We are continuously bombarded with opinions about what is right and what is wrong. In the case of polyamory and polyamorous relationships, there are strong points of view that support what is wrong with it. There are also points of view about what is right with it.
Whether you are for or against polyamory, I’d love to offer the following questions:
- What would it be like to consider a perspective where there is no right or wrong, good or bad?
- What would it be like entertain the notion that there are many different ways of being in a relationship? That there is no one good or bad way of being in a relationship with someone, just different?
- Is there a place where these differences can co-exist free of judgment and defense?
- What would it take for there to be a place of understanding these differences without forcing anyone to change or take on anyone else’s beliefs as their own?
In looking at these questions, I think people may be able to come together with more understanding of what’s underneath their desires. They might even come to a place where they can agree upon something, even though how that “something” is played out might look different.
The invitation is simple: Whenever you are challenged by something, go a level deeper.
In working with clients in all different kinds of relationships (open, monogamous, polyamorous, single, questioning, and everything in between!), I help people discover what is most important to them. As humans, we ALL long for connection, love, and understanding. Who we are today is a direct result of how we were raised, what values we were exposed to, and what we have chosen to do with those values.
In going a level deeper with those in favor of monogamy and traditional relationships, we might see a group of people who value security and trust in knowing that what they have today they will have tomorrow too. They might see how the traditional beliefs have helped them. They feel safe knowing they are in a safe and solid container. They feel they can be 100% who they are knowing they have someone they can share their lives with completely. The closed container of relationship works for them.
In going a level deeper for those in favor of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy, we might see a group of people who value freedom and expression to be who they are regardless of who they are with. They might have been confronted or hurt by traditional ways and they see polyamory as a way to be more authentic with who they are without feeling controlled by how society wants them to be.
In choosing to practice polyamory, these people are choosing a unique way of being in a relationship with others that is ethical, respectful and inclusive of others. Those engaged in polyamorous relationships are open to having experiences (emotional and otherwise) without making anyone wrong for the experiences they have. The key to successful polyamory and polyamorous relationships is transparency, openness, clear communication, and respect for everyone involved. If this is not happening, then it is not polyamory.
In looking at the future of relationships and how we choose to be in relationships, we need to always check in with what is most important to us.
There lies the deepest level: we each have the right to choose how we live and how we are in relationship with ourselves and with others.
For me, it’s all about choice. A choice for me to be me and a choice for others to be who they are. When we give ourselves space and freedom to be who we are and support others doing the same, anything is possible.
Polyamory has shown me how I can best love myself and how I can best love others. It has given me the opportunity to be 100% me in all areas of my life and support others in doing the same.
For me, it’s not all about the sex. It’s about freedom to be who I am and to support others in doing the same. All the while being completely open, transparent, honest and real.
Both my partner and I feel incredibly grateful to have the comfort of a solid home base with each other and the freedom to explore our unique desires. It’s like having our cake and eating it too!
Polyamory may not be for everyone. There are as many ways of practicing polyamory as there are people identifying as poly. One thing I appreciate so much about polyamory is that it is waking people up to different kinds of relationships. People are learning more about themselves and about others.
Yes, polyamory can be confronting to anyone who is geared more towards monogamy. This is a natural response. What’s important here is not so much the differences and the meanings we create about those differences. What’s important here is to remember that everyone wants to feel loved, supported, and understood. How we do that will look different for everyone. That’s the unique thing about being human. It’s not good or bad, just different.