What Is Polyamory?
Have you ever felt like you were in love with two or more people at the same time?
Maybe you thought that you wanted to have a sexual and romantic relationship with both those people. However, the traditional paradigm of a couple as two individuals is so deeply ingrained in our minds that even the thought of having two or more partners makes us feel guilty.
“One can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them”
-Gabriel García Márquez-
In order to carry on relationships with several people in a satisfactory way, you need a great amount of ethics and morals, and total honesty so that you may have this experience in a wholesome way.
It may seem like it is easier to lie and have an open relationship without the other parties involved knowing about each other, but that will not allow us to experience and enjoy it fully.
Moreover, what’s so bad about having love and desire for more than one person at a time? Nothing. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty any time we act with honesty and sincerity, and that is precisely the complicated part.
The first thing that we must do to understand what polyamory is, and distinguish it from other concepts that are often confused with it.
Polyamory is not an open relationship. In an open relationship, the two members in the relationship look for other sexual partners, but they do not live together nor do they generally form a connection that goes deeper than sex.
Polyamory is also not “swinging,” for that is simply having creative sexual relationships with other couples.
Polyamory is not a threesome, because it is not just a matter of sex, but also a more profound relationship with two or more people.
Polyamory means having a long-term loving and sexual relationship with several people at the same time.
Obviously, the same things do not make each of us happy. In fact, some people are happy in monogamous relationships and experience them with wholeness. However, sometimes unfaithfulness in monogamous relationships is really revealing our polyamorous nature.
What are the benefits of polyamory?
One of the main beneficial aspects of polyamory is that there is no possession. We are not the property of anyone else, nor is anyone else our property.
Free, guiltless sex with other people is something that we can enjoy in a polyamorous relationship. From the very first moment, we must be honest about what we want and how we want it; in this way, there will not be any misunderstandings and no one will be able to reproach us for anything afterwards.
At first it was thought that if there was unfaithfulness in a monogamous relationship, it was because there is some kind of dissatisfaction in the relationship and that if we have a polyamorous relationship, it is because we feel unsatisfied with our first partner.
This idea was disproved by a study carried out by psychologist Melissa Michel from the University of Georgia, who interviewed 1093 people who were in polyamorous relationships and came to the conclusion that looking for a second person had nothing to do with dissatisfaction related to the initial partner, given that intimacy and satisfaction related to the first partner increased with time.
What are the main difficulties in having a polyamorous relationship?
- Jealousy. Jealousy is inevitable until we learn to talk about and discuss the things that bother us. Maybe it bothers us to see two other people kissing, but if we do not say anything, we can never resolve or talk about the problem. It is very human to feel jealous, but we have to learn to manage it and figure out its origins.
- Comparison. We often tend to compare ourselves to other people pertaining to beauty, intelligence, etc. But this is absurd. What we like about each person is unique. A loving relationship is different for each and every one of us.
- The possibility of building a family. Polyamory means that we can end up building a family and living together with several people. It is not a family in the traditional sense, but a new concept of family, a different and more open one that can make us equally happy.
- Breakups. Breaking off a relationship with one of the people in a polyamorous relationship is just as hard as any other breakup. Just because we are in a relationship with several people does not mean that we can break up with one of them without it hurting us. If we love a person for who they are, it will hurt us to lose them, regardless of whether we are in a monogamous or polyamorous relationship.
- The acceptance of others. One of the difficulties that we can run into when it is time to talk about what kind of relationship we want is explaining to others how we want the relationship to be. On the one hand, when we know someone and we want to be in a polyamorous relationship, the first thing we have to do is explain this and make it clear.
Additionally, the closest people in our lives (family and friends) may not understand desire to be in relationships with multiple people. In any case, we cannot always hope for the acceptance of others, because sometimes it is impossible.
How can a person who has been married to the same person for 30 years understand that we want to have a polyamorous relationship? They cannot understand it, but they can respect it.
In reality, polyamory consists in loving several people without betraying anyone.
And what about you? How would you feel if someone proposed a polyamorous relationship to you?