There’s always room for ‘more love’

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Imagine this: Melissa and John have been in an intimate relationship for two years. They are perfectly happy. One day, Melissa meets Michael, and begins to develop a deep attachment to him. She brings Michael home to John. All three sit down to talk and by the end all three are content with the outcomes.

Melissa is now in two relationships-one with John and the other with Michael.

Wrong? Unnatural? Plain cheating? Perhaps to some, but for those engaged in such relationships, it is simply the most natural and right way-that is, to polyamory, the practice of multiple relationships.

"[Polyamory] is the belief in having open relationships, but having your partner know about these various non-monogamous relationships," said Susan Stiritz, professor of women and gender studies. According to Stiritz, the practice is grounded in the belief that humans are not inherently monogamous and that the limitation to only one relationship is unnatural.

For Michael Brown, coordinator for LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership, polyamory goes as deep as to question what a relationship is.

"It's really rethinking intimate partner relationships and asking what intimacy is," said Brown.

"Polyamory simply challenges the whole concept that one person has to be with one person, that this is the only kind of intimacy, and that anything outside of this must not be intimacy," said Ellman.

Read the rest of the article at Student Life. The Independent Newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878.

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  1. Ok, I've been reading these for a while now, and I have to ask:On what planet does this kind of thing work?I mean, in a real, honest-to-god, everyone is pleased and there's no hurt feelings kind of way? Where everyone is participating of their own accord and not just trying to please one of the others involved? Because, honestly, I have a hard time believing that this can work for any extended period of time.

  2. I have to agree with Jay here. I've done my share of dating multiple people without them knowing about each other. But it was stressful and unsatisfying for everyone involved, especially me. I can't imagine it helping things for them to actually know about each other. But I am open to learning more

  3. You mean, in a completely unrealistic way, that never occurs in monogamous relationships?

  4. Of course it does. And that's just two people. I can't imagine it working out with more. People are possessive and jealous and paranoid as it is. I just have difficulty picturing a relationship working for very long when multiple people are knowingly involved. Someone's gonna get pissed eventually, no?

  5. I have tried this with the best of intentions. Somebody always gets heartbroken, even when everything is upfront and on the table.

  6. It can succeed, but it requires even more work and commitment than monogamous relationships. And open communication is absolutely key. Over the past 15 years, my husband and I have tried different arrangements with other people (one night to several years), and the more "w/o" (wide open) things are, the better they go.

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