10 Signs You Should Try Polyamory (Even If You Think It’s Not For You)
We live in a world where the idea of love is fed by a “happily ever after”. Our perception of what should and should not be is completely skewed by what we have learned in media. The typical pattern of intense passion and emotions, a conflict that makes us “fight” for that God forsaken love and then the resolution of being together forever. Any interests outside of that relationship are seen as immoral and wrong and that we must constrain ourselves for this one and love for the rest of our lives. But is there such a thing as your one and only love? Is it not possible to love more than one soul?
This has resulted in decades of cheating, divorce, resentment, conflicts and a lot of lying. Like Esther Perel, sex and relationship expert says, “Millions of people cannot be pathological”. So, what are we doing wrong then? Is monogamy something unnatural to us that we have in fact accustomed ourselves to for so many decades we cannot find the strength to “undo” it? Is this social construction the very definition of true love now? More and more people are finding healthy relationships inside consensual non-monogamous relationships.
Here are 10 signs you might be experiencing that might mean polyamory is worth a try.
- You have always felt limited and confined in conventional relationships.
Not because something is wrong with that person or your relationship. Quite the opposite in fact. You are very happy and in love with your partner. But there is something that feels restrictive about relationships. Not being able to have any close friendships of the opposite sex, unless it is within appropriate lines. Somehow, all your decisions are being made not as an individual anymore, but in honour of your union. And you can’t help but think… does this come from a place of love, freedom and security? Or does it come from a place of ownership, jealousy and fear?
- Routines and monotone atmospheres are taking a toll.
It is easy for relationships to fall under a routine. You realize that you have less and less stories to tell, you know everything about each other and novelty begins to die. With that, so does desire and passion. Yes, it takes work to maintain this in relationships and it is possible. In fact, it is vital for the survival of relationships. But it will never be the same and that is okay.
Many people like to chase after this “spark” and they will end great relationships for other ones, only to regret ever doing so in the first place. Here is the eye opener: that “spark” is not love. Love is knowing someone so well that novelty is no longer present. And there is great comfort in that. It’s okay to look for exciting ventures with other people and to share that together. It might even help liven up your own relationship in ways unimagined.
- You learn so much about yourself through others.
Relationships are fun, yes. But they are also incredible opportunities to learn and explore different aspects yourself. Each person is a universe and both negative and positive experiences that we venture in with them are a journey to learning and growing individually as a person. If you are limited to only one relationship, there may be aspects about yourself you are neglecting.
- You are the kind of person who feels energized by other people.
Do you feel energized and refreshed after you have an innocent yet perhaps a little flirtatious coffee with someone from the opposite sex whilst in a relationship? Diving into experiences with people outside of your primary relationship will nurture, energize and refresh you. This does not have to imply any physical engagement, an innocent lunch date is enough. The key point is that you are free to do so, to share experiences with other people too. Having the path to re-freshen yourself and who you are through others will do the same for your relationship as you will come in with refreshed eyes for your partner.
- You like to constantly challenge yourself in order to grow.
There is a tremendous power in learning how to love and surrender. The most common reason for people rejecting an open relationship is jealousy. They would rather not deal with the intensity of jealous feelings they would get with the very imagination of their partner engaging with someone else. But what if this experience will teach you to be less jealous and to love with complete freedom? Would this not be like taking an entire weight off of your shoulders? This experience, while still being a very difficult one will teach you to love someone. Fear, jealousy and possession are not feelings that come from a place of love. Consider it a love bootcamp.
- Communication and honesty are very important things for you.
You can’t stand lying. About anything. And let’s be honest, most people feel safer not admitting to their partners that they may be interested in or attracted to somebody else. Some people may even partake in coffee dates with other people and not tell their partner out of fear of them being jealous or forbidding them from certain friendships they do not wish to end, but may have to do so for the sake of their relationship.
In worst case scenarios, cheating happens. And this is a common issue. You are the kind of person who would rather be open about these difficult topics and feel safe in approaching them with your partner. You think it is best and healthier to tackle the situation and finding a compromise that makes you both happy. If there is something forbidden to us, we will only want it more. If we feel free to be with somebody else, then the initial excitement of that “forbidden fruit” is gone. And so the interaction is instantly no longer as romantic as you see in cliche “forbidden love” movies involving affairs. You may even find you’re actually not that interested in that “third person” and it was knowing that you couldn’t have them that made you desire them in the first place, more than actually liking them.
- You don’t like living life by society’s “rules” and tend to question everything.
You are not one to follow social constructions of what should and should not be You often find yourself questioning these impositions made on us. Polyamory is instantly rejected by society and almost seen as a threat to “normal” relationships and “normal” family life. However, you prefer to live an experience for yourself before deciding your opinion on something, as opposed to following everybody else like a sheep.
- You are aware that nothing is permanent and the risk of losing someone to another is always there. No matter what.
It is a common perspective that allowing a person to see someone else is an immense threat and risk for their primary relationship. They might fall in love with someone else, or like someone else better. However, what some people do not realize is that that risk is always there, no matter how much you lock someone up. If anything, locking someone up will eventually just repel them from you. You know that whether you see other people or not, the finding someone else attractive issue or even falling for someone else will always be a risk! These things cannot be controlled. If anything, the “forbidden” part is what sometimes makes us want that someone even more!
- You trust your love and connection with this person, more than anything.
You don’t think that seeing someone else could possibly take away from your love and devotion to your partner. If anything, it might even strengthen your appreciation for them. If the connection you have is authentic, then it is really hard for that to just go away with the introduction of someone new. Sometimes we just enjoy someone new in our lives, but that does not mean we want them to ever replace our partner.
- You are aware that we can love more than one person, and feel attracted to more than one person.
This is a big realization that is commonly altered by media representations that have influenced us on what love is. Songs, films, books… They all tell us that that love is our “one and all”, our “everything”. Perel tells us that this is in fact not true and that no relationship can stand the weight and burden of this statement. If we learn to accept that one person cannot fulfill every desire that we have, then we will immediately resent our partner less, and appreciate them more. If we decide to allow ourselves and our partners to fulfill things we can’t through someone else, we are making them happy, and that my friend, is love.