So I missed this presentation at TBC 2012, and it is a testament to my ADD-PI that I've been intending to watch it since then but haven't gotten around to it until today. I resonated so strongly with it. In case you don't watch it (yet), let me just give you this: a metamour is someone with whom you share a common connection. In other words, the friend of your friend or the lover of your lover.
For me, poly has been about developing metamour relationships probably as much as it has been about being open to simultaneous romantic relationships. And while I don't always seek the additional romance, I have ALWAYS valued and craved metamour relationships. For me, that is the essence of a tribe. If I care about you, I care about whoever is important to you. I want to know them. I want to be bonded with them to the extent that it is possible. And a lot of my important relationships were created as metamour connections: Adi (mutual lover), Heather (mutual lover), Camellia (mutual friend), Aurilion (mutual friend), Ashe (mutual friend), Kylei (mutual community), Hannah (mutual community), Meliae (mutual community), Laura (mutual friend). And the whole reason I began investing was for the sake of the person or community that brought us together -- it wasn't me seeking out that person in particular, it was me valuing the person/thing between us enough to want to invest the time to know the person for themselves. When I tell you I love you, it flows one step further to your people. Even if I feel I have nothing in common with the person you love, I want to build whatever small thing might be possible with them (and I hope for more). And I want your love for me to flow over to the people I love and for you to try to build with them. I feel that I cannot adequately understand you unless I understand your people at least on a basic level.
Not only do I value and seek out these relationships, but I feel a lack and a loss when they do not exist, ESPECIALLY when I feel that two people would really enjoy each other. I get very nervous about trying again when I have encouraged metamour relationships with someone and they have failed, but I never stop wanting to do it even if I stop being brave enough to try. I'm a friendship-matchmaker and I really do just want to smoosh everyone together (in a consensual way). It makes me feel sad and frustrated when people's expectations, assumptions, or situations get in the way but if they could just get over that initial hump they'd both have their lives enriched.
I feel conflicted when I don't know how to talk to a metamour; it just now occurred to me that the metamour of my metamour is my friend, heh, so I could just ask my friend how to connect with their friend. I've done this a little with Kei-Won-Tia because we both value this metamour-nurturing but it never occurred to me to try it in general until just now. Let me just say, if I have expressed love to you and there is a person you love whom I don't have an independent connection with, please do offer whatever you know to help us connect (if that is a thing you would like to happen, obv).