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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Polyamory Featured in Dear Abby Again

FICKLE IN FORT WAYNE wrote in to the advice columnist...
I'm never happy with just one partner. It's not that I want to go out and have a different man every night of the week -- just some options. I'm currently in a polyamorous relationship, so seeing other men is OK.

There's nothing wrong with any of that.
But my boyfriend is now asking me why I feel the way I do because he is considering becoming monogamous again.


That is up to him, although it can't hurt for her to to tell him what her feelings and needs are.
I crave something different from man to man and seek whatever the other one doesn't have. I have been with my fair share of guys, yet there doesn't seem to be one person who has all the qualities I need in my life.

It could be that she is polyamorous as her relationship orientation and thus needs polyamory, and that he is able to be polyamorous, but doesn't need poloyamory.
Should I just stay single and noncommittal forever?
Being polyamorous is certainly not synonymous with being "single" and noncommittal! So many polyamorists are in relationships, and committed ones at that.

Is "fickle" the word that the column editors picked, rather than the writer? I don't think many polyamorists would describe themselves as fickle.

Each person needs to communicate what it is they need, want, and expect. The other person can either continue to see them or not. If the letter writer's boyfriend needs a monogamous woman and wants to be monogamous himself, he will stop seeing the letter writer. She should not promise him something she will not provide. That would not be fair to him, nor would it be fair to her.

This was Dear Abby's response...
Perhaps not forever, but for now, yes, until you meet someone who has more of the qualifications you're looking for. When you do, you may finally realize that in successful relationships some degree of compromise is always involved.

Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but it looks to me kike Dear Abby is assuming the letter writer doesn't need polyamory; that she isn't polyamorous as who she is. She very well may be. The people who write advice comlumns would do well to become educated by the realities of polyamory. It is out of the closet and it ain't going back in. Polyamory is not about being immature, or noncommittal, or confused, or lacking self-control. Although some people can have a polyamorous relationship for a while and then be happy in a monogamous one, for many people, polyamory is not an experiment or a phase. It is about who they are. Like being left-handed. And some some, they've been happy in monogamous relationships before but not find that polyamory is better for them. Monogamy isn't for everyone, and it isn't what is best for everyone.

The third letter in that edition of the column is about intergenerational relationships.
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