Let’s spice this up a little bit.
So what about POLYAMORY?
A concept that has been staring me in the face for the last 2 years, that has walked beside me, that hides in people I meet all around the world and seems to appear more and more in my living and working environment.
3 years ago I didn’t know what it actually meant to be ‘polyamorous’ until a friend of mine explained it. He just started a relationship with a polyamorous man and seemed very pleased and happy.
Going around asking people about it awoke quite some discussion and many questions.
Polyamory comes from the Greek word: Poly = Many and Amore = Love
Many loves, so it would seem.
According to the http://www.polyamorysociety.org/
: Polyamory is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously.
Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time.
I met Nicholas in Boston early January 2017. Married and has a baby girl.
“No, no, no! In my environment, you can absolutely NOT talk about this concept. It’s totally frowned upon.” He says.
I ask him why he thinks that is the case. “It’s all about fear. Especially men who want to control a woman. To make her his OWN.”
“But are you also like that?” I ask him. “How do you think about a polyamorous relationship?”
“I don’t know…” He says. “Thinking about my wife lying in bed with another man? Doing stuff? It kind of turns my stomach around.”
“So you would not allow her this if she would ask you?” I ask.
“What’s up with all the difficult questions?! I literally never thought about this before you came along!” he replies.
I ignore his comment and ask: “Do you like to be in control?”
He looks at me with half a smile and very small eyes. Then suddenly he sighs and sits back in his chair sipping his cappuccino.
“Damn…am I a narrow-minded person?”
“Well, it just gives so much more freedom to be who you are. Come on, you don’t believe there is only one person of you, right? There could be many!” David hugs me tight while he says these last words. “For me, there are many men!”
“So…is it a gay thing?”I ask him.
“Noooo!” he says, but then he looks a bit disturbed. “Okay, maybe…but I guess it’s just because women can’t share…”
“You are so dead! I say to him and I hit is friendly on his back. He starts running to the other side of the square. I chase him.
I’m sure we look like a new love couple.
“O, I could never do it” Lukas says to me while we are running to catch the metro in the direction of Times Square. “It’s like walking backwards.”
“That’s quite a statement, Lukas!” I say. He looks at me and replies. “It sounds like something men made up to have multiple girlfriends whom probably he’ll end up hurting. I think only tears can come from it. On all sides.”
“How are you going to sing Don Giovanni in 2 months?” I say with a smile.
He shakes his head. “I know! DG is like, the last person I identify myself with.”
“It’s all about choices.” My colleague Mara says in the few minutes before the start of our rehearsal. “If you are poly, you should just be open about it to everyone you have a relationship with.
Thát is what distinguishes it from an “open relationship” where you can just fuck around and your partner agrees to look the other way.”
She unpacks her oboe d’amore and continues: “Before I got married I never thought I would have a polyamorous relationship. But now I do and it makes me happy.
“What about your husband?” I ask. “Does he know your lover? Or lovers?”
She smiles at me. “I only have one lover and yes they actually know each other. Okay, they will never to get a beer together, thank god, but the other day he had to drop something off at our house and it wasn’t a problem.”
“Are you sure about that? Or is your husband just hiding his true feelings?” I ask.
“No, about this I am really pretty sure. We are a good and close family. But I just happen to have a lover now and it makes me happier than before. My husband knows that and would not force me to make a choice. ”
“So then your husband is your number 1 and your lover your number 2?” I ask her.
Mara takes a moment to think.
“Well. Yes. I have my house, my kids, my husband. That is my priority. Especially the kids. And my lover I see about 2 times a month.”
“Does your lover see also other girls?”
“I don’t know. But I hope so. He is an amazing man. I want him to be happy, also on the days when I can not be with him.” With this lovely quote, we get summoned to the rehearsal room for some Händel.
“Why can you not have two number ones in your life?” Jos said to me while we are packed like sardines in an overcrowded train. “It’s about ‘to live and let live’. Why would you tell someone to never love another but you? It’s so selfish!”
Watching the Australian Open on TV, I see an advertisement for “Casual Dating” on the screen. Not too serious. Just for fun.
Is this where we are heading?
