Once upon a time, Carlos and I were just two old friends who were having some fun dating, soaking in the sweaty summer fun. It was the closest to “normal” our relationship has probably ever been – on our third date I allegedly told him I wanted to have his kids, and about the same time, he told me that monogamy wasn’t a thing that works for him, and we decided to make this thing work forever.
From the beginning, change has been an integral part of our plan: neither of us really thought marriage would be a factor in our lives, but we dove in. I didn’t think that I was interested in participating in a non-monogamous relationship, but I discovered that being with Carlos was more important to me than not sharing him. Once we moved in together, we had to adapt again, addressing my insecurity about his dating, building tools for communication and learning how to live our life together. Every year, every milestone presents new opportunities for our relationship to adapt and grow.
When we began our partnership, I wanted very little to do with the other people in Carlos’s life. I wanted to know who they were, but I didn’t really want to be friends with them. As time went by, it became harder for me to justify avoiding the poly people, especially as I got to know more of them. On the one hand, Carlos tends to have pretty excellent taste in people, and on the other, I really do enjoy being part of a community, way more than I enjoy avoiding people who may have been involved with my partner.
I am, and have always been, a weirdo. It has taken me long into my adulthood to figure out the ways that my weirdness is shaped, but now that I have a sense of myself, I recognize that I am lucky to have a like-minded community of people who aren’t tied to the lies of being “normal.” I absolutely, unequivocally LOVE that I can call Carlos’s sweetie when I’m having a rough day. I love that Rockford tries using her to get out of nap time (except for the “trying to get out of nap time” part). I love that Carlos tells me, “you should date that person!” even though we all know I’m just going to chicken out or decide that I like my Friday nights at home better.
In many ways, I think I have been very lucky to have come into my forever-relationship this way. I never started another dating relationship with the same level of clarity about the way things would go. Even though Carlos and I couldn’t predict the future, knowing that change would be an inevitable part of it gives us enough of a roadmap to find ourselves every time the path gets murky. Even if our co-habiting, bill-sharing, primary partnership passes on, Carlos and I will always have a relationship, because we made the commitment to bring children into the world and raise them to be the best people they can be.
Whatever things life brings our way, there is comfort in knowing that they will change. My first boss used to tell me about her mother saying, “this too shall pass,” for the good and for the bad. Some things are within my power to change, and some will change despite any effort to stop them. I absolutely have to remind myself to embrace the changes instead of fighting against them, because I am, after all, still me. It’s always there, though, and that is reassuring (and yeah, potentially terrifying). This, too, shall pass, and that’s how it should be.