An Insight Into Polyamory

Growing up, we all had pretty much the same vision for our future love life. Eventually we would find the “one” and live happily ever after. But what if that wasn't the only way things could happen? What if there’s more than one person out there for us at the same time? What if some people are meant to go through life experiencing love with multiple people? The more modernized our society gets, the more accepting it is to the idea of polyamory. Although it seems to be becoming more popular, polyamory is still hardly talked about and many people are still unsure as to what it is. With that said, it is important for people to be open-minded and educated about the things they may not know much about because it alleviates ignorance and breeds a world of love! To get a better understanding, I sat down with Jane* and asked them a few questions about their opinion of and experience in polyamorous relationships:

1. What is your definition of polyamory?

“A group – or one person that wants to share love with other people. For me, monogamy was never just, like, a thing that I was like ‘Oh yeah, that’s the only way it can happen’. I mean when I was younger it was, but it’s more just understanding that love is not something that just has to be between two people at once, and that includes platonic and familial love. You can have multiple people in your life that you care about deeply in a romantic sense.”

2. What made you decide to be polyamorous?

“Well, I’ve sort of always been interested in polyamory, even before I really knew what it meant. When I first started dating, I would still have feelings for other people and I thought that that was a bad thing and I would try and get rid of those feelings.. Eventually, it got to the point where I was like 'no, I really have serious feelings for other people that don’t change the feelings that I have for my partner.' So, when I was in college and finally found someone who was comfortable being non-monogamous, that’s when I actually got to try it out and figure out that it was the right fit for me. I never had partners up until that point who had been comfortable with it.”

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3. Is there a difference between being in a polyamorous relationship and an open relationship?

“It depends on who you ask. An open relationship would be that one person is allowed to have sex with or hook up with people outside of the relationship, and not necessarily pursue a separate relationship with them. Polyamory is more like having multiple partners that you are in a relationship with. It can be kind of a bit of both, depending on what relationship you’re in and what you and your partner decide. So like, one of the people that I’m with is monogamous to me, he doesn’t want to be with anyone else but he’s fine with me being with other people.”

4. What are some Do’s and Don’ts in a polyamorous relationship?

“Communicate, communicate, communicate. The worst thing that can happen is someone is being hurt and not talking about it. Emphasize communication because that’s how you keep everything healthy. Don’t just bottle it up if you feel jealous. If you feel upset over something that’s going on, if you don’t like someone’s choice in a partner, talk about it. It’s important because it’s your relationship, too.”  

5. Do you ever face any issues of jealousy in your relationship? If so, how do you resolve the issue?

“I had one partner that found out that they didn’t want to be in a polyamorous relationship and that was really hard because I really liked them but that’s something that you have to realize – that it’s not for everybody and that not everybody is built to do that and that’s okay. You need to be willing to deal with that.”

6. Are there boundaries and/or rules that you set within your relationship?

“Yeah, it depends on the person. Each new person you sort of introduce to your lifestyle and partners. They get to know exactly what’s going on with you and your current partners. They can then decide, 'Okay I’m comfortable with this, I’m comfortable with that.' I have a partner who I’m not physical with. We are basically dating, but we just hang out – watch movies and stuff. Then I have a partner who I’m sexually active with. It’s just how it is. It really depends on other people. The first person I started seeing liked to know when I was looking at another partner and he’d meet some of them. The other one doesn't really care.”

7. Is there any advice you could give to someone entering a poly relationship for the first time?

“Again, communicate. Say what you feel and don’t keep anything to yourself. If it feels wrong, talk to somebody about it. It’s okay if it isn’t the right fit for you or if you start feeling jealous. That can be totally normal. Just have fun.”

Photo Courtesy of Photopin

 

After interviewing Jane, I learned a lot about what polyamory is and how different it can be for each person. I learned that there’s more than one way to go about being in a poly relationship and that each relationship has its own set of rules and level of intimacy depending on what the individuals in the relationship are comfortable with. These things are really the same as within a monogamous relationship, the only difference is you learn to let go of jealousy and embrace the ability to love generously. Love is a very fluid and infinitely abundant thing, and if you strip away the social “norm” it totally makes sense that one person can love multiple people at once. In the end, love is beautiful regardless of the way it is expressed!

*The interviewee requested to stay anonymous, but still wanted to share their story.