Polyamory unveiled


Illustration by Lauren Campbell

By Zoe Colburn, Opinion Editor

Polyamory is coming more and more to the forefront of modern consciousnesses, and as it does, those of us who are polyamorous are often confronted with parades of questions.

The usual questions usually range from “Don’t you get jealous?” to “So, is it like a constant orgy?” For me personally, the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “No.” For most polyamorous individuals, jealousy isn’t usually a problem.

Polyamorous relationships, in most cases, still have parameters and rules in the same way as monogamous relationships. Some poly people have completely open relationships — meaning both partners can see other people of any gender. Some have gender-based parameters, so if there is a man-woman relationship, they might only be able to see other people of the same gender.

There are more or less endless combinations of whatever rules or parameters a couple, triad, or so on may decide on, but one thing has to remain 100 percent consistent: all people involved must be aware and on board with polyamory. Anything where even one partner is unaware of the others’ actions is, hands down, cheating.

Polyamory requires just as much trust and understanding as monogamy. Even in an entirely open relationship, there is still an understanding that, at the end of the day, you are a couple. If one person decides they’re done with an open relationship, whether that means the relationship is over entirely or it just becomes a closed relationship, the decision is up to both partners; there’s respect that goes along with polyamorous relationships just like monogamous relationships.

There are way more specifics and intricacies to polyamory than I could possibly go over in one article, but I guess it always ends up circling back to a core question a lot of people have, though: Why can’t I just be happy with one partner?

It’s not about being “happy” with one partner — it’s about knowing that my love for one partner doesn’t discount my love for another. I’m not greedy or commitmentphobic or whatever other word you want to pin on me and other polyamorous individuals; I couldn’t be monogamous anymore than a monogamous person could be polyamorous.

Polyamory and monogamy are two sides of a coin — the only true difference is the number of partners in a relationship.