Lessons to learn from polyamory #1

Polyamory to monogamous relationships is like orgy is to sex. It may be for you, or not at all. You may or may not be willing to try. But it requires the deconstruction of the activity and the reassembling of the parts. It requires to know yourself in a way that you should do in a monogamous relationship too.

Monogamous couples could learn a few tricks from polyamory. 

You need to know what is it that you really want, and learn to communicate in order to get it. You have to be open and discuss needs and desires like a grown-up, learn to say no – and learn to say yes.

You need to figure out what you are doing and why, what you really need, and what you can do without. It requires communication on a whole new level. Mindless relationship games and assumptions simply don’t work. Double-guessing what your partners think is thankfully out of the question. And so is trying to feel what you’re supposed to feel and think what you’re supposed to be thinking.

In a polyamorous relationship you cannot afford to live according to unspoken, undefined social expectations. And there is no one but yourself to judge whether you’re doing it right. Your words and actions must be firmly based in reality, not just adhering to traditional relationship roles – because there aren’t any. There are no scripted roles to tell you what to do, how to behave, what to want, and what you are allowed to expect in return for filling in a role.

It raises questions that you should be able to answer in a well-working, monogamous relationship. What is love and what it is not? What is a relationship for and what should be taken care of by yourself? Whether your actions, thoughts and expectations are yours or simply scripted for you by one-size-fit-all relationship roles.

Imagine what we could learn from people who negotiate a multilateral love life that is neither dictated by tradition, nor prescribed by gender roles. Imagine that we have the empathy and the communication skills to navigate an unscripted private life, without cemented positions and sadly predictable relationship games.

I invite you to a fearless, harmless thought experiment. What could couples learn from multilateral love affairs?


Part 2: What is love? And what it is not…

Part 3: Jealousy is not part of love…

Part 4: There’s no such thing as a soulmate…

Part 5: Don’t try to change your partner. Really…

Part 6: You absolutely have to figure out, who you are and what it is that you want…

Part 7: There is no mind reading…

Part 8: Relationship roles, life scripts, and the death of love…

Part 9: You can’t play relationship games with more than one partner… 

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