There are so many things I want say:

You say your friend has told you that she is “very happy, and more herself than in a traditional couple” but you are deciding that her relationships don’t have value and don’t matter because? Why?

Because they don’t match what you think or society thinks/says a relationship should look like?

You said “Supposed to…” a lot. Relationships are supposed to have… my questions would be.. 1- according to are they supposed to? And also- 2- why do you assume they don't?

You decided your friends partners aren’t her boyfriends. Do you really get to decide that? Why? How do you have that control over her life and her loves? And so what if they aren’t? Why is that wrong?

You also said “if they are broke- throw away and get another one..” Why do you assume any of her relationships (or any poly person’s) are broken and that’s why she have more than one. She didn't throw the first away- so why assume it was broken just because she has added another one?

Have you talked to your friend about this? If you were my friend I would be incredibly hurt by your assumptions about the shallowness of the way I love. I would try to lovingly explain that my multiple partners and I have very deep meaningful relationships with each other.

  • Maybe I count more on one to help with ABC kind of things, or the other to do XYZ with, but just because you don’t see us heading to the alter, doesn’t mean my relationships with them don’t add incredible value to my life.
  • You don’t have to believe or understand it but they are ALL there for me in an emergency. I have a whole village. I never have to face awful things alone. In fact, I have 2–3 partners/boyfriends who will be there for me- and often they will do it in the same room with each other, because there is so much love and respect we all know we are there for each other.
  • Love is infinite. Time is not. It can be difficult to manage time for sure. For most poly people, we figure out eventually how many additional people we can sustain in our lives and still have meaningful deep relationships. For me that is usually 3. I can have 3 romantic partners and still maintain close female friendships, date my loves and even fit in the occasional fling. My life is structured carefully to allow this freedom. For other peope it may be two, or 6. That is not for me to judge or decide how much time another person has.
  • A few of the comments on this article talk about Poly as an aspect of cheating and “how could everyone know?” All of my partners not only know about my other partners but they usually meet each other, we share contact info in case of emergency and I usually meet their other partners too. None of us live together in a big commune- as a matter of fact I am Solo-poly. I live alone and intend to for a long time. It IS possible to find people who want to have open loving respectful multiple relationships. Maybe not as easy as monogamy, being that monogamy is the social norm, but it is possible.
  • It is a huge assumption that because people have more than one partner they are “just taking.”

I think that’s what concerns me most about this- all the assumptions made about people in polyamorous relationships. (And the assumptions you make about your friend, which make it seem like you don’t hold her in very high regard.) Just because they don’t look like “traditional” relationships doesn’t make them bad or selfish, it just makes them different. And that should be ok. It doesn't have to be for you.

You can have valid concerns for the way society treats people and relationships without using polyamory as the scapegoat/bad guy/ bad example.

I do not think Polyamory is for everyone. I do not think monogamy is the only way. I think everyone should consent to the kind of relationship they want to be in, and then pursue it.

Also I don’t understand the whole gender connection you made here either. Are you saying that polyamorous women are sluts because we are following a masculine norm? Because it sounds that way. It sounds like you are shaming women who have more than one sexual/romantic relationship. That I am trying to “take on masculine traits.” You pretty much said I can’t be a “feminist” and a polyamorist.

Being polyamorous, I am making my own choices, not letting the patriarchy determine my path for me. I have taken charge of my own sexuality and I am very much portraying feminist values.

It might be worth having another chat with your friend about her relationships to better understand how they enhance each other’s lives.

Written by

World traveler, memoir writer, lover of all things relationship- especially non-traditional! Follow me on Twitter: @ELByrne1

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store