This is one of those topics where everyone might have a different answer. Because of that, I’m making it a series, and I’m literally inviting people I know to either contribute guest posts or to tell me stories/experiences/feelings they’d like me to write up and share. But that’s getting ahead of myself. That’s another day. Today is mine.
The most unexpected thing about polyamory for me, so far, has been that polycules you think are very “meh” or tepid or don’t worry about you much can actually do an amazing amount of work behind the scenes - to support the hinge partners that connect you, to show up and metaphorically hold the edges of a tragedy out of the way for everyone to make it through, to bring food over when someone dies… to be that “meh” metamour who in normal conditions couldn’t care less what’s going on but shows up as soon as something bad happens and is superhuman because these people are connected to yours. It’s like having magic moments come out of bad in-laws (or, and no one wants to admit this, being the bad in-law who suddenly quits it and fixes years of bad juju). Sometimes, you all pull in the same boat.
I know I’m vague-posting here today. I want to let every metamour and telemour I’ve ever had who did a little thing: who left cookies; who held a partner and listened and I might have heard about it later; who literally stood around with me while we got thrown out of a bar because a partner tackled someone out the door and we weren’t sure where to go next; who helped cook for friendsgiving; who was honest at a Festivus Airing Of Grievances; who showed up to a funeral; who pretended weddings were their thing when they weren’t; who carried furniture they didn't have to carry; who got ready for parties we all thought would be awkward that turned out to be turning points; who listened and stayed friends through innumerable breakups with one or the other of us because not letting the breakup itself be a problem is magical… I want to let all of you think and know I’m talking about you.
The most unexpected thing about polyamory, for me, wasn't that I wouldn't love everyone my partners loved, or even like them. It was that sometimes, we would still all help one another, not just the person we had in common.