Wednesday, August 6, 2014

You May be Polyamorous on Some Level

Your host/blogger is polyamorous, but I'm not someone who believes everyone is, deep down, polyamorous, or should be in a polyamorous relationship. Everyone's feelings and experiences are their own. So with that out of the way, I wanted to call attention to Rosie Wilby's commentary at under the headline "You're More Polyamorous Than You Think."
I conducted an anonymous online survey as research for my show asking what behaviors would be considered infidelity. Seventy-three out of 100 respondents thought that falling in love with someone else with no sexual contact still counted, 31 percent selected staying up all night talking to someone else, while a scary 7 percent decided that merely thinking about someone else was unacceptable. How you would police this, I don’t know.

Perhaps the only way to remain truly faithful would be to lock yourselves into a sealed box and both stay there without interacting with any other human beings. Yet this would be torture. Human connections are the lifeblood and oxygen that aid our emotional survival. Even the most fleeting kindnesses and flirtations with strangers enhance our wellbeing.
I strongly support people having the freedom to mutually agree to what is acceptable and what is not within the context of their continuing relationship. So when, say, a man has agreed with his partner that he will not have one-on-one business lunches with a woman and she will not have them with a man, I think that should be something left up to them, but I do find it overly restrictive, myself. And that's just business... because their concern is that it could lead to something personal. Not only would I not want to live under that restriction, I wouldn't want to live under the restriction of "no flirting with anyone else." I don't mind if she flirts with someone else, and not just because I enjoy that freedom myself. I like to see her enjoying herself, and if she can make another person's day a little brighter, all the better.

These brief moments of love feed our key relationships. Three and a half years in, my girlfriend and I might not always find it easy to generate huge sexual energy in a vacuum on our own. But if we go off into the world and connect, communicate, flirt with and enjoy other people, become energized by them and then come back together, our passion can still burn strongly. Other people act as our kindling.

On the disruption that breakups cause, she wrote...
This unstable system is far more potentially damaging to any children involved than a setup including several happy, fulfilled adults in control of their own destinies. I’m not saying that we have to lose sight of traditional structures and units but maybe celebrate that friends can be family too. Or as the writer Armistead Maupin puts it, “logical” families instead of strictly biological ones.

So what if instead of serial relationships one after the other we had parallel ones running alongside one another?
While I agree it can be better to have concurrent rather than consecutive relationships, the possibilities aren't mutually exclusive. But yes, if, for example, you have married couple who've been raising children together, and they're not hostile towards each other but not getting the their needs met with each other, it could be better for them to keep the home intact, keep their marriage, but also get their needs met with others. We've all seen situations like this, haven't we? I mean, marriage in which the people end up being better friends than lovers, and great at co-parenting?
As a child I was warned against placing all of my eggs in one basket. Yet as a grown up, I’m being told to do exactly that. Yet the real conundrum here is that none of us are really doing that anyway. So why pretend that we are?
Great points. In order to facilitate people having the relationships in which they can be their best, we need to have equality and legal protections, rather than discrimination and criminalization. That is why full marriage equality is important.
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