Why I'm In A Dead-End Relationship With A Man Who Has A Live-In Girlfriend

It's the last thing I ever expected and it's dope as hell.

Why I'm Dating A Polyamorous Man With A Live-In Girlfriend Getty Images

Living in the moment has never been easy for me. I think that's largely because I'm an imaginative and anxious person: dreaming up the future and then worrying about it is my gift and curse, you know, like Spiderman. 

When I thought about my future as an adult in my adolescence, my imagined home life seemed so real I took it as given. I would meet a man, we would fall in love, we would get married, we would have kids.


Sure, part of that is probably informed by societal expectations placed upon women, but I'm 33 now and an educated feminist, I know it isn't the only option and it is still what I want.

So why am I dating a polyamorous man 10 years my senior with an adult son and a live-in girlfriend?

Because, right now, it makes me really happy. It's as simple as that.

I also know that it isn't that simple. 

I didn't spend years in therapy struggling under the strain of my own self-loathing to go into something like this blind.

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Being in a polyamorous relationship was a decision I made consciously. I asked myself (and still do) many questions about my own actions.


Am I in this relationship because I don't think I deserve all of someone's love? No, not at all.

In fact, I don't think love works that way. It's not a finite resource, or at least, it doesn't have to be.

Does this relationship have a future? I don't know, and for the moment that is absolutely fine. 

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, to feel a sense of pressure either spurred by my own impatient heart or by my rapidly aging egg sacks. But it hasn't yet, and I don't. I roll my eyes at myself when I talk about the newly polyamorous form my love life has taken, and while I see the humor in it, it doesn't feel strange or bad or wrong. 

It might be that I am finally feeling what it is liked to be fully loved by another person that is keeping me so happy and even keeled. 


If you'd asked me six months ago what dating and relationships were like I would have said that they were like a high maintenance orchid.

You have to attend to their every need, water them, mist, make sure they get the right light, the right combination of chemicals in their soil, and even then there was never any guarantee that they would thrive. 

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My love for the men in my life was powered by my fear of never being fully seen by another person, never being fully loved back. 

It was thankless. It was exhausting. It was heartbreaking.

I still have the scars, and I always will. A part of me will always worry that if I'm not anxious and unhappy and confused that it must not be a real. Which is crazy.


My boyfriend knows exactly what he wants out of his life. I know exactly what I want out of mine.

These desires are in diametric opposition.

We bring this up sometimes, but always with a smile. 

There isn't a future with him, not the way I dreamed when I was younger.


There isn't a future with him in the way I dream now.

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But my heart is happy when we're together, I smile thinking about him when we are apart, and I feel totally comfortable doing things like teasing him or being a grump because he loves me and I feel safe to show him all the parts of myself. 

Right now, I'm happy. Right now, it's enough. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.