I have two boyfriends. It’s time polyamory became socially acceptable. This is James. James and I met nine years ago on a drunken night that neither of us really remember. It wasn’t the most romantic start, but we’ve been together ever since. And this is Martin. Martin and I started seeing each other last year after I met him on a holiday to the UK. Now I’m braving the Scottish cold and living with him in Edinburgh. Martin James know about others. In fact, it was James who introduced us. The three of us are allowed to date or have sex with other people as much as we want.
We’re polyamorous. I know what you’re thinking. Lots of people find this hard to get their heads around. How can you possibly love two people at once? Do you like one more than the other? Don’t you get jealous? Do you all have constant threesomes? The answer to most of these questions is none of your business. But basically, our relationships are built on one simple philosophy love is limitless.
Love is limitless
Loving a second or even a third or fourth person doesn’t diminish the love you have for anyone else. We’re part of a growing community of people breaking away from the norms of the nuclear family, whether it’s same-sex couples, open marriages, polyamorous unions, friends who live in in in community or lesbian couples and their sperm donors raising children together. A global poll in 2013 found that the vast majority of people in the west and South America found homosexuality either morally acceptable or not a moral issue. This is huge progress from even ten years ago. But people in alternative relationships still face serious discrimination.
People I know in polyamorous relationships have been ostracized from friends and family. And there are cases where parents have lost custody of their children due to their lifestyle. A recent American poll found that only 16% of people believe polygamy to be morally acceptable. And while I might expect discrimination from the socially conservative depressingly, it often comes from progressives too.
Take the times when I’ve tried to discuss polyamory with same-sex marriage advocates. They weren’t interested, worried it would detract from their fight to gain legal recognition. But if we believe that all love is equal, then why does my love not count? With same-sex marriage now being legalized around the world, isn’t it time the law caught up with the diversity of relationships, family and parenting structures that exist? I am not advocating for polyamorous marriage. I think that marriage is far too limited for the various types of love and relationships people experience. But legal rights should not be limited to those in monogamous unions. We need to rethink the way we structure tax, social welfare and immigration benefits around relationships. And why not allow multiple partners to be signatories on bank accounts or mortgages? It should extend to more complex rights too, even child custody. If three or more loving adults want to become parents, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t more love in a family better than less? Around the world, more people are rejecting monogamy. It’s about time our society and our law caught up.