The Polyamorous Guide To Valentine's Day

The Polyamorous Guide To Valentine's Day

Posted on February 14 by Jenny Yuen in News, Non-fiction
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Let’s get this straight – I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day.

I never really liked how it was declared a Hallmark holiday and the singular day of the year that forces people to show the measure of affection towards their partner – or in my case, partners.

So on Feb. 14, we – as a polyamorous V – have something else to celebrate – my husband’s birthday.

He was a Valentine’s baby, which he’s not really too keen on, but then you don’t get to choose when you’re born. Growing up in London, his birthday was often spent alone because friends when they became old enough to date would often be tied up with their girlfriends or boyfriends.

When my husband “Charlie” moved to Canada to be with me, we agreed that we weren’t really making a big deal of cupid’s holiday, but his day of womb evacuation. And usually, that means the three of us – Charlie, my other partner “Adam” and I – take a trip to Medieval Times to watch the fake knights joust it out while giving into carnivorous desires by eating greasy chicken legs with our hands. Only our hands.

Navigating polyamory and Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be complicated.

Last year, a person on a Canadian poly group on social media asked how to handle two (or more) loves on that day.

Suggestions ranged from: “A celebration of love can happen any day. Ignore V-Day but celebrate soon after” to “I've been doing pizza and chocolate cake day long before I had this set of seems to work with all the partners I've been poly with.”

Another poster said they perceived these responses in the poly world to V-Day – if they were in a hierarchy (ranked primary and secondary partners), they would celebrate the day with their primary. If they had a more egalitarian structure, they would invite everyone in the polycule (including their partner's partner(s)) to be inclusive. Someone who doesn’t care about celebrating the occasion spends time with whoever randomly matches the schedule for that day. And the concerned person, who doesn’t want to choose, marks the day with no partner, just to be on the safe side.

For us this year, we’ll have a new addition for our plans on Feb. 14: our newborn baby, who was lucky enough – or unlucky (ask her when she’s older how she feels about being born on a holiday like her father) – to arrive into this world on New Year’s Day.

No plans for Medieval Times, but instead, a viewing of The Cable Guy, the only movie that has a scene referencing Medieval Times, as part of a date night in with friends, complete with pizza delivery, my homemade wonton soup and Adam’s Cassoulet.

It may be an atypical Valentine’s set-up, but having those I consider family together is my idea of rewarding love – without the need for cupid's arrow.

Jenny Yuen

Posted by Dundurn Guest on January 9, 2018
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Jenny Yuen

Jenny Yuen is an award-winning news reporter, who covers a wide variety of local, provincial and national stories, and has written for the Toronto Sun, Now Magazine, and CBC Radio. She is a proud poly partner and has a dog named Wampa. She lives in Toronto.