Update: Big Love

Due to recent events, I thought it was a good time to give you an update on one of my more memorable posts. Big Love (October 12, 2011) discussed the newest fad of dating in multiples, i.e polyamory. Polyamory is the best umbrella term I can think of when discussing dating in multiples because each situation can be set up differently and have it’s own configuration. Triad is another useful term but it implies that everyone has an equal partnership when that’s not always the case. The most common type I’ve seen is when one person has two boyfriends. Although I did know of a few true traids. In the original post I mentioned 5 new polyamorous relationships and since then 3 of the 5 them have broken up. In addition, more polyamorous couples have formed in the last 7 months but they all have later disbanded. It seems like life has gotten in the way and the fad is quickly dying. In most cases one member has left the arrangement leaving a 2some although not always the original 2some. When I look at the breakups I have mixed feelings. In general I’m not shocked when a triad breaks up. It’s like hearing that a celebrity is getting a divorce… It’s never unheard of. Yet I was surprised at which couples have survived and which have called it quits. Some of the relationships I pegged to fall apart quickly have survived and vice versa.

I still wonder if deep down everyone in the arrangement is completely happy. Like I said, most of the triads I know are situations where one person has two boyfriends. Does the #1 boyfriend ever feel replaced or like a third wheel? Does the #2 boyfriend feel like he deserves more then being treated like a cock sucking boy toy? Does the man in the middle give a shit what either of them thinks? All good questions that I would love to know the answer to. It is possible that everyone is happy and enjoying life, but I suspect there are some deep cracks in the foundation that no one wants to acknowledge. Only time will tell if they repair the cracks or if everything crumbles.

One thought on “Update: Big Love

  1. As a member of a former triad that recently became a twosome, I can say that the end came not from the instability of the relationship, but the issues of the person who eventually left it. I will say that despite being “boyfriend #2” for a while, I never felt that I “deserved better” because I was not treated like a “cocksucking toy”. I feel that my partner has cared what we both feel and think, and at times would bend over backwards make us both happy (a relationship stress you missed in your analysis, but one I suspects is the cause of as much poly drama as personal jealousies).

    That said, I'm pretty sure that boyfriend #1 felt replaced. Not just by my in the affections of our mutual partner, but also by our shared boyfriend in my affections. Was I happy in the triad? I was always happy with my “boyfriend #1” (the “man in the middle” once our “triangle” became a “V”) and in the beginning I was happy with both. In some respects, being made an equal partner in the relationship was harder on me than remaining the “boy toy.” But in the end it was also worth it.

    Ultimately, could we have remained in that triad and been happy? Probably not, but part of that has a lot more to do with tbe capacity of each member to be happy at all than the strength of the relationship. Could I be happy in a different polyamorous arrangement? Probably.

    To survive, I think a poly relationship has to a abandon the idea of “fair” as being “even” and instead look at what everyone wants and needs to be happy. If what one partner needs is impossible to achieve, then no number of additional partners, not 0 nor 100, will make the relationship work.

    Could I be monogamous and happy? Maybe, but I don't value monogamy as an end for its own sake, and so choose not to impose it as an arbitrary rule for being with me.

    All of that said, I don't think polyamory is inherently less stable; it's just that the majority of all relationships end (until you find the one that lasts tje rest of your life) and polyamory rapidly multiplies the number of relationships that might end.


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