i am seeing a lot of my folks talking about polyamory and monogamy and i wanted to use this an opportunity to thank yall for putting out different ideas about polyamory in qpoc and immigrant communities.
i do not identify as poly. i did at one point in my life, actually for about 5 years. but i realized that my trauma and abandonment experiences makes having a partner who is dating or sleeping with other folks really difficult and spun me into bad mental health places. so i have moved away from that. but i still cringe, i feel my body recoil from people who talk about monogamous folks as oppressive or supporting oppression i will try to elaborate why.
i know that the way monogamy is modeled in todays society is fucking rough. it abusive and hella fucking codependent. i mean i grew up with parents in a loveless marriage who stayed together out of survival and sacrificed their needs for their kids. i also came to the US when i was seven and listened to shit like Shai’s song “if i ever fall in love” on repeat. i memorized this song and i remember singing “if i say that i could be your one and only/ promise that you’ll never leave me lonely” in my learning to speak english 8 year old tongue. i was surrounded by this shit and still am.
i get it, the way relationships are modeled today are fucked and i don’t want to participate in them either. but for some of us that shit, the fucked up relationship shit that we grew up with doesn’t go away when we decide to date, love or fuck multiple people. for some us, like myself it becomes intensified and it gets harder to avoid the trauma that we grew up with. there are people in my life who tell me that i have never been in a “pure” polyamorous relationship because all of them have been fucked in some ways. i believe the folks who tell me this because i wasn’t trying polyamory to heal nor did i think it was right for me so i just followed other people’s lead. and in my experience not knowing what you want or need is fertile ground for manipulation. i had lost hope in getting what i need and want in a relationship and found that i could escape it easily when i dated multiple people and kept busy.
i still learned a lot while i dated non-monogamously. i learned about better boundaries, how to work through my jealousy, ways that i acted possessively and most importantly i became aware of how fear can turn into controlling fucked up behavior. i am grateful for that. i fucked up a lot in polyamory and i remember fucking up a shit ton more when i was afraid. i wasn’t getting my needs met often either which intensified my fear. when i fell in love in polyamory my fear became ten fold, i relived every moment that i was abandoned as a kid, i was constantly preparing myself to be left or to be replaced. i went to through years of therapy, i went to support groups, i wrote, i read the ethical slut 3 times; i cried, i talked to other poly folks because i thought i was fucked up. i had to do all of that, 5 years of polyamory to realize that it isn’t for me.
i think i held on for so long because i kept hearing that the alternative, monogamy was oppressive. but i kept thinking if this is what freedom feels then maybe i am not meant to be free. honestly those thoughts really swept my mind frequently. that is some bullshit, cuz i’m meant to be free and part of that freedom is asking for what i need and having my needs respected. i need to date a monogamous person who has a big life with a large support network, passion and ambitious dreams; who works on their jealousy, control and codependent shit. my trauma make trusting folks incredibly difficult and knowing what i want and having my needs met has made trust possible in my current relationship.
in the radical queer community that i came out at and continue to be connected to there is a lot of pressure to be poly in order to be validated for being radical, or be sexual with multiple people in order to be seen as fierce. this doesn’t leave room for folks whos trauma or sexuality prevent them from being sexual with multiple people or sexual at all. i understand why folks want to find alternatives for the relationship style that we are expected to perform. for one thing relationships are taught through media that exclude the complexities of people of color and marginalized people. i understand that marriage as it is modeled today is problematic and that divorce rates are high. saying that i still think that monogamy can be practiced critically, as well as polyamory. that neither is perfect and that all the codependent, controlling, manipulative bullshit we are taught to accept as love can follow us into every style of relationship we choose to practice.
with that i hope that this be a gentle reminder that shit is complex as are folks who choose monogamy over polyamory.
fabian romero - indigenous immigrant queer boi writer
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