Metamour Relationships

Metamour: your lover’s other lover.

Hey there, the boyfriend is back for another special guest appearance.

I recently enjoyed a lovely dinner at a nice restaurant with the HauteWife (HW) and her husband (H) to celebrate a special occasion. As usually happens, I sat across from them in the booth. After the meal H pulled out his phone to snap a couple of selfies. Then H stepped out of the booth so HW could slide out and sit next to me for a couple more pictures.

In the days since then I find myself going back to the pictures of the two of them. They are so fucking adorable it sets your teeth on edge. In a good way. The pictures of the two of us are great, too, but I can’t tear myself away from the pictures of them.

HW has a smile filled with light from within. When that smile is pointed my way I know I am loved. As she readily admits, she often does not photograph well when posed smiles are involved. The selfies from dinner are filled with her light. With her love for her men. No posing required. It tickles me – in a good way – to see how in love they are with each other.

The joy I feel from looking at these pictures, however, is mitigated by memories of a less happy time. In the long years between their son’s death and the eventual birth of our current polycule I had no relationship with H, and my care and concern for HW had to be expressed from afar. At our infrequent lunch or coffee get-togethers I did what I could to hold HW’s struggles gently and firmly. Eventually I could see that HW was emerging from the fog of grief and was rebuilding her life. And I gently and firmly held the aching she had for H to emerge from his fog. Meanwhile the nefarious side of my personality rehearsed conversations we never had about how long was long enough to wait and what do you think the chances really are that he will come around and what are some other seeds of doubt I could plant to split her from him into my waiting arms. Thankfully my better nature prevailed and we never had those conversations. H made his way out of his fog, and he was there at dinner reflecting his own light in selfies.

As far as storytelling goes, I’m backing into my thesis. In retrospect I imagine those dark years would have been better had I had a relationship with H. Without that connection it was easy for me to reduce him to an abstraction and a potential target of ill-advised conversations. I’m much happier having a relationship – a true friendship – with H. Wanting good things for HW means wanting good things for H. Wishing him ill would be tantamount to wishing it upon myself.

Metamours are a defining characteristic of polyamorous relationships. If you have a paramour (or two or three), do you know them? I know, metamours can be fucking awkward, but that awkwardness often says more about your willingness to do the hard work of a relationship than it does about them as a person. Absent a convincing argument for not having a connection with a metamour, I highly commend forming one. You don’t have to be best friends. You don’t even have to like each other. But you should know each other well enough to be comfortable in each other’s presence and hold enough mutual regard to be able to work together if needed. You never know when the lover you have in common may need you both (all) to get through a tough patch. And in day-to-day comings and goings it’s easier to enjoy your lover’s enjoyment of a metamour when metamours aren’t faceless stand-ins for your insecurities.

I love my lover, and I love that she loves her husband. And I love my metamour, too. I wish the same for you.


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