While I have several logic-centered reasons for being polyamorous, I think the most convincing are the ones rooted in emotion and spirit. These are the ones that would be hardest for me to discount because they are what I feel deep inside myself. These are the ones that made me Google “permanent multi-person relationship” while holding my breath hoping for some answers. These are the ones that hold the most true in my heart.

I have always wanted to know myself deeply. For some reason as a child, I was a mystery to myself. That seems like an odd thing to say, but I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I felt like in order to do that I needed to know humanity intimately. Why not start with myself? What motivates me? Who am I? It’s taken me years to figure it out, and I still am in some ways. I suppose I’ll never truly stop getting to know myself, since people are not stagnant statues but shifting organisms.

One reason I have gotten to know myself and my boyfriend so well is because of polyamory. Polyamory in its nature forces me to understand myself. I have to know what situations make me  uncomfortable so I can express that to my partners. I have to know what needs are and are not getting met so I can tell my partners. I’ve had to explore what insecurities have followed me through my life and also what strengths have gotten me to the woman I am today. And as I’ve learned so much about myself, I’ve also had to learn how to communicate all those insecurities and strengths deep in my heart. These are hard to learn and even harder to vocalize, but if I can tell someone about the deep parts of my heart, I am vulnerable to that person in a way that shows him or her the highest trust and the deepest truth. And if my partner can achieve that same understanding of self and voice it, then he or she will be just as beautifully vulnerable to me. With these heartfelt truths also come deep issues, issues that every partner can vocalize and every partner can work to understand and fix. These issues if left unmet will break apart a relationship that involves multiple people, so they are constantly being brought to the surface, explored and worked through. That high degree of vulnerability in getting to know myself and my partners as well as in facing issues takes a great deal of trust and is deeply rewarding.

As must be obvious by now, polyamorous relationships are a lot of work. Anything that forces people to look so deeply inside of themselves is not to be taken lightly. Most people don’t look so far inward without the help of psychology professionals (which is why this booklet was created I suppose), and it’s bound to take time, patience and probably even some tears. But I think it’ll make each person more fulfilled and happier. Learning about myself has made me a happier person, and I’m able to give more and love each partner more completely. Because the foundation in myself is laid so strongly, I have more to give each partner. I’ve also found that working for a relationship keeps every relationship fresh. Adding new relationships make older ones shift to accommodate the new ones and suddenly every relationship is new. Each time a relationship is added, older ones have to reassess: are needs getting met? Are there any unsaid problems? What’s going on in each person’s heart? If something’s wrong, everyone has to shift. All of these shifts mean I need to be patient with my partners while they work out their issues or while they deal with mine. There’s constant encouragement to challenge myself and to make myself better. I also mean that polyamory is work in more than just emotional ways. The biggest limitation on a polyamorous person is time. Who do I spend my time with? And I have to work to allow adequate time for all of my partners so no one is left with unmet needs. With polyamory, there is no stagnation in relationships because everyone has to work to meet each other’s needs as they change over time and with new relationships.

The hardest part of adjusting to polyamory is letting go of some core beliefs instilled in everyone from childbirth. Most people just automatically believe that it is not possible to deeply love more than one person. Through this idea, love becomes scarce and we all have to scramble for it so that all of a sudden, we’re not on equal footing anymore; we’re competing with each other for this love resource. Polyamory has at its core what I’ve always felt in my heart. I believe  there is abundance of love in the world and that I only need to tap into it. We’re all people who want to be loved, so let’s love and be loved back. I believe that loving more than one person will open my heart to giving and receiving more love than I ever thought possible. And a world where everyone has enough love and no one is left wanting is beautiful and one worth fighting and working for.

The most personal reason why I’m polyamorous is because my heart feels it. You know when you get lonely deep in your heart and you feel an empty space? It’s the space that your One True Love is supposed to fill. In my heart, there’s more than one empty space. I have holes in my heart that my partners will fill. Even with my boyfriend whom I love more deeply than I ever thought possible, I still feel those empty spaces. I’m not sure how many there are, but I do know that one day I’ll find the people who will fill them.

No matter how strange and unconventional polyamory seems to some people, it just feels right to me. It matches beliefs I have about love and relationships, it explains what I feel in my heart, and it challenges me to be the best person and partner I can be. I think polyamory was the piece I was missing as a child to help explain who I am and what I believe in, and it has been rewarding to feel that confused child grow into a confident woman.