I fidgeted nervously with the cutlery on the table, trying to find the right words for what needed to be said.
It was my first time going out with Ash, but these weren't first-date jitters.
We'd been chatting online for weeks after meeting at a craft fair, so I already knew we'd get on.
We had loads in common – and not just our similar names.
We loved classic rock, board games, hiking, the same restaurants…
But what I was about to tell him now might dampen that spark.
"The thing is…," I hesitated as Ash smiled at me. "I'm not really into traditional relationships."
I never had been.
I mean, what are the chances that a single person could fulfil all your needs alone?
I preferred to have relationships with more than one person at once.
I liked going on dates, spending cosy nights in, even having sex…with lots of people.
I was always honest with everyone involved but it didn't always get a positive reaction.
And as I realised I really liked Ash, I knew I needed to fess up.
I just hoped I wouldn't scare him off.
"You see, I'm polyamorous," I said, explaining I prefer intimate relationships with more than one person.
"Well," he said, nervously. "I'm pretty open-minded. Let's see how it goes."
I was so relieved.
As the months passed, Ash and I grew closer.
In fact, I became so wrapped up in him that I didn't even think about dating other people.
We moved in together and a year later tied the knot in front of our family and close friends.
Still, we kept the idea of an open marriage on the table.
A few months afterwards, Ash revealed he was taking out another woman.
I felt an unexpected pang of jealousy.
"So where are you taking her?" I asked as he came downstairs dressed in a suave suit.
"That restaurant you like," he replied.
I tried to hide how gutted I was, but he noticed.
"Want me to cancel?" he asked.
I shook my head.
I'd been the one who preached about how silly it was to stick to one partner.
I couldn't go back on that now it was him doing it, not me.
That night, I sat in alone watching TV.
And when Ash came home my jealousy soon faded.
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Story continues below.
The next night, I set up a date of my own with a male friend.
It was great getting dressed up and flirting with someone new.
It didn't go any further, but it was a fun evening.
Having the odd fling with someone else kept my relationship with Ash exciting.
Still, neither of us found anyone else we wanted to start a serious relationship with.
Until Ash started chatting online to someone called Rowan.
I didn't usually get involved in the people Ash met.
But this one intrigued me.
"Rowan doesn't like to be thought of as a man or woman," Ash told me. "Rowan's gender fluid."
"Interesting," I said, curious.
And Ash seemed pretty smitten.
So when they went out to the movies for their first date a week later, I found myself excited for him and keen to hear how it went.
Only, an hour after Ash left, he rang. "We've broken down," he groaned.
With a mechanic for a dad, I knew how to fix cars.
So I drove to meet them, and found Ash and Rowan sitting in the car by the road.
I tried to fix it but realised it was beyond me so I drove my hubby and his date back to our house.
We ended up chatting and laughing for hours.
"There's a real spark between you," I said to Ash after we'd said goodbye to Rowan.
And I could see why. Rowan was fun, sociable and had a great sense of humour.
Over the next few months, Ash and Rowan got closer.
Sometimes they'd go out alone, other times they'd invite me for dinner dates and cosy nights in.
My hubby's bit on the side became one of my best mates.
I was so relaxed with Rowan, I could talk about anything.
Even my dream of having a baby…
"I'm not sure it'll ever happen," I sighed to Rowan one day.
Ash and I had been trying for years.
"It will," Rowan replied, squeezing my hand. "You'll be a great mum."
It felt good to be able to share things with someone other than my husband.
And since Rowan had come on the scene, Ash and I were closer than ever.
Slowly, I realised Rowan was more than a friend to me.
One day, Ash and I were on our way to the supermarket.
"I think I fancy Rowan," I blurted out, worried he'd be annoyed or think I'm encroaching on his relationship.
But his face lit up.
"I'm so pleased," he said, grinning.
That night, when we were together, I reached for Rowans' hand.
After a while, we all started kissing and ended up in bed.
Our couple had become a trio.
Rowan moved into the spare room.
But we all wanted to be together… so in the end, we bought a huge bed that all three of us could share.
Life was great.
Of course, like any relationship, we had our ups and downs, arguing about whose turn it was to do the washing up, or what colour to paint the living room.
But mostly, we got along brilliantly.
Then one day, I started feeling ill and took a test…
"I'm pregnant!" I cried to Ash as I perched on the side of the bed.
It was 5:30am.
He looked stunned.
"That's amazing, love," he said.
Then I woke Rowan.
"Guess what?" I beamed. "We're going to be parents."
This baby belonged to Rowan just as much as Ash or me.
Rowan was over the moon.
We spoke about how we'd bring up our baby.
"We'll be a team," I said.
I'd be a stay-at-home mum while Ash and Rowan would go out to work.
I'd be Mum, Ash would be Dad and Rowan suggested being called Bubby.
Our families were all happy for us.
Some people questioned our unusual set up – but once we explained how it worked, most accepted it.
We can't wait to meet our baby girl and be a family of four.
I know it sounds weird to say our baby was born after a threesome, but we love our unusual arrangement and will all make great parents – we wouldn't have it any other way.
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