Poly 6: Poly Finale!
In the past five days, I’ve introduced, defined, explored and explained polyamory. These posts have taken literally months to write. I painstakingly gathered interviews, and I hope those interviewed feel properly represented. (If not, please email me: [email protected])
Though polyamory is a very common form of consensual non-monogamy, it’s not the only one. I’ve explored others as well, but I really wanted to dive into the emotional and attachment aspects of polyamory. I hope that you take away these major ideas from this article:
- Polyamory is not better than monogamy.
- Polyamory is not wrong, nor is it right.
- Polyamory is about what works for you and your partner, providing that all parties are informed and consenting.
- Polyamory is not cheating.
- Polyamory is right for some, not for others. That’s okay.
Of all the polyamorous folks I’ve interviewed for this (six in all), five of them are still in healthy polyamorous relationships. The one open relationship I explored is still open and healthy. That last person (for you folks keeping track at home) is happily in a monogamous relationship because they met someone who wanted that, and the transition to monogamy has not been hard for them at all.
In addition, one of my interviewees had their own words to share. Most of these words came directly from Luna, but I edited a little for clarity and succinctness. These are some words of advice for people who are polyamorous (or exploring their options), but they also help monogamous folks think about polyamory in a new context.
- Don’t assume that you can prevent jealousy by making sure you and your partner date the same person. My ex got extremely jealous (though more often envious) of my partner and was mean to him because of it. She wanted more time with me. She claimed to want equal time but really she was demanding was more time with me than he got with me. Sometimes she wanted me all to herself. So envy and jealousy can happen even when everyone is dating each other.
- Develop good communication and conflict resolution skills. I thought mine were good. But they did not go well with my ex’s. My ex’s initial reactions to a lot of things were lashing out and saying things she claimed she didn’t really mean, horrible things. That made conflict resolution harder for me because of how much what she said pulled me down.
- Don’t move too fast. My ex felt we should all instantly be at the same relationship stage, even though my boyfriend and I had been dating each other for a year longer. Incorrect. Our relationships were not one and the same.
- Don’t ignore that little voice in your head/Don’t assume every problem you encounter is related to polyamory: My relationship with my ex, and my boyfriend’s relationship with her had a lot of issues, without tying those relationships to polyamory. A lot of them looked like issues related to poly because they involved envy, jealousy, sex frequency, etc. But what it really boiled down to was incompatibility issues – her expectations and my and his abilities and willingness to meet them in our respective relationships were not in line with each other. They were all issues that, if poly were not involved, would somehow have come up anyway, because they were rooted in certain beliefs and needs and wants of hers that didn’t even have to be related to poly.
I think that wraps it up from me this week. If you would like to learn more about this subject, please visit More Than Two. They are a great resource for learning about polyamory in-depth.
I would like to thank my interviewees (who I have mostly used Harry Potter Names for in order to maintain anonymity, and to fuel weird fanfiction):
- Epiphora (Please read her blog. It’s really funny, and a lot bigger than mine.)
- Kenneth J.
And I would also like to thank my loving boyfriend who dealt with me talking about polyamory for four months because of this. Honey, I’m not built for polyamory, and that’s okay because I found you to fill my needs AND my holes. (Hey-oh!)
This is the last part in a six-part series! Here are the rest!