My friend Astrid called the other week. We last spoke before coronavirus emerged — a time, even with all its horrors and injustices, we now refer to as ‘normal’.
Among all the catch-up questions, she asked, ‘Have you met someone yet?’ When I replied no, it was both truthful and a white lie.
After all, I hadn’t just met one man, but two – and all three of us are now happily living the polyamorous life together in lockdown.
For the sake of anonymity, let’s call my boyfriends Adam and Steve (just to shock any horrified readers further).
In winter last year, I met Adam through a gay app. After hanging out in both bars and bedrooms, we realised we got on like a house on fire. That’s when Adam introduced me to Steve, his boyfriend and suggested that if we got on well too, they could transition from an open relationship to a three-person relationship that included me.
None of us had ever tried polyamory before, but with open minds, we wanted to explore if it could work.
It did: I’d go over to their place on the weekends, and they’d come to mine in the middle of the week. We even went to Lisbon for a long weekend after Christmas. And it all felt easier and far more natural than any of us had anticipated.
Four months later, countries began going into lockdown and it looked like the UK would follow suit.
Despite being fiercely independent (read: I lived by myself) and an introvert who needs as much time alone as with others, I discussed staying with Adam and Steve – who already lived together – for its duration.
Although I was initially worried I’d be a nightmare to live with as I’d gotten used to being on my own, what caused more distress was the possibility of not seeing Adam and Steve — my two, fully-fledged boyfriends — for an unknown amount of time if I stayed in my flat.
So I grabbed my essential items, locked the door behind me, and went.
Polyamory has its positives when it comes to the more mundane parts of life, like household chores
As I’m sure everyone thinks right now, lockdown has felt like it’s been going on for six months rather than three. But the feeling of time dragging on hasn’t been due to a bad atmosphere between Adam, Steve, and I. In fact, it’s our time together that’s vastly improved ‘these unprecedented times’.
What’s surprised me most, as somebody who had previously only practiced monogamy, is the utter absence of jealousy. Open displays of affection between Adam and I, or Adam and Steve (and so on), aren’t met with a withering glance from the other person as if to say: ‘Why aren’t I involved?’
Acts of displaying love are encouraged — as they should be. (And, yes, the same sentiment applies to sex: It happens as-and-when, with any one of us, and without a scoreboard being kept of who’s slept with whom.)
Polyamory has its positives when it comes to the more mundane parts of life, like household chores. In my previous monogamous relationships, there was always a tit-for-tat game of ‘I cleaned the bathroom so it’s your turn to do the kitchen!’
What makes it much simpler as a throuple, I guess, is that our domestic activities don’t rely on two people equally pulling their weight, but rather three.
Lockdown has also allowed me, Adam and Steve to build ourselves a cosy bubble that will inevitably pop when lockdown lifts.
Generally, we work from home Monday to Friday, and spend the evenings trawling Netflix for a half-decent show to watch. Then Steve goes food shopping on Saturday morning, and we spend the rest of the weekend exploring Amazon Prime for a half-decent show to watch.
It’s been like a Big Brother-esque experiment to see if three gay men’s relationship could thrive during a pandemic. And it has.
The occurrence of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has provided many of us with the chance to re-evaluate our lives and reflect. Looking back on my time in lockdown with Adam and Steve, it’s only confirmed my belief that testing the waters of polyamory was the right decision.
Although it’s far harder in 2020 to imagine what the future looks like, what I do know is that, in terms of my future, the polyamorous relationship I have with Adam and Steve will play a hugely positive, fundamental part in it.
Now we know we live well together, there’s the strong possibility that living under one roof will continue long after the pandemic. And once lockdown does lift fully, we’ll go back to experiencing the outside world as a throuple.
However, unsuspecting onlookers won’t know that — they’ll simply assume we’re just good friends.
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