At times we question our beliefs, our paths in life, our convictions and I’m no different. I have never looked at the world in a conventional way, but that can be a lonely way of living at times. In the past I have compromised those core beliefs to stave off both loneliness and familial peace. That has never gone well. Yet I found myself at such a crossroads again recently.

This past summer I started to question just how polyamorous I really am. Or rather how much I needed poly relationships. There are certain aspects of my life which I consider to be of utmost importance to who I am and how I live my life. My veganism and my spiritual explorations have informed my life in different ways and depths for as long as I can  remember. Poly as an idea has been in my mind for a long time and fits my beliefs very well. Being vegan and developing a personal spirituality are a solitary endeavour, poly however is something that by its very nature is something one does with others.

There in lay my dilemma this past summer. I have decided that any one I chose to have an intimate relationship with, potential live ins as it were, should be vegan and preferably of similar spiritual beliefs. That may seem restrictive to some but it’s whats important to me. You can imagine that reduces my dating pool somewhat.

I met someone online back in August. Beautiful, vegan, spirituality in line with my own. Perfect. But not poly. She had been in a bad poly relationship once and it had soured her to the whole idea (a textbook case of how not to treat a secondary). I seriously considered: “Could I be in another monogamous relationship?”

It’s been six years since my previously enjoyed spouse and I opened our marriage which led to it’s inevitable break up. In those six years I’ve actually dated very little, for various reasons. The two poly relationships I did have occurred just after the break up and since then I’ve had a handful of dates, playmates, and friends with benefits, but no deep connections. One has to ask, can one be polyamorous yet not be in a poly relationship? I chalked it up to having a difficult time finding poly women but if I’m honest with myself it’s because I had been hurt too much and feared opening myself to anyone.

Then I met her and I felt that maybe it was possible to open myself again. I started to ponder what poly really meant to me. Could I give up relationship happiness for a belief? Was the promise of multiple relationships greater than the potential of a conscious and awake one? At the time I decided I could, or at the very least I was open to the possibility, hopefully by avoiding the relationship escalator.

We went on a couple dates. I enjoyed being with her but alas it didn’t work out. I noticed during that time with her that under all the wonderful energy and exciting togetherness there was a sense of being trapped. The same feeling I had harboured unspoken throughout the twenty years of my marriage. That ghost of an unnamed fear that haunted me all those years. Maybe trapped isn’t the right word, confined, constricted, are closer to what I felt.

I am a person who relishes his alone time. As a child I could spend days on my own. Yet even I long for intimacy. That longing can incite one to  make uncertain compromises. I still find myself in those quiet moments wondering if I could be happy being monogamous. Often the answer is no, there would always be that uneasiness.

I’m always amused by those seemingly inconsequential coincidences that cross my path at opportune moments. This time it came in the guise of two electronic means. One was a newsletter from Steve Pavlina. It was about aligning yourself with your desires. Another was some Facebook status updates that Erika Awakening had posted regarding sexual openness and healing, as well as about the dangers of monogamy. These articles hit home for me and resonated deeply with my own personal beliefs. They also left me with an uneasy sense of shame at letting myself down, of almost compromising my convictions as I did over and over again during my marriage.

I truly believe that love and sex should never be confined. I hope that loneliness never pushes me towards betraying myself again. I know that there are either subconscious or metaphysical, or both, reasons for my lack of companionship (which I may write about later). As discouraged as I can be during those lonely times, I’m also optimistic that I will attract those partners I desire in the future. So I now release you from my ramblings. May your convictions be more unshakable.