There are many ways to look at polyamory and the reasons why people are polyamorous. I am going to bring in my lived experience to bring forth for this debate. I don’t have an answer but some food for thought!
I realized that I was polyamorous when I was starting to bud sexually as a young adolescent. I remember that I used to be really creative and liked to draw, I would often draw my favorite anime characters and they would explore one another. However, in these drawings I would often draw all the sailor moon characters together in the shower, exploring one another, and living together in the same house. This was before I even heard of the concept of polyamory. It was natural for me to picture the sailor moon characters as being together in a polyamorous relationship. I did not see polyamory represented in media, this was not presented as an option for me, nor did I see anyone in polyamorous relationships. So how can this even be possible?
I believe that before we are told by society what is wrong and what is right, what is acceptable, and what is stigmatized, we as young people see more options than what society presents to us as options. We are more open and flexible to various ways of living or being. In my case, I truly believe that I was just wired that way. Does this mean that polyamory could be genetic? I’m not sure I would go this far but I do feel that there must be parts of the brain that depending on how they develop, the concept of polyamory may make more sense. I think a lot of polyam people I have met, a lot of them have good emotional regulation, ability to compromise, and are not as affected by emotions such as jealousy.
If we look at communities pre-colonization I think it is safe to stay that polyamory has always existed in the ways that it could exist today. Indigenous communities have always been community oriented where more than one or two people from a community would raise a child, in fact a village would. It never had to be just the biological parents who took care of their children, community members took on many different roles in many other member’s lives and it was a beautiful and meaningful way of living. It was always community based living. These concepts are still somewhat alive within polyam dynamics today. I have always believed that we could learn from the way that things used to be.
When I have clients who are looking at polyamory as an option for them, I look at what strengths they would bring to polyamory and I have seen a common thread. A lot of the people have the ability to look at platonic relationships as just as valuable as romantic relationships. Some value having a relationship with themselves and prioritizing that and this is good for many reasons in polyamory.
This blog post is not complete and I’m still working on it!