What’s the definition of polyamory?
There is no official definition of polyamory, but it is often compared to swinging, or polygamy. In a nutshell, it involves having feelings of love for several people at the same time. It is also entails experiencing non-exclusive relationships, both emotionally and physically. Although, this type of arrangement differs from the libertine lifestyle, which is based solely on sex.
In the end, the idea is not to go against one's feelings. If you are already in a relationship and you feel an attraction for another person, you go for it. But beware, being polyamorous does not mean having several love stories at the same time. Connections are formed and unraveled over the course of encounters.
Often, it is around an official partner that other connections often form. In polyamory, exclusivity is of circumstance, it is never a principle. On the contrary, honesty is essential, just as communication with each partner remains the basis of these associations.
> Discover the reasons why we get jealous in relationships and how to manage it <
Here's what you need to note:
And yes, in spite of the few figures which exist on the subject, women are more numerous than the men to try this adventure. The deconstruction of masculinity is not as simple as that, and the discomfort in front of their wife who leaves with another man is often greater than in front of their wife who leaves with another woman. Competition is always there!
Is jealousy a major factor in these relationships?
In spite of total freedom, sharing a person we love is not that simple. All polyamorous people agree that controlling one's emotions and impulses is important. Even when we are in an open relationship, jealousy is common and once again, communication seems to be the solution. Talk with your partner, find the sources of pain and look for solutions together.
It is clear that in polyamory, honesty is a predominant principle! Setting boundaries, explaining one's vision of love, is to give the person opposite the possibility to make their own choices. However, sometimes jealousy is too strong and can create insecurities and deep anguish that may put an end to things.
What about faithfulness? In a free relationship, the idea of fidelity seems to be a thing of the past and yet, rules prevail. There are those who do not want to know anything, but they are rare, those who want to know about the existence of other partners and those who want to know about them but do not meet them, do not open the door to them. Here again, honesty prevails and respect for the rules is important...
Can we be proud of loving several people at the same time?
Loving several people at the same time can be a taboo. While not everyone admits their love for others, others have long since fully assumed their taste for love with several people. In recent years movies and social networking has helped the movement take a step towards greater openness and more understanding about group love existing. According to polyamorous people, to dare to live your love without hiding, you should first of all have the desire and the conscience not to enter a box and feel emotionally free.
Polyamory is not a new concept and some famous couples have tried it, such as Virginia and Leonard Woolf.
Can polyamorous relationships really work?
With fixed rules, communication, lots of kindness and sacrosanct honesty, it seems that a polyamorous relationship can work. However, if the ideas are fantastic, in practice, how can we reconcile this freedom of the couple and their daily life?
A traditional relationship already requires a lot of time and emotional investment, so how can we manage several of them? Children, a full-time job, sometimes distance. When will we get to see each other? And where? Many people give up, at least for a while, polyamory when the logistics of seeing each other become a real headache.
Poorly managed jealousy can also be the source of polyamory's failure. For this set up to work, therefore, a very significant personal investment is required. Questions about oneself, about one's desires, desires, but also about one's availability must be continuous. Yes, freedom is something you have to work on!
Polyamory is perhaps the future, but what is certain is that just like monogamy, it does not work for everyone. However, it at least has the advantage of adorning itself with the finery of communication and honesty, far from the unfaithful and runners of petticoats.
The editor's opinion: An unconscious guilt
For the psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and couple therapist Éric Smadja, author of Couple and its History, these polyamorous people suffer from an unconscious guilt linked to sexuality. Guilt inherited from the Oedipus, the symbolic realization of an incestuous desire.
"By multiplying the partners, the "polys" perhaps seek to protect themselves from it, to move away from the parental or fraternal figure so much desired".
If you encounter difficulties in your relationships, or if you are unable to be in tune with yourself, have a therapist accompany you, you will find the keys together.
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