While life may be a one-size-fits-all deal, relationships certainly aren’t. Every person, every friendship, and romance is a custom job. As a poly person, I have nothing against monogamy. I just happen to believe it doesn’t work well for everyone. And with a global population in the billions, I think a proliferation of non-traditional relationships is to be expected.
It’s our dogged need for security that fixes us on traditions, and keeps us from accepting other arrangements as both normal and benign. Let’s face it: we struggle with diversity, no matter how it’s represented.
I consider it entirely possible I’m bisexual, even though I’m sorely challenged relating with other females. (I reason and communicate in ways that are more typically male, so it’s easy for me to form friendships with men, and exceedingly difficult with women). So, who am I to tell anyone else who they should or shouldn’t love?
Furthermore, our bodies were designed to experience sensual pleasure – to enjoy the flavors and textures of a fine meal, or the heady scent of a lover’s warm skin. To give pleasure to another is one of the most fundamental expressions of love. Does it matter, really, who we express that love with?* Or if it’s one person, or more?
Perhaps I wax a bit too philosophical on this point, but it’s what drives me to talk about polyamory the way I do: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Who I love and what I desire are expressions of what I find beautiful. Therefore, my polycule is a reflection of beauty; beauty in the personalities of my partners and in all the ways we relate to one another, in and out of bed.
I believe in the fundamental right of every person to live a life that is beautiful and meaningful to them.
As a society, we do a great job of making our ideals and opinions known, no matter how poorly-informed and narrow-minded those opinions might be. We set upon an attitude that people require our approval or permission if they don’t care to conform. We fail to realize that conformity and normalcy are illusions. We’re all a little bit different. We’re all custom jobs in one way or another.
The issue of social acceptance, (of alternative orientations, genders, and relationship identities), appears to be less of a concern with today’s youth than folks my age; they seem to embrace fluidity in themselves and their relationships. This has the effect of spontaneity: the young are more concerned with being who and how they are in the moment, and less concerned with structure, status, or labels. It’s a refreshing perspective, and one I believe we’d all benefit from trying.
We might just learn a thing or two.
*speaking only in terms of consenting adults.