So, in continuation of my series on polyamory, today I want to address some reasons that people might enter a polyamorous relationship. This is not meant to be a conclusive list, but rather to give an idea of why someone might choose this lifestyle. In reality, the reasons for entering such a relationship are as varied as the different types of set ups and even as the people people within the relationships.
Reason 1: I like/love more than one person.
Honestly, I can’t really think of a better reason to enter any type of relationship beyond liking the person. The same principle holds true with polyamorous relationships. Caring relationships happen all the time in your life. Think about your [platonic] friendships. Each of these is its own relationship, it should be no different with amorous relationships. Caring about someone, in that way, is a very special type of feeling and a wonderful reason for entering a relationship with them.
Reason 2: My current partner can’t meet all of my needs.
This is a controversial one. We are brought up believing that we are supposed to be looking for “The One”. That single person that can meet every single one of our needs an desires. Unfortunately when you think about the reality of that situation, the odds of meeting that person by chance are about 1 in 7 billion. For those of you that are more visual, it looks like this: 1 in 7,000,000,000 and this assumes that your perfect match is living at the same time you are. The odds aren’t all that good.
Personally, I don’t believe in “The One”. I believe that there are people you can have a relationship with and there are people that you can’t. Following this model, we’re going to assume that no one partner can meet all of your needs. Perhaps you have kinky desires that your partner does not, while sacrifice in relationships can bring you closer together, when it comes to sex, I don’t think that you should be sacrificing your own enjoyment all of the time to make your partner happy. I know, here come the comments about compromising and what not. You’re right, it’s a valid method, but personally, I would rather do things with my partner that both of us enjoy and then do the things that my partner may not enjoy, but I do, with someone else who finds them great.
Reason 3: I’m bisexual and would like a partner of both sexes.
This is related to the previous reason. If you are bisexual, and wish to act on that orientation, it is physically impossible for a single partner to fulfill all of you needs. Rather than deny yourself and your desires, a good method for dealing with this is a polyamorous relationship. This one really doesn’t take much explanation.
Reason 4: I need variety.
This is NOT the same as “I can’t commit”. The need for variety means that you want to commit to more than one person (this can be very healthy). Sometimes a need for variety means just that. It’s not that your current partner is lacking in any way, but just that you like to have change in your life. Humans are not really programmed to be with a single person for their whole lives. Look at the divorce rate and the rates of cheating. Many times when someone is asked why they cheated, it’s not through any fault of the their partner, but simply that the one cheating wanted someone different to be with. Isn’t it better to do this in an honest, communicative way? By being openly polyamorous with your partner, you prevent much of the heart break and loss of trust associated with discovering that your partner cheated on you.
Reason 5: I don’t love my partner but I don’t want to break up with them.
This really isn’t a good reason to enter an open or polyamorous relationship. Polyamorous relationships should never be used to solve a problem. This is when they tend to go bad. One of the most important things when it comes to polyamory is that you are honest with yourself and your partners. Remaining in a relationship that you aren’t happy in and trying to open it up to polyamory is like putting a bandaid over a bullet wound. In order to have a successful relationship, you have to take the bullet out first.
Reason 6: I don’t want to commit to anyone.
Dating around, playing the field, whatever you want to call it is fine. Inherently there is nothing wrong with it as long as you’re honest about your intentions, but it is also not really polyamory. Polyamory means entering more than one committed relationship at the same time.
Ok, so we’ve looked at the reasons that I can come up with for entering polyamorous relationships. What do you think? Do you have any to add? Comment below.