Love me, Love you, Love him
Polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge of all involved. It’s sometimes described as “ethical and responsible non-monogamy.” One common model is a three person relationship, sometimes known as a throuple or a triad. Polyamory can also be four people (a quadruple) or more. We already looked at the love side of polyamory in a previous post. So, this time we’re going to examine the mechanics of being in a polyamorous group or constellation.
Love and sex
Polyamory is often confused with open relationships, and while there can be a lot of crossover between the two relationship models, they are different. The main difference being love. A polyamorous arrangement allows for the people involved to fall in love with others. An open relationship allows for the couple to fuck around with others, but they usually are forbidden from becoming emotionally connected to a new person.
At the core
A polyamorous relationship can have a core nucleus of guys that are the primary men. In a throuple this is three men who are equally in love with each other, but each of the three men is free to individually fall in love with other men outside the core nucleus.
Every relationship requires a lot of excellent communication, listening and planning. Polyamorous arrangements also require a lot of empathy and understanding. Successful polyamorous relationships will often be built on clear rules and all parties involved will need to be able to talk about their feelings. If you’re a quiet person who likes to keep his emotions to himself, you could find a multi-partner relationship more challenging.
One of the exclusive perks of polyamory is the enjoyment of seeing your lover feeling joy with someone else. This particular act is known as ‘compersion’ and is the opposite of jealousy. If your natural reaction to seeing your boyfriend kiss someone else in front of you is rage, disgust, or extreme jealousy, polyamory may not be for you. If you love to see the enjoyment in your boyfriend’s eyes when he is being pounded in a vigorous sex act by another man, well that’s compersion, and you sir, are an excellent candidate to succeed in the world of polyamory.
New Rules and New Loves
When the rules have been decided, they will need to be visited again and again. As polyamory is still a relatively rare activity, you’re writing your own rules, and these will evolve.
Falling in love, for anyone who’s done it, can completely take over your life; it’s somewhere between genius and madness, where you relate everything to that one great person, who lights you up. Imagine being able to fall in love, when you’re already in love, over and over? Polyamorous unions can feel like a family, the love is the glue that keeps them together. It might not appeal to everyone, but when it works, it’s a beautiful thing.
The Next Step
After the initial ‘let’s try polyamory’ discussion, there is no clear, or simple next step. Some couples will start by only dating a third person as a secondary relationship, thus keeping number three at a distance. In this instance, number three needs to be a very confident and self-assured individual. Each argument between the three, could be a case of the couple versus the new guy. Over time, you may decide to let number three become more of an equal, and if the love can elevate the throuple to a common level of trust/respect, it has the best possible chance of success.
- Treat everyone involved with respect
- Never assume, always discuss
- Accept it’s not always about you
- Share and be open to letting go
- Own your own shit
Even in an ideal case when everyone is equal, the outside world can still be an obstacle. There is little or no legal protection for ‘grouples.’ If you and your five boyfriends love each other and want to protect each other in law, you will be pioneers and will have to figure it out with a committed lawyer over an extended period.
A quadruple in Colombia realized how difficult it was to be legally protected when one partner died. Legally, it was hard for the three surviving men to be recognized as next of kin. To avoid this happening again, they managed to get married in a three-person relationship. It was the first of its kind in the world and groundbreaking.
It ain’t perfect
Polyamorous arrangements are varied, reflecting the choices and philosophies of the individuals involved, but with recurring themes or values, such as love, intimacy, honesty, integrity, equality, communication, and commitment. High profile cases are rare, and while we have linked to interviews here to illustrate some existing polyamory relationships, there is no ‘perfect-model’ for any relationship. You need to be good at communicating your needs and remaining respectful to yourself and the people you love. #loveislove
Polyamory is a passing phase
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