Monogamy vs. Polyamory

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Though a lesser evil than marriage, monogamy, being the widely accepted form of relationships, should be outlawed. I see it as a form of oppression and emotional slavery and I can’t help but consider the promises and commitments it implies as lies in most circumstances.

Some people in monogamous relationships require that their partner shouldn’t have romantic or sexual feelings toward another person. But how can anyone promise that? Attractions and feelings aren’t controllable.

Many monogamous people, however, understand this impossibility and only ask their partner not to act on those attractions when they occur. However, I can’t imagine myself forcing someone to restrain their feelings and I can’t bring myself to believe anyone who promises to stay “faithful” to me; I don’t believe in fortunetelling.

While monogamy is the norm for many people and while many others pretend to be in a monogamous relationship though they are cheating, be it emotionally or sexually, on their spouses, for me polyamory and other non-monogamous structures are fascinating.

Polyamory isn’t polygamy, even though many people confuse the terms. Polygamy is a form of marriage which normally falls under the patriarchal system and where males maintain heterosexual relationships with multiple females.

Polyamory, on the other hand, can be whatever non-monogamous arrangement the involved partners agree it to be. It can be within a marriage or not. People in a polyamory relationship agree on a set of rules in order to have a romantic and/or sexual relationship that involves more than two people regardless of their genders. Unlike polygamy, polyamory covers the whole spectrum of sexual attraction, from heterosexuals to homosexuals, from sexuals to asexuals and everything in between. The combinations are countless.

Many argue that polyamory could lead to social chaos, especially where child rearing is involved. Some say that it could cause serious psychological issues to children. But in that case, we can argue that divorce, single parenting, adoption and other possibilities within the heteronormative structure might also cause distress to children and yet they exist and they’re socially accepted.

If you look at it from a more numerical perspective, a successful polyamorous relationship offers children more emotional stability than one father/mother figure would. More loving adults in the child’s life exist and they all agree that it’s more beneficial to children to have multiple parents. On the financial level, there would be more income flows and more people available to care for the house and children. Tasks could be better distributed and covered when there are more people available to do them.

Being the solitary type who needs quiet most of the time, I can’t imagine myself in such a crowded relationship but it makes more sense to me and seems healthier than monogamy and/or traditional marriage.

Another non-monogamous structure that seems closer to my personal preference is “living apart together” where a couple lives in separate homes. They can be close or far, but it’s preferable if it’s an open relationship because I can only imagine the stress level these living conditions could create in a monogamous heteronormative couple. All the jealousy and possessiveness would definitely surface in such an arrangement.

As an aromantic asexual, the closest ideal structure for me is the Swedish concept of “relationship anarchy” where there’s no hierarchy in love and your love for a sex partner is equal to loving a close friend or a relative, not better or more important. It encourages you to break the heteronormative boundaries and structure your relationships based on your personal feelings instead of preset rules, sort of like making rules up as you go along, based on your individual experiences and not by imitating others or following their guidelines.

Here we’re far from having any non-monogamous structure other than polygyny, where a man marries more than one woman, and monogamy is completely safe from persecution and banishment… but hey, a queer can dream.

Contributed by CL

Guest Contributor

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