Polyamory: Can You Be in Love with More than One Person at the Same Time?


In the world we live in today, we are socialized to find our one true love, get married (or settle down), and live happily ever after. We are taught to search for one partner who will answer to all of our needs with whom we will share our intimacy in a mutual commitment and a bond based on love. It is commonly viewed as the “natural” way to experience a healthy relationship. Life can be quite challenging for those who feel the lack of identification with such a relationship whether you’re gay, straight, or anything in between. It can lead shame, frustration, and guilt feelings and actually nurture a sense of depression while trying to be “normal”.

This article is about exposing polyamory from a personal point of view, answering frequent questions, and dismissing the notion that polyamory is not a normal, healthy possibility and a life style worth leading. It is for me.

Yes, I am polyamorous. What does it mean? Well, it can mean different things to different people. I don’t want to go into definitions, this is not an academic article but a personal one. In short, Polyamorous relationship is the practice, or desire for, intimate relationships involving more than two people, with the knowledge and concent of everyone involved.

To me it means rethinking the romantic ideology we are constantly exposed to, it means that I have a partner whom I love and adore and I see as my primary partner (although not all of us need to define a hierarchy of relationships) and I also develop other relationships with other partners. Personally I am looking for longer term, deeper relationships with people I date other than my partner and believe that it is unlikely for one person to be able to answer to all the romantic and emotional needs of another person in a relationship.

Question #1: Don’t you think it is eventually going to end your relationship putting it in such constant risk? 

I think we can agree that although monogamy is the most common way to run a relationship, most of the monogamist relationships fail and lead to break ups. It is especially interesting to think about how often couples break up due to romantic related issues with people outside the relationship, whether based on thoughts of another person or actually an affair. Break ups are a huge part of contemporary relationships, we all know the statistics. The risk of breaking up is a part of falling in love and the the notion that not opening your heart to other people than your partner lowers the risks of is outdated. Actually, loosing the fear and not restricting our partner’s (or our own) body, mind, and heart has the potential of solving many common issue in relationships and setting ourselves free of old concepts about romantic love.

Question #2: Do you tell your partner about other women you date?
We tell each other about other relationships, yes. We share our thoughts and experiences and want to keep connected to each others realities. We don’t have a set of rules and boundaries as we feel that it is a conversation about needs and understanding them. Not necessarily creating a new set of limiting rules to replace the old one we all know, but looking to deeply understand your partner and being aware of the fact that unlike when you are single, when you date someone new, you should also take your partner into consideration.
Questions #3: Doesn’t it take all of your energies from your primary relationship? how does it technically work?

I must say that this is the best question about polyamory because it DOES take up a lot of energy. Talking to your partner, scheduling, making yourself available, keeping yourself and other people involved in a safe environment, finding a place and time to meet other people, getting involved or falling in love with someone else. This can be quite tricky if managed poorly. It boils down to communication and seeing your partner’s needs, fears, feeling, not only your own. But it’s worth it.

Question #4: What if you fall in love?

A part of what I am looking for in life is falling in love, it is one of the sensations that human beings were blessed to experience. I am also looking for more allies, emotional support, experiences, journey partners, ideas, and bonds. I think that falling in love is something that can happen with different people simultaneously and that love is fluid and liberating. I know, we are programed to disagree with the ideas I am presenting because all the movies, commercials, songs, stories, fairy tails, and education we are exposed to are inflicted with notions of romantic ideology. Is this the potential love has?

Question #5:  What is the difference between polyamory and an open relationship?

There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word “polyamory,” by definition, means loving more than one. On one hand, as a bisexual, feminist, woman I have little room for more identities and sometimes see identity politics as wearing and something we need to set ourselves free from but I must admit, in some point in my life, having a name for what I feel, and a group of people who feel the same can be empowering. So Polyamory to me, is an option and an invitation to expanding the heart and widening the perspective about romance, love and relationships.

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