Ever wondered how some people can handle several intimate relationships at the same time? We got a polyamorous man in Singapore to tell us about how he sees love.
Most of us only date one person at any one time. Sure, we might have eyes for other people while in a relationship, but we refrain from acting on those feelings because, well, that’d be cheating.
Then there are those who have more than one partner. But here’s the thing: they’re not always cheaters. Sometimes, they’re polyamorous, and date more than one person at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
Polyamory is a kind of open relationship, and is the practice of being emotionally involved with more than one person at a time. This distinguishes it from another kind of open relationship, swinging, which allows sex outside the primary relationship, but not love.
Those in “poly relationships”, as they’re commonly known, tend to view their relationships in equal terms rather than assign labels like “primary” and “secondary”. Also, sex may be involved in a poly relationship, but that’s not always the case.
Even if you don’t know any polyamorists – or “ethical non-monogamists”, as they usually prefer to be known – you probably know a friend of a friend who is. Heck, if you use dating apps, you’ve probably come across quite a number of them.
But just how (and why) does polyamory work for some people?
If you’ve always been a monogamist, polyamory might be tough to wrap your head around.
For most of us, the mere thought of our partner seeing other people is enough to raise our blood pressure. So just how do “poly people” manage emotions – both their own and their partners’? How do they see love?
Then there’s the practical issue: given that they have to divide their time and attention across more than one partner, how do they build meaningful relationships?
We got Edward*, a 32-year-old polyamorist, to answer these questions. Edward was in a monogamous relationship for nine years before it ended in divorce, and he now practices polyamory and dates several people at the same time. He has a “committed life partner” who also practices polyamory, and they’ve been together for three years.