I’ve learned a couple things since I started dating Tyla a few weeks ago. If you recall, Tyla is full on polyamorous. Although this term has gotten much more popular, I still feel it’s best to define what it means. Polyamorous in general means simply being involved with more than one person romantically. I’m not going to spend this entire post (may do another later) dispelling the misconceptions, but I will say, IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT SEX.
Having been getting to know Tyla, she actually wants what is called a “closed triad”. She is bisexual and wants a girlfriend and boyfriend; no others. Everyone would be into each other (as a heterosexual male, this sounds wonderful).
Why am I bringing all of this up? Because Tyla is definitely dating other guys. I know this not because she’s polyamorous, but because she told me. After our second time meeting, she told me flat out, “I’m dating 4 other guys and 2 I’m sexually involved with”. And you know what?
I fucking respected that shit!
The conversation continued and I told her what was going on with me. Whom I was dating, where I saw it going, who I was sexually involved with, etc. And you know how she reacted? “Ok, cool”. That’s it. No questions, no shift in energy, no loss of interest. We continued talking about us, what we want long term, etc. The conversation was very chill.
One of the main things that I’ve come to learn about polyamory, is that those who are true to the lifestyle are truly open and honest (in the way that monogamous individuals claim they want and want to be). Since we’ve been seeing each other, there have been times on both sides where the other wasn’t available because there were plans with someone else. Neither one of us gets upset and just make plans for another day.
I can tell her flat out, “I have someone coming over tomorrow night” and she simply says, “ok, what about the day after?”. Does this mean that she doesn’t care about me? Not at all, and she hasn’t lost interest cause she still makes plans to see me. But it does mean another thing that she truly respects:
I do not belong to her.
She respects my time, my freedom, and my autonomy (and I hers).
From my last post, I said that I felt that there were deeper things going on that lead us to lose interest in people when we’re not the main or only ones in their lives. There is a certain undertone in dating and monogamy that you can actually see in children sometimes. Ever see a child playing with a toy or puppy and then when they see someone else playing with it, they lose interest in it and/or sometimes get jealous? Why does this happen? Because even at a young age, many of us are selfish and possessive (the “mine” or possessive stage). Fast forward to our romantic lives. We’ve all been fed the fairytale, “the love of my life for the rest of my life”, “the one”, “mine and only mine”, etc. All of these ideas we’ve been fed feeds right into the deep seeded belief that our partners belong to us. In short, and this is extremely controversial but:
Monogamy breeds selfishness, possessiveness, and jealousy.
And just to be clear, I am not saying monogamy is due to possessiveness, selfishness, and/or jealousy, nor am I saying that monogamy causes these traits in people. I am simply asserting that monogamy feeds into such traits within us (meaning they’re already there). Also, this is not meant to be an indictment against monogamy; nor am I saying people shouldn’t be monogamous. Monogamy can and does work for most people (although, divorce rates make this statement dubious, but whatever). However, it is definitely not perfect (neither is polyamory) and I just want to take a hard look at how our monogamous belief system affects our behavior and approach to dating.
With that said, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’m going to argue that we lose interest in those we are dating as a defense mechanism. On a deeper level, we’ve learned that when we can’t claim and control something we truly desire, we have negative feelings such as jealousy and anger. So to protect ourselves, we shy away from individuals that we know we can not fully claim as our own and thus can not control.
Combine this with the fact that as human beings, we tend to desire something more the more difficult it is to obtain. As people, we tend to see others who are available to multiple as having lower value than those who are not as available. Prime example… notice how you always become more desirable when you’re in a relationship?
Because of the tenants of monogamy (one partner and only one partner), this belief system and accompanying behavior bleeds over into the dating phase, even when we aren’t in an exclusive relationship in which we can “claim” somebody.
Polyamorous people don’t seem to have this issue, at least, not to the extent as monogamous people do. It seems to be that polyamorous individuals have managed to shed the idea that their partners belong to them and only them. This seems to be what gives them the freedom to explore other relationship configurations.
I’m intrigued and I have a lot to learn about this lifestyle (and human behavior for that matter).
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