Meet the in-loves

M45%2001-07-13The term “metamour” has never really sat with me. While ‘amour’ makes me swoon, the ‘meta’ part (Greek for ‘after’ or ‘beyond’) leaves me feeling lifeless. It could be my science background: meta-analyses are often complex and frustrating to complete, or there isn’t enough information provided in the initial studies to undergo this statistical method. See, you’re asleep already. And ‘beyond love’? What does that mean, anyhow?

These special human beings that my loved ones adore. I want them to feel welcome, loved, and a sense of belonging. They are part of my family, afterall. Sort of.

I mean, I don’t always love them with the same enthusiasm or depth or commitment level that my partners do. In fact, sometimes I find it quite challenging to have them around. There are times I’d like alone time with my partners. Sometimes I’m working through my stuff, jealousy, fear, feeling inadequate. And sometimes those not-so-nice feelings are triggered by metamours. I don’t always have the energy to be ‘on’ and make sure they are taken care of when in fact I’d rather be nourishing myself.

On the other hand, I am so grateful for these beings who provide so much joy to my partners. The beings who love to cook, or make crafts, or dance, or play music, or be intimate, in ways I can’t or don’t desire to, because we are all special and unique. These beings who bring out a more grounded version of my partners, more romantic version, more thoughtful version.

And of course they are the brightest mirrors who every day reflect back to me where I am on this spiritual path of loving without limits. What demons am I working with today? How full is my self-love reservoir? Are my communication skills as good as they could be? What can I do to make myself a better person today? Am I taking good care of myself, of my partner? There is no one who can present this so clearly to me as a metamour.

And yet, even though they are family, they are more like family by association than family by choice. They are more like my in-laws, the sisters and parents who visit at Christmas. The ones from whom I get to learn about what has shaped how my partners show up in the world – how they communicate, tease, laugh, argue, suffer.

It’s fun to watch how my partners take on little idiosyncrasies from new lovers, like a facial expression or a new phrase. It’s a delight to experience what they bring home to our kitchens and our beds. There will never be a time when we achieve stasis, because we will spend our lives learning and growing  and evolving within this constellation of lovers.

Meet the in-loves. These are my metamours, my lovers’ lovers. They belong to my family on my partners’ side. I love them and am grateful for the gifts they bring, whether bliss or heartache. Ultimately it’s all just love.

Photo credit – Plieades / Seven Sisters