It’s the archetypal dime-store novel clich? — the fair damsel
can’t choose between one suitor and another. What she doesn’t know,
apparently, is that she could have them both. All she needs is the
proper instruction. Franklin Veaux has provided just that —
a website that
guides such a lady (or gent) in need through a type of relationship
that allows room for more than two — polyamory.

Polyamory isn’t a invention of today’s liberated lifestyle
culture. The French have known about it for ages — hence the term
m?nage ? trois, which literally translates to ‘household for
three,’ not the racy sexual scenario the phrase currently evokes.
Likewise, polyamory isn’t just about the sex, Veaux explains.
Polyamory defines a committed, long-term relationship between more
than two people. What makes it work is the love and emotional
intimacy shared by all participants, built just like in a
monogamous relationship on a foundation of trust, open
communication, and mutual respect. And, says Veaux, when these
elements are in place, then you have a network of people who deeply
care for one another’s well-being, something that is beautiful and
emotionally sustaining. Polyamorous relationships often include
children and may even provide them with more love and support than
many monogamous parental pairings, he says.

It’s not a utopia, though, and it’s not for everyone. Veaux
claims that polyamory and monogamy are relationship styles that
people seem hardwired for, either by nature or nurture. And just
like with monogamous couples, dysfunction and heartbreak are always
possibilities. So becoming poly isn’t necessarily an instantaneous
recipe for love and happiness. According to Veaux, it’s more
difficult than monogamy — you have to carefully maintain each one
of your partnerships, and while love may be infinite, time and
energy are not. With that in mind, he advises strong caution even
in discussing the possibility of polyamory with your partner —
even invoking the term may bring irreversible changes into your
relationship. Needless to say, then, it is never something to
experiment with if you’re even a little uncertain. But, says Veaux,
for people who are truly poly, it’s something they’ve always known
— something they’ve been waiting for their whole lives.
Sarah Wash

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