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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Polyamory - part 2

I am a bit upset after reading the (Dutch language) 2007 e-book on polyamory called "I love 2 men" by Ageeth Veenemans. In her view, her story is about polyamory but to me it's about adultery, indecision, convenience, regret/remorse, and - ultimately - comparing two different kinds of love. This makes me wonder if polyamory is a hypothetical rather than a realistic concept.

Given our monogamous dogmatic society (see Simone van Saarloos in yesterday's blog), polyamory usually starts with adultery. Adultery already implies the existence of some basic flaws in the current relationship. Some of the four cornerstones of a sound relationship are missing: communication, intimacy, respect and/or trust. The new person is providing that (those) missing cornerstone(s).

If that new person isn't Mr(s) Right then we don't stop searching. Basically, it's indecision time as we cannot decide between what we had and now have. Any decision is based on a cost/benefit analysis and thus indecision implies that the actual cost of a decision is considered higher than its perceived potential benefits. All humans are (sub)consciously calculating the consequences of decisions.

After (not) taking a decision, we usually start rationalising our behaviours. Convenience is a post-decision merit. You know what you have and do not know what life would have been if that decision would have been made. In my view, such what-if questions are quite dangerous and can cause lots of regret and/or remorse.

In my view, polyamory is accepting that the four cornerstones of a sound relationship cannot be found in one person and applying a practical solution to a problem that cannot be solved - right now. If the perfect 'soulmate' would ultimately arrive then it's suddenly decision time. We "love" people for different reasons: communication (EQ and IQ) and (sexual) intimacy (love and/or lust) are the most obvious ones. When we don't find them in one person, we make a compromise - with ourself.

This compromise used to be a lasting one in case of my grand-parents and my parents. My grand-parents probably couldn't afford a divorce and moreover society back then was far from ready to accept such inappropriate behaviour. In my case, it wasn't a lasting compromise as my kids saw their parents drift apart.

Economic independence and equality (eg, gender, sexuality, skin colour) enabled men and women to make their own choices. Relationships suddenly showed new shapes and forms (eg, cohabiting, homosexual and interracial marriages). Polyamory is merely the next step in this same process. At some time in the near future, bigamy or polygamy may even be legalised in Western countries. I expect that bi and polysexuals will argue that they are being discriminated compared to heterosexuals and homosexuals. And I expect that judges will listen to them - by then.

I still believe in "less is more" and "quality over quantity" - also in relationships. I prefer to wait and find the 4 cornerstones in 1 person rather than entering another relationship based upon just 1, 2 or 3 of them. I know that it's better to be happy alone than miserable together. Don't misunderstand me: I have no opinion on what's better, I just know what's better for me.

Herman van Veen & Monique van de Ven - Uit Elkaar (1979) - IMDblyrics, Wiki


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