I am evolving. The more I live each day, the more I realize that love has limitless potential and wider expressions than what’s presented as the social norm: monogamous relationships. I’ve realized that I’m capable of loving many people, but all in different ways. I love some more deeply than others. Some are strictly lovers, and I appreciate the physical pleasure that they bring into my life. Others are good friends, and I appreciate the companionship that they offer my journey. And others are both, making them prime candidates for life partnership, which requires the deepest, most unconditional love. At this point in my life, I feel more supported, loved, and appreciated than ever by the men in my life. All of them are aware that I’m seeing other people, but more importantly, they know that I’ve been questioning whether or not monogamy really is the right path for me.
The truth is that I battle with non-monogamy. I like the concept of polyamory, intellectually, as it’s a transparent answer to most humans’ tendencies to be non-monogamous and a valid experience of love. But I’m also wary of its longevity in my personal life, in the same way that I feel about monogamous relationships. At times I feel monogamous, like my heart was made to romantically revolve around one individual and nothing else matters. At times I feel polyamorous, like I want to openly have one life partner but many lovers.
Most of my women friends lean to the monogamous side, and reply with confusion when I genuinely say that I wouldn’t mind having a long-term open relationship. Personally, I don’t equate monogamy with partnership, as monogamy is one type of commitment and one of my lower priorities when it comes to a long-term relationship. I’m more concerned with knowing that my life partner is my best friend, protector, and confidant. I want there to be a space in our relationship for the acknowledgement of outside attractions, and if we desire, the permission to act upon those desires.
But I’ve noticed that many women have a sincere fear of their partner leaving them for another. And while they might be interested in exploring a relationship with someone else, they’ll dismiss that desire in exchange for their partner not receiving the freedom to act upon similar interests. I find that polyamory is often discussed as a “man’s dream” in women’s circles, dismissing the advantages and pleasures that it also offers women. There are so many women who have closed themselves to the idea of more than one man or woman committed to loving, supporting, and pleasuring them in life, despite the fact that it has historically benefited us more in terms of relationship balance and life fulfillment.
These are some of the thoughts that have been on my mind for quite some time. But I am not advocating polyamory over monogamy or vice versa. I simply want to have a conversation that goes without popular stereotypes and misunderstandings of both lifestyles. Monogamy has its benefits, as does polyamory. And both have disadvantages as well. But I do find it interesting that the only type of relationship that most people consider from childhood is a monogamous one. It’s not the only way.
What are your thoughts on monogamous versus polyamorous love? How do you imagine long-term partnership? And where do you rank monogamy or polyamory on your list of priorities? Speak on it.