Lately I've been really thinking about the monogamy myth our culture lives by. What myth you may ask? Well, the myth that monogamy is for everyone and is the only way to have a healthy relationship. I honestly never gave this much thought until late last year when I began to explore polyamory as a real option for couples and whether I should include it in my counseling practice.
So what exactly is polyamory? Well, it is the belief that you can have a loving relationship with more than one person at a time. Unlike swinging, sex is not the primary motivation, but it is the fulfillment of the relationship itself, and unlike cheating, you have to be open and honest with your partners. As a matter of fact, some of the key words I've found in research is that you have to have trust, honesty, empathy, great communication, deep consideration and most of all, you have to compromise. More than that, I've found that you have to really know yourself. Can you handle this type of relationship and more so, can you handle the thought of only being monogamous for the rest of your life? People are not typically told that they have options.
The truth of the matter is, there are many, many relationship types and options out there that people should be aware of. For instance, a couple can equally fall in love with another person and choose to spend the rest of their life with them. This is called a Triad. It is not unheard of for two couples to be in love and develop a Quad. There are even options of mutual asexuality. My point is, we need to open our minds to other options whether we choose to participate or not, and be willing to hear the story of those to choose to love differently. There is a lot we can all learn.