Do you remember when you chose monogamy as a type of relationship for your life? The psychologist Danielle Silveira defends that probably not, because this relational model became a usual in the society, where there is no invitation to a question. Despite that common sense, there are people who have already understood that it is not the only way to get engage with other, and have opened up to non-monogamy, a term that includes open relationships, polyamory, hierarchical polyamory, and so forth.
This feeling of strangeness that a lot of people have when someone breaks the contract of exclusivity has a historic root. Since a long time ago, the masculinity has always been associated with the sense of possession and control of women, because men’s saw like part of private property. Meanwhile, they were financially dependent on the husband, which generated a fragility, increased competition between women and the necessity of being assumed by that man. In other words, the monogamy in the beginning wasn’t associated with love, but with possession.
Possession that is still seen in society, which brings constant doubts about jealousy, betrayal and the partner’s role in the relationship. However, these points are just a few reasons that might make people question monogamy. Thinking about that, Her Campus Cásper Líbero spoke with three women, who tell about their trajectories towards non-monogamy.
- Danielle Silveira, 31 years old, psychologist
“When I was younger, I was dating a boy, but I started to like my friend at the same time. With that, I lived a drama, because my boyfriend said that if I really loved him, I couldn’t feel attraction for someone else, but for me this didn’t make sense. This was my first contact with non-monogamy, although I didn’t know that there was a name for it. I couldn’t deal with this issue because, for me, there was no way out of this model of monogamous relationship.
The time has passed and, for wanting sexual freedom, I started a search about open relationships and I wanted to be with my partner at the same time, but it remained in theory, because we broke up before. Still with the idea of the type of relationship, I presented myself to others as a person who didn’t want to get involved. Throughout this trajectory, I’ve come to value loyalty in relationships a lot, it’s not because I’m non-monogamous that it’s a mess”, she says.
Danielle points out that non-monogamous it’s only a term that involves many different models of relationship, where there exist some types that have limiting agreements, being talked to with the partner. “One of the things that most people think about, is that non-monogamy comes from the issue of quantity, especially sexual, and that’s not quite the case. We don’t have a monogamous relationship with three different people, for example, because we don’t have that sense of centrality. No person is the center of our lives, it is us”, reflects.
“One thing that we need to be careful with is to understand that wanting exclusivity in your relationships does not make you monogamous. There has to be compatibility. Another issue is also jealousy, which is not excluded just because you are in a non-monogamous relationship. It happens, and we need to understand that it is ours and not from someone else’s, so we have to deal with it”, she adds.
- Bianca Pontes Di Gioia, 41 years old, producer of events and creator of “Juntos e Soltos” with Igor Magalhães
“I always had a non-monogamous soul. With my first boyfriend, when I was 17 years old, there was a freedom between us, but, because of the age, we didn’t know how to deal with jealousy, we were immature. Then came another relationship in my life, but we both cheated. Years went by, and I met my ex-husband, with whom I was married for 15 years and we were monogamous, but after I broke up I wanted to try new things in my life, do you know? That’s when I met Igor, who was my friend for a while, he had an open relationship and I got to know him.
At that time, I met an ex-boyfriend who I stayed with for about 4 months and I found out that monogamy didn’t work for me, he was very controlling, jealous… I had a lot of restrictions, but there came a time when I thought I don’t want this life for me, surveillance, control and we’re done. A few months later I met Igor again and we talked more about the non-monogamous. At the time I didn’t want any relationship, we told about other people we were with. At one point he introduced me to a swing group and we went to meet these couples. The pandemic came, and we are still together, until a certain moment we questioned ourselves: ‘what we were?’. So, we define a free relationship, where we are with each other, but we are free to be with other people. And then we had the idea of working together and we set up Instagram, which after the pandemic will be a face-to-face event”.
To Bianca, self-knowledge is important to understanding what kind of relationship is ideal for you. For her, it was the moment when she knew she didn’t want to be controlled by anyone and preferred to be free, having more autonomy: “Whoever came, it was for me to aggregate and not repress. A lot of people think non-monogamy is just making out, but it’s an ideological choice. What do you want to do in your life? How are you going to deal with the people who come into your life? For me it’s this choice: I want to be free and find people who want to be free with me. If this involves having other services, wonderful! But, if it involves being with other people, it’s great too.”
Like Danielle, Bianca also defends that dialogue is the source of everything: “It always starts with transparency and dialogue. There’s no way you can be 100% responsible for the other’s expectations, but while we’re involved with each other, when we realize that it’s not okay for the other party, we need to be careful, sit down and talk”.
- Priscila Oliveira, 25 years old, astrologer and yoga instructor
“I didn’t understand what a free relationship was, but inside me I was always non-monogamous. I think that since my first boyfriend, I didn’t like to say he was my ‘boyfriend’, and we broke up. Astrology explains: my Venus is in Gemini and my Moon is in an Aquarius. I was about nineteen years old when realized that the relationships I had were suffocating for me, you know? There was no space and I valued that a lot, being able to breathe in relationships and encounters have always been important to me. That’s when I met a very special person, who already lived with his non-monogamy for a long time and introduced myself. I went to research it and realized that it was what I was, what I had always felt. I believe that each person has a unique way of love. When we understand the individuality of other people, their essence, we understand that each is a different world”.
Like Danielle and Bianca, Priscila thinks too that communication is essential. “I always make my necessities clear. At the moment, I share three super important affections in my life, they know each other, but they don’t interact with each other. I always say what I feel, I say how I prefer to be loved. Each relationship is very unique. Before entering into a non-monogamous relationship, the first thing we need to understand is that it doesn’t have to do with relating to multiple people, but rather deconstruct the idea of the system of society.
“Research, try to understand what it is, if the model we are in today really works, if this is really how we think it should be. It takes information, open mind and empathy to understand each person’s individuality. It’s okay to be non-monogamous, like it is okay to be monogamous too. It’s always about what you want for your life. Think: ‘I’m monogamist because I want to, or because society tells this is the right?’. That’s, for me, the point of reflection.”
The article above was edited by Gabriela Sartorato.
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