We want a relationship, but we don’t want to invest too much because we are so used to the easiness of everything. Our lives are fantastic and we love our jobs.
We love ourselves, our friends and we are just absolutely fabulous.
We want to be independent and not to depend too much on another individual.
We want to appear strong and confident at all times because being vulnerable will get us nowhere. We don’t want to show any tears as fun faces on social media is what it’s all about these days.
We want someone we can share our lives with but we value our freedom more.
We want someone who is always there for us, but we rarely want to move things around for the other person.
This way we can keep up the idea of ‘I’ and not ‘We’ because we hate the couples who refer to themselves as “We”. “We don’t have time to hang out next Saturday” Ugh! It’s the worst!
We don’t want the traditional picture of a family dinner with potatoes, meat and green beans every Friday night in a two-store house on the edge of the city.
On the other hand, we love to have the warmth of a living room like that, where the lights grow dim as the children sleep and our beloved sits next to us on the couch, reading a book or so.
But then again: We want to be free to do whatever. Travel the world any moment we find the money and the time for it.
Getting married is “just because it’s practical” “because she is from Japan” “because our parents like it” “because I would love to wear a nice dress and throw a party”.
Are we afraid?
Are we afraid to settle with the wrong person?
Do we keep swiping because the love of our life could be only a swipe away?
And even if we find him/her and this person makes us happy, cares for us and loves us a great deal…the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill right?
So you can always keep the door open with a term like Polyamory.
This term which is so beautiful in theory. Letting each other free to love multiple people?
Never feeling jealousy about your partner’s adventures with others but only feeling the opposite?
In dutch the opposite of jealousy is “Jalief”. It means you can be happy for your lover being happy and getting pleased by another. It kind of refers to a certain mindset as well I guess. (I have not found a good translation in English)
Being happy for your partner when he/she can share long weekends away, birthdays and amazing sex with another person?
Will we reach the ultimate state of fulfilment in life when we are able to feel this way? Could we feel “Jalief”?
“I was always ashamed to tell that I could love more than one person” Rolf told me while handing me a cup of hot tea. “I have tried to discuss it with my ex-girlfriend and then she broke up. It kind of scared me, so I don’t like to talk openly about it. Now I just try to be in ‘open relationships’. He sits next to me in the gigantic chair that fit us both. “Usually the women I date allow me this.”
“But that is not the same” I say. “I guess not” he says.
“Do you think it is a cultural difference?” I ask him.
“It could be.” He puts his teacup on the glass table and leans his head on my shoulder. I kiss his forehead to encourage him to continue talking. “Nordic people are maybe not the most open people to talk to about these things, but it could also be a generation difference, for I am quite some years older than you.”
That was something I didn’t think about yet.
I was raised with: “You cannot find everything you wish for in one person.”
My mother said: “That’s why you have friends. There are things you do with your partner and there are things you do with your friends. Why would you even want to find someone who has it all? Can you imagine what would happen if that person dies before you? On whose shoulder are you gonna cry then?
My parents ( 45 years together this winter) never talked about polyamory, probably because they didn’t know the term, but the idea that no one is perfect and the perfect match doesn’t exist is pretty relieving, don’t you think?”
“So smart of your parents to be like that” my poly colleague told me the other day.
“With polyamory, everything is possible as long as it’s all out in the open. Secrecy really doesn’t work here.”
“Oh my god! I would never allow my boyfriend to have another girl on the side!” Celine says while she pokes in the sausage on the campfire we made along the shores of Lake Issyk Kul.
Fay giggles and shakes her head. “Of course not! You are Italian!”
“What? Why you say that?”
“Oh come one, since when do Italian women share men? It’s just not the culture for it.”
“And is it your culture? Portuguese?”
“Well, maybe not, but it’s nice to try a new thing, no?”
“I can’t believe what I am hearing! I would never ever…!”
“It’s because you are a jealous person.”
Celine takes a minute to think and then confidently says:
“Yes, I would be very jealous. I don’t have to be ashamed of that. And anyway who would be that other girl? Or girls? Would they look like me? Then I would totally flip out.”
