Chris's article

Poly Love, Not Double Standards

There’s an old saying which is rarely used today, but it’s meaning remains every bit as valid. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Essentially it refers to treating people the same as you’d like to be treated, but it goes further in suggesting you should have the same expectations as others expect of you. Think about a time a rule was explicitly enforced on you while you watched someone else blatantly ignore the rule then suffer no consequence for it. It’s common in the workplace. A co-worker befriends a member of management and comes in a few minutes late almost every day, but never is a word spoken of it. You come in late twice in one week and end up with a verbal warning, or worse. It’s an unfortunate tendency in human nature. For my friends, the world. Everyone else, the rules. Double standards in the workplace are frustrating, but typically there are resources to correct the situation. Double standards at home, or in intimate relationships, are far more complex. Relationships don’t have written rules so it’s up to each participant to set expectations and standards and stick to them. Here are a few ways to avoid power imbalances and double standards in your poly relationship. 

Sticking with workplace examples to make the next point. At work there is usually a manager to oversee operations, ensure employees are performing up to par, and implement disciplinary action when needed. This is not how intimate relationships should work. Everyone involved in a relationship is a ‘manager’ of that relationship and should be treated as such. Even if you’re into power play, or other similar kink, it should not be the guiding principle of your day to day relationship. Indulge yourself, but don’t lose yourself. When you invite a new person into your existing relationship, you are fully welcoming their input about relationship structure and expectations. When a polygamous man finds a new sister wife, she needs to be equal to any existing wives. There are some areas where trust has to be developed, naturally, but no efforts should be made to thwart a new member of your poly group from expressing themselves to the fullest. If your desire is to limit or control others, it’s not love you’re after. 

Even in the world of polyamorous relationships there is a surprising amount of unreasonable jealousy. I’ve lost count of the number of times poly friends have expressed that they want to date other people, but want their partner to only be with them. This is usually expressed with full knowledge that it’s ridiculous, but is a real feeling nonetheless. In a world with too many people clinging to the idea of relationships as a form of possession, it’s not easy to break the habit. In order to grow a polygamous family or polyamorous group there has to be an environment that encourages dating and free expression. Patriarchal structures add a layer of difficulty to this concept. In a polygamous family, usually it’s only the husband that dates prospective new sister wives. The only way to justify this is by ensuring each current wife is happy with the arrangement and knows she is also free to start dating if she ever wants to. Some people will balk at this idea, but don’t forget, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s only fair. Marriage, of any type, stopped being about possession decades ago. Love is what keeps people together. Don’t poison it with a double standard based on your inability to trust. 

Trust is such a trigger word. It’s hard to maintain, easy to lose, and is required for healthy relationships in every aspect of life. We will stop going to a restaurant after years of enjoying the place based on one bad experience. We’ll convince ourselves to drive two miles out of the way for something we need because an employee at the local shop had a bad day once and was rude. Trust is complicated. There is no easier time to employ a double standard than when we feel our trust has been tested. In situations with the local shop or restaurant the only damage our pettiness will cause is a little less business they likely won’t even notice. However, pettiness over silly incidents with the ones we love can cause irreversible damage. It can kick off a litany of power plays and double standards that will ensure the demise of even the strongest relationship. People will show the worst of themselves when they feel they have something to prove. The only thing we should be concerned with proving to a lover is our ability to love. Love is forgiving, supportive, and without nefarious intent. 

Relationships come in so many forms it would be impossible to pin them all down. Each person involved in an arrangement brings a unique perspective that should mold the relationship into something that is beautiful to them. There is really no wrong way to have a relationship as long as it reflects all of the people in it. We make the most amazing things in this world when we bring all of our best ideas to the table. You have to love and trust each other. When you look for polyamorous dates you need to keep the current love in your life at the forefront of your heart. A relationship cannot be healthy if anyone feels neglected or unhappy. Never prioritize pride, selfish desires, or pettiness over the people you love. Remember this, and that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and you’ll have a strong platform to work from. Polygamy dating, poly dating, and maintaining happy relationships is enough work already. Don’t make it worse by ignoring a double standard when you see it, whether it’s your double standard or a lovers’. Love is always more important than ego.    

