I’ve been asked a handful of times recently to explain polyamory.
This looks different for everyone so I can only speak from my experience. For me, polyamory is more about who I am regardless of whom I’m dating or our particular relationship agreements.
I love people profoundly and effortlessly. I’m on the planet to find, be in and create more of that force of magic. Being polyamorous means I hold my relationships as precious AND my heart is inclusive, open to new love (platonic, filial, romantic) and to connect richly to create this love abundance.
poly = many, much, more than one (greek)
amor, amorous= love, affection, beloved, inclined or disposed to love (latin)
I highly value freedom, honesty, loyalty, and autonomy. I am non-hierarchical in my relationship style and I do not allow one relationship to artificially limit the potential depth, commitment and beauty of another. I’m into deep love and partnership. I just do so as an ethical relational anarchist and live outside of normative monogamy-based relationship models with the knowledge and full consent of all concerned.
I do not make a new friend and tell them:
“Hey, you are awesome and I can see we would really get along but we can only be acquaintances. I already have a friend so we can’t get too close and I can only like you a little bit. Maybe if later my friend and I are no longer friends, then I would be open to being close and into really getting to know each other.”
I am open to romantic love relationships in the same way I am open to platonic loving friendships. If they arrive and are compelling, I want to deepen and explore. (And yes, this does include considering and honoring the existing relationship boundaries of my people’s other relationships and my current relationship agreements.)
For me, being polyamorous is about being open to love in all its’ many textured layers and forms AND to allow the style of relating to shift as love and circumstance naturally inspire. I live to foster one-on-one connections that engage all aspects of who we are through whatever channel organically arises between me and another.
I love to approach and be approached with open ended curiosity. I am down for the quaking, raw beauty of being a creature in process alongside another and finding the wonder, terror, beauty and mundanity of sharing in the adventure.
My wish is to truly be with other human creatures without all the oppressively imposed parameters and contractions that try to limit wonder. I delight in my friends and lovers being well loved, and see others’ friends, dear ones and lovers not as a threat but as allies in the good work of bringing in more love and joy to my beloved(s). I want to be in community with all this goodness.
To be clear, polyamory does NOT mean swinger, and for me it means an orientation towards love, not “hook-up.” (Side note: to each their own. I’m not judging swinging, or hook-ups. I am clarifying not to conflate them with polyamory.) Polyamory is also NOT cheating as it is engaged in with transparency, open communication and the consent of all concerned.
I’m sharing all this because I believe visibility breeds acceptance. I also believe this is one of the most beautiful things about the way my heart works and I will not be closeted for fear of public opinion. (Other peoples’ judgments don’t get to determine how I love or how much I live-out-loud.)
I have no judgments about choosing to engage in monogamous relationships. For many, this is a rich and beautiful path and I respect it. For others, this is a default relationship style due to cultural norms and conditioning. I am not in the business of proscribing how anyone does love and/or sex. I am in the business of encouraging us all to care for each other well.
I am a fan of examining and interrogating social norms & beliefs about sex, gender, race, white-skin privilege, sexual orientation, patriarchy, gender conditioning, ablism and mono-normativity. I believe when we’re willing to honestly and openly look at our biases, what we believe, value and how that came to be, we come out more open, accepting and loving on the other end of that shaking loose of societal conditioning. Wherever you stand with your particular positionality, I pray that we meet in love.
ps. i love you ❤️
pps. i would love to hear what’s alive for you after reading this. Please feel encouraged to respectfully share.