Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 23, 2015

Deutsche Welle: "Polyamory: An abundance of love"

This came as a reminder of my old childhood shortwave-radio days. Deutsche Welle is the official international broadcaster, and now website, for Germany. It offers programming in 30 languages including English. Its stated goals are to convey Germany as a "liberal, democratic state based on the rule of law," produce reliable news coverage, and represent German language and culture.

On Thursday it put up this long, friendly, supportive article on its website:

Polyamory: An abundance of love

By Caroline Schmitt

Loving several people at once — is that possible? Meeting a polyamorous young woman showed that it is, but only if you replace some of love's glamor with sober rationality.

"There are phases where I'm closer to one person. Physical proximity plays a huge role. But if I meet someone new and think they're interesting, that doesn't mean I'm less close to anyone else. Maybe I have a bit less time for them, but everyone else's lives never stand still either," Juliane (right) says.

Turns out love, unlike money, food or space, isn't a limited resource. Juliane loves, sleeps with, is there for, and occasionally gets angry about, four different people. She lives as part of a network of people who all have multiple lovers.

Currently, she has been in one relationship in Berlin for more than a year, in a long-distance relationship and casually with two others for two and four years, respectively.

The secret for not letting this turn into a massive orgy or a constant emotional rollercoaster ride? According to Juliane, there are some essential ingredients: "It's really important to me that the people who play a central role in my life get to know each other and communicate openly," she says, adding that honesty is also important, along with having the guts to be raw and vulnerable.

Her relationship model of choice is polyamory, a term coined in the mid 90s. It is a model that works differently for everyone involved in a relationship with multiple partners. There isn't one sole way to live it — details are constantly being negotiated.

..."Monogamy is an absurd idea to me. If there is someone I feel very close to, someone I love, why would that keep me from having sex with others? Why would that keep me from feeling close to someone else? I mean [even if I tried], it would happen. I would meet someone new and I'd fall in love. A relationship wouldn't prevent me from feeling that way," Juliane says with a smile, as if she's probably thinking about someone at this very moment.

She describes love as "finding someone fascinating" and "meeting someone so great you want to spend as much time with them as possible". Her idea of love is focussed on the other person — on their life, the way they see the world — so it feels different every time because every person is different. In that way, she doesn't so much talk about the butterflies in her stomach or the excitement in her own heart, instead she highlights people's characters.

She talks about all these people fondly while sitting in the garden of her girlfriend Theresa's flat in a residential part of north Berlin. Theresa never had just one relationship; there were always several. After one and a half years together, Theresa is one of her more intense relationships. Their interactions are natural and effortless. They casually chat about their plans for next week and talk about where her housemate is. With their inside jokes they come across like old friends, but you can tell they are lovers by the way Juliane tenderly strokes Theresa's hair for a split second....

...It's difficult to picture what being vulnerable could look like without witnessing any major fights, meltdowns, or arguments about the same old issues that wouldn't end. Now, talking about vulnerability on a harmonious summer evening feels a little clinical and theoretical, but maybe that's a huge part of a polyamorous lifestyle.

Her profound determination to live differently has become stronger and less compromising over the years, because she put so much effort, literary research and then first-hand experience into making polyamory work. "If people look at all the relationship models and find that polyamory doesn't work for them, that's fine too. What annoys me is people who don't reflect on society and traditions and just adopt [monogamy]."

...Maybe that's something monogamous people can learn from polyamorous people like Juliane: Instead of being so focused on one person — The One who will lead you to eternal happiness and rainbows — copying Juliane's way of relying on herself, being conscious about her own feelings and needs, may also increase the abundance of love in a one-to-one relationship.

Read the whole article (August 20, 2015). I don't find any versions but the English one.


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