I am delighted to share one of my “Dear Kitty” columns that was previously published in “Ethical Non-Monogamy Magazine” (ENM), which, unfortunately, is no longer being published. We are honored to have permission from ENM to keep the love going by sharing from our archives.
With all my heart, I absolutely love our cherished Loving Without Boundaries community. For the greater good of all of you living your most authentic lives with joy and bliss (with the least amount of suffering as possible), we are thrilled to share this response to the reader’s question as a gift to you.
This is probably a not-so-easy-to-answer question, but I’d love some thoughts on it. Who does believe in the concept of a “soulmate” or a “twin flame” or whatever you would call the “one” and how does that align with polyamory? I really struggle with letting go of my belief of “2 people made for each other”. It breaks my heart trying to accept that this might just be an illusion. And if it’s not an illusion, why do I think my partner is “the one” when he has these desires for other partners?
Great question! This concept is actually very near and dear to my heart, as I too have pondered this exact question. As I explored how to live my best life, and then read book after book about relationships to that end, I actually perused such books as “Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationships” (Thomas Moore) and “Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story” (Richard Bach). I eventually later on in my life (about two decades later) read books such as “The Ethical Slut” and “Opening Up” and many more on the subjects of love, dating, and relating.
What I realized with all of my reading and research, as well as real life experience was these points:
1) Orientation versus Choice – Monogamy, polyamory and everything in between can be both a choice, yet also an orientation for people. It is personal, and a form of self-actualization over the course of practicing self-mastery and self-discovery to determine for yourself where you fall (regardless of how your partner identifies). Thus, if a person prefers monogamy and also feels like they orient that way, that is wonderful! Someone who prefers monogamy may subscribe to the belief that we each have one soul mate as you describe. We get to choose our beliefs, and then the world tends to bend towards those beliefs. Then also we tend to find references to back up our beliefs. The main point I am making is that we can both notice who we are inside, as well as choose how we want to practice being in relationships.
2) Polyamory Belief System – My background is in advertising. I was an art director creating and sending out literally millions of direct mail pieces to would-be customers in the hopes that a tiny fraction would say “yes.” It was and is a numbers game. Why am I telling you this? Well for myself, I chose to come to the conclusion that if there was over 7.5+ billion people in the world, how in the world could there only be “one soulmate” for me? What if a person wonderfully suited for me was in China? How about in Morocco? What if their gender was not simply as a man, but something else? To me, falling in love is quite a spiritual experience, the way two souls intertwine. Also, I wondered, why do we need to be on the Relationship Escalator (on the road to get married for life to one person in the traditional sense)? What if I get the pleasure of spending one glorious week with someone who feels like a soul mate, yet due to other circumstances, we never get to see one another again? Did our souls not connect? Was it not magical? Could it not massively change my life for the better, and touch my soul?
3) Mono Thinking vs. Polyamorous Thinking – When we are speaking about an open-style or polyamorous relationship, there exists the possibility that two people could not be compatible. If one individual prefers and orients towards monogamy and does not have the tolerance, acceptance, or desire to learn how to maneuver being in a relationship with someone who prefers or orients towards open relationships or polyamory, there may be irreconcilable differences. People and relationships do evolve and change. For example, I began my dating life with monogamous thinking as that was all I knew at the time. I eventually experienced swinging with my husband, trying that lifestyle on for size. In the current times, I identify as polyamorous. That feels 100% right to me today. In terms of your partner having desires for others, clearly your partner is somewhere on the spectrum of polysexual (multiple sex partners with consent) or polyamorous (multiple love partners with consent). That apparently is who you are in relationship with. Thus, it comes down to if you are able to accept them for who they are, and then do the inner work and gain the skillset (eg. emotion management, boundary setting, ninja communication tools) to learn to be in a healthy relationship with your partner who identifies currently on that spectrum. I say this to readers to help underscore that change is inevitable. People change. Relationships change. Learning to move through change gracefully is a skill that we can develop. Often working with a professional through such moments can be massively helpful, such as a relationship coach. It can be extremely helpful to find the right coach, mentor, or therapist if needed to close that gap from where you are now to where you want to be. Seek out the necessary tools and resources to live your best and most authentic and happy life! Every second counts. This is your life! Make it great!
I’ll leave you with this excerpt from a powerful book called “Letting Go” that touches on the concept that:
— Healthy love is letting go of fear and attachment….
“By continual surrender, we experience the state of unconditional love, which is rare. This energy is miraculous, inclusive, non-selective, transformative, unlimited, effortless, radiant, and selfless. It is characterized by inner joy, faith, ecstasy, patience, surrender, beauty, synchronicity, vision, and openness. Everything happens effortlessly by synchronicity.
Joy emanates from the inner subjective experience of our own existence. The power of joy is subjective, not stemming from any source outside of oneself. Thus, the energy of motor performance is inexhaustible. We may dance with ecstasy all night in a candlelit chapel, as if being danced by the Source of Life itself. In that state, the innate perfection and stunning beauty of all that exists shine forth like a luminous radiance.
When love is unconditional, there’s no attachment, expectation, hidden agenda, or bookkeeping of who gives what to whom. Our love is unconditional for whatever we are and whatever they are. It is given without requirements. No strings are attached. We don’t expect anything back when giving. We have surrendered all conscious and unconscious expectations of the other person.”
Until next time, cherished community …
With love and gratitude,
Kitty Chambliss, PCC, CPC, ELI-MP
Founder, Loving Without Boundaries
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