A Polyamorous View On Romance: Can We Actually Settle For Just One Person?

Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers

Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers

There comes a time in the life of every woman when one deeply understands both the nuns and the lesbians.

When she says Enough, I am tired of this loneliness, I have the right to go crazy, I do not want to feel split any more between my sensualist and my idealist nature, I want a lover, I want to go home in late autumn evenings and find warmth in the arms of  a man, I want to stretch in bed and receive tender kisses on the back of my neck.

Why do I sometimes feel guilty for receiving pleasure from a stranger, whose hands made me feel loved and adorned?

It is not my fault that the man I loved the most could control himself so much that he never touched me. It is not my fault that the man I lived with caressed me with one arm and bruised my skin with the other. These all should belong to the past now. I have the right to go crazy, to find myself a lover from Mexico and travel the world together. I want love every night until I find satisfaction in fully abandoning myself. There comes a time in the life of every woman when she says: I had enough with so much logic, I want feeling. And feeling comes with a good friend: lust.

When I arrived in Lisbon, it was a clear, sunny spring morning. I wandered on the narrow streets and marvelled at all the beautiful things that crossed my path: ripe oranges hanging in the branches of a tree next to an old cathedral, the deep blue reflections on the feathers of the peacocks living in the castle’s yard, the sounds of fado coming from the windows of small cafés, carrying all the nostalgia of far away lands and missing lovers. I spent the days outside, walking up and down the hills and resting at the high viewpoints with a glass of orange juice in front of me. It was when I was devouring an octopus for dinner that I become aware of my loneliness. I am a young woman and I need a lover. And then, I found myself two lovers.

There are some very impatient people that hope all their issues will be solved straight away. They deposit their hopes in an hypothetical lover, in a life changing job or something as improbable as winning the lottery. But life is a journey, we travel through time, on real roads and on the inner paths. Instead of wishing for the impossible we could look straight away to the things within our immediate reach. It is up to your imagination to live well.

I am not a hypocrite, I am perfectly aware that applying in real life the psychological knowledge I have is not an easy task. But I try and I will keep trying all my life. If you happen to be an idealist in search for a cure for your own tail-biting process, you can keep calm, I can bring you solace. Your ideals will never come true, but this doesn’t mean you should stop having them. Learn to live with them, accept them, just like accepting the fact that you spend a third of your life dreaming. When I was a child unsure of how lust matters work, I used to go to sleep telling myself: I should fall asleep fast and rest cause when I will grow I will be busy all night. Adults, trading dreams for lust.

Jake was a sculptor and I met him while I was visiting the studio of a friend. I kept looking at his hands, I always liked an artist’s touch.

There was a magnetic force drawing me to him, he was a tall, handsome man, with delicate features and a calm way of being. I always liked handsome men. I am not shallow, I am an artist. Physical beauty is like a promise for the beauty within a person. Artists will always look for that beauty within, will try to catch it and bring it back to the world, saying: it exists, beauty exists.

When Jake introduced me to his friend, Richard, I was looking for a dancer for a performance of mine about fears. There are many fears we are subjected to, even if we are aware of this or not. The fear of loneliness is nevertheless so common. Fears usually come in pairs, fuelling inner conflict. The fear of loneliness is opposed to the fear of love, the fear of letting go and becoming transparent to another person, the fear that you will eventually get hurt. But most of the fears are just in our head, it’s ourselves against ourselves. Painting is a very good tool to raise consciousness and only after you are able to paint your fears, the words will come. And a fear you are able to say out loud is not that big of a dragon any more.

Richard was a nomad, he kept travelling the world back and forth looking for the excitement of new experiences. He had a broad smile and a piercing gaze that made me feel a bit uncomfortable,  as if he could see not only through my dress, but also the most intimate depths of my soul.

Later that night, we were all three sitting on the couch in Jake’s studio. We kept having wine and talking. I was sitting in the middle, in one of my favourite yoga postures, my neck relaxed and staring at the electric fan on the ceiling. I was thinking this is something they have only in warm countries. It was when I remembered my first winter journey as a child that I felt warmth invading me. So here we are, we have Doctor Heart, the idealist, well-known for the words of wisdom, sharing a couch with two men and ready to unleash the animal sleeping inside. And Doctor Heart, the idealist,  should confess: this scenario was not part of the mentioned ideals. But, dear God, it was pleasant.

Love bites on my breasts, on my neck and on my inner thighs.

When I woke up the next morning and while stretching and turning in bed, I started thinking about happiness. What is happiness? It is not a race to catch some well-set fantasies, but that moment when you stop to take a rest. I took a piece of paper and scribbled these words: dress in pink, go to Puerto Rico, become an epicurean.

When we moved in together, there were people who thought I have gone crazy. But they were the same people that thought I have gone crazy when I changed my path in life and started painting. When I took a brush in my hand for the first time, it was as if the gates of my inner world opened and I started letting visitors come inside. It is a complex inner world, one of deep anxieties, of unanswerable existential questions,  but a world that contains within itself, the hopeful quality of struggle. There are people who think that when I abandoned my stable job for painting, something got inevitably broken inside my head,  but I do know that only then it started getting fixed.

There are people who will try to cut off your wings because they cannot imagine themselves with wings. Don’t be quick to judge others. As long as they do not disturb you, people are free to fly wherever they please.

Now, I don’t say everybody out there go for threesomes, just look inside your heart and see how much love you are capable of. And give yourself that love first.

Laura Livia Grigore is a poet, painter and psychology enthusiast, with a background in space engineering. She likes to experiment with various mediums and types of writing. Her artwork is orientated on emotions, reflecting her opinion that most of the answers we need can be found inside ourselves, although the hardest thing to do is to be sincere with oneself.

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