One of the main attractions to this lifestyle for both me and my partner is its emphasis on having the freedom to connect deeply and however feels right with whomever we desire. My partner and I are both community minded and feel best when we have a tight knit group of people that we relate to and feel close to. He is a native of the town that we live in but left for a few years and came back about a year and a half ago looking for something different than when he left. I’m not from the area that we live (I just moved to the state 5 years ago and to this city a few months ago) and I’ve been craving a connection to a community. We both talked about our desire to make new friendships with like-minded people and to start growing roots.
I was living in a much bigger city about an hour and a half away and was in a polyamory social group through meetup.com. As I moved down to where we live now, I looked for this same sort of outlet to meet people and have a space to learn and talk about my exploration into the non-monogamous lifestyle. I started a meetup group in this town and was excited to see that over 30 people joined in the first week!
My partner and I set a date for the first meetup but to our disappointment it was all single divorced men that were at least 20-30 years older than us. I hope that middle-aged single men find love in whatever way they please but we are just not in the same place in life. We didn’t want to discriminate but we could meet older poly people at many of the already established groups and we wanted to create a space for younger, inexperienced poly people like us to feel comfortable and perhaps mutual attraction to people going through similar life events.
We decided we had met enough people through friends, friends of friends, dates, and friends of our dates etc. that we might as well just start organizing ourselves. We started a little informal facebook group and started getting together with our new friends snuggled around a bonfire, drinking wine, having dinner, and sharing our experiences, ideas, fears, hopes and dreams for our relationships.
The plan was hatched with my partner and I, a guy I went on a date with who had been actively dating other poly people, and a woman that my partner went on a date with who was at the time in a poly triad. Our first gathering had about 10 people and then everyone invited one or two more people they knew were interested in or curious about polyamory to the facebook group.
The second get together was a hike to a beautiful waterfall known to nudists. A different set of people came to this event than the first event, however they were people that my partner and I knew more intimately through having experienced dating a few of them. We hung out in nature for hours and talked about many topics on open relationships.
The next gathering was at my house. I went into full blown susie homemaker mode and did up the outside, set a nice table, hung mood lighting, got beautiful flowers and made some delicious sangria. I was so excited that I was watching this group start to grow and I was really fostering relationships that seem to already be at a depth that I had been craving but missing since moving to this state 5 years ago. It was exactly what I was envisioning for my life and I was so grateful to have the awareness to appreciate it in the moment.
After that, we organized a group camping trip in which 5 of us went (including my partner’s first love) and it was one of my most memorable trips. As usual, it didn’t work out the way it was planned but it worked out exactly how it was supposed to. I got to reflect on myself and my struggles with growing emotionally through polyamory and I got to know and appreciate another important person in my partner’s life.
The most recent get together was our biggest to date with about 15 people in attendance. We sat in a huge circle and did introductions because there were so many new faces (which I think can be attributed to my partner’s hard work at being a fabulous organizer and inviting new people to the group and encouraging others to do the same). We talked about boundaries, what we want to learn about ourselves from non-monogamy, what we are looking for in future relationship models, what we’ve tried and how it worked or didn’t work for us.
We already have another dinner party scheduled and we are on a pretty steady schedule of meeting every two weeks. Every get together is different because of the changing people in attendance as well as the fact that everyone in the group is fearlessly and fervently experiencing love in diverse ways and then bringing new experiences to share each time.
I’m excited to see who we meet next and what we will learn from each other. I feel like I’m experiencing emotional growth at an exponential rate not only in my primary relationship but also in the lessons I watch friends in my new community go through. I’ve never felt so connected, validated and comfortably myself. I can’t wait for what’s to come!