Recently I read a perspective on monogamy and polyamory that attempted to honor both relationship styles, but in the end still identified one as the more evolved choice. It stirred a deep inspiration in me to put into words what I’ve felt for some time…
I wonder if truly healthy monogamy is actually polyamory when you take erotic relating/sex out of the equation.
What actually defines monogamy?
What actually defines polyamory?
The number of people we have secure loving bonds with?
The number of sexual connections we maintain?
The number of externally imposed rules we follow that prove to others our commitment to one or to many?
I wonder if the healthiest monogamy (one love) and healthiest polyamory (many loves) have more in common than we think.
It seems we want to pit one against the other. Make a certain way of relating better so we can win at loving the right way, the more evolved way, the more enlightened way.
Relationships are the result of our self-expression rooted in the choice to connect with the identity expression of another.
Even the most sexually platonic of relationships can be deeply loving and intimate. In fact, long-term friendships are some of our most potent opportunities to have unconditionally loving and emotionally healthy bonds. Healthy friendships are the family we choose. We invest, and we receive love...but we generally don’t share resources or space or “get” anything tangible out of the relationships. This is why partnerships rooted in true friendship are also some of the most nourishing and freeing, they form containers where we are fully accepted.
True, deep, supportive community feels very polyamorous, even when it has nothing to do with sex. In this way, I think that evolved healthy polyamory is available to everyone.
If we base polyamory on sexual relationships alone then polyamory just becomes another thing we are trying to prove we can do right.
Purely based on the family structure. Parents (two or more), children, even extended family relatives, we see that our biological wiring favors polyamory. A mother loves her many children, a child loves their many siblings.
I believe we are polyamorous by nature, sexually monogamous by choice just as I believe we are spiritual by nature, religious by choice. Or rather, what we are monogamous about and what we are religious about is surmised from the choices we make. When we start with the label and try to follow the rules we completely lose our embodied experience. When we let our actions add up to the labels we use to try — but admittedly fail — to label ourselves with, we find a sort of liberated freedom and expansive definition of who we are.
Just as worship can be taken out of an institution and practiced richly in the wild unknown of the woods, devoted relationship to another can be found, known, and sustained in the blissful chaos of uninhibited giving, serving, and living.
When we become unconcerned with what the most evolved way is to follow and instead allow our instinct to embody, express, exchange, and integrate more fully into each breath...then and only then do we truly live.
P.S. COME join my (free) community of people (all genders welcome) living UNAPOLOGETICALLY. We talk life, love, relationships, communication, and self-expression. It’s also a safe space to share/discuss more vulnerable thoughts about subjects like this!