A friend posted a photo of a sign on twitter recently that read ‘you’re my one and only’. She jokingly asked what the poly equivalent would be. I suggested ‘you’re my one and only you’, and added ‘because everyone needs to feel special’.
In a monogamous relationship, assuming everything is working well and happily, you can be certain of your specialness to your partner for objective reasons – you’re the only one they have sex with, kiss, sleep with, cuddle on the sofa with, etc. But one of the classic complaints of long-established relationships is of feeling ‘taken for granted’; I suspect that the fact of romantic and sexual exclusivity can sometimes allow people to be a little lazy in appreciating each other.
If you’re conducting a relationship with more than one person, it seems to me to be even more important to make your loved ones feel special. Because they are. All of my loved ones fill a them-shaped space in my life that no-one else could fill. Not because it was there waiting for them, but because they created it by existing and by being in my life. But making that clear, making it transparently obvious that you adore them for exactly what they are and for what they bring to you and your relationship with them, seems essential. Even in the most casual of encounters, no-one wants to feel like an interchangeable warm body.
Each of the people who are important to you – no matter what shape that relationship takes – is special in their own individual ways. Make sure they know it.
PS – I’ve had this post ready to go for a few days; a few exciting things have happened recently (including looming deadlines for actual paid writing work) that mean I may go a bit quiet for a few weeks. Enjoy your time off over the weekend, I hope it’s sunny where you are, and I hope your life is full of all the happiness you could want.