My buddy Tobias has been doing what many would consider unthinkable: he’s dating two girls simultaneously. The kicker? They both know about it. Most of you will remember Charlie Sheen’s nontraditional relationship with adult film star Bree Olsen and model Natalie Kenly, his so-called ‘goddesses’, and their very public breakup that followed. While Tobias’ polyamorous arrangement isn’t as sensational as Sheen’s, it’s certainly something of a feat. I’ve asked him to share with us how exactly he does it and what it’s like to love two women at once. Graciously, he accepted.
This is his story.
People who get into polyamorous relationships don’t just fall into them by chance. There has to be some intent behind it to actually make it all happen. After all, it’s not the norm and since we’re all inclined to jealousy, it takes work and the right kind of personality to make it happen.
I started dating Kristen first and our relationship really set a precedent for what was to come. Both of us wanted to be in something open-ended, to have the opportunity to see other people and have new experiences, and so on and so forth. Obviously, open relationships aren’t for everyone, but it worked for us. People would ask me: doesn’t it make you jealous knowing she’s getting with strangers? If I really thought about it and got caught up in that hall of mirrors, maybe—yeah, but I didn’t. I was having my own experiences and, for both of us, whatever happened outside our shared relationship stayed there. Well, for the most part…
When I met Anne, there was a strange genesis in things. Before her, my flings were just that—flings. I’d look to Kristen for emotional intimacy and vice versa, but with Anne something clicked between us.
I thought: “shit, I’m falling in love with someone else.” To me, at least back then, I naively believed that it was only possible to love one person at a time, so I was starting to question the relationship Kristen and I had.
I was honest with her about it and explained what was happening. At first, she was understandably upset. She felt betrayed. She even blamed me for it, but then she leveled with me. She asked me: “do you still love me?”
I did. Obviously, being in a situation of loving two people at once is confusing. You feel obligated to choose because monogamy is the norm. I didn’t want to choose, though, so both of us spent some time really exploring our own relationship and what we felt for one another. Eventually, Kristen wanted to meet Anne. To her, it was important to know the other woman I’d fallen in love with. Anne, as the latecomer, already knew about Kristen and me, and she was open to it, too.
When they met, thankfully things clicked. I made it clear at this point that I felt strongly for both of them and wanted to see if it would be possible to have an intimate relationship with them.
We’ve been dating three years now, and we’re in a closed, polyamorous relationship. It hasn’t been easy, no relationship is, but I’ve found that there’s plenty of new challenges when you’re in love with more than one person.
Being totally transparent about everything is one of them, but you also need to realize that loving two people means expressing love to two people and making love to two people. It’s a lot of work. But it’s also intensely rewarding. Anne and Kristen are such a huge part of my life and they both enrich it in different ways.
People often ask me if we all sleep together… It has happened before, but for the most part, we have sexual relationships that exist separately. I’m really lucky that Kristen and Anne get along well and that they’ve been able to build a strong, supportive relationship with one another independent of the relationship we three share together. A lot of guys will tell me I’m the luckiest man alive, and I am, but not for the reasons they think.
We’re a pretty boring triple, as dull as any couple you might meet. It’s not like we have these hedonistic orgies or anything like that.
What makes me lucky is that I’m loved by two people who I, in turn, love more than anything else in this world.
Would you be able to have a polyamorous relationship even if it’s not all blissful threesomes and rainbows? If you want to learn more about them, check out our ‘primer’ to get a 101 crash course on it – it’s not as easy as you think.