0062 – Everything You Wanted to Know About Polyamory Relationships


What is this whole polyamory thing about? What does that word even mean? This is a two part show!

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • What is a polyamorous relationship
  • Concerns about polyamory
  • Polyamory myths and facts

Describe the problem

News flash: despite what countless rom-coms would have us believe, monogamy is just one shade of gray when it comes to relationships. The fact is, relationships come in many different forms, with lots of nuances, with polyamory having some of the most diverse nuances of all. So what is polyamory, exactly? Is it simply about people wanting to have sex with lots of other people without consequence, or is there more to it? And if you are considering polyamory or open relationships, what are some key things you need to know?

Segment #1

  • What is a polyamorous relationship?
    • Marriage-Equality.blogspot.com | Quick Basic Explanation of Polyamory
      • Polyamory IS loving or having a relationship* with more than one person with the agreement of all. This can be one-on-one at a time, or in a grouping. Having this agreement doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will know everything about all involved and what they do, but it means that nobody involved has falsely promised anyone monogamy.
  • Concerns about Polyamory
    • Psychology Today | The Polyamorists Next Door
      • Terror – For other people, realizing the polyamorous possibility can feel extremely threatening, especially if their partner has ever given any indication that they might want to have an open relationship. Several personal and social issues can contribute to a fearful response.
    • Huffington Post | Why I Believe in Polyamory, But Still Feel It’s Problematic
      • My sense is that we have not evolved enough as a species in terms of emotional intelligence to be successful with poly relationships. To live poly-amorously requires enormous emotional intelligence — i.e., the capacity to know yourself, transcend and include your ego, excellent communication skills, capacity to hold boundaries, feel empathy, be organized and highly responsible, etc.
      • It also means that you have the willingness and capacity to hang in there when the going gets tough.What that means practically, is if you are not doing well with one partner, don’t run off and make yourself feel better with your other lover. Instead, hang in there and solve your issues together. It requires a deeply skilled capacity to play win-win.

Segment #2

  • Polyamory myths and facts
    • Everyday Feminism | More Than Two: Examining the Myths and Facts of Polyamory
      • Myth #1: With the right partner, you only need one person – This myth can also sound a lot like “Polyamorous relationships aren’t real relationships.” We’re taught by movies, music, our parents, friends, and marriage laws what kind of relationship we’re supposed to be in, and what a real relationship looks like – a two-person (usually heterosexual), monogamous one. And the idea is that when you find that one perfect person, they will fulfill all of your needs, and therefore, you won’t desire anyone else. This is what real love looks like, they say. If your desires do not fit into this ideal, then there is something wrong with you. But is there really anything wrong with not finding yourself completely fulfilled by one partner? Can we ever truly have all of our emotional and physical needs met by one person?
      • Myth #3: Polyamory is for people who “just want to sleep around” and avoid attachment and intimacy – Poly people are greedy and selfish, I’ve heard people say. They want to have endless amounts of sex while avoiding real intimacy. While this may be true of some people (poly and monogamous), polyamorous people tend to engage in very intimate and attached relationships. Polyamory requires a lot of trust.
      • Myth #4: Polyamory is for people who don’t get jealous – People in polyamorous relationships do experience jealousy, sometimes quite often – but instead of avoiding feelings of jealousy, poly folks (just like all people in healthy relationships!) are pushed to confront jealousy head on. It’s important to recognize that it’s okay to feel jealousy! There’s nothing shameful about it. It’s just a feeling. What is important is what you do with that feeling, and how you come to understand and deal with it.
      • Fact #1: You are already complete – Too often, the cultural understanding around monogamy rests on the assumption that you are not enough, that you need another person, your “other half,” to complete you. But you don’t have to look for someone with whom you can hole up, turning into that all-encompassing two-person unit, closed off and turned inward. You are already complete. Coming into polyamory requires seeing yourself as already whole, facing outward and open.
      • Fact #3: Other people are not your competitors – When we see love as scarce, we are taught to see others outside of our relationship as potential competitors. Often, these are people of our same gender. Women, especially, are conditioned by our culture to see other women as their competitors. But we don’t have to see others in this way. In polyamory, there is ideally a freedom from this way of thinking that can also be very liberating. It can be hard to do, especially at first, but when you work to humanize the people your partner is interested in, seeing them as allies rather than rivals, you are liberated from having to be territorial and can come to see everyone around you in a different light. Seeing those of the same gender as potential enemies is also politically harmful. Competition amongst women, fueled by our patriarchal cultural conditioning, is incredibly detrimental to our fight for gender equality.


Final Thoughts:

  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts


In Closing

In closing, on behalf of my fantastic co-host, Sarah J. Storer, author of “How to be Dumped: The Definitive Breakup Guide” I want to thank you for spending time with us today, now let’s continue the conversation at relationspodcast.com/[ShowNumber] and:


Final Question:

[Create a question based on the total show, or a quirky incident that happened during recording]?

Tell us about it in the comment section and let’s see if we can’t continue to relate to one another. We’ll talk soon.

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