10 Incorrect Assumptions of Polyamory Relationships
Disclaimer: This is discussing poly relationships between adults who choose to be in poly relationships not cultures where polygamy marriages are how things are done. Post originally posted on Ace Noland’s blog ‘Broken-Winged Guardian’.
Being poly in our society can come with a lot of misguided judgement and disrespect. Some people’s views are quite understandable since our society focuses that romantic love is between two adult partners and that the countries where this is not true are sexist (and sometimes that’s true). However, it’s time to start educating monogamous people on how some people are just poly by design just like some people are non heterosexual. Anyways, here are some assumptions of polyamory and how they’re incorrect.
- Open relationships and poly relationships are the same thing. Not always. Usually (and I am saying this because every relationship is different so I can’t speak for every relationship but this is what the majority seems to speak of) open relationships are when one or both partners are free to have sexual relationships with other people but are romantically inclusive to each other while poly relationships are ‘romantic’ built relationships between more than two people. For example in an open relationship partner A is only in love with partner B but for whatever reason just partner A or both partners have other sexual partners. Now in poly partner A can be in love with partner B but can also be romantically connected to partner C and s can partner B or partner B can be romantically connected to partner D.
- Polyamory is just cheating. Umm no. Cheating is the act of having other sexual and/or romantic partner(s) without your partner’s knowledge and/or consent while in a healthy poly relationship all partners know about each other and understand what’s going on. Why do I use the word healthy? Because you can still cheat in a poly relationship. Even when your poly if you are not being honest with your partner about who else you’re seeing romantically and/or sexually that is cheating. Does that mean you have to share everything? No but letting your partner know who you’re seeing is a necessity for a healthy relationship.
- If you’re poly then you’re just a slut. Yes some people who are poly are sexually adventurous and enjoy having multiple sexual partners (though that is more common in open relationships) that does not mean that every person who’s poly is overly sexual. Asexual people can be poly -raises hand-. Sometimes it’s just that you are spiritually attracted to more than one person in a ‘romantic’ way. Even with poly people who are sexual with every one of their partners who gives you the right to judge them? As long as all involved are adults and communication is open and people are safe then what is the fucking problem? It may not be what you want but that doesn’t give you the right to insult them.
- All poly people are bisexual/pansexual and that’s why you can’t trust them. Yes this is something that I and others have faced. Bisexual/pansexual people are just like any other orientation; they can be monogamous or they can be polyamorus. Your orientation does not make you poly or not poly. in fact most of the polyamorus people I’ve met have been cisgender heterosexual men with a fairly equal amount of cisgender hetrosexual women partners and cisgender bisexual/pansexual women partners. I also know more people who are bisexual/pansexual who are monogamous then those who are poly. Again your orientation does not create the fact that you’re poly or not just like it doesn’t create your gender identity or any other part of yourself other than your fucking orientation.
- Polyamorus people are just selfish. So before we go into this I will admit that I have met ‘polyamorus’ people who do fall under this but honestly they are not a healthy form of poly and relationships should be avoided with these people. There is this mentality that people who are poly are just doing it so that they can get more affection, more attention, more love, blah blah blah and that’s not true. Just like any relationship poly relationships are focused on give and take. What can you give to your partners and what can they give to you. Each partner gives you something different while you give them something different than their other partners. All involved are there for each other and work to better each other. Just like any other healthy relationship.
- Idiot religious reasons. Personally I haven’t experienced this assumption from what I’ve heard from others it is common for monogamous people to think that ‘all’ poly people are doing it for religious reasons and being forced into it because of said religious reasons. That kind of poly I would label as non consensual poly because this is how things are just supposed to be and some of these cultures even marry underage children to adults and that of course isn’t okay be it monogamous or polyamorus. Now there are some polyamorus people who are consensually poly and are apart of a religion that views poly as they way it’s supposed to be so for some it is connected to religion but not all.
- Poly people are afraid of commitment. In my personal opinion polyamorus relationships take possibly more commitment then monogamous relationships because you are not committed to just one person but -insert number here-. Now commitment is varies from person to person so yes maybe we are ‘afraid’ of commitment in the way you define it if you define commitment as ‘being with one person and only that one person’ then yeah the fear of commitment does hold some truth because that’s not possible for us. We wouldn’t be happy being with one person. That’s against what’s natural for us.
- Poly people can’t love everyone equaly. So you love one of your parents more than the other? You love a child more than another child? You love a friend more then you love another friend? I do understand that those levels of love are different then romantic but the problem is we have only one word for an emotion that is so complex that there are hundreds of ways to feel it but only one word to express it. Simply no polyamorus people don’t automatically love one partner more then another the love is the same intensity just different. Like I said in number 5, each partner gives you something different then the others . My partners are equally loved and important to me and that’s one of the reasons I don’t see myself ever marrying because I don’t think I could pick a partner that I liked ‘better’ and marry them and not the other(s) partner(s).
- Poly people want to change people. Now I have met polyamorus people who do the ‘poly is better and everyone should be poly’ crap and I am very against that and find that to be very wrong. You can’t make a monogamous person poly just like you can’t make a polyamorus person mono. Both forms have their challenges and both forms have their advantages. Both deserve to be respected and seen as what they are; expressions of love and connection.
- Poly relationships are just to complicated to work. Obviously polyamorus relationships do come with complications that monogamous relationships don’t come with. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t work. With love, commitment, compatibility, patience, friendship, mutual respect and communication polyamorus relationships can be beautiful and healthy. Of course the more people you add the more emotions and ‘baggage’ you’re adding meaning the more communication you will need. Just like other relationships partners get hurt or jealous. They have fights. They disagree and they compromise. After all we are all humans meaning we feel all the positive and negative emotions connected to being human but as long as everyone involved are validated and respected then it can work and withstand anything.