Non-exclusive relationships, and polyamory falls into this category, just like the exclusive relationships that marriage is considered to be, They are also based on moral and physical commitment. Nevertheless, sentimental and/or sexual exclusivity does not exist. Some non-exclusive relationships are built with rules defined earlier, while others do not use them. Polyamory reflects with a romantic relationship, and poly lovers can love several people at once. Each party is aware of the spirit and principles of polyamory.
Everything you always wanted to know about love, but never dared to ask. Marriage is the only kind of relationship that gives us a sense of happiness? Or do we think so because we were taught to? What if a couple can be together and with someone else at the same time and feel love because of it? Is polyamory a relationship of the near future?
“You can be in love with several people at the same time and all with the same pain, without betraying any of them.” (Gabriel García Márquez)
Table of Contents:
- Love to share
- Is monogamy killing love?
- According to the psychologist
- A hidden need?
- Not to be confused with polygamy
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Time to revise our existing views?
- Myths and facts about polyamory
- Let’s remember what happiness is
Since sexual liberation 50 years ago (basically sexuality for women and homosexuals, because men have always done what they wanted!), forms of couples have proliferated. Traditional marriage and its family constraints put the couple first, and in recent decades, new forms of ties between people. This couple can arrange with a partner of the same or the other sex, with a more or less significant age difference, in one direction as in the other, and different sexual orientations. Among these new forms of couple and life there is a link to the other: polyamory. This word, which comes from the American neologism “polyamory,” which itself comes from Greek and Latin, does not mean “to be in love with several people at the same time,” but: to live in pluralistic ethical relationships in which love, if it arises, can develop freely.
Love to share
Polyamory is indeed the possibility of living in parallel pluralistic intimate relationships – perhaps romantic and/or sexual – with the free consent and conscience of each person involved. The relationships in question can be love…. or not (you can be poly and aromantic), just as they can be sexual…. or not (you can be poly and asexual): The idea is to let relationships develop organically, without trying to fit them into boxes or qualify them. This is a relational orientation, in which the focus is more on the form of the relationship – ethical – than on its nature.
Is monogamy killing love?
Polyamory is perhaps the solution to the difficulties of classical “monogamous” married life. “Open couple,” or polyamory today, requires considerable personal work in a relationship with two to find a mutually satisfying balance without the intervening factor of jealousy; and there are as many difficulties and setbacks in polyamory as in a so-called monogamous couple. But this new configuration of connection to another and with others deserves to be known, thought about and, for some, experienced.
According to the psychologist
The 21st century is witnessing the beginning of a “quiet revolution” in intimate relationships, according to Phillip Hammack, a psychology professor at the University of California. For the specialist, more and more people are flourishing in sexual relationships other than monogamy and heterosexuality. He cites, for example, asexuals, fetishism, polyamory or transgender relationships. According to him, legalizing same-sex marriage would be the driving force behind the explosion of relationship diversity.
“Polyamory – is the practice, desire or acceptance of experiencing more than one intimate relationship with the free and informed consent of all involved. The concepts necessary for consent and ethics in polyamory are gender equality, self-determination, free choice for each person involved, mutual trust and respect between partners,” says the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA), which launched International Polyamory Day, celebrated on November 23. First celebrated in Canada in 2017, the international day quickly spread to social media in other countries and in other languages.
A hidden need?
Where does the need for this type of relationship come from? As polyamorists argue, multilove is a liberation from the pressures of monogamy, i.e., imposed norms that polyamorists say take away freedom of choice and freedom to decide, without providing happiness in return. Polyamory is not a new phenomenon, but a return to its roots. In ancient tribal cultures, forming similar relationships was the basis for functioning. There have always been relationships in different cultures with more than one partner (for example, in the 1970s, the so-called “communes” had groups of “flower” children – communities that saw themselves as families). Precisely because polyamory is a return to a primitive form of life that was not regulated by culture or law, it can be frightening to some.
Polyamory is based on clear principles. First of all, a polyamorous relationship is formed with the consent of all the people in it to this form of intimacy and its implementation. It is also based on values such as mutual trust, equality and self-respect. This means that everyone must be honest with everyone else and talk openly about emotions. Insincerity, disloyalty and betrayal occur when someone goes to bed with someone without telling others, or teases or makes someone jealous in a relationship.
According to some psychologists, the chances of polyamory relationships surviving depend largely on the age of the people who form them. In their view, the relationship of people over 30. years of age will last much longer, as they have more stable relationships than those over 20. The number of people who form such relationships is also important. In a polyamorous relationship, each partner should receive equal attention, time and interest. The arrival of another person in the relationship usually changes the amount and quality of time spent with the partner up to that point, especially if the relationship has children. Here is another problem – how to explain to a young child the nature of this type of relationship?
Some psychologists consider polyamory a kind of social training, because it teaches communication, teaches how to understand feelings, not only one’s own, but also those of others in the relationship, and how to deal with these feelings (especially jealousy, since polyamorists do not treat lovers as rivals, a potential family member). According to some psychologists, polyamory can even help build a relationship in the future.
