Opinion: Polyamory Is Just An Excuse Not To Commit

Polyamory might be the trendy relationship status du jour, but its appeal is definitely lost on me. Giving yourself fully and completely to more than just one special person at a time? Sounds like a selfish pursuit for more sex and less commitment.

It seems to be all the rage. 

I first became aware of polyamory after watching the Netflix series You, Me, Her. In it, the highs and lows of a married couple who become polyamorous with a grad student are played out in a rollercoaster of drama. However, fairly recently, celebrities have become increasingly vocal about their polyamory including Will Smith, Tilda Swinton, and Scarlett Johansson. In an era where sexual fluidity is becoming more and more accepted, polyamory is swiftly becoming a go-to relationship status for many people wanting a more liberal, bohemian lifestyle.

Being committed to one person is an important thing to experience. 

I understand that for a lot of people, committing yourself to just one person feels scary. I’ve always had a fear of commitment but learning to trust and love someone is part of growing up and becoming an adult. Exploring different partners and experiencing a range of relationships is important before delving into a serious, committed relationship. However, once you’re in one, it’s a rewarding experience to be faithful to one special person at a time.

I think polyamory is just an excuse to be a player. 

Monogamy is hard and so is commitment but it’s the work you put into a relationship with a person that makes it so special. I can’t help thinking that people who enter a polyamorous relationship want to have their cake and eat it too. The way I see it, if you really love someone then why isn’t that one person enough? If it’s boredom you’re feeling with your partner, maybe consider spicing things up, or reconsider the relationship as a whole. To proclaim love for multiple people at once and to want intimacy with them too? That just sounds selfish and sketchy to me.

I can’t see how someone doesn’t get hurt. 

It’s hard enough giving one person your full love and commitment, so I fail to see how devoting your affection and time to multiple people can be any more appealing. As humans, we’re prone to jealousy. Seeing someone you love give their attention to another person is bound to create frustrations and feelings of insecurity. Romantic chemistry is unique to every couple, so how does that work when there are more than two parties involved? I’m not convinced polyamorous partners can come out unscathed.

I don’t believe the argument that it’s like a parent being able to love more than one child. 

Those who are pro-polyamory often argue that if a parent can love more than just one child, then someone can love more than just one partner. Well, I don’t think these two situations are alike at all for one simple reason: intimacy. The kind of affection one has for a family member or a friend is completely different than the type of love one has with a romantic partner. We can all have affection for more than one person, but the kind of all-consuming, chemistry-filled love a couple needs to have is entirely different.

Emotionally, someone will always feel left out. 

One of the wonderful things about being in a monogamous relationship is discovering all the weird and wonderful things about your partner. From their taste in music, food, movies, and all their quirks, learning about your partner is an incredibly special journey that will always be unique to just the two of you. Bringing another person into the mix means having to watch them develop their own bond, just as you had with your partner, and witnessing them form their own inside jokes, habits, and routines. This process feels like emotional cheating to me and in the end, someone will always feel like the outsider in any given situation.

If you want to sleep with more than one person, why not try being single?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to sleep with lots of people… as long as it’s done in a safe way. However, if you’ve decided to be faithful to one partner and you still want to explore other options, you might want to try the single life. If not, why not have an honest, conversation with your partner about trying a threesome, for example? There are ways to get more sex, if that’s what you’re after, that don’t include potentially hurting people you genuinely care about by putting them through the emotional rollercoaster of polyamory.

It shouldn’t be treated as a trend. 

Because of the celebrities that are often associated with polyamory and because this type of relationship is being highlighted in pop culture, it might seem like a trendy, chilled option for people who aren’t looking to settle down. While I think it’s important to try new things and have different experiences, polyamory shouldn’t be treated as a cool, bohemian affectation to casually try on. It’s important to know exactly what you and your partners are getting into before starting this type of relationship and to know the very real consequences that can arise from such an arrangement. Otherwise, you and those you care about could end up being irreparably hurt.

If you’re in a polyamorous relationship, more power to you. It’s just not for me. 

If you’re a happy polyamorist, that’s wonderful. Congratulations on making an incredibly difficult arrangement work. Being able to love many people at once and having the ability to devote time and attention to each one in turn is definitely a feat that I couldn’t handle. What makes being in a relationship special to me is knowing that I have the unconditional love of my partner and that I’m giving all my love to this one person too. It’s the trust and loyalty that makes a bond worthwhile in my opinion, and for me, one special person is definitely enough.

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