Many people grow up looking for their “soul mate” so they can settle down into “happily ever after.” However, monogamy is not your only relationship option. It may be the norm but more and more people are choosing consensual alternatives. Perhaps the most common and popular alternative is polyamory.
Many vibrant, loving people are creating intimate relationships with more than one partner. In 2016, about 20 percent of millennials (U.S. adults under 30) expressed a desire for a non-monogamous connection. By 2020, that number had risen to nearly one in three. Even so, many myths and misconceptions about polyamory still exist.
6 Common Misconceptions About Polyamory
1. Polyamory is All About the Sex
Polyamory is not a fetish or a phase. It’s a lifestyle choice. Of course, if you have more than one partner that usually means you’re having sex with more than one person on a regular basis. It rarely means threesomes, orgies, etc. Polyamory is not the same as swinging.
Polyamorists — like most people — are working to create healthy relationships. This includes mutually satisfying sex lives. Individuals who are single, monogamous, or non-monogamous may indulge in a kinky lifestyle. Their relationship preferences do not predict their sexual preferences.
2. Polyamory Can’t Possibly Work Because of Jealousy
Jealousy is a normal human emotion. When you enter into polyamory life, a big part of it is communication. Lots of open, honest communication. Every relationship requires this commitment. But when more than two people are involved, the chances for a misunderstanding increase exponentially.
In addition, polyamorists work to cultivate something called compersion. This is the feeling of happiness when your partner is happy. It won’t eliminate any chance of jealousy; nothing will. But it goes a long way in making things work in a non-monogamous situation.
3. People Who Practice Polyamory Get More Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
On the contrary, a higher number of sex partners usually translate into more awareness about safe sex practices. A long and wide range of research exists to back up this theory.
4. Polyamory is For People Afraid of Commitment
Every polyamorous connection is different. Therefore, the term “commitment” is defined differently by each. But this doesn’t mean deep commitments are not made and sustained. Do not mistake “till death do you part” with commitment. It’s more about trust, honesty, and being there for someone.
5. It’s a Cover For Cheating
Infidelity exists in all forms of relationships and thus cannot be ruled out. If anything, cheating is more likely when a person feels “limited” to only one sex partner. Translation: Whatever lifestyle you choose, talk openly about your feelings and needs to decrease the likelihood of betrayal.
6. Any Form of Non-Monogamy is Unstable and Bad For the Kids
For starters, it must be pointed out that the divorce rate for monogamous marriages has hovered near 50 percent for a very long time. And that’s just for first marriages. The divorce rises greatly for second or third nuptials. Divorce brings some social stigma but, then again, so does:
- Gay marriage
- Single-parent families
- Interracial families
Creating a family is a challenge under any circumstance. For polyamory, there is a learning curve. Everyone involved must commit and learn and evolve. But long-term studies show that polyamorous families thrive more often than not. Whatever relationship choice you make, stability for you and your children depends on your commitment to making it work.
Find a Therapist Familiar With Non-Monogamy
Monogamous partners attend couples counseling. Polyamorous folks can benefit from relationship counseling, too. Consider it a way to address that steep learning curve mentioned above. You may need support in your polyamorous lifestyle. If so, read more about relationship counseling let’s connect in a confidential consultation.
Getting Started With Relationship Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!