We Are the Same, You and I

We are the same, you and I.
Our differences are small and admittedly unimportant.

If you and I were seated at the bistro, we could share wine and bread and talk about the weather, politics and society; perhaps even the biggest mysteries of small things. And you would see: we're the same, you and I.

If we went to a soccer match, I could show you to the best seats and we could cheer on our teams! We would shout, pump our fists into the air, yell boisterously into the air for every kick, pass, drive, and goal. Even if we were shouting for different teams, you would see: we're the same, you and I.

We've both got families. We wish the best for our children and try to create opportunity for them. I show affection for the woman I love, and I remind her - every day - that she's important, relevant, and essential. I want nothing more than to make those around me happy. We are tireless in our ambitions. We personally endeavor to be smart, educated, and informed; neither of us feel entitled to what we earn. We both are equally ambitious and fortunate. We are strong. We're the same, you and I.

We were once both lonely, and we eventually found release. We were once both uncomfortable, but we found a path to fulfillment. We were once both lost, but eventually we were found, and befriended, by people who saw us for who we are. Our closest friends came to believe in both of us, and in that way, we're the same, you and I.

We go to movies, we watch TV, we attend the same conferences and art shows, we listen to the same radio station; we speak a common language, we share a common culture, we both are patriots and wish freedom for all everywhere. We're the same, you and I.

Yet, despite all of this, our commonality, our experiences and our shared humanity, what separates us is merely a word: Polyamorous. Monogamous. What separates is an anthology of ideas that grossly misrepresent and distort us; that catalog and confine us; that assumes too much and describes too little about us. As we are the same, you allow the idea of the label to threaten you.

And then, suddenly, we're not the same, you and I.

As a polyamorous person, I want the same thing a monogamist would want from a relationship. Security, love, affection, loyalty, excitement, commitment, romance, time. The difference only arises in our vocabulary and understandings:

1. Instead of "affairs", I believe in honesty and truthfulness in my relationships.

2. Instead of "lying", I believe in communication and clarity, and transparency.

3. Instead of "ownership", I prefer to trust my partners.

4. Instead of serial behaviors perpetuated by social expectations, I enjoy learning from my mistakes.

5. Instead of denial, I like to explore my sexuality.

6. Instead of "hate" or "mistrust" or "jealousy", I believe that these negative emotions actually harm interpersonal relationships, and seek to best control them, instead of allowing them to fester and hurt me, or somebody I care about.

7. Instead of "spying" or "worrying", I ask.

8. Instead of seething in jealous contempt, I encourage my lover to indulge - i.e., instead of being insecure, I'm secure in the unique value I bring to my lover's life.

9. Instead of "stagnating", I like to "grow", and I like my partners to grow - even if it's without me... because I love them, and that's unselfish.

10. Instead of "wishing", I do.

As I sit across from you this evening and you marvel at my lifestyle and you bite your tongue and harbor a writhing contempt for my label, I want you to remember: we are the same, you and I. Because I know - deep down - surely, you want the same things, but you've always been too afraid to ask for them.