As someone who identifies as Polyamorous, how did you build a framework for the relationship you have with your Significant Other and future relationships?
When I met my partner (whom I refer to as “DW” or, “Darling Wife” elsewhere in the blog) we both already identified as polyamorous. Within any non-monogamous relationship, there is a need for in-depth conversations about what the parties envision, and what boundaries and expectations exist. In most open relationships, the rules early on are rather limited. As time goes on, and trust builds, the rules almost always relax. It can sometimes be a bumpy process, and there are bound to be hurt feelings at points, as everyone figures out how it all works.
My personal belief, and the way my relationship works, is that open, honest, and complete communication is really the only factor in success or failure. Rules may provide a temporary sense of security, but ultimately, I think that those who are ultimately able to make non-monogamy work flip from being worried that non-monogamy will drive them apart, to seeing it as a source of enrichment and happiness. For me, I want anyone I have a relationship to have as many of their needs met as possible. I welcome anyone that can make my partner happy.
Much of this is covered this post
There is a common misconception about Polyamory being just about having sex with whomever you’d like. How do you describe Polyamory to peole who think this? What is Polyamory to you?
Well, first off, there definitely is a form of non-monogamy that is exclusively about sexual non-monogamy: swinging. But even at that, swingers typically have very specific rules and expectations. There are two issues I take with this argument (and it’s a very typical argument) the first is that polyamory is merely an alibi for wanting to have sex with everyone in your zip code. The second is that there is some quantity of sexual partners at which someone becomes “a bad person.” If a potential partner told me they’d had one thousand sexual partners, and had clean sexual health, the only thing I might be inclined to worry about was that they might find me somewhat pedestrian. Slut Shaming = BAD. Moving on….
For me, polyamory is about the freedom to be honest about one’s feelings. I have a deep and abiding love for my friends, sometimes romantic love develops from that. I don’t have to try to pretend I’m not falling for someone. Likewise, if I have a crush or sexual attraction to someone I meet, I can be honest about that too.
Everyone has feelings of attraction to people other than their spouse. For many people, the wise thing to do is to repress that. I don’t disagree with this notion at all. I think most people are probably better off remaining monogamous. No matter what anthropology tells us about past cultures, current American culture is built on an expectation of monogamy. We are socialized to accept only this. Stepping outside of convention takes tremendous courage and conviction. In this way, polyamory is not dissimilar to being a part of the LGBTQIA community. You become a target for traditionalists immediately. In addition to the courage to face detractors, poly relationships take a lot of work! It’s really not for most people.
Do you come across any predujice in the dating world? If so, does that predjudice tend to come more from men or women?
Polyamory is not a relationship model most dating candidates are interested in, but I don’t see this as any more problematic than not wanting to date someone younger, or taller than oneself. People are completely entitled to know, express, and act on their wants for a relationship. I have had a few people write to me about my “immorality” but it’s been a long time since the last one of those.
I think that many people incorrectly assume that polyamory is a male-driven oppressive institution. While there are forms of non-monogamy which force multiple women to have relationships with a man of power, polyamory is entirely egalitarian and consensual. Polyamorous people seek to meet the needs they have for emotional enrichment in an open and honest way, that seeks to be fair to all involved.
What is the most beautiful part about being you?
Simply put, the best part of being me is that I get to! The ability for a person to live with truth and congruity of self is a rare and wonderful thing. In many other places, and many other periods of time, I would be forced into a life that I wasn’t meant to live. I am very aware of the privilege of self.