A surprised columnist: "Polyamorous relationships and the 'messes' of love"
Here's an interesting one. A news columnist for the Chicago Tribune, a millennial judging by her photo, wrote a column that went up on the paper's site this afternoon about her surprise that something called polyamory exists. She heard about it from a friend (who described it pretty well), assumes that it's mostly a new thing for millennials, and is intrigued but skeptical.
It's interesting to see the assumptions that someone makes these days when they first hear about this thing.
Polyamorous relationships and the 'messes' of love
Is the heart big enough to accommodate polyamory?
By Dawn M. Turner
For a second, I thought: A poly-who?
Then, my knowledge of Greek and Latin kicked in and helped me divine the word's meaning. Still, I didn't know it was a thing. Or, maybe I should say, a new thing.
A polyamorous relationship is one in which consenting adults openly have several deeply intimate, monogamous-like relationships, but without exclusivity. It may, as my friend described, include sex. It may not.
Confused? Keep reading.
In my mind, it's a concept that used to be called "playing the field" if you were single, and "swinging" (or engaging in an "open relationship") if you were married. Now, it's been repackaged and hybridized into a heady euphemism for millennials.
I must tell you that I conducted a highly non-scientific survey of several Gen Xers and baby boomers, folks between the ages of 38 and 60, and asked them if they'd heard of polyamorous relationships. They hadn't....
To be clear, the concept is not new. (We're just late to the party, so to speak.) For my research, I found the websites of several local polyamory meet-up groups, one started in 2012....
So what distinguishes polyamory from "swinging" or "playing the field?"
The big difference, said my friend, is that it's a way of negotiating a relationship — talking about how you feel and what you want in your many companionships — and not merely negotiating sex....
...But I wonder: Is the heart so big, so muscular, that it can accommodate so many loves, however open and honest couples are?
What do you think?
Read the whole article (August 18, 2015), and comment with some further information. (Free registration required.)