"Polyamory may be going mainstream but it ain't easy"
I tried having an open relationship — polyamory may be going mainstream but it ain't easy
By Rebecca Reid
...Once seen as the preserve of middle aged men in Utah, or hyper-liberal flower children, non-monogamy is fast becoming the territory of perfectly unremarkable people.
When I first started dating my fiancé, a couple of weeks in, we discussed how we saw things working with regards to other people.
Did we want to be open (able to have sex with other people)? Poly (able to have relationships with other people)? Or did we want to embrace monogamy? Seeing as we’re both naturally monogamous — and averse to the drama and complications that can come from open relationships — we decided to keep it simple and stick to just seeing each other.
It’s no longer such an unusual conversation to have at the start of a relationship....
...Think-pieces about polyamory have tended to be written in active defense. I understand that the much maligned practice needs all the good PR it can get — but it does the lifestyle a disservice to pretend that it’s all rainbows, flowers and great shags.
...I spent the best part of five years in a polyamorous relationship and it was — like all relationships — a mixed bag.
One of the best things about the poly world is having more of you. Two people playing a board game can be boring, but with four it’s fun. Same goes for picnics, holidays and parties. You’re not just a couple, you’re a ready-made group and there’s something brilliant about that.
When one of you is feeling down, there are more people to cheer you up. You get more birthday presents, more sex, more laughter, more of everything. But when I say everything, I mean everything.
When you bring another person into your relationship, you bring all their laughter, joy and cute little foibles. You also bring their insecurities, needs and fears. It’s a little different in open relationships, where the emphasis is on sex rather than dating, but either way: by introducing another person in to your relationship you get their good days — and their bad days, too.
...I learned a lot from my experience of polyamory, even if most of that was that I didn’t really want to be poly.
People in open relationships tend to be brilliant at communicating, either by nature or by necessity. When you involve other people in that relationship, you complicate it — both emotionally and logistically, meaning a much higher level of communication is needed for things to work.
It’s something that, when I stopped being poly, I took forward into my next monogamous relationship....
Read the whole article (Jan. 12, 2015).
P.S.: If you haven't seen my post about the OkCupid news since I put it up last Friday, I've added some updates.