A while back, I met a very special girl. Successful, attractive, kind hearted; just a good person overall. We got to chatting and as I am wont to do on a first date, I totally open up, and she was able to reciprocate.
We shared goals, enjoyed life in similar ways, and overall, I felt it was a good fit for me.
She then shared that she was polyamorous, and liked her COMMITTED relationships to be monogamish. (Side note, I just love that turn of phrase on monogamous.) [Please remember that I am not concerning myself with non-committed relationships in this post, it is a topic for another time. Perhaps tomorrow.]
Now this idea was not totally new to me, having met a few people along the way, and having a good friend, who is into this way of life, but it got me thinking about the somewhat scandalous topic, so I thought I would throw in my two cents about my current perspective on things.
Personally, after taking into account social stigma and religion, I think that there is one main things at play in those who would be AGAINST polyamorous relationships. Fear. Fear that the other person will fall in love with someone else and leave us. Now this fear can show itself in different ways, such as the perspective that by loving someone else they love us less (perhaps, perhaps not). But the underlying factor is fear of personal loss.
Now as you know, logically, fear is a bad reason to stop someone from doing something. In fact, Albert Ellis, who was a brilliant mind, and developed the idea of cognitive therapy mentioned in his writings that he had an “open relationship” with his wife (I think his wife fooled around, on the whole, based on my readings), and it bothered him, but he knew it was a silly fear so he allowed it.
And Dr. Ellis is correct.
But I think he is also wrong.
As we discussed recently, I believe that there are certain base feelings, and these feelings are so ingrained in us, we can’t really change them. We just have to accept them and work with them to the best of our abilities.
Add to this my belief in pragmatic pleasure, and the result is that a polyamorous relationship ends up being self defeating. Yes, couples get a chance to have fun with different sexual activities, which I am sure is a lot of fun, but the core need for committed life-long protection would seem to be missing an aspect in their relationship. Of course, if you ask them, they would tell you that it is not, but my gut tells me that it is.
Ironically, what is it that keeps a person from chasing the goal of the truly committed monogamous relationship? Fear. Yes, fear of allowing themselves to truly melt into the other party for not wanting to be hurt if/when the other party leaves – which is their ultimate fear.
So we have fear on both sides of the equation. Which side do we then choose? My gut tells me to err on the side of base need – which is to have someone so committed to you that they won’t go anywhere else. While I will agree that this is fear based, I believe is the more truthful and impactful way to live. At least for me.