They say that love does not understand ages, colors, or races, but love is not limited, rare, or finite either. The norm in our society, when we refer to relationships, is monogamy, closed relationships. Therefore, any relationship that defies this standard will be controversial, morbid, stigmatized … Some will embrace it saying that they have found something that finally fits their life, others will criticize it and demonize which idea of Satan and others will not even have found out about the shed. Polyamory is undoubtedly one of these forms of the transgression of the norm, and one that is increasingly the order of the day. But do we really know what polyamory is? Its definition?
Many myths and misconceptions about what polyamory is run among those who talk about it. A good way to explain polyamory is by making clear what it is not:
- It is not polygamy. Polygamy refers to the family regime by which, in practically all cultures that allow it, the man has more than one spouse of the other sex, while in polyamory all the members have the same conditions and the ties do not have to be necessarily heterosexual.
- It is not infidelity. Although it is true that in polyamory you can have more than one lover, all the people involved are aware of the game and all accept it. It is not about having an official partner that you cheat with others, without my knowing it, “because you are polyamorous”, friend!
- They are not rolletes. And also not go from flower to flower. Many believe that people who are in this type of relationship is because they are unable to commit, but the truth is that polyamory, like any other type of relationship, requires commitment to the people involved.
We begin to see that polyamory is about something more serious and complex than we would have imagined. So what would be your definition?
What is the meaning of polyamory? Polyamory, etymologically means “plurality of love” or “abundance of love.” Polyamory is a type of non-monogamous relationship in which there is no sexual and / or affective exclusivity. In other words, they are relationships where the people involved can have more than one link that is only sexual, only affective (yes, it is also possible to maintain relationships without sex), or affective sex with other people.
This is possible since one of the principles of polyamory is based on the fact that no one is owned by anyone and the love that we can give and receive has no limit, but multiplies itself with each relationship that makes us richer.
Types of polyamory
Around non-monogamous relationships, countless names have begun to emerge that designate many subtypes of relationships: polyamory, free love, open relationship, relational anarchy, etc. A thousand classifications that do not just coincide because in reality many of these terms overlap and the limits are not entirely clear. What seems to have more consensus is in the separation between polyamory and open relationships. The latter refer more to the plurality of sexual ties and not so much affective as polyamory and would include, for example, swingers, polysexual, … Within polyamory we find two types, according to the organization of relationships:
- Hierarchical polyamory: in which there is a main relationship and the others are secondary.
- Non-hierarchical polyamory: where all relationships are on the same level.
Polyamory from psychology
These types of relationships, like the monogamous ones we are used to, are complicated and do not always go well. In polyamory, a lot of consensus is necessary, you have to talk about it and agree on everything since there is nothing pre-established and the relationship must be adapted to the needs of each member. Therefore, a high level of communication and assertiveness is required between the people involved, a lot of introspective work, getting to know ourselves, having good self-esteem, empathy and knowing how to manage emotions : work on dependency, jealousy, etc.
It is not that in monogamous relationships it does not have to be taken into account, but in polyamory, when having to deal with more than one relationship at a time, all these elements are magnified, and it may be easier to fall into bad practices.
Furthermore, these relationships must be ethical and adhere to values such as respect, equality, acceptance, care, responsibility, among others. The parameters of each relationship are established by the members of the same and, it must be clear that, if it works, the relationship is as valid as any other.
This article is merely informative, in Bigmatrimonial we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
Eric Cameron is a passionate relationship coach and counselor with a focus on helping couples reconnect and build strong and lasting relationships. He has years of experience working with couples and helping them to understand the intricacies of healthy relationships. He also provides guidance on how to maintain a healthy relationship and deal with difficult topics. Eric’s approach is tailored specifically to the couple’s needs and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.