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc:

We’re all guilty of pushing our personal views onto other people a little too hard at times. It’s easy to feel confident you are correct about something and become frustrated at anyone with an opposing view. You often can believe you’re actually helping someone by persuading them to think like you. Maybe you are, Maybe you’re not. There’s trouble brewing either way when you become inflexible. None of us have all of the answers and our discourse should be focused on sharing ideas rather than claiming moral or logical superiority against others with perfectly reasonable views. Not everything needs to be personal outside of your own intimate relationships. Here are some thoughts on choosing your battles wisely, respecting the choices and views of others, and contributing to a more accepting world where people can pursue their polyamorous dreams without fear of discriminatory interference.

An important concept to embrace is how useless your negative opinions are in the grand scheme. This isn’t about feeling you don’t matter and can’t contribute. It’s about the diminishing impact you have on the world as you foster negative views. There is a difference between skepticism and negativity, by the way. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe polygamy and polyamory are entirely different things. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to school people for identifying as polygamous when you believe they are only polyamorous. If a group of poly lovers choose to describe their relationship as polygamous in an effort to express a greater level of commitment to each other it is nobody’s right to tell them they are wrong. On the other hand, if a woman wants to be a traditional sister wife it’s only expected she would likely not choose a family that involves two men. It’s not about doing anything that isn’t right for oneself. It’s about realizing that everyone is different and should be able to follow their own path without others attempting to ‘correct’ them along the way. 

Let’s say you’re a person that feels very strongly that the rules of monogamy and polygamy are set in stone. It’s one man and one woman, or one man and multiple wives, only. There are plenty of people in the world that will support your views. It will be easy to feel very confident that you are absolutely correct and that people should listen to you. There are certainly millions around the world on your side. The fact is, plenty of same sex marriages have been wildly successful and it made more people happy in the world. There are thousands of successful mixed gender group relationships in the world identifying as polygamous, or whatever they prefer, and this also has lead to more happy people in the world. If the joy of others upsets you, you are the problem. There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t follow your own heart in your personal life, but every reason to respect others following their hearts as well. 

There are situations where your strong opinions are needed to persuade others. If you see someone trying to go along with a relationship that is clearly unhealthy there should be no hesitation with offering your advice and help. The dating world, poly or not, can be a tricky and dangerous place. From sex cults to lone abusers, there are predators out there looking for prey. Respecting the choices of others doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to obvious dangers. Love and sex can play crazy tricks on the best of us. If you see sudden changes in a friends personality after they meet someone, signs of physical abuse, or any red flags don’t be afraid to thwart the relationship. Tread carefully and respectfully, but never let them slip away into a world they might not be able to escape without a real effort to pull them back to their senses. Polyamory is about love. It’s not about abuse and control, and that’s an opinion it’s okay to enforce.

As acceptance grows for many different types of loving relationships so, too, will opinions about them multiply. It’s easy to jump on a naysayer bandwagon as humans have an odd affinity for mob mentalities. Before picking and choosing which non-monogamous relationships you’ll accept or reject, and insisting on telling them how to define their own relationships, think about the effect your opinion actually has on the world. Is it really helping anyone but the naysayers that are impossible to please? Eventually those naysayers will find fault in your life too. That’s what they do. Do you really want to be a part of that? Why not be a part of the world that’s trying to make it a happier and more accepting place? Before jumping on a friends back when they mention their account on a polygamy dating site, ask them how that would work for them. Instead of telling your friend the couple they’ve met is only using them for sex, or worse, talk to them about how they picture a future with them. How would it work? The life of a sister wife or member of a polyamorous group is often quite wonderful. Don’t have a negative impact on them. If you really cannot respect someone else’s relationship it’s better to walk away. 

Everyone is trudging through life doing the best they can. The number of obstacles and barriers people face make it difficult enough to find and maintain joy. Showing love and support for all the diversity around you will reward your life with experiences and insights that are invaluable. Having personal views that stem from a place of love, support, and acceptance will only lead to more satisfaction in your own life. When you see people loving each other whatever way they see fit, be happy for them. Your opinion about the dynamics and labels they should be embracing is irrelevant to their experience. If nothing else, consider the old saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, why say anything at all?” This is especially true when your words only seek to cause harm, which is not helping anyone. Spread love and stop hate.   

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc: 

A passing thought about polyamory can make it seem like an easy and care-free lifestyle that mostly only immature young adults enjoy. There is a certain freedom to be enjoyed when people choose to not limit intimacy and love in their lives. Less finality and more opportunity is lovely, but comes with responsibilities that should not be ignored. Intimacy with more than one person means more chances to cause emotional trauma, more sexual partners means a higher health risk, and following an unfamiliar life path leads to unique circumstances you and many of your peers simply won’t understand. You become part of an ‘alternative lifestyle’ which can expose you to heavy scrutiny. Don’t let any of this discourage you. Your poly life can be one of great beauty and fulfillment as long as you’ve considered your true desires and how to approach them in respectful and constructive ways. 

