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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Polyamory Is Not Just For Couples

Angi Becker Stevens writes at huffingtonpost.com to clear up a misunderstand about polyamorous relationships...
Over the past few years, polyamory has become a more widely known term and practice. And perhaps inevitably, certain misconceptions and misunderstandings about what "polyamory" means have become widespread as well.
That's for sure. There are so many different ways polyamory can be experienced, and people often base their perception, or mistaken understanding, on one example. 
It would be unfortunately difficult to say which among these misunderstandings is the most common, or the most hurtful to polyamorous folks. But there's one in particular that I'd like to discuss: the idea that "polyamory" means "committed couple who have casual partners on the side."
That's just one of many ways polyamory can be experienced.
Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core "couple" at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the "man" in the relationship and the other must be the "woman." After all, both of these misunderstandings result from people trying to graft their normative conceptions of love and relationships onto people who are partnering in non-normative ways. It seems that it is somewhat easy for many people to acknowledge that humans are capable of loving one person and still enjoying sex with others (assuming, of course, that the terms of their relationship make such behavior acceptable). But it is much harder for people to think outside the fairy-tale notion of "the one" and imagine that it might be possible to actually romantically love more than one person simultaneously. 
She goes on to explain the problems this can cause and how people can avoid insulting polyamorous people. It is a very good thing to read.
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