Perceptions are funny, aren’t they? In a recent thread asking for mono-friendly writings about polyamory, someone suggested my blog and another person responded that my blog is not mono-friendly at all.
Cue their (and my) confusion. After all, in case you’re not aware – I am a monoamorous person who in a stable and happy relationship with a very actively polyamorous person.
I’ve sat with this for a few days, trying to figure out why exactly someone might think that my writings weren’t mono friendly, and the best I could come up with is that my writings simply won’t paint polyamory as the villain.
And maybe this particular person thinks “mono friendly” means “poly hating.”
Cue the “that’s not how this works. that’s not how ANY OF THIS works” gif.
My approach to polyamory is that it’s as valid and reasonable an approach to relationships as monogamy. I think that if more people knew this was an option from the getgo, more people would be polyamorous and fewer people would discover this thing about themselves AFTER a dozen years of monogamous marriage, BUT….
I don’t think everyone would be. I don’t think healthy polyamory is more “evolved” than healthy monogamy. I don’t think people should be out there trying to “convert” people to polyamory. I don’t think that every cinematic love triangle can be solved by polyamory, because some folks are just not wired that way and some of those love triangles will include those folks.
But I think that cinematic love triangles show how capable we all are of understanding that someone can love more than one person simultaneously. I think that when I see representation of healthy polyamory on television or in movies it excites me because I know how important it is to shifting the conversation around what is possible and what is acceptable in the world.
I think healthy role models are important for people who are newly discovering something about themselves.
Anyway, it reminds me of a conversation I had with my parents recently, about the increased amount of representation of LGBTQ characters in television shows. I think it’s awesome. She thinks they’re “forcing” it and feels uncomfortable with how “normal” they’re trying to make it seem. My dad thinks they’re “influencing” impressionable young boys into being gay and admitted that he thinks he might have been influenced if he’d seen this stuff when he was younger.
Listen, I know they’re homophobic and out of touch with reality, and I didn’t spend too much energy trying to explain to them how their approach to this was based out of fear and social programming and why they have earned the labels they so desperately reject because they have a gay friend with tattoos, who’s “actually” really nice. They’re pushing 70 and they’re not going to “get” it, just like my dad isn’t going to ever “get” that he’s probably a little closer to the center of the Kinsey scale than he’s willing to admit.
Their perception is that they are “normal” and anything that isn’t like them is not “normal” and shouldn’t be “celebrated.”
I wonder if that’s what this person who thinks my perspective isn’t mono friendly is doing. I wonder if they think that normalizing polyamory means I’m trying to destabilize monogamy.
What I really want to do is help people understand that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do either, and there is definitely a way to make it work when a partnership has one of each.
And I have to recognize that someone who thinks that embracing polyamory as a mono person means that I can no longer empathize with the challenges monofolk encounter in these types of relationships, or that I can’t still see how often resources from polyamorous perspectives DO monobash, isn’t someone that I need to expend a whole lot of energy convincing.
Much like my parents, there are some people who aren’t ready to shift or expand their perceptions yet.