Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Dealing With Anti-Polyamory (Again)

[A little something I replied to in response to an entry linked to via kshandra's journal.]


First off, I am NOT here to "rip you a new asshole" (a direct quote from another poly sort who ran across your entry). I understand all too well how being in the middle of a bad situation can make everything look like crap, or even completely polarize an individual for or against... well, just about anything.

The important thing is to realize that, like basically every other human preference (whether it's food, sexual, political, religious, et al), polyamory has shades of grey. On one end you have people who could be said to be as "hard-wired" to polyamory as, say, some people are in terms of being gay, pagan, or into sushi. On the other end you have people who are decidedly NOT.

Most of the problems happen in the middle, where either people accuse you of straddling a fence (bisexuality comes to mind) or of being the victim of faddishness. I have met people who could be either monogamous or polyamorous with little difficulty, depending on where their life is at. I actually admire that as a more flexible stance than those of us who have to SUFFER through monogamy as if it were a sentence.

Then there are people who try polyamory out as if it were a hot new fashion statement: Almost all of the worst drama I've ever suffered was through dealing with such people, claiming to be poly publicly, but privately wishing to "convert" a poly person to monogamy. These people are little better than those who would try to convince queers that they can CHOOSE to be straight.

My stance is this: Be who you are, and be completely honest about it. When I was young and stupid, I tried to be "normal" by entering into a monogamous relationship, and we were both miserable because of it (even though I was technically "successful" by not entering into other sexual relationships). By the same token, people who AREN'T poly shouldn't be. Even though it doesn't work for me personally, I have seen several amazing relationships that were utterly and completely monogamous, shining examples of what those kinds of couplings SHOULD be. On the flip side, I've seen all sorts of destructive relationships, both poly and mono.

Trust, love, communication... THAT'S what allows ANY kind of relationship to work. The rest is mere details, and (in the case of the decidedly polyamorous of us) some really intense time management.



(PS: For the record, I absolutely DETEST Sushi.)
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