By Robyn Ochs
Peg and I have been a couple for almost 14 years, so far. During the six years before Peg and I met, I was both single and celibate.
It was the first time I had ever been single – and not looking – for any extended period of time. Prior to this, I had spent my entire adult life pursuing a relationship, in a relationship, or recovering from a relationship.
To my great surprise, I found that I enjoyed being single. And the longer I was single, the more I liked it. I started referring to this state as “being in a relationship with myself.” And what a great relationship it was! I was completely compatible with myself: liking the same food, books, films, and theater, even waking up and going to bed at exactly the same time every night. And being able to make spontaneous plans with friends without having to check in with anyone beforehand. To plan a vacation without having to coordinate schedules. For six years, I lived a life without relationship conflict, doing exactly what I wished with my own free time, never having to compromise. I spent lots of time with my friends. I learned – really learned – that I didn’t need a relationship to make me complete. I was happy all by myself.
And then I met Peg. I really liked her. I wanted to spend time with her. Lots of time. I wanted to get to know her better. Much better.
But as our relationship began to evolve, I absolutely did not breathe a huge sigh of relief. Instead, I faced a moment of choice. Getting into a new relationship would have its wonderful aspects, but it would also require making some compromises.
I ended up deciding that perhaps I should practice a unique form of non-monogamy. Rather than break up with myself and dedicate myself entirely to Peg, I resolved to figure out a way to be in a relationship with Peg and carve out time for myself.
To make a long story short, I’ve managed to do just that. Peg and I give each other more space than many couples. We often “parallel play” at home together: she at her desk, me at mine. And we each pursue interests not shared by the other: Peg has her passion for motorcycling, her trips across the country to work for Kawasaki at motorcycle events, her volunteer work with AIDS and Breast Cancer walks and rides, and yard work. I have my bi and LGBT conferences, partner dancing, and my vegetable garden. We have some friends that are “ours” and we each have our own as well.
I guess I’m just one of those bisexuals who wants to have the best of both worlds, to have my cake and eat it too. Yum.
Robyn is the editor of Bi Women.