It is obvious that the human emotional system was built to love more than one person at a time otherwise we would not have deep feelings about others. Once we found our mate we would be completely satisfied. Like swans. But we are not like the swan. Swans mate to one swan for life. We have the ability to love more than one in our life at time. Open Marriage announcements by those like Margret Cho on CBS’s The Talk show us that it is possible. So what is loving more than one person at a time?
Polyamory or the practice of LOVING more than one person at a time is a life style hundreds in the Atlanta area and thousands across the country choose to live. I have to put emphasis on the LOVING part. I say that because, too many people think that poly is just the ability to sleep around with whoever you want. I have to say that is not the spirit of Polyamory. While some people use the term to include that kind of behavior it’s not what Poly is.
In order to understand what it is to be poly we first have to understand what poly is and is not. Poly isn’t cheating, swinging, sleeping around. You don’t have to be gay or straight. You don’t have to be rich. But each of these things can be a sub-culture within polyamory. It isn’t all about sex, but sex is part of polyamory, as well as any other relationship style. There are, however, what is known as Non Sexual Significant Others or NSSOs. I have one. We care for each other deeply and share a person that we are both madly in love with, but we aren’t sexually active with one another.
What most people can agree on is that poly is: open, honest, respectful, ethical, practice of being in love with multiple people at the same time. But what in the world does that mean? To be forthcoming and honest with all those involved in the relationship. Treat you partners how you would want them to treat you. The golden rule if you will. We are all taught growing up that you shouldn’t tell a lie, that lying is bad. But at some point when we become adults, get married, or grow up some of us forget or ignore that rule. That rule still applies.
So if we have feelings for someone other than our primary partner what should we do? Do we ignore that feeling and hope it goes away? Do we act on it and then accept the consequences even if that means losing our partner of X years? Or should we communicate those feelings to our partner and explain what is happening. What is the worst thing he or she can say, “No I’m not comfortable with that.”? We aren’t out anything, we still have our primary partner and the trust has been put in place that should we ever have feelings about another we know we can talk about it.
In a nutshell, being poly is not much different than being monogamous. There are just more layers to it and more people involved. You still have to communicate, trust, and honor the people you are with and if any one of those should falter then the whole of the relationship is at stake.
From here we can get in to all kinds of topics about polyamory. This should lay a VERY basic foundation for us to build from. We will explore many aspects of polyamory and the sub-cultures in it. I do hope that I have displayed the basics of polyamory to you in a way that is positive and invokes the thought process. If you are poly and have feedback PLEASE share it. One thing to remember about the poly community is that for as many people that practice it there are that many ways to practice it. Let’s keep an open mind while discussing these topics. See you next time!