Stop Being So Fucking Condescending (Polyamory edition)

I identify as polyamorous (check Wikipedia if you’re confused) and there are few things that I find more irritating or upsetting in my personal life than having to tell someone that I’m poly. Actually it’s not the “coming out” that I hate it’s the follow-up conversation that I hate because almost without fair I am immediately told some condescending things that make me want to scream.

In an effort to make my life just a bit more bearable I’m going to give a “typical” response that I get to saying, “So I’m poly.” and then I’m going to follow with my own response.

“You haven’t met the right person to settle down with.”

Oh my god, stop. Please just stop right now. Stop it. Before you go any farther I want you to think about polyamory. Think about the idea of being in a poly relationship. You know that emotion you feel when you try to picture yourself being in a poly (or even open) relationship? That feeling of confusion and discomfort? It probably feels like you’re trying to jam a square peg into a circular hole. Well that’s how I feel when I think about being in a closed monogamous relationship. Trying to imagine myself being in a monog relationship is just like you imagining yourself in a poly relationship but the difference is that your relationship has been declared “normal” by your society.

Furthermore this has nothing to do with me “settling down” with anyone. I can settle down with two people or six people or HOW EVER MANY PEOPLE I END UP BEING IN A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH.  This is not swinging or cheating or whoring it up or about “shallow” relationships. This is me having sincere and real and true emotions/attractions to people and being honest about it.

And let’s  talk about the fact that you’re telling me this is a phase. Ultimately this is one of the most painful things for me to be told. At it’s most basic level you are stripping me of my legitimacy to say that I know who I am by telling me that I am incorrect. So let’s just leave this bullshit in another room.

I will not deny that there is a possibility that I will end up in a long-term, committed and monogamous relationship. As a matter of fact I am open to this potential future, I just don’t think it’s likely at all. Like most aspects of human emotion/attraction/sex/romance/life I do believe that there is a spectrum between polyamory and monogamy and I think it’s possible for us to travel along the spectrum throughout our life.  Consider this for your own life. When you ask me to be open to a potential future in monogamy I will ask you to be open to a potential future in polyamory. Just as I might meet a person who I will end up being monogamous with you might end up meeting people with whom you share a deep love with and you need in your life as romantic partners.

So next time I or someone else brings up the fact that we’re poly please don’t be a condescending dick about it. Accept it as that’s who this person is then do research if you’re confused (I’m making a list of resources that I’ll link to when it’s done.) The important thing is that as a poly person we’re frequently told that our relationships are wrong or not valid/legitimate or creepy or abusive and we have enough shit to deal with besides yours.

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4 responses to “Stop Being So Fucking Condescending (Polyamory edition)

  1. I love this. And I love YOU.

  2. Your rants are always fun to read. Not because I find them amusing, but because I feel like you are right here, talking…with great passion. Your emotions (and the truth within them) come across the screen quite successfully – even though I can tell you’re pissed. You have a right to be.

    I myself am in a monogamous marriage, but I get your point. We (Mr. LL and I) choose to say no to our feelings for others. It doesn’t mean we don’t have them – we’ve just made a conscious and shared decision to ignore that and “deprive” ourselves of that because it helps us build a stronger union, in our opinion. Other people choose differently. And still others delude themselves.

    I, myself, am of the mindset that monogamy is not our natural state. We choose it (or don’t) for various reasons (both personal and societal).

    Intriguing post. As usual.

  3. The last time I had an argument with one of my boyfriends, the friend I was venting to proposed that maybe I wasn’t as poly as I thought. That maybe I prescribed to the overall poly “label” but at the heart of it, I was really monogamous in my practices. Reading your post reminded me of that conversation and how I’m still rolling around my friend’s questions in my mind. Funny how I never tell her that she might not be monogamous when she has a fight with her boyfriend. I wasn’t offended. I was puzzled. My personal feeling is that some monogamous persons expect polyamorous people to not feel the “negative” emotions of traditional relationships; we don’t get jealous or we have no problem sharing all the time. Our common denominator is that we’re human. We all have feelings. We just choose to act upon them differently. Love your post!

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