Reflections on polyamory and society after ~1 year of being poly
Polyamory for me is the best option, because the monogamous, romantic relationship that lasts for a lifetime is outdated in my eyes. It is not very likely, that this romantic exclusive dream-love will become true in a relationship and if we suppose, that it will become true, we put lots of pressure on a relationship. A friendship and love, that goes on, even when interests start do differ and other friends become potential lovers, too, is much deeper and more respectful, than a relationship, where you dump your partner or she dumps you, when you're not interesting enough any more or when she finds someone else, who suits her better. It seems for choosing a new approach, we must totally rethink our learned behaviour and mindset concerning love relationships. The millenium old concept of marriage or exclusive one to one relationships is strongly connected to our economic and social way of perception and of living. Any intimacy that takes place outside of these boundaries in the eyes of the average man has a lower status regarding respect, caring and love. Since I decided less than a year ago to live polyamorous, I'm going through a growth process, and from time to time I feel like I draw myself back to the old concept, but then I realize, what is going on. I see polyamory as a reprogramming of social conditioning. Samuel Widmer said that this kind of love pushes you out of the accepted norm and if this happens (there are other ways to get there, but polyamory is one, that everyone can learn to understand and practice), we get in a different position towards life, we see life differently. Carlos Castaneda stated in his books (Widmer wrote about Castaneda,too) that our point of perception can be moved from the conditioned social reality to some other points (he used a circle where he moved the point to show that), but some effort is needed for getting there.
Widmer also pointed out, that often, living polyamorous (living in free, respectful relationships), means to be alone, because lots of people won't agree with you. I see this, too, yet also I'm of the opinion, that it is meant to be that way. I'm still in a process of transformation and when I completely understand, why I chose to be poly and what it means to me, when I'm really sure about it, my longings will and have to materialize. I go with Krishnamurti, I should not look for anything and if I want something, this desire will harm someone else, because I loose awareness of the needs of the other person. To give yourself away to someone is a gift, that can be accepted or not by someone else, who might offer to share a gift that includes time and body, too (the patientsfront would call it a deal: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4817). But you gotta love the gift the way it is and you shouldn't manipulate it or demand anything else. When you tell, that you wish to have a poly relationship, and if someone else doesn't like that idea, then it's gonna be a platonic friendship, you will forget about one another or however it turns out, but you shouldn't argue, when your differing attitudes where clearly expressed. Now you don't have to turn someone away or you don't have to be turned away, you just have different ideas in the first place and that's it. There won't be a dramatic and hurting good bye.
Almost none of my romantic relationhips, and there were a few, some only for a short time, some for years, did continue after the seperation (in many cases because of jealousy) as a special friendship and the spirit of love always went down. This is sad, especially because we spend lots of good times and got to know each other quite well and learned from each other. This would be a very good presupposition for a life long friendship as well as for intimate encounters. The lovers I have seen everyday for month or years and whom I got to know intimitely stopped to be friends, some others (with whom I never had a romatic/ love relationship) I still see and connect with in particular ways regularily, and be it only every few month. Mostly they are men. Widmer said, with women (and men, too, between different genders in general), in a friendship there is almost every time the problem, when it gets deeper, that someone wishes a intimate (love) relationship or at least wants to be adored and desired. A women who isn't desired in a friendship feels rejected very likely and the same is true for men.
Could it be, that we were raised in a way, that prevents us to accociate in variations of love other then the exclusive steady big romance? What about the playful, fluent way kids and young adolescents interact with each other? Are we afraid to follow our intuition when we love a good friend, because we see no alternative to the accepted romance, where all our hopes and dreams culminate, and because to be hurt or to hurt somenone else in the course of such a relationship is a very common experience? Are we afraid to even only ask to be friends and lovers, because we experienced, that those unquestioned standart romances eventually in the long run terminate friendships? Most times, we rather dare to show our love or to ask for a romantic relationship strangers or rather superficial acquaintes. How does it come, that some good friendships cease and that new friendsships very rarely develop, after a request for a mono romantic relationhip was denied (this can also happen, but I guess less frequently, after an inquiery for a poly relationship was rejected)? If you love someone, why not be curious and caring about that other person, even if s/he doesn't feel exactly the same as you do?
We live in an evolutionary situation of society, where there is a lack of love and solidarity and life is very alienating. Love, affection and touch are dealt with like expensive goods that should only be exchanged exclusively, and they shouldn't be given away easily. Everything else is regarded as cheap, and polyamory certainly is trash for the majority. One night stands are more accepted, because in that case, you have to share only little, you don't have to invest very much. It is like fast food, that can be tasty, too. The mono romance is reserved for the restaurant. We are pioneers in creating an atmosphere of compassion, love and sharing, that goes beyond steady mono partners respectivelly beyond the urge to conquer and fuck or to conquer and keep someone.
In a mono relationship or casual sex, not much has to be negotiated. Much is considered self -evident and thus, later on lots of issues are adressed indirectly. In poly relationships many more things have to be talked openly about and what matters might change in the course of time. In a mono relationship known models are repeated. In a poly relationship, we have to learn, how exactly we can have a very good time, as it has no tradition within our culture. It might be time for a change, at least when you look at where the dominant culture has brought us so far. There is an unequality in the distribution of money and wealth within the first world and between the first world and the poorer countries. Many people eat too much, some starve. And there is an imbalance in the sharing of love and affection, that I've dealt with in this text. We live in a society that is dominated by sex and money, that's the way I see it. One can buy sex and one can buy goods but if we mess up love with ambitions of possessiveness and think in terms of value, status and personal gain, like most people do more or less, the results are unpleasant. It is cruel to live here and we don't feel safe, because emotionally and financially we're never safe. It is different, when we have some friends we can rely on and who open their arms for us when we feel desperate, without being afraid of getting into trouble with their lovers, of being pushed into unwanted bonds or of their reputation being decreased. Talk and touch are good methods to resolve fears (1 million suicides worldwide each year and 10 – 20 million attemps). Poly relationships, if they are lived wholeheartly, must be far more stable than the old models. Marriage and monogamy in some cases certainly are great, but if we look at the overall condition of the western world in particular, we see, that the old concepts cause sickness, isolation and unresolved conflicts on the personal level and on the big scale. I'm aware that I'm a part of all these problems as well as of the chances to solve them.
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