I enter the conversation with: “What if the other girl is really different in manners and looks? Would you still feel jealous?
“Yes” Celine says. She might be a very nice person because my boyfriend and her like each other and I usually like the people my boyfriend likes. But it’s about him and me who belong together forever. Not with some third blond on the side!”
“Romantically put.” I say.
Celine’s eyes grow bigger. “Imagining this…it makes me shiver.”
“It’s about confidence” Jan said.
“If it is something you really want, for whatever reason, then do it. But if you have doubt, or if you think: Oh well, let’s just try it, who knows. Then I would say: NO.
It asks for good organizational skills and not everyone has them. You have to negotiate all the time. How much time will you spend with your beloved?
How much time will he/she spend with the other?
There are only 7 days in a week, you know?!
What about vacations? When your love is on holiday with the other, are you still allowed to be in touch over the phone or messages? Because the other partner will probably not like it if you take up the whole evening facetiming each other.
That is understandable, but it means, you will have to live with the missing feeling during the holiday. Probably more than you would like.
Are you OKE with that? If yes, then great, if not, then don’t do it.
It will just break your heart. After my own experience, I find it hard to believe that people can make this work in a healthy way. I always think someone will be the underdog, because if anyone looks at him/herself very critically: Are you sure you can love in equal ways?
Complete equal ways? Or is one of your partners more a “friend with benefits?” Or the number 2? If you are OK with that, I think you have to ask yourself the question: WHY are you OK with that? Because the answer to thát question can teach you lots about yourself.
It all sounds great in theory but, yea…definitely not for me anymore.”
“I would love to live in a community where people don’t think about each other as couples” Lola says while we enjoy a cup of tea in her London townhouse.
“And yeah if you want to be with someone, be with someone! And if you have a child together, great! This child can also be raised by other members of the community and everyone just respects each other and shares love together.”
“Lovely bubble you are in my dear” I say. “But what if you fall in love with someone from this community and he is also with another? If you are in love, especially in the beginning, don’t you want to spend all your time with that person? I know you very well so that is why I am asking.
Could you be the one that is waiting?”
“Oh, no!”Lola says. “I would want to be the number one! I don’t mind him having girlfriends on the side, but I would be the number one!”
“That kind of contradicts what you just said about the community living idea” I say.
“Shit! You are such a troublemaker! I guess I didn’t think it through yet.” she replies.
One of my best friends Maria said: “I could imagine you having a child with someone and not living with him. Having a loving relationship with another man who also loves the kid and still being in a very close contact with the father or even in a kind or FWB relationship with him.”
I definitely wasn’t sure if I was offended or flattered when she said that…
“But I can also see you living a more traditional life as I do.” she continued.
Pffff, Oké. Good, I have your blessing to choose either way. I can’t help but roll my eyes.
“Actually, Maria, “When I am in love, that person is the one I dedicate all my time to. It is the last person I think about before falling asleep and the one I wish I could make breakfast for when I wake up. I never needed another one in my life when I was happily in love. But I do believe we cannot find everything on 1 person and I rather know he is spending the weekend with someone else in Berlin, than being in doubt why my messages are not answered.”
“Yes” Maria says. “And although that is all very beautiful, the trust you give can easily be misused. As we said before: an open mind can also be your downfall. We have to create a very good filter to distinguish who is really poly and who is just playing around.
I am sure a lot of people use this term to their own advantage.
Now that this term is much more out in the open and accepted, you can put it on everything. You can just say you are poly and people, like you, believe it. Then they could, I say COULD, create a freeway to treat you like shit!? Ending up in a web of lies which will leave you in tears. That sounds quite dangerous to me.”
“So what do we trust then?” I ask.
“Our intuition I guess” she says.
Until here I guide you on this topic. I challenge you to think about it. Leave me a comment about your thoughts on this topic because it IS more around than you might think, or might wánt to think.
Let’s talk openly.
A life of freedom is something we all want. And although it might not be about freedom in relationships, maybe it’s about geographical freedom. I know that this is a very big motivation for me to have started my online business. If you want to know more about that I could introduce you to my mentors Stuart and Jay. They’ll teach you what they taught me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
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