Mindfulness Mondays: Your relationships, Your Constructs....Polyamory
"I am grateful for the person I am today"
Beautiful People!! Let's Go!
It looks like the pop culture news of the moment is Willow Smith (daughter of Will and Jada ) disclosing on Red Table Talk (a Facebook talk show that is hosted by Jada, Adrienne Banfield-Norrison (grandma), and Willow) that she is involved in a polyamorous relationship. Needless to say, social media went into overdrive with this news. But what is polyamory? and why is it regarded as such a hot topic (aside from Willow Smith's revelation)?
According to the "Introduction to Polyamory" (Polyamory Society), it is a "responsible, honest, non-possessive practice of loving more than one person, with consent from all those involved simultaneously." The practice pushes against what many would regard as the typical societal norms of being in a relationship with one person by way of choosing how many partners an individual wants to be involved with. Those who practice polyamory are from diverse sexual orientations-lesbian, gay, heterosexual, bisexual and can encompass a combination of folk with different sexual orientations. This is not the same as an "open relationship"- proponents of polyamory states that the nature of the relationship among each other is emotional as well as sexual; intimacy is at the core of the relationship. opposite from infidelity, everyone in a polyamorous relationship knows of each other and depending on the structure, it can be hierarchical, where one relationship is prioritized over the other due to a partner being married, having children with someone else, or is in a domestic living situation. The other dynamic is secondary, individuals with whom one may not share a home or finances, however, are committed to each other in the relationship.
What Polyamory isn't
There are boundaries with polyamory; people in polyamorous relationships can be married (or not). There are polyamorists who are against the conventional marriage route because of its limitation to one partner (in this society). Many polyamorists feel that being involved in a polyamory relationship eliminates the need to cheat because having multiple partners fulfill different needs that one partner may not be able to carry out. We ain't talking about "spouse swapping" or "swinging" this is the scenario where couples (primarily married) set one on one relationships and have casual sex with other couples. As I briefly touched on it earlier, polyamory is not an "open relationship" where a couple comes to an agreement that one or both of them can have sex with others with their permission and need not necessarily disclose what goes on, an almost don't ask, don't tell arrangement.
Polyamory is not
About individuals who are sex hungry
Those looking for non-committed relationships
A belief that no one is meant to be monogamous
For those who believe that humans are jealous by nature
Orgy fun time
Let's talk about it...
There is validating research that confirms that polyamorists experience their relationships just as satisfying and fulfilling as those in committed one on one partnerships; there is a vital caveat-In a polyamorous relationship there is no room for misleading; there must be honesty, consent, trust, openness, clear boundaries, respect and of course communication. polyamorous connections run the risk of perturbation when jealousy comes up; more so when the introduction of a new partner (referred to as NRE "New relationship energy") comes up as well as opposing viewpoints regarding child-rearing practices or when spending time with each other becomes a challenge. Relationships of this nature can be a challenge to construct and maintain in a society that favors monogamy; let's keep it real-it's hard enough to find ONE person to cultivate an honest, grounded union with, let alone a group...This is not a trend, polyamory as with any romantic/emotional intimate relationship requires work (I will go there and say probably a bit more than marriage) it's complicated and ever-evolving to meet the needs of individuals in a group setting.
During the polyamory episode on Red Table Talk, Willow Smith stated, "With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that's what everyone around you says it is the right thing to do."
Whether you are a polyamorist or in a monogamous relationship, as unique individuals, we have the power to create our own construct, defining what a relationship should feel, look like. Polyamorous relationships are no different.