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(excerpt from The Polyamory Toolkit)

Being broken up with sucks for monogamous people. I’m sorry to say it sucks for polyamory people as well.

artwork by katie

Now, there can be some benefits to poly in this regard – a partner might break up with me, but I may have other partners to help me through the transition. Although it still sucks, at least the lonely part can be abated. But that isn’t always the case, and even when it is, some aspects of poly breakups are different – and some would contend, worse – than typical monogamous breakups. This section deals with the turmoil of being with someone and then having a break up that results in that person (or if breaking up with a couple, triad, etc, people) no longer part of our life.

When relationships end, either at our choice or at our partners, we not only lose that person/people in our life, but we lose a number of other relationships as well.

  • We lose the presence of the specific person/people.
  • We lose the “Us”. This is what I call that energy or entity that occurs when you and they are together. I’ve noticed that when I am with Karen I have a different view and perspective than, for example, when I am with Dawn. And vice versa. One isn’t better than the other, but when I am visiting a furniture store with Karen we might come across a couch and think ‘that would be perfect for Saturday afternoon cuddling’. With Dawn, seeing the same couch might lead me to think ‘that would be perfect to tie you down to for kinky stuff’. Both reflect aspects of my authentic self. But just like my focus and presence at work is different than it is at home, the same is true when I am interacting with my friends that have a lot of spirituality interest vs my friends that have a lot of sports interest. And with my loving partners.
  • We often lose metamors. I try to develop relationships with the other people in my partner’s life, and often these become friendships on their own legs.  But if Karen were to break up with me, it would be uncomfortable to go to her boyfriend’s house and hang out.

That is a lot of loss. And it doesn’t include all the logistics, friends, and many other details that can come up when you lose a significant relationship.


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The Polyamory Toolkit

 A book that focuses on specific tools people can use to address the common issues and deeper aspects of a polyamorous relationship. This work includes topics such as: Jealousy, Compersion – finding joy in your partners’ joy, Communication, Mitigating Triggers, Creating a Solid Foundation, and so much more.

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