Think about your ultimate relationship. Do you want to be a sister wife? Would you like one or more lovers of the opposite or same sex, or both? Are you a man that wants sister wives, or would like to join other men and all share one wife or girlfriend together? If you could paint the picture of your perfect family or intimate group, what would it look like? Take this part seriously because this is what will drive all of the decisions and behaviors you’ll need to develop in order to have the life you want in a fulfilling and ethical manner. There are no limits to the life you ultimately desire. As long as you intend and cause no harm, and are genuinely following your heart, you can rest assured you’re doing the right things. 

If you simply don’t wish to commit to anyone romantically, but enjoy finding sexual partners frequently, you are not polyamorous. You can have an open relationship with one or more partners, but sex outside of the relationship is just sleeping around. There is nothing wrong with this as long as any people you have committed to are aware of your activities, however, those behaviors should not be considered a form of polyamory. It’s actually what many people incorrectly perceive as polyamory. Polyamory and polygamy imply a certain degree of investment beyond getting laid. ‘The Ethical Slut’ is a great read that lays out how to live a slutty lifestyle while minimizing risks. If you and/or your partners insist on sleeping around you should read it and consider the behaviors you can develop to protect yourself and others from any harm. 

This leads to poly and polygamy dating in a new pandemic weary world. If you and/or your partners are seeking others to join you romantically it means you have to meet new people, which can lead to sexual encounters regardless of new relationships working or not. It should be pointed out that in order to ethically have sex with anyone many of the standards pointed out here should have already been followed. There has always been risk involved when sleeping with what essentially are strangers. Talk about any risk you bring to the encounter and ask questions about risks the others may pose. This has to become part of the experience without ruining the moment. We have to get comfortable with it. Mostly, we have to tell the truth. There is no way to stay ahead of an outbreak if people are not being candid and taking health risks, of any kind, seriously. If you find yourself afraid of this discussion, or incapable of presenting the truth about your risks, you need to put your sex life on pause to consider your motivations. 

An insatiable sex drive is not a problem if you come by it honestly. Wanting multiple regular partners because you don’t want to overwhelm one person is arguably an amazing gift, good for you. On the flip side, an unquenchable sex drive stemming from an emotional issue runs a high risk of falling into destructive behavior. Dating to find healthy connections with new people and grow your group or family should not be influenced by destructive behavior. It should be a well considered and intentional experience where you’re seeking real connections with people that share similar desires in life and love. This is why it’s so important to be in touch with your personal drives and motivations. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself meeting the wrong people and trying to forge relationships that have no chance of real success. Nobody wants to be lonely, but better to spend some time alone than to hurt yourself and others through desperate attempts to force doomed relationships to work. 

In the time you spend alone it will be easy to believe the naysayers when they say you’re doing something wrong. Choosing to challenge societal norms naturally leads to some level of ostracization because without imposing consequences, society at large feels it’s losing control. People that choose to live outside of the heterosexual, monogamous, patriarchy have a responsibility to support each other. Consider yourself your own, new, letter in the LGBTQ+ movement. In order to be happy, you need supportive friends. In order to enjoy the support of friends it’s only fair to offer your support in return. These are the people that will help you embrace yourself and keep you strapped to your seat while you ride the roller coaster of finding love. Trust them when they’re concerned for you. Tell them when you see red flags they may not notice. The bond you share is just as strong as with any lover you’ll find. Treasure your friends. 

Common themes when discussing ethics are honesty with yourself and others, respect for yourself and others, integrity, intent, and generosity. Nobody is perfect. We will all fall short at times until the day we die. It’s important to genuinely forgive yourself while you sort out the influences pushing you in the right and wrong directions. As you search for that perfect poly love situation, or polygamous family, you can’t forget the number one relationship in your life is with yourself. If you don’t love and respect yourself, it will be difficult to offer others the love and respect they deserve from you. Yes, you can meet a friend or lover that helps you to that goal, but you have to lay the groundwork first. The best thing about approaching anything in life ethically is you can be assured of better results. Feeling good about your choices and being a reliable friend or lover will never lead you astray. Be safe, be strong, and always spread love.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc:

The dating world is tough to navigate no matter your preference for potential partners or lifestyle. Saying hello for the first time, spending those first moments together, and learning about each other is exciting and stressful all at the same time. On top of all of the struggle to find love is the unfortunate reality that disasters will strike. As the old saying goes, *stuff happens. All of us will face things in life that require all of our energy and focus, but the need for human connection cannot be pushed aside. Everyone is living in one of those unfortunate moments right now. Many are stuck at home wondering if life can ever return to normal. Coronavirus, or Covid-19, is likely to change everything for a very long time, maybe forever. Here are some things to consider while confined to home and moving forward as a polyamorous or polygamous person in a world forever affected. 

