Poly what? So Whats The Big Deal Anyway?


To the soapbox!!!!

I have been “cruising” the internet to read up on polyamory, open marriage/relationships, non-monogamy, and monogamy.  I just don’t seem to understand why so much is put into having to identify as one thing or another.  Surely, someone can start out monogamous and then decide to not be and vice versa.  And honestly, since when did it become anyone's business, other than those that it involves?  I just don’t seem to understand.  I have run into a few articles that cite a study done by YouGov that related to putting relationship preference, if you will, on a spectrum, 0 being completely monogamous and 6 being completely non-monogamous.  So, this study shows that the majority of Millennials are non-monogamous of some level or another.  And, as the age of the people goes up, the percentage of completely monogamous people goes up as well.  

Ok, great, so you’ve identified that the younger you are, the less likely you are to conform to jumping into a serious marriage/relationship, ESPECIALLY before you may have found yourself.  Is that so wrong?  Think about this, those age groups that are older, i.e. Gen.X or the boomers, are saying their ideal relationships are completely monogamous, but they are also older, so they have had time to live, love, lose, repeat.  They have had more time to explore different possibilities and options and to find themselves.  How many of those older generations have always been completely monogamous?  Maybe the study should have been based on, “When you were under 30, how monogamous were your relationships?” and then, maybe we could have a more accurate comparison.  Let's be fair, most young people under the age of 30, in any generation, did not or do not want to marry young, and many who did regretted it and suffered, cheated, or got divorced and remarried or put back into the dating pool.  How is it fair to compare this to those who haven’t even begun to think about marriage?  This is a group of people who are focusing on careers at an earlier age, graduating high school and college faster and younger than generations before.  A group of people who have more options for learning, more options for careers, than previous generations.  Whose to say that they are wrong in wanting to be non-monogamous?  Maybe, just maybe, this generation, the Millennials, have it exactly right. 

What is wrong with finding yourself and your career first?  What is wrong with dating different people at the same time to see if there is a certain type of person you like, or if a certain few people is what makes you happiest?  And, if it is more than one person that makes you happy, what is wrong with that if everyone agrees? No one said that cheating isn’t wrong, so don’t get it turned around or twisted… Everyone must agree and be on the same page in a truly polyamorous relationship. There are rules, guidelines, schedules, questions, concerns, and most importantly…communication.  That is the key to making that kind of relationship work.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of people who take advantage and have found a way to justify cheating.  There are those who find themselves in a “monogamous” relationship, too young in lots of cases, who want a way out without losing someone they care about…so, rather than just cheating, they may force non-monogamy on someone who may prefer to be monogamous.  That isn’t good, I agree.  You should never be forced to do something that makes you uncomfortable.  If it’s something that is brought up to you by your lover and you can’t wrap your mind and heart around it, surely, it may not be for you. Now, some people seem to think that polyamory is just about finding a way to cheat.  They think it's all about the hookups with random people or multiple people. They seem to think that no one in the “poly community” is, in fact, able to truly love more than one person at the same time.  This is not the case!  Let's think about this sensibly for a minute.  If you have siblings, say, 2 brothers, do you love one and not the other at the same time? Of course not, they are your brothers, right?  Ok, so how is it any different to have matters of the heart fall under the same rules? If you are a woman with 2 male lovers, both of which are equally important to you, why do you have to choose just one if everyone is ok with it? Who said there was a guideline we had to follow when it came to falling in love?  Who wrote the book?  If you know the answer, I’d love to hear it, and please, please, please… do not tell me the bible.  There are things in there that people seem to ignore or forget even happened, but, I won’t go further on that because rightly it makes no difference to me.  

Moving on… I recently read a comment on one of these articles I found, that of course, was nearly bashing the Millennial generation for their love choices and how to live their own lives…wow, listen to that… can’t even live their own lives the way they want…sound familiar to anyone?  Anyway, the comment I read stated that Millennials don’t like monogamy because it requires effort…below that comment was a reply that stated that Millennials don’t like to do anything that requires hard work and effort.  WOW, and these are the people who birthed the very same generation they are trying to knock down and destroy. What happened to encourage the children, showing the younger generations it’s ok to be yourself, to push the boundaries, and move to the next level?  When did that change? Did it change when suddenly the generation isn’t “loving” correctly or to their standards? Give me a break!  Sure, I see plenty of millennials who might fall under categories that make the statement of “millennial don’t like to do anything that requires hard work or effort” completely true, however, there are just as many that don’t fall into any of those categories.  See, these generations before the Millennial are comparing the number of “bad apples” in the millennial generation to the number of “bad apples” in their generation.  The numbers may seem significantly different but let's think about why… For one, these are just different times, let's be honest, nothing is as black and white as these old folks want it to be, thank goodness, might I add.  Also, the number of millennials is significantly higher than other generations before.  So, the number comparison of how many millennials “suck” to the number of Gen.X’ers that “suck” is going to be different!  All I’m saying is, that these previous generations are wasting time and effort on putting Millennials down for their love choices rather than working on building them up and progressing them forward into satisfying careers and lives.  

If having a loving relationship with more than one person is what works for them, let them be! Just because there is more than one partner, doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t have a family. Don’t worry, you will most likely still have grandchildren!  And remember, it's not just the millennial generation.  The oldest millennial turns 37 years old this year… there are plenty more non-monogamous people far over that age!  And sorry, but you cannot blame the millennial generation for that, especially when some of those polyamorous folks have been that way far longer than most millennials were old enough to even think about what kind of relationships they want to have.  Love is free, remember the 60’s and 70s?  Apparently, those folks do and much more should. No, it’s not about drugs, sex, and rock and roll… most millennial don’t get into drugs, are more health conscious than previous generations, and love all kinds of music but they know how to love freely and don’t feel like that love has to be restricted to one person. Choices in life are difficult and sometimes a choice has to be made but love is not one of those choices. Remember all those before that said, you can’t choose who you love?  So, suddenly that isn’t ok if that means more than one person?  See, there are so many questions that can be thrown at these older generations that dismantle their theories that millennial are ruined, lazy, and a lost cause. Last I checked, having more than one partner required life schedules…to break it down for many…There must be time for career, partner 1 dates, partner 2 dates, group dates, additional activities like work meetings, doctor/dentist appointments/ family visits, and in many cases, children and all the activities that can encircle them.  You have to be intelligent and have a sense of self in order to manage all of those things, and that takes hard work AND effort, so how are millennials lazy again?  Get over it people, this country is a country of freedom and humans were created with free will, SO, if someone wants to love one person for the rest of their life or 4 people for the rest of their life, it is their choice and right to do so and if it doesn’t involve you, butt out because it's none of your business!

-Kitty Lane