A taste of something new..
Earlier last year after arriving in Korea I had a taste of a lifestyle I had been curious of for a time now. Polyamory.
Polyamory boasts freedom, limitless love and strengthening of bonds between partners through respect, communication and experience. The idea has always intrigued me.
I came across a quote one time that went to the effect of; polyamory isn’t too good to be true, but it is too good to be easy.
We shall see.
A quick look at my romantic background: I’ve never held a long term relationship – Long term relationships defined as multi-year.
Rather a long list of shorter term affairs under a year where I’ve come to know a lot of women. Each one with their different strengths and weaknesses, quirks and shining attributions, dark histories or life experiences.
Does this give me enough experience to vouch on the topic? Shit, who knows. My blog though, so onward!
Since I’ve gotten to know a diverse group of women, and built relationships with all of them. I’ve always wondered if monogamy is truly a human function. If I can create all these different connections, should I stop doing that in the future and focus on only one?
I mean there are definitely benefits to settling down with one partner. Sharing resources, companionship, reproduction, reliability?
But could this not still be possible while also maintaining multiple relationships? Or the freedom to act on your intrigues, if they are within consensual boundaries?
Polyamory creates an environment where open and honest communication are an absolute necessity for the relationship to survive. Unfortunately the slightest lack of honesty or communication at all times can be an issue.
Without the high level of communication that is demanded for a relationship like this to work, it can come crashing down much worse than a more traditional one.
Communication is key in any relationship. Romantic, business, or otherwise. You’ll practice a lot of communicating in a relationship like this.
Poly also allows you to avoid the drama that can be caused by our innate (sexual) urges that can – and will – occur in monogamous relationships. To put nicely.. you eventually get curious even if you’re committed. Some act on these curiosities, some don’t. When people do, it causes problems. Poly helps to accommodate our biology.
An open relationship should allow you to maintain that great relationship you have, but still give you the opportunity to explore other avenues, should you so desire.
Like I said, it’s limitless love.
Lastly, I feel like knowing your partner is forming other relationships and going out on other dates would inspire you to stay on top of your game and not get lazy in the relationship. People have a tendency to get comfortable in long term relationships, feeling protected in the walls of official commitment. That’s not quite as sturdy in a open relationship.
Jealousy. You’re aware that your partner either is or could be being physical and emotional with another person. I don’t care what anyone says, at some point that affects your mental. I personally found this very stressful at times.
Expenditure of resources. Pursuing and maintaining any one relationship takes time, effort, money and many other forms of resources. Much of which could be better spent working on yourself.
Emotional consumption. A relationship becomes an entity, complete with its own set of issues and emotional complexities. Whether this is good or bad mental data, it’s still consuming your mind. One relationship can create enough work and drama, never mind multiple.
The reality of multiple partners opens the door to a higher risk of STI’s. This is no more common than a promiscuous lifestyle while single, but there’s usually a piece of mind while in a traditional relationship that this risk is mitigated by monogamy.
My taste of polyamory..
Let me share with you how I came to experience my own moment of polyamory. Since living abroad here in South Korea I met one particular girl whom I was drawn to. We hit it off instantly. We began spending more and more time together and connected on all the right levels.
One of the first conversations we had was over open relationships and polyamory. She had been reading a book about the concept and since I’ve always been interested in it, we dove right into the subject.
With our teaching terms ending at different times, and the transient nature of teaching abroad, we knew our time together was finite. It seems like an opportune time to experiment with such a relationship.
Admittedly, the time and consideration I’d put into the idea of a polyamorous relationship was focused on myself and how I would benefit from it. The freedom of having my cake and eating it too.
I had obviously tried to theorize how sharing a loved one with others might feel. Though as my friends used to say when I would bring up this topic, and what I wrote about on Scarcity Mindsets, you can’t understand how you would feel in a open relationship until you’re in a relationship.
Now that I’ve actually experiencing a relationship like this, I can confidently add some thought to the subject.
First, the reality of knowing someone you have developed feelings for, could also be creating a romantic relationship with another is challenging.
Initially I understood this particular insecurity stemmed from a scarcity mindset that someone might steal her away and I’d be left alone with my dick in my hand. Equally, I could have been the one to find another partner and be the one leaving her with the birds.
When I bring up this subject to others, one of the first concerns they have is the thought of their partner being physical with another person. I’d be lying if I said this thought didn’t affect me. But it didn’t weigh on me nearly as much as I would have thought. Suffice to say, I’m confident in my performance.
Earlier I spoke about how paramount communication was to a relationship of this short. I stand by that assumption. This experience forced me to speak up more about my emotions – for better, or worse. Doing this required me to be vocal about what I was okay with and what I wasn’t. Learning to stand up for what you want, setting boundaries and voicing what you believe not to be right for you is important.
First, the relationship: for a multitude of reasons we are no longer together. The union began with an endpoint in mind. In regards to the short term, polyamory was not to blame. At a most basic level, we were different people with different life expectations which we fished out over time. Long term speaking, I’m sure poly would have been one of the deal breakers – again, among others.
Now, on the subject of polyamory in general.
Do I condemn it? No.
Would I participate in a future relationship under these guidelines? No.
I discovered the only reason I found polyamory interesting was because I would be able to freely maintain multiple partners. Something I’m fond of doing while single.
If I’m going to dedicate myself to another person emotionally, physically, spiritually – not to mention the time and financial investments – then I would expect the same from my partner. The idea of that sort of commitment that with multiple people seems like more burden than reward to myself. And if I’m going all in, I’m not sharing. If I’m in a relationship with someone, it’s because they fascinate me so much to the point I don’t desire another person. I would not sign on to a situation again where my significant other wasn’t on that same, one-object-of-affection, page.
Ultimately if I want multiple partners I will stay single. The same reward for much less output, stress, and risk.
I am speaking from the position I usually play in the relationship. There is always a chaser and someone being chased. Usually the dynamic is the masculine (male, but not always) being the chaser, and the feminine (female, but not always) as the chased.
For men (who are usually the seducers or chasers) it’s much less effort to just remain single and date casually. For women (usually the seducee’s or chased) I could see how being spoiled from multiple providers without being looked down upon would be attractive.
Speaking from a long term stance, I have no idea how you would raise children, manage finances and whatever else that happens at later stages in life. Again, it seems like more of a headache.
It’s not for me. Maybe it’s for you, and that’s cool. It’s an interesting idea regardless.
In the end I’m happy to have met her, had the experience and gained the insight.