The main thing everyone has to commit to, immediately, is taking outbreaks like coronavirus (Covid-19) seriously. That’s the first line of defense. Staying home when a deadly virus is circulating will allow the time needed to reduce the speed of its spread and keep it to a level that won’t overwhelm healthcare facilities. Deadly viruses don’t have to be so deadly if we can slow them down and ensure access to care to everyone that catches them. If you are in the polygamy dating or poly world consider new ways to date.

Online dating is a great way to make contact with potential new partners or sister wives, and from there you can plan to meet in person once it’s safe to go out again. It’s going to be very tempting to meet sooner, but, stay strong and committed to protecting yourself, and everyone else too! If you all get sick, what’s the point? Be sick and die together? Don’t be ridiculous. Better to be smart together and find ways to have fun in the safety of home. 

Look into applications like Skype, Facetime, and Zoom. With some, you can have multiple people in one chat or meeting which is perfect for your polyamorous group, or for all your sister wives to join in. If you prefer to stick to messaging only, you can have movie dates simply by starting a movie at the same time as a friend and message each other throughout. Share a playlist and dance together on a call. You can even get sexy with all of your lovers at the same time on video chat if you’re feeling frisky. There are so many ways to hang out virtually with the people you love today. Use them the same with new people you’re meeting. Unfortunately, with disaster comes vultures, so watch closely for red flags or scammers. Never send money, nudes, or give out private information to someone you’ve never met. Many people have nothing better to do than to run scams from home right now, be careful not to waste any precious time on anyone that is suspect. Keep it fun, keep it sexy, find new ways to virtually connect, and maybe even invent new ways! The sky's the limit in the virtual world. Finding a new sister wife, polygamous husband, poly date, or poly partner of any kind has never been more accessible than it is today.  

No matter the risk involved, some people will insist on going out into the public and meeting for a date, or worse, going to one or the other’s home. It’s understandable that, for many, virtual hangouts just aren’t the same. It’s natural that you’ll want to share physical space with each other. While it’s risky and absolutely not encouraged there are a few things you can do to mitigate the dangers. Some areas, even areas on lock down, are allowing people to spend some time outdoors in certain places, like parks. Meeting someone new can happen in these spaces, but keep the standards of social distancing in mind. Walk and talk a few feet apart, at least. Don’t kiss, don’t hug, don’t hold hands. Remember that you aren’t only protecting yourself, you’re also protecting them. Shifting your focus off of self protection and toward protecting others helps with adopting safer behavior. It’s not fair, and not right, to put others at risks you were willing to take. Shift your perspective. Going to another person's home during a quarantine involves so many risks it’s unimaginable you’d want to do it. If you do, consider bringing a change of clean clothes and slippers to wear in their home. Take a shower when you arrive and leave your dirty clothes in a plastic bag. Wash your hands regularly while you’re visiting. Stay at least a few feet away from each other and do not engage in physical contact. If you insist on physical contact, the least you can do for each other is discuss your risk level first. Honestly, if you were too selfish to wait until it’s safe you’re part of the problem, but there are still steps you can take to mitigate the danger.    

Let’s get this straight. This is not advice from a medical professional. This is simply a plea for people to take Covid-19, or any deadly outbreak, seriously with a realization that some people will still take risks. If you feel a little under the weather, be honest about it. Don’t meet someone that thinks you’re completely healthy when you’ve been feeling even a little sick. If you’ve been around groups of people, talk about it. If you’ve been around someone that was diagnosed with Covid-19, it would be unconscionable not to share this information. Take real responsibility for your part in this pandemic and the safety of others.

Polyamory is an exciting lifestyle, but like most good things in life, there are always risks. Online dating and social media are modern phenomena that actually make this pandemic more bearable. Take advantage of it. Be smart. Learn to express your love in new, virtual ways. Humans are incredible. We’re able to fly to every corner of the Earth in mere hours nowadays. We’re witnessing the darker side of globalism with this rapid spread of a deadly virus, but we can help protect each other from danger while still meeting and mingling in ever more creative ways online. The world may never be the same. Instead of hearing that and being too sad over the loss of days gone, consider this a new opportunity for a better way forward. Polygamy will live on. Polyamory will continue to grow as one of the most beautiful ways to enjoy people you love. Sexuality will continue both enhancing and complicating lives. Change is ultimately good and if we take charge of this situation we can ensure a better, safer, future. Be safe and protect everyone around you. 

