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Poly Breakup: The Ups and Downs of a Mostly Single Person

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Alamy
Alamy

Eric and I broke up about a month ago. There were some issues that couldn't be worked out, he and I both had branched out into different types of relationships, and even though it's important to work hard in accepting partner's partners... there were mutual dislikes all around. It's not the first time Eric and I have broken up, we had a six-month break three years ago and we managed to pull it back together, however the thud this time was pretty loud. I couldn't believe that silence is that loud, but alas, silence is louder than words.

When we did break up, which was through an online message and really something that shows the sign of the times, I did feel a bit numb but overly tired about the whole thing... I finally came up with a response to the message yesterday:

I woke up yesterday realizing that Eric and I broke up. I know it's been a month but my euphoric energy has blanketed the fact that after a month, and only talking to him as a friend three times, I really don't miss him too much. That's the part which is difficult for me: I'm not fighting to get Eric back. I was relieved that he wanted to break up with me. My therapist offered me some words of advice a few years ago when I was very depressed over another breakup. He told me to fake happy till I make it. I was genuinely happy with Eric, it was great, but faking happy to accept the whole package with his other partners wasn't working. I tried almost everything except spelling out why I was unhappy -- prayer was even included asking for strength -- but when all was said and done, it really was not going to work out.

An important part of a poly breakup for me is not to ignore my other partners and crawl into a corner by myself. As important it is for me not to drive into new relationship energy and ignore everyone else, it is important for me to remember that I have other things going on with other people. It's never a good thing to tell a person who is poly, "Hey it won't be a hard breakup, you have other relationships." I do have other relationships, both platonic and casual, that I have time invested into. I think the stereotype of a person (male or female) eating Ben and Jerry's and watching a sappy movie is used way too much. I did overindulge in some chocolate sunflower seeds and had a few beers with my parents -- who know I'm poly and accept me for who I am -- but really short of instant gratification, it really didn't help me. I don't want to fall apart. I have dieted really hard for the past few months, I'm beginning to lose weight and get healthier, and having a reason to let everything go was blocking my vision my goals.

As fun as it is to make "_________" official (put your favorite social networking site in the blank) it's painful to make it official at the end of the relationship. Being on a social networking site for kinky folks, I avoided comment. Eric and I have plenty of mutual friends who enjoy gossip. We've seen couples, both monogamous and polyamorous, come out of relationships with sides chosen. We both really don't want that... I think both of us believe we are correct in the versions of the breakup (there is always two -- or more sides depending on other partners' -- sides of the story) but black balling someone over a breakup is counterproductive.

I don't blame one thing or another for my breakup. No one outside the relationship really had anything to do with the breakup. The breakup was coming for the past few years. I jokingly asked Eric to stop talking about me moving closer to them. Whenever we discuss moving in geographically closer, something happens to the relationship. Pure and simple I accept some responsibility for not seeing the warning signs but really that's all I can say. It was a good five years, but there is simply too much of a difference at this point to logically carry on a relationship.

What I did write back to him when he messaged me?

I said I hope he also would be happy and I send him good juju.