Polyamory dating: welcome to a misunderstood world
Let’s face it, people judge. It may not be on purpose or in an overly cruel manner, but people have gut reactions when they hear or see things. Polyamorous dating is one of those things that people are not used to seeing. But, we are hearing more and more about this type of relationship and quite frankly, it can sound quite refreshing to someone who is an open minded, non-monogamous individual. Well, at least not in the traditional definition of monogamy.
That’s because people who are in polyamorous relationships are still monogamous to their partners of choosing, they simply choose to pursue more than one monogamous relationship, so hence the poly. We know what you’re thinking, being in love, even committed to multiple people and actually openly dating them all? People have the time and energy for that? Well, yes they do, and people are happier for it.
The Huffington Post currently has an entire topic section dedicated to polyamory articles and news.(1) Multiple articles are even categorized under the "healthy living" section.
So what’s all the big fuss about? Why would somebody choose polyamorous dating?
8 reasons why polyamorous dating might be right for you
1) Have your cake and eat it too:
You are falling for someone new but you still love your partner. This is a healthy feeling that society has tabooed from our romantic circles and the polyamorous community is fighting the good fight. These relationships allow for loving bonds to form with a new partner or even have a new partner date both people in the original relationship. Clinical Psychologist Deborah Anapol suggests we are moving forward as a society. (2) "There’s a shaken belief" leading to "more openness to seeing what works rather than believing in some tradition."
2) The rules of dating are rubbish:
People who are in open marriages or polyamorous relationships are obviously an open minded bunch and the norms of the romantic adult dating world do not and should not apply to these alternative dating folks. They are rebels to the mainstream and they don’t want to be labeled by that either.
Robyn Trask, the executive director at Loving More, stated in a Huffington Post article(3) that we can be informed enough to pursue a healthier alternative in our day and age.
"Most people don’t know there’s an option, we live in a monogamous culture that is ‘monocentric’ and tells us that monogamy is the only way. [...] It’s very hard to step out of that box and question what we’ve been given and what we’ve been told."
3) Sex isn’t everything:
One of the more common misconceptions of polyamorous relationship rules is that sex with multiple partners is rampant in the community. This is a myth. While polyamorous people enjoy sex and might even have access to more sex, they are looking for lasting and committed relationships that are not based on hookups, one-night stands or any drama surrounding cheating wives or adultery. Of course, there are exceptions to any rule but this community has the deeper motives of ‘emotional connection’ and ‘trust’ for living this lifestyle.
Ginny Brown, a writer at Everyday Feminism, gave a candid response in a Nylon.com(4) article about these perception, "One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you’re poly, you must like to have a lot of sex, with a lot of different people. That’s certainly true of some poly people, but many of us find it pretty rare to find a new person we actually want to get it on with. I know for me, the heart of polyamory is in the family I can create, with my partner and their other partners and our extended network."
4) More to love:
Those in the polyamorous dating world are people-persons at the heart of the choices they make and communication is one of the things that this community takes pride in. Think about it, balancing several serious relationships takes intense dedication. This is the unspoken truth about the polyamorous lifestyle, a highly attractive quality to people who enjoy nurturing and fostering their intimate circles. There’s simply just more love to give.
5) Ethical non-monogamy:
It always boils down to that M word. People who are trying to change the landscape of married dating with a more open-minded approach will appreciate the idea of staying true to their values with a polyamorous relationship. This lifestyle is by no means a loophole according to Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, author of more than 100 books on non-monogamy. In a New York Times article(5), Dr. Sheff reiterates the need for trust in a non-monogamous relationship, "Open relationships aren’t the way to soften a blow or to transition out of a committed situation. If they cheat first, and say, ‘Honey, I’ve found someone else; we’ve been together six months,’ it’s very hard to successfully navigate that." Instead the individuals in this dating culture take each relationship very seriously.
6) Sexual exploration:
This might go against the point #3, but guess what? Sexual appetites are incredibly vast and varied, and so are the types of polyamorous relationships. Ranging from gay, straight, bi and everything in between allows for a different type of conversation and better yet, a better type of practice when it comes to human sexuality. Sometimes if a couple is hitting the sexless marriage wall, a new partner can spice things up.
7) Emotional non-monogamy:
Believe it or not, for lonely wives and husbands the need for non-monogamy takes many forms and having a partner that provides those emotional needs is an attractive thing. As Gaylen Moore writes(5) "[Polyamory], at its core, is fundamentally about love. Sexuality typically follows from polyamorous love, but it is perfectly possible to be polyamorous and sexually monogamous at the same time. This is somewhat unusual, but it is not unheard of."
8) Science said so:
Many controversial pieces have been written about why monogamy is not our natural state, and for millions of people, these arguments hold true.
Biological anthropologist Agustin Fuenteson states: "The need to form multiple physiological and psychological close bonds with other humans is core to who we are. It is part of our nature. If Walter Goldschmidt is right, and this is what we call love, then the need for love via social pair bonds is a hallmark of our evolutionary history and current biology."
Polyamory & Dating Apps
The mainstream is just now getting a taste of the polyamorous world with hit shows like "Polyamory" on Showtime and an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC. One quick search on Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter and you’ll find an abundance of content and interaction regarding this topic. Internet access is a good thing because it allows for people who are trapped in closed minded communities to find their tribe and have opportunities that wouldn’t previously exist.
The married dating app world is no exception and one quick google search will have dozens of apps pop up with a speedy willingness to link you up with discreet encounters. In other words, polyamorous business is booming and people in the community are loving it.
Poly-up your Profile
Setting up your poly dating profile takes a nice turn in this arena. When you sign up for your dating site make sure that you don’t shy away from stating your polyamorous label as not all dating sites have that option. One way to go is by bringing it up during the chatting or online courting process. Why beat around the bush, stay true to your polyamorous values if that’s why you signed up for the site to begin with. As Aretha Franklin would say, "R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me."