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc:

Many people considering polyamory are discouraged by the unnatural feeling of the idea. Marriage involving only two people has been society's standard for so long that other options simply feel wrong. Fighting our natural inclination to love more than one person intimately has become a badge of honor. Monogamy works for a lot of people. There is absolutely no fault in it as long as it feels right for two people that choose it. There is a major problem with the judgment others face when they choose other standards to follow. The fact that the ability to have a relationship with more than one person takes time to master is not due to any fault in it. It’s a natural lifestyle that has been suppressed to the point of needing to be nurtured until you get it right. Society is waking up to polyamory and poly relationships are becoming safer and better for everyone involved. Here are ways you can embrace your poly dreams, or the poly relationships of your peers.

First off, all relationships are work. Even parents and their children have to work at maintaining healthy relationships. Most great friends go through a rough phase and have to decide to put their love for one another above their qualms. Love is complicated and deep. Assuming anyone wants a poly relationship due to a lack of ability to commit is unfair, and frankly, rude. There are few things more childish than adults that want to hold everyone to their personal standards and preferences. Building a poly family takes a lot of backbone. Your relationship will be judged harshly and you will face people that believe you are living in sin. All of this will be in addition to the normal struggles of any relationship. You will always have a dozen reasons to quit and plenty of people that will believe they’re helping you when you lean on them to leave a plural relationship. Be wary of the intentions of those that don’t respect you to begin with. Don’t leave people you love in an effort to live right in the eyes of others. Always build on what is right for you. 

The argument that plural relationships are not natural is a total non-starter. Mating for life exists in nature, sure, but it is not the only form of reproduction. There are many ways animals mate, even some rather violent ways. Few mammals have sex for both reproduction and enjoyment, but humans are one of them. The very nature of our intimacy, sexual urges, and ability to love multiple people so deeply shows that ‘mating for life’ is very likely the less natural option for humans. It’s important to stop concerning ourselves with natural things. We, as a society, should be supporting the human capacity to make our own choices. Cars are not natural. Brick and mortar homes are not natural. We don’t think those unnatural things are somehow sinful. Why would we consider a relationship that makes someone happy somehow evil? It’s not. What’s evil is the desperation to control every single person and thing around us in an effort to feel safe and validated. Find the things that are right for you and respect the right for others to choose whatever makes them happy. It’s really that simple. 

Once you’ve found the life and loves that make you happy it’s important to encourage others to do the same. We owe it to each other to help bring out the best in every life we touch. If you have a friend that wants to become a sister wife, be a friend she can turn to if anything goes wrong. Don’t judge her. Love her. If you have a friend that wants to build a polygamous family and find multiple sister wives, help them find good people and embrace their family like any other. Pushing people with different lifestyles to the fringe of society leads to dangerous situations where people are afraid to get the help they need if things go awry. There are monsters in the world we can protect each other from simply by loving and fully respecting all the good people in the world. Why would you want to be a person that makes the world precarious for anyone else? The golden rule applies, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Take it a step further and go out of your way to do more for others than you ever expect anyone to do for you. Nurturing the best in others only makes your world better in return. 

Polyamory is a beautiful lifestyle that can lead to a world with less loneliness and happier love lives all around. It’s absolutely not right for everyone and it’s not easy to make the adjustment. If you’re fortunate enough to find the right people that share your poly dream, the possibilities are endless. You don’t have to close yourselves off to the world. There’s no need to reject or lie about any desire or attraction you may have toward others. Even if you’re part of just a couple that’s only open to the idea, your relationship will benefit from the level of honesty you can share. Being open to new things and supporting the natural feelings of your loved ones gives them the freedom to be their authentic self, which gives you an authentic connection to them. Some people do get involved in relationships to control another person. A lot of men want a wife that will make him the absolute center of her life, and nothing else! This so often leads to resentment, lying, cheating, and heartache. It’s your choice. Your life can resemble a depressing country song, or a beautiful symphony with all its complexities and depth. You can build and share beauty or continue hate’s uncanny ability to infect lives. Stop fussing over the idea of anything being natural and start nurturing love in every corner of the world.   

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc: 

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