My previous writings about polyamory resulted in me getting quite some comments and questions from friends along the lines of ‘this is all nice and good, but aren’t you just perfectly monogamous?’ Well, I may as well am, but this depends on how you see. My first post about the topic was intended to grow some familiarity with the term polyamory, with the possible interpretations and implications. Today I will tell you more about why I find polyamory important.
The bottom line of my previous post: Polyamory is about respecting your relationships and doing your best to make it work for everyone involved. It is about being able to love multiple people at the same time and it is in no way an excuse to treat others unethically.
What I didn’t mention explicitly is that for me polyamory is closely related to spirituality. This again depends on your definition of spirituality. I could use personal development as an alternative. I’ll use them both here.
What I mean with this spirituality or personal development is the process of cleaning your mind of everything that doesn’t help you being happy; the process of truly connecting with yourself. This is the most difficult thing, but when you do progress, you will find more space for happiness, peace and compassion: for love.
You will learn to be more compassionate towards yourself and others. You will get to see others as they really are, and then you will see there really aren’t so many differences. We all have these needs and feelings. We want to feel safe and connected and if we feel differently, we can do weird things in an attempt to feel whole again.
I believe people are not good or bad. We just are. And the most important thing is to do is our best to help ourselves and each other to be happy and feel loved.
For me growing understanding of myself and others and practising to be more compassionate has helped me to feel more love for myself and for everyone. I think polyamory is a perfect term for this love as it translates to loving many. One can practice to feel more love, to direct it to others and thereby help them feel more love as well. How can this not be polyamory?
I am in one romantic relationship. We help each other a lot, to learn and grow, etcetera. It won’t be possible to be in another equally intense relationship at the same time, time wise for the least. And I also don’t feel the need for it. However, this does not mean that there is no more love, or that other forms of relationships, more or less romantic, cannot happen.
I may use the broadest possible definition of polyamory, but it makes sense to me to see it like this. Practically I may be a regular person with regular relationships, but I prefer to look at it a little differently, because this serves me.*
I like to be in contact with people and I don’t want my relationships to be defined by some standards set by our societies. I don’t think having multiple romantic relationships is wrong; it just totally depends on the context, on whether you’re being ethical or not.
So this is where spirituality finds polyamory. But the other way around? I think that if you want to sustain multiple romantic or intense relationships you are bound to face huge challenges. Intense relationships always come with challenges, therefore they provide good ‘opportunities’ to learn. Everything gets more complicated with more people involved, so the challenges posed will be more difficult.
To sustain multiple intense relationships you will have to do a lot of work, a lot of personal development. Otherwise you will end up hurting yourself and others, over and over. I think that everyone who is interested in having multiple relationships at the same time will sooner or later learn that this is how it goes. Thereby, polyamory meets spirituality – or how you want to call it.
I think we all have to learn how to treat ourselves and each other well, but having more relationships or contact with people can help us to get there sooner. It doesn’t have to go like that, but it certainly can. Polyamory simply cannot work without compassion and lots of love.
So this was my pretty belated explanation! I hope you enjoyed it. If you know better terminology or anything, you know where to write a comment.
* Just as there is no need to label your relationships, there is also no need to label your relationship views. Identifying with being polyamorous may or may not serve you. Maybe you don’t have to identify with anything, but considering the theme can be useful.
Note: In this and alike posts I may seem to act pretentious, as if I ‘get’ it all or so, but that’s not necessarily so. I’m trying to be a good person, but I have my troubles. I’m also not sure if these super broad definitions and ‘vague’ words or talks are too useful, but again, for me it makes sense somehow, and I hope some others appreciate it too.
4 thoughts on “Spirituality meets polyamory, and they fall in love”
What is the difference with polygamy? And how do you prevent the continuous shifting of (ethical) boundaries? I read some of J. Geurtz his material, and combine this with common sense. But I see some peeps in my current environment being so wildly enthusiastic about the topic that they basically seem more into creating a harem for pleasure purposes only : /
Hi Mosman, thanks for your comment. Those are some good questions! I’ll start by clarifying the first thing, and come back later for the rest. I’ve also been thinking of writing a sequal to this blog post about common problems and how to overcome them. I will let you know once I do that!
In my understanding the difference between polyamory and polygamy is that polygamy is about having multiple marriages or other committed, long-term relationships at the same time, whereas polyamory can include many different forms and structures of relationships. Polyamory includes having one primary relationship and one or more secundary relationships, or just having anything called ‘an open relationship’, but it can also include having multiple primary relationships, or no primary but just shorter term, looser relationships (including one-night-stands). In that sense polygamy is a more formal form of having multiple relationships, whereas polyamory can include about anything.
In reply to the rest of your message: I think that it is greatly about communication of each others wishes and boundaries, respecting each other totally, about having agreements on what you accept of each other (in terms of relationships with more people) and acting accordingly.
What I write in the current blog post is that I think that introspection (yet another term) is really important, in general but also in dealing with many intimate relationships. I think that knowing your own motives is very important, and also owning your feelings. See also my first blog post on the topic, if you haven’t read it yet: https://munchingonadream.com/2016/03/17/the-many-ways-of-love-and-how-to-do-it
I think that the ‘(ethical) boundaries’ you write about should be the boundaries of the people involved (as opposed to the boundaries that are ‘set’ in society or so). I think that it requires a constant checking in on if the boundaries are still the same. This should be possible.
I think the crossing of boundaries mostly occurs because relationships, romance, sex and all that are addicting and people get addicted. They flee from their ‘negative’ emotions, which of course never works. Introspection is so important because it allows you to realise what is happening inside of you: are you supressing negative emotions? Are you honest with yourself? What do you really want? In many cases the one-night-stand itself is not important really, it is merely used to escape negative feelings. Once you know this, you can let go of the one-night-stands and work with your feelings instead.
But if people want a harem for pleasure purposes only, as you state, that in itself is fine as long as everyone involved agrees to that. I think that honesty is the most important thing in a relationship.
Are you satisfied with this reply? 🙂