Definition: The practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy”.
Polyamory leads us to ask, “What is the most loving and authentic way I can be present with these people and with myself at this time in my life?”
The answer is not always obvious. It can, of course also change over time. But the answers we may not be willing to hear is the whole point of polyamory. Some of us may want to surrender to our cultural upbringing, or even to our emotional discomfort. Let’s not leave out peer pressure, social censure, lust, convenience, or our respective partner’s demands than to the blatant truth about what would contribute the most to the well-being of everyone involved.
NEW TO POLY?
Arming yourself with as much information as possible is usually the best way to go. But where you find this information can be confusing, and you have to ask yourself deeply personal questions. Is this right for you? Are you the jealous type? Is your life meant for infinite love?
Flexibility is the number-one characteristic of relationships that stay strong and healthy long-term. Crafting relationship agreements takes more work up front and ongoing attention than just setting rules.
Rather than airtight rules that cover every situation, develop techniques for self-soothing, communicating effectively, and co-regulating. When you talk with your partner about how to make work for you, think about agreements rather than rules. Keep your conversation warm, curious, flexible, and ongoing. You’re certain to discover more about yourself and your partner as you explore together; be open to what emerges in the process.