When I told my friends and family about my decision to explore polyamory, I was met with a variety of responses. While many people were supportive, an overwhelming number were very concerned for my emotional well-being. They didn’t believe that I could actually find happiness in a situation that would inspire jealousy in many of them. There were a lot of cautionary warnings and even talk of things like a fear of intimacy that would surely explain my choice. For these reasons I feel it’s time to balance out the argument and share some of the positive aspects of being in a poly relationship.
This comes in many, sometimes unexpected, forms. Imagine having someone in your life who cares just as much as you do about your partner? In a polyamourous relationship you can expect at least twice the amount of caring for that person when illness or an emotional crisis hits. This is a great thing because sometimes we can feel overwhelmed and shut down by fear and sadness in these situations, so having other people to share a supportive role can be really helpful. If your relationship is such that you’re close to your metamour, there may even be times during which the two of you will find support in each other. Essentially, if they are healthy and based on a foundation of caring and respect, poly relationships can be a great source of comfort in your life.
This might be a point that’s more specific to someone who doesn’t have a ton of partners, but whose partner does. In my case, my partner is married and I don’t have any other romantic interests, at least at this time. What this means for me is that I have a lot of time and space to live my life the way I wish. This doesn’t mean that I don’t welcome my partner into my life or that we don’t share an intimate bond. I can say that because I feel free to be myself. In fact, it has been easier to grow closer to my partner than it would be if we were monogamous. There’s also no sense of ownership in my relationship, which makes me feel much more relaxed and powerful within myself.
This is what most people think of when you mention polyamory: it’s all about the sex. While that can certainly be a benefit, for me it’s more about the emotional connections and the understanding that love is not a finite resource. Polyamory allows for many different and loving relationships at once. I used to feel guilty for loving lots of people in my life, back when I was in monogamous relationships. I was always worried that my feelings had crossed a line that might upset my partner, and I was constantly policing myself. It was exhausting. Now I can say I feel happy and free to care for people in any way I choose.
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