Monday, September 17, 2012


I hate being in the closet.

Yeah, there's a polyamory closet. Parents, work colleagues, and friends don't necessarily take kindly to hearing their son's girlfriend has a guy on the side.

Me and Mr Wrong came out of the closet together around November 2011. This was pretty early into being poly; I made a post on the subject. In the intervening six months, my mother hasn't gotten more positive and isn't quite sure how she feels about us being engaged if we're not going to be "committed" to one another. (Being committed and being exclusive are, of course, two very different things!)

Mr Oldman sort-of-but-not-really came out to his Mum in January. He told her that his new girlfriend (me!) was dating someone else as well; in my mind, he communicated that I was casually dating two guys and would eventually "choose" one of them. He properly came out to his sister (in detail) more recently. He was speaking of coming out to his mother in more detail soon, which has made me really happy.

I hate the closet. I hate "being dishonest". Having dinner with Mr Oldman's parents while we were dating was really stressful for me - I felt like I was walking on eggshells. I keep on having to dance around the fact that I live with a guy I'm desperately in love with. Before I go to see them, I have to "disengage" - take off my ring. I don't like lying. I can't do it.

Strangely enough, I once encouraged Mr Wonderful to give the closet a go. He was having to choose between me and another girl, and was worried that the Other Girl's parents wouldn't approve of him having two girlfriends. I told him "the closet was invented for people like you" and pontificated on the benefits of introducing the Other Girl to his parents whilst keeping me his secret on the side. I think I proposed this partially because I knew the Other Girl wasn't poly inclined (so it would never happen), and I would have been okay with it because I wouldn't be the one lying to Mr Wonderful's parents. Plus, a stressful relationship filled with lies is better than no relationship at all.

Of course, Mr Wonderful hates lying even more than I do (he told me to swear never to tell his sister about us; within a fortnight he'd told her on his own), so it wasn't really an option for him.

But I really don't understand how so many poly people think the closet is acceptable in the long-term. I read about many triads who are outwardly a "couple" with a "roommate". Do these people really want to hide their loving, multiple-year relationships from the world? How can they do it, when I couldn't stand hiding my (at the time) ordinary, two-month relationship from my parents?


  1. People just don't seem to understand that it's possible to be with two (or more) people at once and love them equally. When I was in the US I explained to a couple of people that I was dating two guys and now I'm just dating one, and them all seemed to think that I'd done the right thing by choosing just one. I found this really frustrating as it was a complete mispresentation of the situation. I understand that it's difficult to live a lie, but maybe sometimes it's easier to see it as living a not telling the whole truth. I mean, you don't tell everything to everyone you know, some things are none of their business. Your close friends will understand, and maybe it doesn't matter if no one else does

    1. I actually posted on just this topic about a year ago, and indeed it's linked in the post, but here it is again:

      I think it IS peoples' business who I date. People at work talk about their wives and kids and that. If it's relevant I don't see why I shouldn't mention it.

      I don't go out and say things, of course, but I have a photo of me and Mr Wonderful and Mr Wrong at my desk the same way my cubiclemate has a photo of him and his wife, and when relevant in conversation I'll bring up either of them.

      You know, "me and my fiance are looking to buy a house in Perth", and "my boyfriend is looking for a new place to rent". I don't know if anyone's twigged that my fiance and boyfriend are two different people but I don't care about that so much.

      I just want to be able to mention them at times I feel appropriate. The same way a lesbian would want to be able to say "my girlfriend".