I must be honest, as I grew up I was always presented with the idea of love or romance as part of some Disney scene. But, when I left the borders of my country, the world opened my eyes. I realized that there are a thousand protocols on love issues: meeting, being friends, having a relationship, getting married, having children, and if there is luck and enduring being together until death.
There are also those who decide to live together and not get married, or to have kids without being married, or those who get married and decide no to be parents. There are many options and they are all valid ones. I also realized that the term polyamory exists and it is precisely about this term that I want to talk about.
Defining the term
Let’s start by defining the term in question. The first thing is to know that Polyamory is a word composed of the Greek poly: ‘many’, and Latin love. However, it is an English-speaking concept: polyamory.
It is a neologism (a word, a meaning or a new twist that is introduced into a language, by necessity or by fashion) that refers to maintaining romantic and / or sexual relationships, simultaneously with several people with everyone’s consent and knowledge of all those who are involved.
So, it is not being unfaithful since everyone knows that there is a simultaneous relationship and they totally agree. And, this is a key point, at least for me.
Entering the world of polyamory, I wonder: is it not the same as polygamy? And, then I will expose the following. According to the Dictionary of the Spanish Language, polygamy means: a family regime in which the plurality of spouses are generally allowed. The same dictionary has definition for polyamory. But, the term polyamory refers to a relationship defined by agreements between the members, rather than a cultural norm.
So, although polygamy and polyamory are often treated as similar concepts, the two terms are based on different ideas.
Another interesting concept is: are open relationships polyamorous relationships? The simple answer is: No! The most detailed answer is that they are different terms and although sometimes one or several open relationships could lead to polyamorous relationships.
Open relationship: a union that allows emotional or sexual relationships with other people emphasizing communication, honesty and respect for those involved.
On the other hand, there are some parameters that exist in polyamorous relationships. They are: fidelity, honesty and respect, communication and negotiation, detachment and understanding.
In polyamorous relationships, fidelity is understood as honesty with their loves regarding their relationships, fulfilling the commitments established with each of them.
Most polyamorous people emphasize the importance of respect and communication with all their loves.
The participants of each relationship freely establish how their relationship should work. The important thing is that it is clearly defined among all the members involved.
In matters of detachment in a polyamorous relationship the situation is as follows. Restrictions are not the best for a relationship as it tends to replace trust with possessive prohibitions.
Faithfulness is the ability not to deceive, not to betray others. as opposed to the classical definition in monogamy “the commitment to a single exclusive love, with mutual prohibition of sexual or loving relationships with other people.”
Type of relationships
Polyamorous kitchen table: The polyamorous kitchen table is a style in which all members feel comfortable and connected enough. Practitioners of this style can spend vacations, birthdays or other important moments together as a large group. This style emphasizes family style connections.
Parallel polyamory: Parallel polyamory is a style in which members of individual relationships prefer not to know or know details of their partners’ other relationships.
Only Poly: Only Polyamory is a style in which the individual has or feels comfortable having multiple intimate relationships (romantic or sexual) without wanting to live or “nest” with a single partner.
A polyamorous relationship is a type of non-monogamous relationship that differs from a normative relationship in which several people participate, not just two (the couple).
Strength in today’s society
It is important to keep in mind that polyamorous relationships are taking more and more strength in today’s society. There are different subdivisions of polyamorous relationships. A perfect example was A 2003 article in The Guardian proposed six main reasons for choosing polyamory:
1. a boost towards female independence and equality driven by feminism.
2. Disillusionment with monogamy: “due to widespread cheating and divorce.”
3. a yearning for the community: a felt need for the richness of “complex and deep relationships through extended networks”
4. Honesty and realism regarding the relational nature of human beings.
5. human nature
6. Individual mismatch of the traditional monogamous stereotype: a couple’s response to a failure of monogamy, upon reaching a consensus to accept the additional relationship.
Likewise, polyamorous relationships have reached the entertainment industry. The television series Polyamory: Married and Dating of the Showtime network shows polyamorous families and how they maintain their relationships.
In the Louis Theroux Love without limits documentary, a series of people involved in polyamorous relationships in Portland is explained and presented.
Although today people are much more open and respectful, being polyamorous is not easy. For example, in the United States being polyamorous is not protected. People can lose their job or if the custody of a child is being discussed, the facts can be aggravated.
People express love in different ways and no relationship is the same. With this in mind, polyamory and the ability to have a relationship with more than one person has become an increasingly common topic of discussion.
People who identify as polyamorous typically reject the view that sexual or sentimental exclusivity is necessary to have deep, committed and lasting love relationships. Sex is not a primary interest in polyamorous relationships. You can say then that love is succumbing to your own impulses.