Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility
I suppose that one of my reasons for asking is that so often I think we (at least in Western society) are encouraged to see romantic and familial love as the only kinds that count. And for most of us, as we get older, familial love is meant to include our own children.
I think that devalues the love that people have for friends and pets. And the love that their friends and pets return.
These tend to be seen as lesser types of love and so often we are encouraged to move away from them and toward romantic love and having our own children (or at least that was my experience of spending a long period during my child bearing years free from any romantic entanglements).
Personally, my pets and close friends are including in my family love. My friends come to family functions, they are there for me when I need them, they support me. They ARE family. Pets are also included in family - they are like my children.
The only time I've ever been encouraged to move away from friends is when they have obviously been bad for me - the people who have no respect for other's needs or feelings. If my friends are good people, then my family and romantic interests have ALWAYS supported my friendships. I suppose I'm not understanding how we're encouraged to move away from them. Sure, focus is often put on family (romantic relationships and then children) but I feel like that is because those relationships require tons of time. It doesn't mean we're supposed to drop our friends.
My opinion is that all sorts of love are to be valued and I think I would lean toward an inclusive definition of polyamoury. I have an enormous amount of enthusiasm for recognising and valuing all loving relationships - and recognising just how much love there is around us. I think that's what polyamoury means to me. Inclusive, abundant love.
For me - not monogamous I think is how I would describe not being monogamous. Maybe?
I also disagree with the inclusive definition because polyamory has always been used to denote romantic love and not the other forms. Are the other loves still important? Of course! But everyone does love more than one person in that way, not everyone loves more than one person romantically (either by choice or by nature). If you try to change the definition or connotation of polyamory, then you need to figure out a new term for multiple romantic loves (and I mean "you" in general, not "you" personally
Also - I read somewhere that the reason that many people don't like to use "nonmonogamous" as a descriptor is because that shows that monogamy is the norm and poly is abnormal. Most people don't want to think of it as abnormal, they want to think of it as a viable alternative. Polyamory doesn't include that negative prefix so it feels like a more positive descriptor.