Not to be confused with polygamy
Polyamory, unlike polygamy and polyandry, i.e. having several wives/husbands, does not involve any formality, it is not a type of official relationship, so the law does not prohibit it. However, if the polyamorous man/woman is living in a marital relationship, many people may interpret this attitude as a betrayal of the husband/wife. It is difficult to say whether polyamory was less popular in the past than it is today, because “today’s times” are still considered less moral, more promiscuous. As psychologists point out, among several types of sexual openness, it is polyamory that is most strongly associated with emotional maturity, because in this type of relationship it is very important to be responsible for the feelings of others and ensure the sustainability of the relationship. Not all polyamorous relationships are dominated by sex; moreover, not all relationships have sex. This type of relationship also includes asexuals and even those who do not have sex, despite the love they have for their partner. This is confirmed by American studies, which show that for them non-sexual intimacy (e.g., conversations, time spent together) is more important. That’s why polyamory is quite different from swinging or an open relationship based on sexual relations. Polyamorists should also be distinguished from sexaholics, who seek more opportunities for sex and conquest. Sexaholics seduce and win, and when they achieve their goal, they abandon it. It is also important to distinguish polyamory from polygamy, which is the marriage of a person to several.
Polyamory can be mistakenly confused with infidelity, libertinism, swinging or polygamy. However, polyamory does not necessarily require married life or marriage. Polyamorists have real romantic relationships with their various partners, at the same time and in full transparency.
In an interview with Le Monde, writer Françoise Simpère, herself polyamorous, explained: “This is a new form of individual relationship, in which we forget about the couple to rely on interpersonal relationships. Polyamory is learning to be autonomous, to love with detachment. We love with feelings, but without dependence. This involves already having confidence in yourself so that you don’t feel broken if the other person doesn’t respond to what you want. (…) Polyamory is inventing your own values of love. In economics, a couple is a household that consumes and thus stabilizes society. However, polyamory is a questioning of this relationship model and its normative values. It undermines the very foundations of society, destabilizes it, scares it. If we talk about it on the Internet and in the media for about a decade, not much is said about polyamory. There are few numbers“.
Editorial recommends: Demisexuality – what is it?
Advantages and disadvantages
In some cases, when polyamory is lived openly, honestly and transparently, it has many advantages: personal growth; relationship stability; greater self-confidence; sexual stimulation; strengthening the couple; avoiding separation; reassurance, peace of mind; no feelings of possession.
Polyamory also has disadvantages. In some cases, it is a way to justify adultery and hide guilt. For others, polyamory is not a choice, but a restriction imposed by the partner. In this case, it can lead to jealousy and suffering that is difficult to overcome, which can often end in a breakup.
Time to revise our existing views?
The traditional paradigm of a couple forming two people is so ingrained that thinking about the Having two or more spouses at the same time makes us feel guilty. To maintain relationships with many people and be satisfied with them, it is necessary to have great ethics and a strong sense of morality, since the total sincerity is necessary to live the experience in a satisfying way. What’s wrong with feeling love and desire for several people at once? There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty, as long as you act sincerely and honestly. But how do you deal with the fear of being separated from another, of finding yourself alone, of having your life turned upside down? This is the crux of all questions about openness to polyamory. We must learn to tame jealousy and curb it. When you have built a monogamous foundation in your relationship, it is not at all easy. Polyamory is not without consequences for individual partners. It’s not always easy to get full agreement when romantic feelings are involved. The consequences of polyamory for partners can be manifold: jealousy, comparison, refusal to accept other partners, family difficulties, breakups, difficulties in sharing and lack of exclusivity. In order to function, polyamory must be completely accepted and desired by the person himself, but also by his partners. However, when relationships work honestly, polyamory can bring personal fulfillment that was lacking in a monogamous relationship.
We often think of a romantic relationship as an exclusive contract between two people. But this norm is increasingly being challenged as people find other ways to redefine romantic love. Polyamory, then, would be a more inclusive, egalitarian and secular concept, since it does not include marriage and, regardless of social status, recognizes access to multiple partners, regardless of gender? “What is natural in education? In the books? In schools? In science? Or even in monogamy? Humans are polygamous by nature, like most animals. Women by nature can be much more polyamorous than one might think. However, civilization has chosen monogamy precisely to defend this completely artificial family, which opposes, for moral, and therefore not natural, reasons of waste and chaos” – claims Dacia Maraini.
Myths and facts about polyamory
- Contrary to popular belief, people in polyamorous relationships are willing to commit to a relationship. Being able to have multiple sexual or emotional relationships actually leads to establishing much deeper and lasting communication with your partner.
- People who have multiple relationships are generally much more satisfied with their primary partner. The desire to have more sexual and emotional relationships is actually a personal, independent decision that does not depend on the relationship with the partner (who must agree, however, of course).
- When we talk about infidelity, we are referring to the behavior we implement when we betray our partner. Polyamory, on the contrary, does not provide for any kind of lying or deception. In fact, the possibility of freely experiencing one’s sexuality and feelings is undertaken together with a partner and consciously, perhaps with certain restrictions and rules.
- It is not at all certain that jealousy does not affect those who practice polyamory. However, the difference lies in managing this feeling. This is because dealing with jealousy in a healthy way allows you to avoid treating your partner as property and seek happiness together, including through other relationships.
Let’s remember what happiness is
“Happiness does not consist in entertainment; It would be absurd if entertainment was the goal of life; It would be absurd to work all your life and suffer just for fun. It can be said of all things of this world that they are never desired except for anything else, except, however, for happiness; For He is the goal. But applying and bothering once again just to have fun also seems too silly and too childish. According to Anachar sis1, you have to have fun to apply yourself seriously, and he is absolutely right. Play is a kind of rest; And since one cannot work tirelessly, rest is a need. But rest is certainly not the goal of life; for it never takes place except in light of the deed one desires to do later. A happy life is a life conforming to virtue; And this life is serious and diligent; It does not consist of vain amusements. Serious things usually seem strong above jokes and banter; And the deed of the best part of us, or the best man, always comes across as the most serious. Well, the deed of the best is also better just by that; and it gives more happiness”. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, book X, chap. 6 (1176b27 – 1177a6)