Minneapolis punks jimmy and bryan answer Razorcake readers’ concerns in Dear ACABby, an advice column for the rest of us. Today, they take on a polyamory double whammy. If you’ve got a problem you’d like Dear ACABby to have a go at, you can email them at [email protected] and they’ll get back to you here at razorcake.org.
Question about feelings! We all have ’em. I’m in a long term open relationship with my partner. We have enjoyed seeing others for two years, and have good agreements about stuff and respect each other. My partner and I have been having some issues lately and now I have this mega crush on someone I date and have sex with (who knows about my partner, of course). How do I know what’s real? Is this just covid boredom? Should I cut off contact and avoid seriously falling for this other person and maybe make stupid decisions because of it? I feel like there should be room for me and my feelings, but how?
Hi Lost In Love,
It seems like there are a few things at work here: uncertainty about your feelings, uncertainty in your relationship, uncertainty because of the pandemic… and that’s totally understandable. Shit’s all over the place! We’re all over the place! Then feelings get involved….
First, we can’t tell you what’s “real” regarding your feelings. But, if you and this person have been dating and sleeping together for some time, and things have been good, which it seems like is the case, then that’s probably a good recipe to start crushing on someone. That said, it can feel weird to have new feelings creep up about someone you’ve been seeing for awhile, especially if it’s been assumed or established that the relationship is nonromantic before. Likely, the heart wants want it wants, and chances are, if you’re feeling some type of way when you’re around this sweetie, then there’s something to that. It also doesn’t need to be so serious: just let yourself have the crush, even if it seems or feels minor! What we don’t think you should do is cut this person off. It would suck to lose a relationship that looks like it’s working to a bump in the road like this! If you do decide that ending the relationship is best, duh, do it—you know your situation better than we do—but we might just tell ya to watch the yield sign.
It also seems that part of your trepidation stems from the issues you and your partner have been having, which is a bit more difficult beast. From your last question, we assume that you feel now like there isn’t room for your feelings, and we’re sorry to hear it. Your feelings towards others should not pose a threat to your existing relationship, and it’s worth opening a conversation with your partner about. This conversation could be a matter of re-establishing and talking through your boundaries and the dynamics you’re comfortable with, these kinds of check-ins being important for all relationships, but especially polyamorous ones, where there are more people and feelings to be accounted for. There’s room for both your feelings for your sweetie and any jealousy that may crop up in your partner: try to take account of each other’s responses without judgment and blame, and then decide what needs to be done going forward. Jealousy often passes, or at the very least isn’t a deal breaker once you talk through it a little, and you get to decide what’s to be done about your feelings (distinct from the feelings themselves, which you after all have a right to). We trust you’ll take your partner’s into account too, and hopefully you can come to a solution that works for both of you.
Best of luck,
jimmy & bryan
My partner & I have been non-monogs as long as we’ve been together, but the pandemic led to a year of no other partners. Now that we’re both vaccinated, I’m ready to reunite with FWBs and meet new people. The pandemic has understandably made her feel like more of a homebody who doesn’t wanna meet new people. How can we re-open our relationship in a way that supports where we’re each at?
Hi SGS (Shot Girl Summer),
The pandemic has really altered just about every detail of our lifestyles. We keep hearing friends joking about forgetting how to socialize, running in fear from groups from more than two households. Non-monogamy presents a similar issue, as many anxiously shift from a year of hugging one person (if we’re lucky) to swapping sweet COVID-free saliva with multiple partners.
And we have the same advice for opening up our social lives as we do our relationships: take it slooooooow. For one, we are fragile AF. Whether we meant to or not, this year has created new norms for us all, and we think it’s best not to shake things up too quickly despite the CDC saying we can totally be slutty now. One way to ease in might be by testing the waters with one or two new casual partners at first, or this could mean setting some kind of limit (with the understanding that this can be renegotiated) for the first month or two. We also think it might be good to have the polyamory discussion like it’s a new relationship, just to get on the same page and avoid assumptions. It’s been a while, but get back on that horse, enjoy your freaky life, and really enjoy spitting in that special someone’s vaccinated mouth.
Keep it freaky,
jimmy & bryan
jimmy & bryan are two Minneapolis punks and zinemakers, a poet and photographer, respectively. They like long walks to the taqueria, their absurdly meticulous hobbies, and workin’ towards a world beyond capitalism (and the pandemic). You can send them your advice inquiries at [email protected] and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible.