Poly on campus, new roundup
The Oak Leaf (Santa Rosa, California)
The Orion (CalState Chico)
The Sting (Kennesaw State, Georgia)
Iowa State Daily
Now that spring term is closing out, here are more polyamory stories in college newspapers since my last roundup. As always, this is probably incomplete. Click the titles below for the full articles.
● At the University of Texas/Austin, in The Daily Texan: Navigating an open relationship (April 6, 2016):
My partner and I have been talking about the idea of making our relationship open, and I have reservations about how successful an open relationship can be. How I should go about starting this?
Melanie Westfall | Daily Texan Staff
On a campus with 51,000 students, let alone the 7 billion people in the world, finding “the one” is quite the feat.... Knowing that there could be more than just one person for them, couples are turning to consensually non-monogamous relationships to explore their options.... The conditions of exclusivity in an open relationship vary among couples — some couples are completely open, where anything goes, while others prefer some boundaries.
Making sense of a relationship that involves only two people is difficult enough, but there are things to do to make the process of broadening the parameters of a relationship easier.
Get on the same page.
Before starting an open relationship, consider why you or your partner want one in the first place. Do you want to be open because you’re delaying a breakup? Does monogamy just not work for you? Or are you simply just curious about what is out there? Being honest about your intentions will set a good foundation for a successful open relationship.
Set ground rules.
Take time to map out the do’s and don’ts for the new relationship. These rules should cover every possible scenario you can imagine you or your partner getting into and where you stand on the matter.... [Trouble ahead if you go this route, say I. –Ed.]
Be prepared to feel jealous....
Make time for each other....
Embrace the experience.
Deciding to go through with an open relationship can be a great experience. Consensually non-monogamous relationships offer the combination of real intimacy and mutual independence that can be a great way of learning about oneself. A benefit of trying an open relationship is that it’s not a permanent decision. So if it ends up not being the right fit, returning to monogamy is possible. Do what works for you both, and see what can happen when the guard of monogamy is let down.
● In The Oak Leaf of Santa Rosa Junior College: One love, two love, find your true loves (May 17, 2016):
A new relationship form has emerged quite prevalently. While monogamy is a lifestyle choice, so is polyamory.
...The loss of monogamy within our generation isn’t something to be feared. Many young people simply enjoy not having to be bound to one person. Some even relish the ability to be with multiple people at once. Monogamy is fading away and new forms of social and romantic connection are developing within this age group.
Polyamory is a state of being romantically linked with multiple people at the same time with the full consent of each party involved. Polyamory may have come about to avoid the conflict of infidelity. Instead of going behind a partner’s back the open and honest ideas of polyamory avoid betrayal since each partner is completely aware of the other relationships.
“The healthy relationship aspect of it comes more from proper communication with a partner with any relationship; polyamorous or monogamous,” Meadows said....
● At California State University/ Chico, in The Orion: The More The Merrier (April 3):
By Joann Chevaillier
Bobbie Rae Jones
...I have met many people that are in poly-style relationships, and I have a lot of respect for them. This style of partnership has a flexible meaning and can be only defined by the people involved....
Polyamory, as defined by Wikipedia, “is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships involving more than two people, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved."...
– Honest communication is key. With any relationship you have to communicate. When there are multiple partners involved it becomes even more important. Many times people may feel something and only communicate that feeling. But to truly have honest communication the person needs to explore why they feel that way — what’s at the core of the emotion.
– Trust: In this style of relationship a person has to believe the partners will be honest and upfront with anything going on, even if the partner is falling in love with another person.
– Jealousy: There is a misconception that jealousy doesn’t exist like some magic trick, but it does. The difference I have read is that jealousy is treated like any other emotion. The person feeling jealous mainly has to deal with the emotion, but also needs to communicate to the other partners....
● At Kennesaw State University in Georgia, an article and a followup in The Sting, the "student lifestyle magazine":
Exploring Polyamory (March 1):
...With this information, I began to challenge the structure of monogamy by finding out more about polyamory because it was clear that monogamy didn’t work for every individual’s well-being.
