Relationships & an Alternative to Monogamy
I’ve been non-monogamous for all my life, although I didn’t
realise there was a term for it for a long time.
I remember my friends in school getting partners for the first time. I still wasn’t interested in sex or romance at that age and the concept of relationships didn’t really interest me, so I was often looking from the outside. There would often be arguments centred around jealously – stares considered too long, drunken flirting, days out with other people. My internal reaction to these goings on seemed extremely counterintuitive considering the societal norms and learnt behaviours I had seen growing up.
– Why does it matter if they like someone else, if they like you aswell?
– Is it not possible to ‘fancy’ (fuckin hell, what a nostalgic schoolhood word!) more than one person at a time?
– If someone does, does it make them a bad person?
– Is it possible to suddenly stop finding other people attractive?
I thought all this would change when I got into my first relationship.
I got my first partner. I told him I had no issue with him seeing other people. We didn’t work out.
I joined the local BDSM scene and met my second partner. She
was already in a relationship with someone else, and lived with them. I learnt
of the term ‘polyamory’ and realised that I wasn’t actually alone in my
relationship ideas. We didn’t work out either but I learnt that my dislike of
monogamy wasn’t something I had to change.
I am non-monogamous because I believe it is possible to fuck, date and love more than one person at a time. I want to open my heart to as many people as possible and I want my partners to feel free to do the same; as long as all participants are consensual then it’s all good. I don’t do the whole primary and secondary partners – I reject that form of relationship style completely. I also don’t believe in having any ‘rules’ when it comes to relationships and seeing others, it’s up to me who I want to involve myself with and for me to decide, none of my partners have the right to ‘veto’ my decisions. There is no ranking system when it comes to relationships – be they sexual or platonic in nature and I don’t believe in any sort of hierarchy when it comes to relationships, nor in any other aspect of my life, for that matter.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes get jealous, though I don’t see that as a bad thing. However, seeing someone I care about deeply share their happiness with another person (again, whom is usually someone I care about too) is honestly one of the best feelings in the world. Communication is an extremely important aspect of what I do, and it’s important to be honest about problems when they arise. I make sure if I do have a problem, or something is bugging me, that I speak about it and discuss it, and I encourage others to do the same.
It isn’t always easy trying to find others with similar views. I’ve found the fetish scene is a bit more open to ideas of polyamory, but a lot of men (yes, surprisesurprise it is usually men) seem to think it means they have more chance of getting their dick wet and like to use it to try to sound edgy or to try to get a fuck. Trying to explain these views is also hard – especially when I tried explaining to my parents! When my partner got very close to another women, we realised it was such an integral part of our lives that we felt the need to speak about it freely with those around us.
This isn’t an article saying everyone should be polyamory, however, monogamy isn’t for everyone and a lot of people don’t realise there are other options out there. For me, being polyamorous gives me more autonomy over my relationships with people – not just sexual relationships, but platonic ones as well. It gives me a sense of independence. Even today, there still seems to be the focus on the ‘nuclear’ family, settling down with a singular partner (preferably in a heterosexual relationship of course, the bisexuality phase should be over by now…) and that’s the end of it, and this is deeply ingrained into our society, our culture and how we relate to each other. I reject that idea as the default position, the one that is often endorsed by governments and instead embrace the idea that there isn’t a default position, we build our relationships in a way that suits us and our own needs and we fill the world with love.