I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m intrigued by the concept of Polyamory, the relationship choice where you love whoever you feel like loving, rather than the ‘one at a time’ love that western society seems to dictate. While I’ve not had the opportunity to practice it yet, it’s a lifestyle choice that fits what I feel is absolutely right. 🙂
I was reading something about my Myer-Briggs personality type (INTP) and Polyamory, and the following part of the discussion caught my interest:
I think polyamory is a relationship style that may have specific benefits for INTPs…
Traditional relationships are based on exclusivity, paucity and ownership. Even if brides are no longer bought and sold in most cultures, the underlying paradigm has changed little. And it is simply cruel to our biology.
If one isn’t comfortable with the tradition, if the whole idea of exclusive emotional and sexual possession just doesn’t sit right with you, what are you left with? That term Forsaken… why should anyone be forsaken.
Anyway, I think INTPs are one of the types most likely to be least comfortable with being anyone else’s possession, or with having the sole responsibility for another’s happiness. I know I’m not. I need to ignore people for long periods of time. I must be responsive to my own needs.
I want my independence and I want to live within my own space on my own terms. I want to take responsibility for myself. Why should that exclude me though from having satisfying sexual relationships.
Living in a sexually possessive society that is flagrant in it’s encultured abuse of sexuality… all the double-standards, all the deceit. Bleh. If for no other reason than polyamory is at least honest and accepting of our nature, and more reflective of the innate INTP nature particularly, I hold it in high regard.
Who woulda thought that my interest in Polyamory was related to my personality type? I guess it goes without saying, really, but I just never thought of it that way before.
So I can sort of understand now why so many other personality types are dead-set against it. Those personality types that require formality and ‘ownership’ would be very much against having more than one loving partner, since they wouldn’t be able to ‘own’ their partner. It violates everything that they think is right.
And so we have the conflicts that would occur between those who believe in ownership, and those who believe in freedom.
But please, don’t tell me that marriage is not about ownership. You have a ‘contract’ between two people that is legally binding by the government! Just like you have a contract for owning any other kind of asset, like a house or a car, or even a business contract.
I was having a conversation about polyamory with a friend of mine recently, and it was his adamant and vehement opinion that anyone who even considers loving more than one person at a time should be castrated, if not outright executed.
I couldn’t grasp how killing someone would be preferable to having them love more than one person. I still can’t. How is their death better than them loving more than one person? And yet so many people feel this way. They would rather kill people than let them live a life of their own choosing, loving people, and hurting no one. But apparently they deserve to die for this.
What a society we live in. Honestly, it disgusts me.
What appeals to me about polyamory is that it’s a way for people to learn to share love and connection without trying to possess each other. It feels a lot more free and open to me than a closed marriage situation.
He, too, has experienced the negative feedback from those around him. And considering he has an audience of millions of people per month, the feedback he gets is multiplied beyond anything the rest of us might get:
Most of the negative feedback … is so far out of sync with reality, I can’t even relate to it. There’s just no shred of truth to grasp because such feedback has nothing to do with us whatsoever. The best response I can offer these fear-mongers is a eye roll. Maybe for good measure, I can add, “Oh, please. Get real.”
What I’m interested in seeing is how our society is going to change over the next few months or years as a result of such a high-profile individual exploring polyamory for himself. He’s a leading personal growth expert on the internet, and has millions of people reading his every word. With him saying ‘hey, this is ok!’, we’re probably going to start seeing a lot more people exploring it too.
This is good for a single guy like me, looking for other open-minded women to spend my time with, in whatever capacity that might end up being.
Just as an example… Deidre and I still love each other, and still share hugs and occasional kisses. We remain very fond of each other, and there is definitely a lot of love still there between us. But we’re not intimate, we’re not partners, and we don’t plan a life together any more.
We’ve discussed the fact that anyone that comes into our lives in the future will need to understand and accept that we still love each other, but we don’t have any ‘ownership’ claims on each other. And our feelings towards each other will be the same even when we’re with other people.
Well, actually… I guess time will tell. My feelings have been the same when Deidre has gone out dating, but Deidre’s feelings haven’t been tested that way yet.
Her personality is one where ‘ownership’ is what feels right to her, and it’s entirely possible that she subconsciously thinks that ownership is still there because I’m not seeing anyone else. How will she react when I do, and she actually understands she doesn’t ‘own’ me any more?
Oh, and these are considerations that are important to me because I still do love her (without needing an intimate relationship with her), and we’re still living together as flatmates. Any emotional impact on our living arrangements and the relationship we currently share is going to be important.
Like anything in relationships, communication is the key. If there are any issues, we’ll talk about it at great length. She’ll either accept it and hold onto the love, or she’ll realise her love can only ever be conditional on ‘ownership’, and the love will fade.
It would be very sad if it did fade, but that’s the way life is.
Back to the topic at hand, that my personality type is more suited to polyamory because of my desire for individual freedom, and open, honest love.
I guess my ideal partner(s) in the future are going to be very similar to me in terms of personality. They’ll enjoy time to themselves, while appreciating those times when they can share their lives with whoever they’re with, and they’ll have no interest in ‘owning’ their partners.
Jealousy will be alien to them, as it is to me, because they’ll understand that since they don’t own a loved one, they don’t actually lose anything when that loved one also loves someone else. As long as they’re getting some love too, of course. If not, then they’re more likely to be annoyed than jealous, and rightly so!
Interesting times. This is going to be a great year for my growth, experiences and adventures!
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