I’ve been slow in answering letters lately. I’ve got lots of material for lots of columns and I’m noticing a pattern.
Lack of love.
So much of the advice I give is crap unless you proceed from the assumption that all partners love each other. And cupcake, I ain’t talkin’ here about hormonal carbonation, nor am I talkin’ any of that soul mates shit, or any other frou-frou nonsense that movies and songs pass off as love.
I’m talking about the blood and bone of love. I’m talking about the kind of love that gets you up in the middle of the night to clean up after a sick child. I’m talking about the kind of love that gets you ruthlessly examining how you treat your partner and owning your mistakes (we all make ’em). I’m talking about a deep and profound commitment to knowing partners down into their bones and still having a commitment to being available to them for their growth and welfare.
Love in this context can’t work one way, though. That’s the tragic rub. Sometimes I do give advice to DTMFA, and that’s because in the letters, if I see any love at all (and more often I see hormonal carbonation) it’s one way.
For poly to work, the love’s gotta be real, friends, and it’s gotta be real all the way around. Partners have to love each other, really no kidding, or it can’t possibly work.