As told to Dua Prayaag
Khaled (not his real name) was very upset with me when I told him I was getting emotionally involved with a colleague at work. We didn’t talk to each other for a week. I told him I was also attracted to my colleague, a week after. Khaled heard me getting intimate with him on the phone one night and immediately confronted me. I didn’t lie to Khaled. I loved him. But I’d also started loving my colleague.
He called me a slut and left our rented apartment. I don’t hold anything against him, because when we started dating four months ago, it was meant to be a monogamous relationship. I hadn’t promised him exclusivity, but I realised when he slammed the door on my face with expletives difficult to repeat here that he expected me to be ‘his’ girl only.
Maybe I should have hinted at the fact that I don’t believe in the idea of depending on one person to fulfil all my needs, physical and emotional. I think it’s unfair to expect two people to live up to so many expectations.
Now I get it
It was only three nights back that I understood what he might have felt when he heard me get intimate with someone else. I was sleeping with my primary partner after what I believed was great sex.
I was holding him tight and wanted to sleep with my head on his chest for the rest of the night when his phone rang. I’m his secondary partner. His primary partner called. He immediately got up and started getting dressed to leave.
It was his birthday and I had a lovely breakfast planned for him. I hate cooking but just the last evening I went to a gourmet store and bought the best cheese and wine and breads and exotic fruits and vegetables planning to surprise him with a sprawling spread in the morning. “I have to leave. She needs me to be with her,” he said, and left. She knew he was with me. She was also polyamorous until recently, when she decided to be monogamous, but was fine with her partner continuing to be poly.
Related reading: She loves three men and I’m coming to terms with it
I was hurt. But more than hurt, I was jealous. I thought I was the source of most of his happiness these days. He said he absolutely loved me in bed, that our conversations taught him so much about politics and gender and other issues that he was far removed from owing to very little time that he could find to read, etc., being the busy businessman that he was. I was envious.
I couldn’t comprehend how he could choose to be with her instead of just lying in bed with me. As lazy as he was after work, and specially after sex, how could he get up so quickly, change and drive for an hour and a half to be with her, when on my request he doesn’t even drive to get us an ice cream at night saying how tired he gets?
He says he loves me. But does he love her more?
I feel you, you feel me
I immediately called a cab after he left and went to my secondary partner, who lives with his girlfriend. She didn’t look exhilarated on opening the door for me at 2 in the morning, but he had explained to her why I felt the need to meet him so late at night. “He’s in my room. I can take the couch tonight. Don’t worry,” she said to me, in a rather hurried and unfriendly tone, and shut the door.
I spoke to some of my friends who are also polyamorous and some of them did confess to feeling bouts of jealousy at times. To my surprise, some even said they didn’t always disclose to their partners when they were meeting their other partners who were aware of their existence. “I’m not cheating on him, because he knows of all my partners. I just don’t always tell one when I am meeting the other. That’s the extent of my lie to save myself from any emotional drama that may occur afterwards,” one of my friends shared.
I’ve decided to invest equally in all my three partners now. Polyamory is about consent and no cheating, but jealousy is a human emotion very difficult to evade, I discovered that night.