Originally Posted by nycindie
Why are people so hung up on labels and "wiring" and just pay attention to how they treat the people in their lives instead?
I suspect that most of the folks hung up on "labels" have such a problem with terms because they don't really understand what the terms mean or, at least, haven't thought it through. They take a term and hang lots of detritus on it well beyond its meaning. They take a term that means "X" and claim it means "X+Y+Z" and thus it's a bad, bad term. In this instance, they ascribe extra meanings to "polyamorous" and insist that a new term is needed.
Polyamorous refers to having multiple, romantic relationships as a form of ethical nonmonogamy. One can identify as polyamorous, meaning one has a preference for having multiple romances at once, or one can simply engage in polyamorous arrangements without having any strong preference for such. Anybody--whether identifying as poly or not--can engage in poly arrangements or mono arrangements and simply say so. There is absolutely nothing about the term "polyamory" that precludes monogamous relationships.
I, who identify as polyamorous, can have monogamous or polyamorous relationships as I see fit. Neon Kaos, who does not identify as polyamorous, can engage in polyamorous arrangements or monogamous arrangements as she sees fit. The use of the term "polyamory" in no fashion affects any of that--it is a term that describes an approach to romantic relationships and doesn't preclude anything.
So "poly" is not some restrictive, prescriptive, proscriptive bogeyman of a word that imprisons people so that they need saving by another term.