I’ll shamelessly admit to being biased about polyamorous relationships. I grew up in a society where I was socialized to believe one-person romantic love is the only “normal” way to love. Even with education, learning my own way around society, opening my mind to the possibilities of what I was nurtured to believe in, it still makes me uncomfortable because I do not see myself thriving in a relationship like that.
I’m not judgemental, no. I admire polyamorous individuals, because in my opinion, they have a lot of love to give if they’re willing to share with more than one person.
I got the chance to get extremely personal with someone who believed in polyamory. It opened my eyes to a lot of things about me, taught me things I didn’t know and tended to some of my curiosity about polyamorous situations. I reached out to Brian, a firm believer of polyamory and asked if they will be willing to give insight about certain things and they said YES!
1. How long have you been polyamorous? Can you pinpoint the point in your life where you knew that that’s just who you are/want to be?
BRIAN: I fully came out as polyamorous around 2020 after a long break from romance after a failed relationship. I made my partner at the time aware of this aspect of myself but never made it a point to practice it. I realised, before that relationship, that I had a lot of love to give and didn’t really feel comfortable with commitment. I thought this meant I wasn’t ready for a relationship but when I began to have multiple sexual partners that were aware of each other (which is an aspect of polyamory sans romantic commitment) I felt quite fulfilled and very comfortable. I then applied the principle to my love life, and it began to thrive. I spent much of 2020 and 2021 introspecting and it was this dedication to finding myself that led me to this realisation.
2. Are most of your relationships short-lived or do they become long-term? Do you think it influences the longevity of your relationships?
BRIAN: Most of my relationships have been short term but my first fully Polyamorous relationship has been my longest relationship (especially in recent history); it was a very fulfilling experience despite its ending (it did however end on a good note). Aside from this one, my relationships are generally short-lived, polyamorous, or not; most often my partners are threatened by the fact that I could possibly fall in love with another person, and it could come as a “nasty” shock to them. Many think they are “not enough” for me, and I am looking for better or novelty when I do find another partner. Many would stay around for some time hoping they’d learn to just accept that it is who I am, but I am often left high and dry with no explanation only to later find out they left due to fear.
3. Are your partners polyamorous too or it usually differs?
BRIAN: In my first polyamorous relationship, I did have one other partner that was polyamorous as well, but all my other romantic partners have been monogamous; a few have accepted my Polyamory and allowed me to be polyamorous but did not want to practise it for themselves, the relationships were therefore essentially open on my end.
4. Is it difficult finding partners considering most people want their partners to themselves?
BRIAN: Yes, it is very difficult finding a partner that is not big on being possessive in an unhealthy way; generally monogamous people tend to want to own their partner as personal property which does not sit right with me. Even if I’m not in a polyamorous relationship I do not want my partner to feel like personal property and do want to be made to feel so either. It is very difficult to find a good balance between being honest with your partner and being comfortable with who you are as a person; knowing that some partners are very jealous, coming clean about my being Polyamorous could break them so often times I do not mention it at all and keep the relationship monogamous; sometimes it slips out, sometimes they become more understanding and I begin to feel comfortable enough to share this part of myself with them
5. How do you navigate dating someone who’s monogamous?
BRIAN: Polyamory encourages honesty and communication and consistent reassurance; these are objectively good traits of any relationship, so I continue to do these things, especially reassurance in the case I’ve told my partner that I am polyamorous. I tend to hide my attraction to any other person as I am hesitant to find out my partners’ reactions knowing I find another human being attractive besides them; in monogamous circles, this is almost taboo.
6. Is there a difference between poly relationships and polygamy?
BRIAN: In reality, aside from the number of partners involved, there are no real differences between the two. I honestly believe polyamorous relationships are healthier as being open honest and vulnerable are fundamental non-negotiable aspects; without these working together simultaneously, the relationship would never last. With polyamory also, being honest about one’s feelings changing is a recurring topic for conversation allowing transitions to be smooth whether they relate to a partner or other changes in one’s life; in monogamy, however, these topics are met with a lot more apprehension.
7. What are some pros and cons of a polyamorous relationship?
BRIAN: Personally, the pros are that lots of love is received from many partners. There’s variety of sexual partners. There are avenues for growth by being intimate with multiple people that see various aspects of yourself. It encourages healthy relationship practices like honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. I can eat my cake and have it too.
The cons include Jealousy is difficult to navigate in polyamory. There’s stigma from heteronormative monogamous society. Feeling like an option and not a priority. The fear of asking too much from your partner.
8. What do you think influences people to reject polyamory (even those who seem to be open-minded)
BRIAN: Media presentation of polyamory is often crudely executed and the nuances to polyamory are often left out; polyamory is a relationship style in which all partners have the knowledge of each other and consent to be with each party involved. The specific way in which one’s polyamorous relationship works is completely up to the people involved.
9. Do you face any discrimination in your country of residence identifying as polyamorous?
BRIAN: Yeah, in both countries I do reside, when I came out as being polyamorous, I’ve even had love interests ridicule and ostracise me for being non monogamous, some have said it’s an excuse to cheat or a “safe way” to avoid commitment. It’s made it very comfortable to feel ok with this part of who I am. I oftentimes must tell love interests that I would give it up for them; I do genuinely make that consideration, but I can never come to terms with denying any part of myself any longer and have resolved to not using it as a bargaining chip. Aside that I’ve faced criticism from friends most of the time in jest, but their comments have cut just as deep as those from love interests
10. What misconception about polyamory bothers you the most?
BRIAN: Many people think polyamory is a fancy work around for cheating or an easy way to have sex outside of a relationship or some other way to have a relationship without cutting off your other “hoes,” all are crude and wrong. Polyamory requires far more work than monogamous relationships and doesn’t force you to rely on one person to provide all your needs; aside this you are not limited to explore all aspects of yourself with only person, but you are still allowed to share them with all your partners, but many believe you’re not meant to which is wrong. The “rules” of a polyamorous relationship are only up to the people involved and no one else’s business. It’s a simple principle that guides polyamory; tell all your lovers about each other and let them agree to allow everyone to be with everyone else. Consent and honesty are the cornerstone to polyamory. Many also believe you cannot cheat in a polyamorous relationship, but you can; if you do anything outside of the discussed arrangement between you and your partners you are cheating, hiding a partner, or seeing someone you’re not meant to see, you are cheating on your partner.