Seven things, or five things, "you need to know before entering a polyamorous relationship"
As more people hear about polyamory and become interested in trying it, fewer, on average, come equipped with the alternative-culture background that most polyfolks once had. So they're less likely to have examined any number of their default societal assumptions that drive toward compulsory monogamy. Then they wonder why they screw up.
The good news is that mainstream influencers, the kind the poly movement has little control over, often do a surprisingly good job of putting across some of our movement's core messages. Two large women's magazines just provided examples.
● On the website of Marie Claire UK:
7 things you need to know before entering into a polyamorous relationship
By Daniella Scott
Could you handle it?
Our sexual and romantic horizons are always changing, and nowadays we’re opening our minds to relationships of all shapes and size, finding a way of being with our partner (or partners) that really suits us. ...Before you bat the idea away or enter into it, here are a few things to consider...
1. It’s not all about sex.
...'In actuality it's my heart and mind. The most surprising thing is how much I've learned.'...
2. Understand why you’re doing it.
Polyamory involves other people and their emotions, so it’s always crucial that you consider why you’re doing it and whether it’s for the right reasons. ...'It's important to understand polyamory will not fix anything if you don't want to fix yourself. If you don't want to take the time to get to know yourself and love yourself, you will never establish healthy relationships and will end up in twice the amount of trouble you were before.'
3. Be open to changing the way you think.
It’s easy to become stuck in the idea of what a relationship should look like, and as such, to start making up your mind about how being polyamorous would be, when in reality every relationship is totally unique, whether monogamous or polyamorous. ...
4. Get organised.
...Being in a relationship [of] three or more people is going to be pretty taxing to orchestrate. ...
5. Learn to communicate.
Relationships involve being open and trusting people, so it’s wise to think beforehand about whether you’re happy to be so open and so vulnerable to several people. ... 'In an open relationship, the individuals discuss openly, and must create a safe place for all the lovers involved.'
6. Polyamory isn’t a criticism of monogamy.
Because polyamory embraces the idea of safe and consensual relationships taking whatever form they want, people who are polyamorous want others to know that they are not trying to detract from monogamy, or from others’ happy monogamous relationships. ...
7. There is no traditional family
Polyamory is about breaking the idea that the only way to be happy and be a family is with the standard man and wife, 2.5 kids and a golden retriever set-up. For people who are polyamorous, this could be one of the ways, by all means, but it isn’t the only way. ...
Read the whole article (Sept. 9, 2016).
● From a black perspective at xoNecole:
Why One Woman Chose To Embrace Polyamory In Her Marriage
By Sheriden Garrett
...In one of her more recent podcasts, Ev’Yan Whitney confessed to listeners intimate details about her marriage through an open dialogue with her husband aptly titled “Non-Monogamy and My New Marriage.” ...Becoming polyamorous was a decision she and her husband of nine years, Jonathan Mead, did not take lightly and occurred only after they were open and honest about one another’s views on love and marriage. ...
...“We had to unlearn a lot of our beliefs that we learned about love and relationships and marriage and sex and sexuality. That was rocky for us both. I learned I had some really messed up views of who my partner was. I thought I owned him. You don’t own anyone.”
Whitney had no idea the benefits that would come from engaging in a polyamorous marriage, but she says she has maintained her individuality, autonomy and sovereignty even while fully committed for life to another.
“When I know that partner desires someone else, but he chooses me, he chooses to come home to me, he chooses to share his life with me — that is the biggest compliment and the biggest gesture of love there is. It’s also really hot that I can go out and date other people and experiment with queerness and to uphold that and figure that out and my partner supports me. It’s so beautiful to me.”
...“Non-monogamy is not for everyone. Monogamy is also not for everyone. When we take the time to question the way that we are going along with templates, I think it’s important for us to choose how we want our relationships to look and the kinds of relationships we want to have.”
5 Things to Do Before Becoming Polyamorous:
– Ask your partner questions about jealousy, ownership, and independence.
– Have conversations about what healthy love looks like.
– Discuss and discover your true stance on monogamy.
– Read books. Start with Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open by Tristan Taormino and work your way through The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. Read them alone and with your partner.
– Make sure that the foundation of your relationship is strong enough to withstand the dynamics of polyamory and introducing new people inside of your relationship.
Read the whole story (late August 2016). Parts of it were reprinted on Lipstick Alley (September 10).
Labels: Poly 101