If you just happened to come across this article, you are probably wondering what polyamory is. Well, despite sounding like something straight out of a physics textbook, polyamory is actually “the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time,” at least according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. When people form relationships based on polyamory, these relationships are in turn called polyamorous relationships.
A good example of a polyamorous relationship is a married couple where the husband has a girlfriend and the wife has a boyfriend. Both the husband and wife consent to this relationship and both know that their spouse has more than one significant other besides themselves.
Every polyamorous relationship is different, just like how every monogamous relationship is different. Some polyamorous relationships may be based on sex, love or both, it just depends on the preferences of the people involved. An important and distinctive feature to know about polyamorous relationships is that there are no secrets and there is commitment. This is what sets a polyamorous relationship apart from an open relationship or a friends with benefits scenario.
What Kind of People Form Polyamorous Relationship?
That’s a hard question to answer, mainly due to the fact that little research exist on the subject as of this writing. According to one study done in Canada whose total participants numbered roughly 1,000, 90% of people who engage in polyamorous relationships are Caucasian. 57% of these people were women, and 44% had at least one child. Worth noting is that the average age of those involved in the study was 37 years old, which may potentially suggest that only those who possess a certain amount of emotional maturity are able to cope with and form polyamorous relationships. Regardless of any study, it’s safe to say that a wide variety of people form polyamorous relationships, just like how a wide variety of people form monogamous relationships.
The Advantages of a Polyamorous Relationship
There are quite a few unique advantages when it comes to being in a polyamorous relationship. For one, you have a larger support network because you have at least two significant others. In general, you also have more people willing to give you their time. For example, if your car breaks down and you call your boyfriend to come pick you up and he doesn’t answer, then you simply call your other boyfriend. If you want to have sex with your wife, but she isn’t in the mood, you can go have sex with your girlfriend, and your wife will be okay with that; in fact, she will probably hear about it! Overall though, the greatest advantage to being in a polyamorous relationship is that you have access to multiple intimate connections instead of just one and thus, more love.
The Disadvantages of a polyamorous relationship
Similar to the advantages, the disadvantages of being in a polyamorous relationship are also unique. One of the notable disadvantages of a polyamorous relationship is the inevitable jealously that comes from watching someone you love spend time with a different significant other. It takes a great deal of mental fortitude and maturity that many people do not possess to not let things like that ruin a polyamorous relationship. Another disadvantage of polyamorous relationships is that someone you love will end up spending less time with you because they are spending time with someone else in your relationship, which again contributes to the jealousy factor. The last disadvantage of being in a polyamorous relationship is the discrimination that stems from the stigma surrounding the idea of polyamory. That’s to be expected though, especially in the western hemisphere because those cultures are centered around the idea of monogamy.
Final Thoughts on Polyamory
Before you try a polyamorous relationship, ask yourself if you can handle knowing that someone you love is having sex with a different person. Ask yourself if you are able to love more than person, and ask yourself if you are able to handle stress, because after all, loving one person is stressful enough as it is. Lastly, you should be prepared to face either discrimination or at the very least curiosity from your friends, family and coworkers. I hope that this article has educated its readers and enabled you all to understand polyamory and those who engage in polyamorous relationships. Just maybe, maybe you will be a little less judgmental and a little more understanding and perhaps courteous towards people in polyamorous relationships