"Polyamory is on the rise, but negative assumptions still exist"
The Lily is a new online magazine from The Washington Post. It takes its name from America's first newspaper published by and for women, which helped to seed women's-rights and progressive movements from 1849 to 1853.
The "negative assumptions" in the article's title are trivialized notions of what polyamory means, now that the poly bandwagon is picking up speed and rolling downmarket.
Please remember about steering the bandwagon.
Polyamory is on the rise, but negative assumptions still exist
Illustration: Maria Corte for The LilyBy Sommer Brugal
...According to a 2016 National YouGov poll, consensual non-monogamy is on the rise. Forty-four percent of young Americans say they are open to relationships outside strict monogamy.
...Casual sex and polyamory are often considered interchangeable. Bethany says it’s a common misconception she often has to reject, especially on dating sites.
“I was very clear in new relationships,” says Bethany.
“A lot of people throw the word poly around, but I was genuinely looking for meaningful, romantic relationships. I wasn’t looking for partners to sleep around with.”
When using dating apps like Tinder, Bethany experimented with disclosing her relationship status on her profile. Including her polyamorous status on her profile, she says, often attracted men that were dismissive of her. They viewed her as someone they could simply sleep with.
“Because people assume you have other partners, [they] don’t take accountability of another’s feelings,” Bethany says. “The people you attract tend to walk all over you.”
Excuse me, people you attract who don't get what you're talking about may assume those things. Very early, ask directly: "What is 'polyamory,' as you see it?" Then be quiet and listen to what they say. Decide from there whether to smile and exit, or if they might be worth trying to coach (don't get your hopes up), or if you've found an actual co-traveller on your road.
Did it occur to her to find, or create, a good local poly community where you can be with people who understand what you're about? You need community.
Non-monogamous relationships aren’t free of the woes that befall monogamous relationships, including cheating. Sandy, a woman in her early 30s living in Washington, D.C., who is currently dating “three-ish” people, two men and one woman, says the same potential to breach the boundaries between partners exists.
If you agree to not engage emotionally with an outside partner, yet move forward to develop a romantic interest without discussing it, that boundary has been crossed. Sandy says non-monogamous relationships require more explicit communication.
While Bethany identifies as poly, Sandy views it as a framework she’s chosen to adopt. Both women believe monogamy isn’t inherent to humans and encourage people to question where their judgments and jealousies come from.
“If your first reaction [to non-monogamy] is ‘I would be so jealous,’ I invite you to really think about where your jealousy is coming from,” says Sandy. “Is it because you’re not good at something so you need to protect it?”
Addressing such insecurities, then applying that view to sexual or emotional intimacies, Sandy says, can offer insight into non-monogamous relationships and possibly boost satisfaction in your current relationship.
[‘Everyone is into polyamory these days’: 10 women talk about love]
Attitudes and perceptions toward non-monogamous relationships are changing quickly, says Terri Conley, a professor of women’s studies at the University of Michigan. Conley attributes the spark of interest to more people realizing that ultimately, they don’t feel monogamous deep down.
“[People] are attracted to others and they see that [many] monogamous relationships don’t work,” Conley says. “The only difference now is that people are more willing to be open about it.”
When asked what the future holds, Bethany and Sandy have similar responses: Monogamy is something they could entertain for some time, though not permanently.
“I don’t know what the future looks like, but I know poly isn’t something that I just won’t be one day,” Bethany says. “I want to get married, but I don’t think I’ll stop dating. Poly is who I am.”
The whole article (February 19, 2018).
● And just a bit too late for my last post, here's by another college newspaper writer: Forays into polyamory, in the University of British Columbia Ubyssey (Feb. 21)
By Annie Cavalla
Under two months ago, it was just a word. Now it’s the word. If you open my phone’s browser (and go to private mode), you’re accosted with it. If you were to take a trip inside my head, it comes up daily — more than daily, hourly — and is scrutinized minutely. It’s taken over so completely that I wanted to use it recently to introduce myself in a lab meeting to an interloping doctor. “Oh, you wanted to know about my project? Nope. But my boyfriend has another girlfriend. What’s up?”
...Life comes at you fast. ...