One concept that has become more popular during the last couple of years is the idea of polyamory. This is the practice or desire for intimate relationships with multiple partners who are aware of such practice or desire. A polyamorous person is allowed to have multiple committed relationships.
The idea of giving your love to multiple people simultaneously is great. The love a person gives to each of their partners and the relationships themselves can be completely different, but our current society is not ready for this concept.
For starters, more and more people are opting out of committed relationships due to trust issues, commitment issues or simply because their lifestyle does not give them the time that dating requires. This goes hand in hand with the increasing abandonment of the idea of marriage and the more traditional lifestyle as a whole.
At first, it may seem like the transition makes sense. Fewer marriages equal more open relationships, but polyamory does not fall under the category of open relationships. Open relationships are for people who do not want to date seriously or those who do not want much emotional attachment involved. Polyamory requires being equally and emotionally committed to more than one partner.
Admittedly, we have come a long way in terms of mental health awareness. That being said, we need to recognize that not everyone is emotionally prepared to date somebody who can openly love more than one person. Everyone deals with insecurities that come from many different places. You have to have a different level of open-mindedness to date someone who is openly dating multiple people and not ever experience jealousy, fear of abandonment, wonder if they love the other partner more or if you are just not enough.
The only way I can imagine a scenario where one side of the couple loves and dates another person openly and the other side is okay with it is if both parties are polyamorous. That way, neither party would feel left out.
A person could argue that not everyone needs to be dating someone and not all polyamorous people need to have multiple partners at all times. However, the issue is not just finding other people who are okay with it.
As much as our culture changes daily, family is to a certain extent still the core of our society. Getting to a point where your family and the families of all of your partners are okay with the situation would probably be one of the trickiest obstacles.
It is common among young adults to start spending some holidays with their significant others’ families once the relationship starts getting more serious. However, when the situation involves polyamory, it can be difficult to make decisions regarding whose family the holidays are going to be spent with. I can only imagine how a “coming out” conversation would be with parents who are not prepared to know that their offsprings are dating more than one person in serious terms.
After decades of having mocked the Arabic culture where some Middle Eastern countries legally allow for men to have multiple wives, I do not believe that we are fully comfortable as a society with someone bringing two or three boyfriends over for Thanksgiving dinner. I applaud the parents of any millennial or Generation Z child who can truthfully say they are open to and comfortable with the idea of their children dating several people.
It took until 2015 for America to rule same-sex marriage legal in the same terms and conditions as traditional marriages in all 50 states. We have a long road ahead until our society can assimilate the idea of polyamory as an everyday fact.