"I see us as a unit, and I wish the world could see us as a unit"
The NPR News affiliate for southwest Ohio (based at Antioch College) just broadcast a 7-minute report on an adorable-sounding triad who run a local poly group. Two of them are getting legally married and the third is over the moon about it; she'll be part of their private three-way wedding.
Listen here (7 minutes). Transcript excerpts below:
Southwest Ohio Young & Poly
A new way of thinking about relationships is growing in the US. Polyamory is the ability to have romantic love for more than one person at a time. Dayton is home to a growing polyamorous community. Dayton is known for being a city of innovation and now that innovation affects relationships as well. A local group called Southwest Ohio Young and Poly was formed in response. Community Voices Producer Nicole Richter has the story.
This is not a story about swingers, religion or cheating. This is a story about love. At the Southwest Ohio Young and Poly monthly potluck, children run around, folks have conversations, and there is lots of food on the table. Here families and friends join together in a celebration of community.
Since the group was formed a year and a half ago it has grown to over 150 members. Jason, Brianna, and Keely run Southwest Ohio Young and Poly. Together they form a triad.
Keely explains: “I live in a household with two other partners; Brianna and Jason. We live in a triad, which means we all have fully developed romantic relationships with each other.”
This is just one of several relationship structures in polyamory.....
“We are a whole,” Jason explains. “When I’m thinking about making a choice or taking an action I don’t think about is this good or bad for Keely or is this good or bad for Bri. I think, ‘Is this good or bad for the triad, for our family?’ I see us as a unit, and I wish the world could see us as a unit.”
When first hearing about polyamory many people wonder about jealousy. The triad explained to me that jealousy is an emotion often based in fear. In order to be successful in polyamory you have to be willing to confront your own insecurities.
“The three principles of successful, ethical non-monogamy, especially polyamory, are communicate, communicate, communicate,” Jason says. “If you are open and honest with your wants and needs, open and honest and willing to listen to the wants and needs of your partners, you will be successful. If you can’t put them before yourself then you probably won’t be successful. But you probably won’t be successful at monogamy, either.”
Jason and Brianna have been dating for three and half years. Keely met Jason and Brianna at her first potluck and the triad has been happily dating for a year. Together they have four children between the three of them.
“I am by nature polyamorous,” Brianna says. “I believe that in my core more than one partner is the best path for my happiness. Because I believe I shouldn’t count on one person to fulfill all my needs and that’s why I have partners who are different who fulfill different aspects of what my soul needs.”
Jason adds, “We are energized by the love we all share and it inspires us to find adventures, follow whimsy and go on road trips and end up stuck in Indianapolis in the middle of a blizzard because we didn’t pay attention to the weather at Christmas time. Things like that. It inspires us because we are so genuinely happy and comfortable together.”...
“There’s a lot of fringe benefits and not the ones that people would expect,” he says. “It’s the great peace of the three of us curling up together and watching the shows we all enjoy and having one of them on each side of me holding my hand while we watch TV. And it allows us to build this home together, to build a family. Family is very important to me and feeling like somewhere is home.”
...Keely went with Jason to pick out the ring for Brianna. “Keely kept pointing at different rings and then the woman who sold it to them said well, don’t you want to try it on? And Keely said, ‘No, it’s not for me.’ And I can only imagine the look that woman must have had at that moment but I feel completely surrounded by love,” Brianna says.
...“There will always be members of society who don’t accept anything that is outside of their definition of normal,” Brianna says. “There will always be people who stand against me, but I also understand that there are more and more people who stand behind me every day.”
See the whole transcript, with link to the audio (August 12, 2013).