Exploring Conceptual Polyamory
Recently I had an assignment to write a persuasive essay, for which I chose to write about Polyamory. My goal was not to persuade people to become polyamorous; my goal was to inform them that polyamory was not polygamy. While the polyamorous configuration of the “V” can constitute polygyny or polyandry, the equality of the members makes the distinction between polyamory and polygamy.
I recognized while writing the piece that the proponents of polyamory focus as exclusively on the pros in the same manner that those against focus on the cons. My current polyamorous relationship is nearly two years old, with the triad cohabitating for one year. Individually we had hopes and fears that were both unfounded and underestimated.
In our triad we try to make decisions as equally as possible. The big decisions that is. Living as three adults in a home could result in endless discussion if we all had to check with each other to weigh in on every mundane choice. When one of us does want to seek approval from the group, it can get sneaky. We all know who to approach first on a subject to add weight to our argument. So in some cases, if you can convince one other partner it’s a 2:1 decision almost immediately. Fortunately, we have learned to keep these sorts of politicking to small issues.
In our case, we have several relationship “challenges” to over come:
1. We’re gay – less problematic these days; however that all depends on your family of origin.
2. We’re polyamorous – though most people are accepting, if not curious, the same rule applies as in #1.
3. We’re inter-generational – I think this is the biggest problem we have faced. Being gay is fairly banal these days, and I feel most think our poly family is just a bit of fun. The inter-generational issue seems to be most people’s stumbling block. The feeling I get from many is that Edward and I somehow tricked Charles into this relationship. At the time we met, I was 35, Edward 30, and Charles 21. The reality here was that he sought us out, not us him. Now 37, 32 and 23 respectively, I think those around us are starting to come around to the fact that Charles is not our boy toy. He has a job and helps pay the bills the same as we all do.
For those interested in exploring polyamory, I suggest testing the waters before “coming out” as polyamorous. This is not meant as shame, simply that the change is a lot to understand for the self before one can start to explain it to others. Good luck!