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I initially expected the polyamorous people I met to tell me that there were times their relationships made them sick with envy.
After all, how could someone listen to his significant other’s stories of tragedy and conquest in the dating world, as Michael regularly does for Sarah, and not feel possessive?
When I met Jonica Hunter, Sarah Taub, and Michael Rios on a typical weekday afternoon in their tidy duplex in Northern Virginia, a very small part of me worried they might try to convert me. And so are Sarah and whomever she happens to bring home some weekends. Jonica is 27, with close-cropped hair, a pointed chin, and a quiet air.
All three live there together, but they aren’t roommates—they’re lovers. Sarah is 46 and has an Earth Motherly demeanor that put me at relative ease.
But it became clear to me that for “polys,” as they’re sometimes known, jealousy is more of an internal, negligible feeling than a partner-induced, important one.
And polyamorous arrangements are not quite the same as “open relationships” because in polyamory, the third or fourth or fifth partner is just as integral to the relationship as the first two are.
Polyamory overlaps somewhat with geek culture, such as cosplay, or the kink world, such as BDSM.
Many couples who become interested in polyamory start by looking for a single, bisexual woman to add to the relationship.
Sarah had been accustomed to seeing Michael whenever she wanted, but she started to feel a pang when he spent time with Jonica.“At first I thought, ‘Is something bad happening, something I don’t want to support? “No, I want to support Michael and Jonica in being together. I can be an anxious person, so maybe I was feeling anxious. I might go for a walk or play guitar.“It’s part of learning a healthy self-awareness and the ability to self-soothe,” she added.
“I notice what I’m feeling, and do a dive inward.”Two-person marriage, be it gay or straight, is still such the norm that even the most progressive among us do a double-take when someone says they like their relationships a little more populous.
Jonica moved in three years ago after meeting Michael on Ok Cupid.