(excerpt from Polyamory Toolkit, Tool #2)
“My significant other met someone new. That is fine – we are polyamorous and it certainly isn’t unexpected that new people pop up in our lives. But what sometimes throws me for a loop is that the someone they met is so very…well, not me. By that I mean that sometimes my partners end up with a person in their life that is more this, less that, better at, not concerned about, happy to share this, enjoys that thing I hate. And the more pronounced the difference, the more a worm of doubt generates in my head, saying ‘if my partner likes (that), then do they still want me?’.
Most recently, Karen met a “not me” and they enjoy country music and motorcycles, two things I had no clue she even liked. Since I don’t like (country music, with a few exceptions) and something I’ve thought about doing but never have (getting a motorcycle), it never occurred to me that Karen might. But with the new person, she and the new guy have gone to a variety of country concerts; and she tells me that riding on the back of his Harley is like having a mobile vibrator (she likes a lot of other things about riding his motorcycle, but this is the one that struck me the most).
So how do I wrap my head around the fact that she likes these new (different) things? And does it mean she doesn’t like the old things…you know…me?
The tool I keep in mind here is ‘And, Not Or’. This is a reminder that polyamory isn’t about her picking him over me, or her liking a type of music and suddenly hating all others. Polyamory is an abundance way of living. We get to have our cake and eat it too. She gets to enjoy having motorcycle time and country hits with him AND enjoy a nice walk listening to chill techno with me”