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Deborah Anapol Ph.D.

What Is Polyamory Really All About?

Fighting, rather than surrendering to love, is ultimately a losing battle.

While many people define polyamory as the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with everyone's full knowledge and consent, I see it differently. To me polyamory is a philosophy of loving that asks us to surrender to love. Polyamory leads us to ask, "What is the most loving and authentic way I can be present with these people and with myself at this time?"

The answer to this question may not always be obvious, and it may change over time, but the asking of it, and the willingness to consider answers we may not want to hear, is the whole point of polyamory. Most of us would rather surrender to our cultural conditioning, to our emotional discomfort, peer pressure, social censure, lust, convenience, or a partner's demands than to the unvarnished truth about what would contribute the most to the well being of everyone involved.

In my forthcoming book, Polyamory in the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, June 2010) I give many examples of people who give different reasons for why they are choosing polyamory. They are surprisingly varied and range from a desire for personal or spiritual growth, an effort to overcome childhood wounds, coping with personality issues, stabilizing or spicing up a relationship, religious or political beliefs, sexual variety, sexual addiction, or simply falling in love. Many of these same reasons are given by other people to explain why they are choosing monogamy. Perhaps, we only come up with these reasons afterwards to explain the behaviors we notice ourselves engaging in. One thing is certain. Love is a force of nature, and sooner or later, nature will have her way with us. Fighting, rather than surrendering to love, is ultimately a losing battle.


About the Author

Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D., is the author of Polyamory in the 21st Century and other books.