What the hell does that mean?
This is poly lingo. It means that my significant other (SO) has another significant other (OSO). It means that my girlfriend has another boyfriend. As a song does, My girlfriend’s boyfriend isn’t me…or something.
How does this make me feel? Well, at first I felt a little bit threatened and jealous. But then I thought about it. See, I don’t get to spend enough time with…crap, this is the point which I wonder how identifying the specific people might be a problem. OK, I’m calling her Susan. In any case, she tells me that she’s met a guy that she likes, and has been seeing him for a little while. The thing is that I don’t see her enough to satisfy her. She wants more, and I cannot blame her. She deserves to be happy, and I can’t see her enough to keep her happy enough, and so I’m OK with her dating someone else. Bottom line, I love being with her, and I want it to continue. So, what could go wrong?
Well, despite the fact that they are both bisexual, they don’t get along. They did for a short while, but that time has passed. Now, my primary (I’ll call her Natalie) is not sure about this situation, and wishes that things had not turned out this way. She will not be happy knowing that I am having sex with a woman who is having sex with another man, mostly because it can be risky in terms of STI’s. It is a valid concern. But I trust ‘Susan’s’ judgment, and I will make sure that my caution is satisfied before this goes too far. My concern now is the fact that if ‘Natalie’ wants more than I can give, and her reluctance to pursue this.
Details are not necessary. All that matters is that both of them have needs I cannot fulfill myself, just as each of them cannot fulfill my needs themselves. I want them to be happy, but love them both, yet in different ways. I will feel a little jealous at times, but I recognize that I am able to share myself and feel joy and love for both, so can they both as well.
We, as a culture, need to stop worshiping the need to own our loved ones. Think how many love songs talk of the ones we are with belonging to us, or whatever. This is a drug that is based on our own fears and insecurities. We need to love the people we are with, including their desires as they really are, otherwise we are mostly pretending to love them rather than the mutual dependence that our culture calls monogamy.
I’m happy that ‘Susan’ may find another to care about. I feel genuine compersion (look up this term, it may be of interest to you out there).