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You—a monogamist and perpetually single queer—are lying in bed one night, swiping on Tinder in the hopes of meeting a fine, melanated womxn to massage your bunions and replace that battery-operated friend that lives in your nightstand drawer (let’s call her Sheila). You stumble upon the profile of a beautiful ebony goddess that looks like she bathes in shea butter and holy water, and swipe right so fast you get carpal tunnel. To your surprise and delight, you two match! And so begins a whirlwind FaceTime and text romance of two weeks that culminates in you asking your future wife, “What’s something I don’t know about you?”
Beautiful Ebony Goddess answers, “Well… I’m POLY.”
It’s amazing how quickly those romantic violins you hear in your head turn into the sound of Angela Bassett setting her man’s car on fire when ish goes left. I mean, it did go left, right? You’ve only known monogamy since you stepped out of the closet and have no intentions of switching up. But, you already like Beautiful Ebony Goddess. You don’t want to lose her and have to go back to being monogamous with Sheila. After all, there’s gas in the U-Haul, and copies of your car, apartment, gym locker, and mailbox keys being made.
So, what do you do? Do you date her, or not?
No. The answer is no.
I’m all for trying new things, believe me. But poly isn’t simply ordering mint chocolate chip instead of vanilla at Coldstone. It’s a complex web of intimacy, held together by trust and consistent communication, and woven by folks who don’t feel complete with just one partner. Done right, poly is ethical, respectful, and a solid shot at getting needs met without relying on one person to carry the weight. Done wrong, it’s a web so tangled even Spiderman couldn’t swing it. Now if all that sounds like a 90’s R&B song to you, then congrats! Poly might be your thing. But if you’re a true monogamist, odds are this isn’t for you my guy.
Think about it. Do you really want to share your girl’s time with Tay, Jay, and that spiritual chick that lights sage and reads tarot cards? Would you really be ok with your partner leaving you to go to her other girlfriend’s crib for spades and beer? I know you aren’t jumping for joy at the thought of her bumpin’ beavers with other people. Wouldn’t you be shook if you had to open up your marriage and child-raising to your wife’s other partners? Even the most secure monogamist would have to fight off jealousy and selfishness like they’re Mortal Kombat characters to keep it together. It’d be slow torture, a self-inflicted struggle that you can avoid if you stay true to yourself and simply say no.
So, say no! No matter how much of a baddie Beautiful Ebony Goddess is, there are plenty of other beautiful womxn that take love from one person at a time just like you. We as a community have to stop saying yes to every romantic opportunity that comes our way, particularly those that we know will make us miserable. If we do, we can stop the cycle of toxic, doomed relationships many of us get into because we’re lonely or have a scarcity mindset. You might be single for longer than you’d like, but it’s worth it for someone whose core values and future plans align with yours. In the meantime . . . Sheila needs you home by seven.
Written By: Eden Carswell, LBH Content Writer (@locs_on_the_rocks, IG)