I don’t think polyamory is as unfamiliar an idea as people think, but they only understand the idea of “multiple loves” when its applied to other relationship categories. Some of the examples where people have multiples in a relationship category include parents, siblings, uncles, best friends, pets, kids, teammates, coworkers… While everyone approaches it differently, this triad believes in letting people develop relationships that are organic and unique EVEN if some of those relationships fall under the same relationship categories.
This might be an oversimplification but… consider my cousin.
I have five first cousins but I only talk regularly to two of them and only really really talk to one of them- My best cousin A. I love all of my cousins (more or less) and my relationship with each is unique and organic, even though they all share the title “cousin.”
I tried explaining this to A by talking about her son. Her son has multiple parents- he has one Mom- A, and two Dads- K and P. I explained that each of those relationships will be unique and organic and her son will learn to navigate all of them differently even if though they all share the name “Parent” and even though he loves them all.
People have multiple relationships with many people that are each unique and organic and each must be navigated differently. The reason each relationship is unique and should be organically developed and navigated differently is because the people involved are DIFFERENT. My cousin A is very different from my cousin J, so each relationship is different. I would never approach A about designer sneakers and I wouldn’t talk to J about joining a book club. And I think this idea of unique, organic, and specially navigated is important to having more than one partner- or being in a relationship with a person who has more than one partner. E probs wouldn’t talk to me about folk punk bands just like he wouldn’t really talk to L about what’s new in baseball.
People don’t treat their maternal grandparents the same as their paternal.
Or one friend the same as another.
Even the issues that arise in polyamory aren’t unique, in that, non-romantic relationships can have similar issues. Non-romantic relationships can still have disagreements, jealousy, miscommunication, unmet needs… and so on. Basically things like jealousy and wanting someone’s time are RELATIONSHIP issues not just POLYAMORY issues.
Try this Mad- Lib:
My ________ is jealous of the trip I took with my _________.
My maternal grandmother is jealous of the trip I took with my paternal grandmother.
My cousin A is jealous of the trip I took with my cousin J.
My at home dad is jealous of the trip I took with my away from home dad.
And so on. And each of the resolutions will be navigated individual, uniquely and organically…
Or At least that is how I feel about it
Even A is still skeptical, though.
Some parting thoughts from my cousin: “Poly people actually have it right because if K had a second person, I wouldn’t be the only one telling him he’s wrong. Also… I applaud you for being a strong poly triad!”