Themes like ‘soul mate’, ‘your one-and-only’, ‘your forever true love’ run rampant in modern society from romantic comedies to greeting cards.
However, there are people out there with hearts that are capable of falling in love with more than one person. They long to experience the love of multiple people, often all at the same time.
Polyamory is an orientation that is becoming more and more widely embraced and accepted by people over the past several decades. It is most commonly defined as the desire to experience intimate relationships – sexual or otherwise – with multiple different partners. Just to be clear, this isn’t any type of cheating; a polyamorous person is honest and open about their different relationships and operates with clear lines of consent.
Does this sound a bit wild to you? Hopefully, Mary Crumpton’s story can help you understand and better appreciate the value of polyamory.
Mary Crumpton’s Story
Mary Crumpton is a polyamorous woman who currently has a husband, is engaged to another man, and is dating two boyfriends. She began exploring her sexuality at the age of 29 after being raised in a conservative environment. In her words that she shared with Metro…
“I was brought up in quite a traditional home. I had boyfriends and was monogamous. Having more than one partner never crossed my mind. In my twenties, I got married and settled down in Chorlton fully intending to be with my husband for life… At the time I didn’t really question having just one partner. It was normal.” (1)
She confessed to having feelings for other people while she was married, and described the guilt she felt and took it as a sign that she didn’t love her husband enough. When her marriage eventually didn’t work out, she got into another monogamous relationship with another man.
Crumpton wasn’t aware of polyamory, nor had she been introduced to the term before until she met someone that identified as polyamorous.
“The idea that loving more than one person might not make me a terrible human being only dawned on me when, at a pub, I bumped into a person who had more than one partner… I had never come across it before, or the term ‘polyamory’ which means ‘more-than-one love’. I was quite shocked and curious about how it all worked for them.” (1)
It was a few years after that experience when she discussed it with her partner at the time. They then agreed to an open relationship and gave polyamory a try.
“I took to it immediately. I had a friend that I was already close to and that friendship drifted very naturally into something more. My partner had a similar experience with a friend of his. It was a revelation to me. I quickly realized that I had been ‘wired up’ this way probably all my life – loving more than one person now seems like the most natural thing in the world to me and I can’t imagine being any other way.” (1)
A New Way of Life
Mary finally felt free. She was experiencing love and relationships in the way that her heart had longed for her whole life. She now finds herself living happily as a confident, polyamorous woman. Though she and her original polyamorous partner are no longet together, she is now married, engaged, and dating two other men. They are all consenting and happy and proud to share their story.
In her own words, regarding polyamory…
“In many ways, I have found that being in open relationships has forced me to communicate much better. I am very honest and open with my partners about my feelings and needs, in a way that I didn’t have the courage to be in previous monogamous relationships. So I think I have grown as a person, and have better and stronger relationships now. Of course, all of that is possible in monogamous relationships, and I am not suggesting polyamory is in any way better, just different. But it works well for me personally.” (1)
Discovering how your heart functions and living your life with confidence in who you are is one of the most beautiful journeys anyone can embark on. It doesn’t matter if you’re invested in a monogamous relationship, practice polyamory, or identify somewhere in-between. I hope Mary Crumpton’s story has been eye-opening for you and that you can have a better understanding of polyamory and what it can mean for someone with that identity.