Polyamory: the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Non-monogamy: a blanket term which covers several types of interpersonal relationships in which an individual forms multiple and simultaneous sexual and/or romantic bonds.
Thank you, Wikipedia, for the definitions. Note, that this has nothing to do with The Mormon church.
These alternative relationship models have been on my mind lately. I've never been in a polyamorous relationship, but I have tried an open relationship. That didn't work, but that had to do with other issues within the relationship to start with. So, I'm curious.
I have some friends who are poly and it works really well for them. I also have monogamous friends and that works for them too. I don't know what works for me yet.
A good friend described her form of polyamory to me as a way to meet all of her needs without putting unreasonable expectations on one person. So she can be in romantically attracted to one person, sexually attracted to another, or many others, and have a make-out buddy and a cuddle buddy, etc. Each of us has a unique set of needs, and in this situation one person is not expected to fulfill them all.
This piece, I think is brilliant. I've had so many relationships fail because my partner was not meeting all of my needs, or I was not meeting theirs. Or we had different expectations for the relationship. I know I'm not the only one who has had these problems. Problems that can't always be solved by more effective communication.
However, I also think, that polyamorous relationships could get very complicated. People get jealous, they get angry, and things are miscommunicated. Maybe the initial rules of the relationship were not exactly what one person had in mind, or the communication piece got totally screwed up. Hearts got broken, relationships ended.
But, this is something that happens in monogamous relationships, right? Maybe, because the rules and expectations necessarily need to be negotiated in the beginning of the relationship, this could foster better communication within the relationship. If all parties involved are good at that sort of thing.
I don't have any answers about how poly and non-monogamous relationships work, or if they do. It's different for everyone, because everything is different for everyone. And that's beautiful, it would be boring if everything were as black and white as a "one-size-fits-all" relationship model, or way of living.
Anyways, I think that everyone operates differently and some of us haven't figured out how we operate yet. That's ok too. When I figure out how I operate, I'll let you know, but right now I think I might experiment. That's what these years are for, figuring out who we are.
Identity is constantly changing, and the road to figuring out who you are is an adventure. Sometimes you have to take risks. This is how we grow, by challenging the norm and experimenting with the unknown. If we stop growing, we die. I'm not ready to stop growing, are you?