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On Poly Titles

Poly and part of what bugs me about the term “secondary”

I’m in a poly relationship, have been for years now, it works well for me. My poly partner is a married woman who is amazing. We spend a lot of time together, with our kids, without our kids, cooking, cleaning, and building REALLY BIG fires ;-) You get the idea.

Over the years of reading about poly I have been confronted over and over again with the term “secondary” and thought a lot about it and have decided, I hate the term secondary, it’s way too simplistic.

The first thing that bugs me about the term is that it implies the “secondary” is half as important as the primary (simple math there) and that the relationship “takes a second seat too” the other relationship.

Well, having grown up in a world of bench seats where 3 people can sit and knowing that between 1 and 2 there is 1.05, 1.1, 1.15 et al… I just find the nuance to be missing.

I’m guilty of it too. I tell my darling I’m looking for my “primary”, my first or whatever and the language often hurts her because it implies that…you get the idea.

I’m not a “second” nor do I need a “first”. While I understand I’m her “second” partner chronologically speaking, I’m not a second nor is she. I’m a poly partner and other poly partners are welcome. If I was to insist on a “metric” (time, overnights, whatever) I’m a 1.*** simply as a matter of convenience and time, not for lacking priority.

So there it is, I don’t like the term “secondary” in poly, I get why it exists, but I don’t like it.

Link to original Fetlife writing

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