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Being Positive About Polyamory

There is exceptional pressure, as a non-normative style of relating, to share only, or very primarily, the good things about polyamorous relationships. Sharing struggles (which can be important to normalize them and make those of us in them feel less alone) can be seen as admitting the negative claims of monogamous culture about our relationships, especially if they in any way line up with a stereotype.

I see this a lot with posts on TikTok, when I share a negative pattern or behavior and some of the comments are recognition, agreement, nuance of the pattern - and some are claims that the post is polyphobic, that I must hate polyamorous people if I'm sharing this, and that I'm ruining community representation. I think it's more important to share the good, the bad, and the realistic, than to create a false impression that polyamory is more enlightened than monogamy, or that we never have problems or bad actors in our community. People are the same all over, and that includes both good and bad.

There is some drive, with a blog like this, to share "a problem and a solution" together so that we tie things up neatly - but life often isn't as neat as all that. It's complicated and emotional and a little messy and the neat answer gets you close but not quite there. The result of that is for some people they get bummed out and disillusioned by reality and for others, it feels like "how can this work if it isn't like show/movie/book?" but just like romcoms aren't monogamy, textbooks and reality shows about triads aren't polyamory. It's okay (and maybe preferable) to let all our media get a little messier.

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