When my husband and I first went public about our polyamory/open marriage, we had no idea the amount of assumptions that would be made about our marriage. Some of them we laughed at, thinking people couldn’t be serious. But the looks of surprise upon hearing our laughter told us otherwise. So here is a list of things that we (as well as other poly couples we know) hear quite often. This list still makes me giggle, despite these being very real assumptions about polyamory that people make all the time.
This one makes us laugh the most. Poly is not swinging. It’s about complex and intimate relationships with people outside of the marriage. About half the poly couples I know don’t include sex as part of their relationship. Kissing, intimate embrace, snuggling, yes, but not sex. When you’re balancing being an emotional support for multiple partners, there isn’t even a lot of time for sex.
This one drives us insane! Yes, we have a lot of friends. I also have a lot of professional connections. Yet the amount of people we get accused of having sex with vastly outweighs (by about 98%) the number of people we actually have sex with.
This is one of the most ridiculous assumptions about polyamory. I love my husband so much that I experience compersion when he’s with a partner. I feel this when my other partners are enjoying one of their other partners as well. I feel joy when the people I love are experiencing love elsewhere too.
My spouse loves me so much that even though he was raised religious and monogamous, he worked hard on his issues surrounding jealousy and judgment, so he could support me on my journey with others as well. When I’m down and his attempts aren’t helping, he’ll call one of my partners to see if they can help.
Another common assumption about polyamory. I can’t say that all poly couples have strong marriages going in. What I can say is that my husband and I didn’t open our marriage until we were in a healthy place, and the fact that poly forces us to keep communicating has only meant the reverse for us. The more we endeavor into polyland, the stronger and healthier our marriage becomes.
This one I can’t get past. I get why an insecure person might assume something so silly, but aside from two people out of hundreds, I don’t know any poly folks that would take part in a nonconsensual relationship. If one party isn’t in the ‘know’ and/or doesn’t support an external relationship, then it’s not a consent-based relationship. All parties must be in the know and supportive. Affairs are not polyamory.
Say what?! To this I usually cringe and hope the commenter doesn’t have family or friends.
No, I don’t. I love my partners equally, but sometimes in different ways. The things I love about my husband aren’t the same things I love about my other partner, yet both are equally important to me. Sometimes their traits overlap, but they are individuals and I love them separate as such. Separate, but equally.
Again, this is a weird assumption about polyamory to wrap your brain around. Considering we can already date whoever we want, this scenario is less likely to happen in poly and more likely to happen in monogamy where the person doesn’t have the freedom to explore other loving relationships.
I often brag about my husband’s skills in bed, so no! He’s quite fantastic in bed! Poly and open relationships—again—aren’t about sex. The point is the deep, intimate connections and those may or may not include sex and/or romance.
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