to better understand and accept the kind of relationship I really needed.
...We exchanged emoji-laden messages and goofy selfies. He was forthcoming about his “poly” (short for polyamorous) lifestyle, and encouraged questions. I grilled him. He answered them thoughtfully and sent me a Venn diagram of different types of nonmonogamous relationships. “Can I get college credit for this?” he asked.
...We discussed what it meant to be poly and to openly love many partners at a time. “Love doesn’t subtract; it multiplies,” he said. Loving isn’t the hard part, I thought. He explained that his serious girlfriend (his fiancé, in fact) was the one who had suggested they transition to an open relationship, and that he was also seeing another woman casually. It sounded complicated.
...The more we talked philosophically about relationships and about the things we had in common (video games, beer, art), the more I felt drawn to him. After slogging through interactions with lackluster guys for so long, I felt like I had emerged to find a freshwater lake glistening in the sun at the end of a long, sweaty hike....
What I facetiously called my “social experiment” with Greg was starting to matter. A close friend, who could tell I was wading in deeper than I was openly admitting, urged me to have the talk. “He should expect you to ask where this is all going, since he’s dating a monogamous girl.” A monogamous girl. That was my label.
And suddenly that concept, and in essence, part of my identity, was in question. What if I could be persuaded to bend the rules?...
And then things got weird.... When I arrived and he began making dinner, he handed me an envelope, looking a little embarrassed. “Look, I know how you feel a little weird about this whole thing. But Cassy wanted me to give this to you. I haven’t read it. I think she wanted to say hi and welcome you.”
I was curious, even if I was unnerved by this woman hand-writing a nicey-nice note to her fiancé’s lover. You be the judge of the subtext of this missive:
Dear Jess – I just wanted to say hello and welcome you to our home (though I’m positive Greg will do an excellent job in carrying that out ). Please make yourself at home — and enjoy
I look forward to potentially meeting you in the future!
Maybe it was just an effort to dispel awkwardness, since I was about to sleep in her bed. Maybe it was about establishing her territory: This is my house, this is my man, and I’m allowing you to enjoy them. Maybe she was recruiting....
The letter effectively doused any thrill I might have felt that evening....
Clueless, no? She was your metamour doing her best to be nice!
I don’t regret a minute of it. This experience made me redefine concepts that I imagined to be black and white, and I think more openly now about love and desire, marriage, and monogamy. Something that I insisted (firmly, even heatedly, at times) was not a relationship clearly was one — perhaps the most significant relationship I’ve had, in terms of personal development....
The whole article (June 17, 2015).
Update the next day: Well this gets interesting! On reddit/r/polyamory, "Greg" is speaking up about being ambushed by this story and about the duplicity the writer showed him during her dating time by hiding what she was actually thinking. Go here and do a control-F search for GregNotGreg . This is from his opening post:
Hi, so, I can give a little perspective from the other side. I'm the "Greg" from the story. I received a copy of this essay on Monday, and made this throwaway account last night because if it got posted here I'd like to tell my side of the story.
Mostly, I feel very betrayed by this. I knew she was iffy about the poly situation from the beginning, but I really liked her. We did have a great connection, but I always had that anxiety in the back of my head. When we broke things off, it was sad, but I understood that poly isn't a lifestyle for everyone, and I was happy for the experiences with her. I thought we could still be friends.
What I didn't know was that I was being used for the subject of an essay for Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed, for shit's sake. Not even a good website. In her email to me about this, one of the things she said was "The risks of dating a writer, right? It's not a great excuse, but it's all I've got."
What hurts the most for me, and also my main issue with the whole situation, is that I only found out some of this information because of this essay. She didn't tell me about most of these things when we were dating, so even though I was there for it, a lot of things came as a surprise. It was hard to find out she couldn't tell me things but then had no problem sharing them with the editorial staff at Buzzfeed and whatever other sites she sent this too. I was very open and honest with her, using clear communication. I asked for the same thing in return and what I got was to be the subject of this essay.
Curious about "Cassy's" opinion on this? She's LIVID. As many of you have figured out, the letter in question was very sincere, and something she likes to do for any new lovers I invite into our home the first time. It was a gesture of reassurance, and we're both saddened to find out it was received like this....
We opened our relationship a little less than a year ago, and it's been one big learning experience about love and relationships. This was a big learning experience for me, as well. Where she learned some deep, meaningful truth about herself, I learned about being weary of who I trust.
And now "Cassy" has joined that thread. Search it for cassynotcassy .