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"6 Ways Polyamory Beats Monogamy (At Least, For Me)"

on Wednesday, 14 September 2016. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Bustle

by HEATHER E. NEWMAN

On a late summer night a number of years ago, I watched my then sort-of boyfriend kiss his other girlfriend. I stood there in the dark as he pulled her close and made out with her a moment, before stepping away and flashing me a sheepish grin. It was a Thursday night, and everything I thought I knew about relationships was out the window.

I spent the next few days getting to know this girl that my boyfriend had loved. The three of us spent long afternoons in the sun listening to music and talking about sustainable living. It felt nice. And a few weeks after our first weekend together, we found ourselves together again. The only experience with polyamory I had before that was dating a guy who had been in an open marriage. This was different.

Over the next few months, we continued to date, and I met someone who lived closer to my home. Soon, he and I were seeing each other a few nights a week, and I was spending weekends with my other lovers. As it often happens, eventually, parts of those relationships changed and dropped off. I found myself alone, but also newly aware that there was a different approach to relationships — one that works for me. Here’s why polyamory beats monogamy for me.

1. Polyamory Has Lead To The Most Honest Relationships I’ve Ever Had

Polyamorous relationships generally come along with better, broader communication than monogamous ones. That’s not to say that monogamous relationships are inherently dishonest, but that polyamory, or really any sort of ethical non-monogamy, forces people to have more conversations about partners, sexuality, and personal health.

Monogamy can be tricky. I know many people who talk about their partners cheating, or who go out to explore things themselves without letting the other person know. In poly arrangements, it’s known that there are other partners possible, and conversations about STIs and safety are much more common and become easier to have.

One of the reasons that polyamory is appealing to people is that it allows you to experience different things with different people. It’s OK to have a conversation with your partner about wanting to explore something with someone else in addition. Those conversations are hard, but as you navigate them, it becomes more natural to own your desires and needs — and you can work to actualize them.

2. I Have More Of My Own Space

When I was younger, I spent most of my time in serious, monogamous, capital-R Relationships. I moved out of my parents’ house and immediately moved in with a boyfriend. It wasn’t until I was much older and facing divorce that I found myself living on my own. What seemed scary in the first few months grew more comfortable, and I found that I love having my own place. I can come home from work and unwind without having to worry about sharing the couch or the speakers with someone else.

Of course, you can be in a non-monogamous relationship where you live with your partner(s), but for me, being poly has meant carving out more space for myself, since I don't have to be everything to my partners. ...

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