If you’re thinking about going down the path of non-monogamy, you’re probably wondering what polyamory has to offer that you can’t get from just playing the field. Honestly, it depends on your personality and your needs.
I’ve been in a poly relationship for over five years, and I couldn’t be happier. That said, I have a friend who tried the whole poly thing and couldn’t stand it. He hated the huge amount of communication it required and called it quits. Here are some benefits of the poly lifestyle that I appreciate and that perhaps you will too.
4 Benefits of the Polyamory Lifestyle
There are many ways in which the poly lifestyle can add variety to your life. There’s sexual variety—the benefit that everyone assumes comes first and foremost in poly relationships—but there’s also the option to have many different types of intimate connections at once.
I have a couple of “romantic friendships” that are deeply committed. We hold hands, cuddle, and consider each other more than friends—we just don’t have sex. Back when I identified as monogamous, these connections would have been considered inappropriate. Now they’re an integral part of my life’s happiness.
By freedom, I don’t mean that polyamorous people have the right to fuck whomever they want whenever they want. Polyamory has rules just like monogamy does. The difference is that the rules are not predetermined in poly relationships as they are in monogamous ones; every polycule gets to decide as a group what works for them.
I find this aspect of poly life to be incredibly freeing, as I’ve always felt suffocated by the very narrow parameters of monogamy. Even as a child I wondered who decided that love means two people sticking it out for life, at the exclusion of all others.
One defining feature of polyamory is that everything is out in the open. There’s no need to sneak around because (ideally) you’ve created the conditions under which your needs can be met. This is a huge benefit for those of us who value honesty and can’t stomach living life on the sly.
In monogamous relationships, I always felt that I had to keep certain feelings to myself. I couldn’t admit to my committed partner that I felt hemmed in and sad because I couldn’t form loving connections with anyone other than them. In my poly life, I can talk about these things and find open and authentic ways to live the life I want.
For those of you who have only ever been in monogamous relationships, it might be hard to imagine that polycules can be a source of loving support and not a frothing cauldron of insecurities and jealousy. Sure, jealousy happens, but it can usually be sorted out with empathetic communication.
If you’re with the right people and your polycule isn’t completely dysfunctional, you can relax, knowing that you’ve got each other’s backs. That’s what I love most about being polyamorous, the sense of community I’ve gained from it.
Are you polyamorous, or considering the lifestyle? Please share in the comments!