Polyamory, at its simplest, can be described as when someone has multiple romantic relationships at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all of their partners – each of whom also may have other romantic relationships. To many, polyamory is not about having a bunch of casual sex, it’s about making real connections and having the space to explore them fully. Polyamory has become increasingly popular in young people over the years – but why the shift? As someone who has experience transitioning from monagomy to polyamory, I can only tell you from my experience how it has been incredibly transformational.
At first, the idea of polyamory was terrifying – I was quickly faced with so many insecurities like the fear that they might find someone better. I chose to work through them by exploring why I felt the way I did, using positive affirmations to build up my confidence. Through polyamory I became my own best friend and support structure, and learned to be that for someone else as well. In contrast, when I was monogamous, I was constantly trying to find someone who would make me feel complete by quieting those insecurities. Since becoming polyamorous, I have started a long-term, loving relationship with myself first and foremost, deciding to share that with the amazing connections I make during my lifetime.
I like to think of monogamous relationships as contractual relationships where the involved parties agree not to see other people. Ideally this is meant to reduce instances of insecurity and jealousy, but we know that it doesn’t always work out that way. Instead of working through our personal insecurities and jealousy, we tend to blame our partners for those feelings. In a healthy polyamorous relationship, partners choose to work through these issues and become stronger as individuals and as partners. I understand that polyamory is not for everyone, and I don’t claim it will fix all of your insecurities – but I do know that it has helped me learn to deal with these issues so that I can be a better person and a better partner.
There are so many amazing potential connections out there waiting for us. Isn’t it worth it to explore them to their depths instead of giving them up so that we can try to maintain one connection? Being able to explore these connections allows us the freedom to explore ourselves and find what we truly desire. So many relationships end because one or both partners are bored, feel like they’ve lost their freedom or are just overly curious about what other connections may feel like. If given the freedom to explore other connections while maintaining a strong relationship with someone we love, many relationships wouldn’t need to end. As well, seeing our partners connect with other people gives us greater insight into their mind and heart, just as exploring new connections give us insight into our own. Through a healthy exploration of connection, we are really given the opportunity to know ourselves and what we want from this world.
Perhaps this freedom is why so many young people are deciding to choose a polyamorous lifestyle. Not only does it mean exploring all the possibilities out there, but also working through personal insecurities such as jealousy, fear and possessiveness by communicating in a positive and trusting way. Many people are starting to realize that they don’t want to be with just one person their entire life, and this gives them a way to explore multiple connections at once without having to lose ones that are important to them.
I challenge you to dig deep and think about what it is that you truly desire. Could you see yourself being in love with more than one person at a time? Would you be okay with your partner seeing other people, while you’re allowed to make new connections as well? Do you want to limit yourself to connections with just one partner, just because you connected with them first? We live in a time where we’re beginning to break down social constructs and are able to explore alternative lifestyles, and not only is polyamory becoming more popular but it’s also becoming more socially acceptable.
If you’re planning on exploring polyamory or would like to become more educated about it, there’s so much information available online through resources such as websites, forums and podcasts. For more information on polyamory, I’d highly recommend the website morethantwo.com, as well as the podcast Polyamory Weekly.
Published in the Summer 2016 Issue. Get the issue for FREE here.