A tale of three people and two romantic relationships

Author Jenny Yuen will talk about her polyamory at S. Walter Stewart Library

Asked how she would react if someone told her 10 years ago that she would be in a relationship with two men at the same time — with both men knowing about it — Jenny Yuen couldn’t help but chuckle.

“I’d say that feels like a far-fetched fantasy,” she said.

Yuen, a reporter for the Toronto Sun, has written a book about her experience, Polyamorous: Living and Loving More. She will be at S. Walter Stewart Library for a reading and conversation on Dec. 7.

Polyamory is an intimate relationship with more than one partner, with the consent of all involved. It has been described as consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.

Yuen’s polyamorous journey started in July 2013, when she crossed paths with a stranger at a diner in Montreal. She had just broken up with her boyfriend when she met “Charlie” (not his real name), who is from the U.K. and was in Montreal with family.

“He was sitting beside the only plug in the diner and my phone had just died,” laughed Yuen. “I had been taking way too many pictures of the food I guess.”

They ended up chatting and going on a few dates. After he went back to the U.K., they kept in touch over Skype.

Only a few weeks later, Yuen was covering a by-election for the Sun with  “Adam,” who was the doing the photography.  They had known each other for eight years, and she told him about Charlie.

A few weeks after that, Yuen and “Adam” were walking towards each other in the newsroom, and something flipped.

“He describes it like that scene from Wayne’s World where you see, like, the misty fog and Tia Carrere’s on stage,” said Yuen.

Yuen had a predicament. She wanted to be as truthful as possible, so she told Charlie and Adam about each other. They decided to see how things went, so both relationships continued, separate yet together.

Yuen was mired in indecision for over a year. She wanted to be a mother, so in some ways Charlie made more sense, since Adam was 30 years her senior. But Adam lived and worked in the same area, whereas Charlie lived an ocean away.

It was Adam who suggested the polyamorous relationship.

“He took me by surprise,” said Yuen. “He said that maybe the three of us could work this out together. None of us really knew what polyamory was, but it seemed like a workable solution for us.”

After a few Skype calls to work out their situation, Charlie moved to Canada in late 2015 to live with Yuen. Charlie and Adam became good friends.

The relationship has been a work in progress as they continue to find their way.

“We have always made a vow to be open with each other, set boundaries, and to talk about what we want out of this relationship,” said Yuen. “It’s been a process of trial and error.”

Yuen later had a commitment ceremony with Adam, where she wore a dress made of newspapers (consisting mostly of articles she and Adam both worked on), and a year later got legally married to Charlie.

Yuen, Charlie and Adam are all emotionally attached to each other. Adam and Charlie care for each other, and support Yuen equally. Even though Yuen lives, and is expecting a baby, with Charlie, there is no hierarchy.

“I often like to emphasize the last chapter of my book when talking about polyamory,” said Yuen. “Polyamory isn’t better than monogamy, it’s just different. There are a lot of benefits, but it doesn’t shield you from jealousy and loneliness.”

“I think people need to find out what makes them happy, whatever shade of grey that may be,” Yuen said. “Just as long as you’re happy, that’s what counts.”

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Posted: Nov 21 2018 12:42 pm
Filed under: News