More than one way to love

I’m always curious to find out about relationships that aren’t necessarily mainstream, how those relationships evolved, and how they work.

I was lucky enough to meet a man who is involved in a “polyamourous” relationship. Polyamory is the practice and acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at one time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Polyamory differs from polygamy, which is the marriage of more than two people. A polygamous relationship is often practiced for for religious reasons and usually only one person is allowed to have more than one intimate relationship. With polyamourous relationships, every member is allowed, even encouraged, to have more than one intimate relationship.

When I asked Jacob, the practicing polyamourer, if he was willing to meet with me and talk about his relationships, he was more than excited.

So was I. In my mind, I had imagined him as a kind of creepy older man with a pimp-style hat and cane. To me, a man who sleeps with multiple women at a time isn’t really a turn-on.

When I met him, I was very surprised. In front of me was a 28-year-old with kind eyes and an amazing smile. He was educated, witty and funny. I could easily see how this man had multiple relationships, and I was quickly wondering how I could become a part of the Jacob train.

In Jacob’s opinion, monogamy is caused by three things—jealousy, religion and selfishness.

“But what about the external desire that every person has? Can one person be truly happy in a monogamous relationship?” he asked me rhetorically.

I’m not the biggest fan of monogamy, but I’m not sure if having multiple boyfriends is the answer. My biggest questions for Jacob were about jealousy, protection and living situations.

Jacob spoke of intimate negotiations between him and all of his partners. Before anything happens between potential lovers, he talks it over with his current partners and makes sure that everything is approved through them.

He uses protection with all of his partners except one, and he stated that he respects his partners’ requirements for protection.

Jacob also told me he has a 24-hour rule: he won’t have sex with more than one woman in a 24-hour period. Well, that’s considerate of him, I thought. He also stated that he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage, so there wouldn’t be any issues with that or the living situations.

I left the meeting asking myself if Jacob had the right idea. Instead of the shackles of a monogamous relationship, he practices openness and honesty, sprinkled with sex. The concept of cheating is useless, because everyone is open and honest about what they want. As I’m growing as a person and learning about the complexities of relationships, I’m realizing there is more than one way to love.