Can you love more than one person at once in a romantic way? I never thought I could. I’m still not sure I can. But it’s something my girlfriend of 5 years and I are beginning to explore.
Polyamory means Many Loves. It differs from swinging which is primarily about sex and friendship. Swingers are usually couples who want to explore other people together. Although sometimes they go off alone purely for the sexual experience.
Poly people on the other hand are interested in creating relationships with other people. Relationships that can be just as meaningful as their primary relationship. Sometimes they end up in triads or quad relationships where everyone in a “pod” are involved with each other in some way.
Logically polyamory seems to make a lot of sense. The idea is that love is not divided but multipled. You have the capacity to love more than one person in a romantic way, just as you have the ability to love more than one of your children or two parents or siblings or many friends. The ony thing that is finite is time. So you have to manage your time wisely and you have to communicate constantly with everyone, especially your primary.
Immediately some people think “I just wouldn’t have time for all of that” and maybe you wouldn’t. But even in monogamy you have to manage your time. You aren’t always with your significant other. You still need time for your friends, your family, your kids if you have any and time for yourself.
To be completely honest my girlfriend and I are still a little confused about what would be the right path for us. With polyamory you really have to temper jealousy issues. In monogamy there is a default agreement that you won’t romantically love someone else or share yourself sexually with someone else. But in polyamory that agreement changes. Romance, love and sex with others is allowed but often a new agreement is esbalished between yourself and your primary as to what is ok and what is not. Are we allowed to stay the night at another lovers place or do we have to come home to each other each night? Are we allowed to involve ourselves with other couples or strictly singles? Are we allowed to have sex on a first date with someone else?
While there is a greater degree of freedom with polyamory and the core concept behind polyamory (any really any good monogamous relationship) is that you don’t control your lover. There are still rules you agree on to respect each others feelings.
As for my girlfriend and myself, we decided to talk about this based on some of our desires and past experiences. Both of us are bisexual. Myself less than her. I’ve talked about that more in previous blog entries. So I think we both reached a point where we realized we wanted independent freedom to be with other people after our threesome we had several months back with another woman. While we both enjoyed the threesome and it went realy well, she expressed that in some ways she wished should could have had alone time with her. I expressed the same feelings. But my girlfriend is also not a big fan of sex between two men. She excepts gay people, but the idea of seeing her boyfriend with another guy grosses her out. So if I ever did want to express my bisexual side with another guy, I’d have to do it independent of her. As a result it makes the more sense that we free ourselves up to have independent relations with both either gender.
But even that is just swinging or an open relationship. That’s us giving each other the freedom to have friends with benefits on the side which still being with each other primarly. However it’s not a hard leap to make to think that friends with benefits could turn emotional. You can’t really put restrictions on emotions. So why try to stop it. In some ways it makes more sense and is less dirty to have a couple lovers who you have something special with and a real emotional connection with than just fuck buddies.
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What are your thoughts on this? Could you be in a relationship like this and why not if you couldn’t?