How did you meet?
Well, it was sort of . . . there wasn’t one moment, exactly. We were kind of in the same friend circles, and she was like one of those people who was around and I was sort of aware—Snickermuffin, do you . . . ? Yeah no, something like that.
How long have you been together?
I mean, it depends on how you define “together.” And then there were those breaks . . .
It’s Saturday afternoon. What are your plans for tonight?
Oh, no firm plans. She’s been flaky about texting lately.
Tips for keeping the flame flickering? Regularly scheduled date nights, anything like that?
If you insist on such a thing, just remember above all else: no pressure! Don’t worry about lulls in conversation. Bring a crossword puzzle.
So, how often do you . . . you know . . . ?
Guh, this question. What if I ask you how often you don’t? We make like when we want to. Most couples, they’re sitting on the couch and then before they know it they’re just deep in the throes, and then when they’re finally done with it it’s like they can hardly screw up the energy for two laps of SVU. Others are sort of fooling around and then . . . oh sorry, I know but hold on a sec, look at this tweet it’s really funny—
How do you feel about unamory?
Your business and all, but it’s unnatural. You think our ancestors on the savannah dragged each other to stupid karaoke birthday parties for their s.o.’s annoying friend from stupid bocce league? Those people knew how to just be cool.
Name some fictional portrayals that have helped perpetuate exclusive amor-cardinality narratives.
Romeo and Juliet, Kate and Jack, Ivy and Lucius, J. D. and Turk.
Any subversive narrative precedents? Closeted semiamours?
Dorothea and Mr. Casaubon, Laura and Fred Jesson, Jerry and Elaine, Carrie and Aidan, Woody Allen and anyone.
What would you say to couples afraid to be openly semiamorous?
What semiamory is really about, above all else, is valuing honesty. There’s so much confidence that comes when you can drop the shame and embrace the real you, so much liberation when you can shout from the rooftops: yes, I am definitely okay with this person.
And to society?
Time to break this taboo. Semiamory is an exciting model, totally natural and utterly transgressive, the new frontier that’s no different than what people have done forever. It’s a beautiful personal choice that you need to celebrate because it is none of your business.
So, when are you two lovebirds gonna tie the knot!
Against the wall.
Ari Schulman is a senior editor of The New Atlantis.