...The first article we found, “Monogamy VS. Polyamory – Are Humans Built To Love One Or Many?,” is written by Dr. Karen Ruskin [Oh God. –Ed.], who is a marriage counselor, parenting strategist, and human behavior expert. She discusses the differences between polyamory and monogamy and how it has an impact on the way a couple interacts and grows together.
Another article from Live Science, “New Sexual Revolution: Polyamory May Be Good for You,” states that being polyamorous has benefits: it prevents emotional stress, jealousy, and as long as safe sex is practiced it can be helpful to maintaining a happy and healthy partnership.
After evaluating the information in both articles and the lifestyle of polyamory, I hope you all have come to the same conclusion as I did. No matter what or who you choose, just choose to be happy. Everyone is different and has their own way of loving and caring for others....
The followup: Further Explorations into Nonmonogamy: Key Concepts & Tips for Beginners (April 2):
This article serves as a followup to Brittany Rosario’s “Exploring Polyamory” article.
...For the past two years, I’ve interacted with several individuals who consider themselves to be polyamorous. I, myself, have experimented with having non-monogamous relationships and have found it to be beneficial....
Something I particularly enjoy about polyamorous relationships is the emphasis on communication. Yes, communication is vital in any relationship, but people within the poly community really stress its importance and (more often than not) attempt to resolve any problems they have with partners. And this goes beyond just communicating about problems within the relationship two people have. It creates a support system within groups of people who are aware of each other’s relationships and also keeps everyone’s sexual health in check, as STI testing is of paramount importance (for obvious reasons).
...There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to pursue nonmonogamous relationships, with respect to structure, but there is such a thing as ethical nonmonogamy.
...On a totally different note, when a monogamous relationship fails, that’s usually the end. Typically (and somewhat mysteriously), it’s hard to move on and become friends. Polyamory places a lot of emphasis on the fluidity of relationships. A friend of mine is now friends with a former partner of hers. They hang out like friends normally would. The breakup has had very little effect on their ability to continue having a relationship, save for the fact that their relationship no longer has a romantic component.
...Some people absolutely can’t handle nonmonogamy in any capacity – and that’s okay! You should never pursue something you’re uncomfortable with....
I’ve read most of The Ethical Slut and think it has a lot of great information, but the hyperfocus on sex might be off-putting for some (as well as the somewhat bizarre “free love” hippie rhetoric). I’ve heard More Than Two gives a more objective look at polyamory with more of a focus on romantic relationships than sexual ones.... the polyamory subreddit is free to read and comment on! It’s a great place to get your feelings out, ask for advice, and discover more poly resources.
● In the Iowa State Daily: ISU students share varying identifications, personal definitions (March 8, 2015):
Over the years, many different identities and terms have surfaced as individuals discover themselves and others around them.
Many people have their own unique definitions of their identities. Though there are countless identities out there, here are a few with personal definitions from people around campus:
...“My definition of genderqueer and how I apply it to myself is that I am outside of the gender binary, so I don’t identify as a man or a woman,” Savanna said. “I prefer taking gender roles and expressions from both men and women and combining them.”...
...“I view pansexual as attraction regardless of gender and bisexual as attraction to all genders,” Luce said. “However, I grew up being told that bisexuality is within the gender binary, and that is how my family and friends view it, so I identify as pansexual to show that I do not adhere to the binary.”
...“I use the definition multiple relationships with the consent of everyone involved,” said Kenni Terrell, sophomore in journalism and communication.
...“I came out five years ago when I heard about it and found out that it existed,” Terrell said. “I knew it was me. It wasn’t something that I had to think about. That’s like with all of my identities, I just kind of know.”
Terrell talked about how many people might not have a good understanding of what polyamory is, but once they are given the definition, they seem to understand it.... “I feel like society is becoming more understanding.”
● And best of all, don't forget the service the hostiles did for us last month with this diligent roundup, full of useful resources, in The Daily Caller: Across The Country, Universities Look To Mainstream Polyamory (April 2).