Originally Posted by drtalon
I think I disagree, though I'm using 'consent' as in willingness rather than consent as in permission.
Are you saying that relationships where not everyone is willingly participating should be called polyamorous?
I'm saying that no one except the people in a relationship get a vote in whether that relationship "should" be called polyamorous. I'm emphasizing that "polyamorous" and "healthy" are unrelated terms.
The only intrinsic characteristic of the term "polyamorous" is the literal one: multiple loving. Whether that happens through cheating, DADT, or 100% informed consent, is all a matter of coincidence.
Until we form the polyamory gestapo, there is no validity to saying "this and this and this are polyamory, but this and this and this are not." It's all opinion and personal preference.
Sure, "ideal" polyamory entails things like consent, good communication, being self-aware, expressing your feelings and blah blah blah... But if "ideal" was ever intrinsic to the term "polyamory," I didn't get the memo.
I firmly believe that it is not for you or I to tell someone else that their relationship is or is not polyamorous. The most you and I can say is that it does not conform to the type of polyamory we have chosen for our own lives. Big whoop-de-doo.
I think "that's not polyamory" thinking comes from the attitude some people have that polyamory is better or sacred or special. It's not. It's just another way of doing things. Some people do it well, some people fuck it up. But doing something poorly is not the same as not doing it.