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You Don't Need to Understand Polyamory to Love Your Poly Friends

You Don't Need to Understand Polyamory to Love Your Poly Friends

You Don't Need to Understand Polyamory to Love Your Poly Friends

I never pictured myself being in a relationship where my partner has a wife, but things changed. 

McKennaMagazine

I never really pictured myself being in a relationship where my partner has a wife. Like most people, I imagined the life ahead would include a lasting, loving, monogamous relationship.

I’d heard of polyamory, and I thought it could be a great situation, assuming everyone involved participates in open and honest communication, and that they control their jealousy. It seemed like something I might be interested in down the road, but I couldn’t picture myself in that kind of scenario anytime soon.

But life is funny, and timing is a strange thing. Shortly after forming my opinion of polyamory, I found myself in a poly relationship.

It’s a move that has left me in uncharted waters, to say the least. This relationship symbolizes my journey into polyamory, which is a fascinating learning experience all on its own. But it’s come with a downside that I (sadly) predicted, but avoided.

With this new relationship, some of my closest friends express disapproval. Unlike any relationship or romantic choice I’ve been in before, this one has my loved ones full of questions, concerns and judgments.

Their disapproval comes from a good place, of course. They want only the best for me and are simply looking out for my happiness. I appreciate the sentiment (generally speaking, I think it’s best not to complain about being loved and cared for).

However, when the care comes in the form of disheartening disapproval, the joy that I experience in my new relationship feels threatened. Now, rather than feel excited to share information about my new relationship with loved ones, I feel a need to hide. There’s a level of apprehension that wasn’t there before.

The whole situation has me thinking about relationships — what’s traditional, what’s easily understood and validated vs. what’s not. After spending many a sleepless night going over it in my mind, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the serial monogamists around me, those who genuinely have a difficult time wrapping their heads around polyamory and other “non-traditional” relationships, I’ve come to one conclusion:

You don’t have to understand it to support it.

I have one guiding philosophy in life — “You do you.” The caveat being “You do you, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or others.”

Think of polyamory as loving Brussel sprouts. The idea of anyone loving Brussel sprouts — or even liking them — makes no sense to me. I find Brussel sprouts to be off-putting and disgusting. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone who names Brussel sprouts as their favorite vegetable is wrong. I sure as hell don’t comprehend it but, hey, “you do you.”

Polyamory is similar; it might not be for you. The entire concept might seem alien and impossible to grasp, and that’s ok. People who feel this way are by no means alone. In fact, I’d argue they’re a part of the vast majority.

As long as everyone involved in a poly relationship is happy, and communication is open, what is there to disapprove of?

Sure, you might still worry about the odds of drama and heartbreak, but isn’t that true of any relationship? There’s always going to be a fear of heartbreak and pain. That’s just part of falling in love.

You don’t have to understand when someone tells you they’re in a poly relationship. You don’t have to comprehend it to be supportive and trust in their decisions.

Of course, you can still worry about their well-being; none of us want someone we love to have their heart broken. A little concern is good. It’s valid. It shows that you care.

However, blatant disapproval of someone's decision to enter a polyamorous relationship is not ok; it hurts feelings and creates barriers, dividing everyone involved.

It would be amazing if people understood and validated polyamorous relationships; but at this point, I think we’d settle for just a little bit of acceptance.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Mckenna Ferguson

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll