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Queer Temporalities in non-monogamy

It seems as though when we aren’t hurtling towards exclusivity as a way to prove our undying commitment to each other, haste has been lifted. A comfortable slowness trickles between us. Three, four, five months pass and the milestones that I would normally associate with closeness and stability – success- are no where in sight. My monogamous relationships have often felt like a race, race to feel the intensity of love as quickly as possible. As if this signals utmost compatibility and intimacy. I love you, I want to be with you and let’s fall into the only structure of love we know, a pre-made mould of how this arrangement will work without a conversation about whether that actually meets our needs. 

But with the goal of monogamy removed as any sort of milestone, we are able to excavate our own route. Winding, meandering, it stretches forwards only to loop back and around and around again. We encounter each other in queer time. The temporal expectations of this relationship have not yet been defined. This is our own work to do. In our queerness we are already deviant, allowing us an easier departure from the timelines of monogamous love.

But still I find a certain joy in revelling in imitations of the heteronormative domesticity. Playing house and releasing ourselves in the gendered roles that feel something like the homes we know. Doesn’t it feel like family? The desire for this to be taken seriously, for myself to take this seriously, is often coupled with a romanticised view of what a ‘proper’ relationship looks like. As though this one is merely a parody of something more real. And maybe it’s a fear of the lack of structure non-monogamy comes with so that falling back into the comfortable company of the only structure I know seems an appealing offer.

How tempting it would be to ask for forever. To be swaddled in promises of eternity.


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