Today I want to take on one of the biggest issues I have with dating in the Bay Area, non monogamy and polyamory. San Francisco is known as the city of free love, and people certainly take that to heart. All around us are tech startups, innovating and creative new ways. And people have taken that same philosophy to their relationships. It is so common out here that in my dating profiles I have to specify that I am not into those things. Otherwise, literally every message I get is from people seeking a thruffle. Oh, you don’t know what a throttle is. You say it’s a three person apopl. Among my personal friend groups, non monogamy and polyamory are incredibly common. So this is actually a rather controversial opinion for me to express. Let me be clear that whatever personally works for you, go for it.
But I personally don’t subscribe to polyamory, non monogamy. And I think there are a lot of people out there suffering simply because they aren’t ready to combat the seemingly logical arguments that polyamorous and non-monogamous people love to love out there. Here’s why I’m against polyamory and why you might be too poly. People love to throw out this first argument, monogamy isn’t natural. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good. Polio is natural. Rickets are natural. Furthermore, polyamory isn’t natural either. All human progress depends on unnatural things, from skyscrapers to vaccines. The second argument that they love to bring out is the most monogamous relationships fail. What about polyamorous ones? We actually don’t even have a lot of data whether polyamorous relationships work long term or don’t.
You have no comparison to say polyamory is better than monogamy. What we do know is that non-monogamous relationships are a hell of a lot more complicated and in general, more complicated relationships tend to end in failure. Problems multiply by the number of people. So having more people in a relationship equals more problems. Sure, there are a lot of problems for monogamy and traditional marriages tend to break up at a pretty high rate, but that doesn’t mean that the solution is polyamory. This next argument seems to make a lot of sense on the surface. One person just can’t meet all your needs of a monogamous relationship, nor should they. Monogamy and marriage haven’t always been about this ballistic standard of happiness. Think about back to medieval times, when marriage was all about power consolidation or land acquisition. This current standard that we have for marriage that we put so high up on a pedestal and believe that our partner should be anything and everything to us, it just doesn’t make sense.
Maybe that’s why so many marriages are failing. This doesn’t mean that don’t get married. It means that we need to redefine what marriage will see. It also doesn’t mean polyamory is the fix any more than marriage counseling or more communication might be. This argument really kills me. It’s not just about sex. It’s obviously about sex. Otherwise, you would be seeking more friends and not a sex partner. They’re right though. It’s not just about sex. What they’re really seeking is the intimacy that surrounds sex. And as a society, we lose intimacy once we get married. In this society, people get into a marriage and lose intimacy with everybody else. The only women that a man may touch once he’s married might be his mom or his spouse. He lacks intimacy with friends. Touch becomes taboo. What we lack isn’t sex, it’s intimacy.
People in our society right now don’t know how to form intimacy unless it involves taking your clothes off. We need to learn to make room in our life for people that we can’t have sex with. The more hedonistic side people love to make the argument that what feels good must be good. But the thing is, non monogamy often feels terrible. Compersion is not a natural emotion for many, many people. Yes. Don’t know what conversion is. It’s a non monogamy word for taking pleasure in your partner, experiencing pleasure with other people. The logic goes, if sex is pleasurable, then you should be having sex with as many people as possible. But by the tenets of non monogamy and polyamory that means tons of negotiations and conversations. Those can be pretty painful. Polyamorous love to believe that jealousy is something that’s conditioned. It’s not a natural feeling that we have. It’s something that society is telling us to feel. Which basically what they’re telling us is to ignore our own innate feelings and do away with our emotions. Personally, I’m not okay with somebody telling me that the things I’m feeling are wrong. Sure, there’s more pleasure to be had with non monogamy and polyamory, but does it equal out to the amount of added pain that you’re going to be having? For me, it doesn’t. And the last argument I want to make on this topic is that polyamory just isn’t time efficient nor does it really form deeper relationships with people.
Sure, you could say that investing time, building relationships with people, is never a bad investment. That having multiple relationships means more people can meet different needs and nobody is in charge of everything. More doesn’t always equal better, though, and sometimes too much is a bad thing. The more partners we have, the less time we have for them. And that means the depth of the intimacy that we reach is more and more shallow. Plus, all this time that you’re putting into your relationship doing these negotiations and conversations is less time that you have for yourself or your community or your child. When I was in an open relationship, I felt like it was an incredible feat to try to juggle all these people. And the whole point of being in a relationship was that I didn’t have to date anymore. I feel dating is a huge time zone. The time the polyamorous and non-monogamous are investing into relationships is time that’s not spent on things like volunteer work or personal development. And I find those things pretty important. Is sex really more important than those things?
Look, I know that this video seems like it’s being hard on the non-monogamous and polyamory, but I think a lot of people are drinking the Kool-Aid and describing this philosophy without really thinking it through. I’m not necessarily defending the traditional institution of marriage and monogamy. It’s got a lot of things wrong with it. But who’s to say polyamory is the fix when we could do relationship counseling or not having kids or spending more time personally developing yourself? If you liked this video or you at least thought it was thought-provoking, please leave a thumbs up. If you want to see more like this, hit subscribe. And if you have your own thoughts about polyamory and non-monogamy, which I’m sure many of you do, go ahead and leave them in the comments. Until next time. This is Rachel Bigadel.com.