I've been watching a lot of tv, and reading a lot of books, with non-monogamous and polyamorous representation in them. Beyond the fact that we keep getting tv shows cancelled on dramatic and breakup notes (Gossip Girl and The Bastard Son and The Devil Himself come to mind), I just keep noticing a pattern of books and tv that display polyamory as a step or stop off on someone's path to self discovery. We don't have much representation of joy, of long term polyamory, of people settled into their lives as polyamorous people - instead it's a lot of coming of age stories or memoirs with someone discovering this possibility, trying it, and deciding it is or isn't for them. Even when they decide it is for them, often the respresentation is of a single relationship's attempt at opening up and then the person says "oh, maybe I'll be monogamous for a while" or "oh, I'll be single for a while" and the story ends in limbo. While sometimes this is realistic -- my own polyamorous journey started with "I guess I'll try this" and being single and just not going back to monogamy -- it's not particularly positive, or joyful. (Especially when the story cuts off at 'single' and we never find out what choices our protagonist makes later.)
Where's our polyamorous joy?
I see it in real life, in my friends' lives and long term relationships and commitments. But that joy is apparently too boring for tv and publishing to want to talk about. The polyamorous happily ever after - as opposed to relationship collapse or 'well, the initial dyad survived but polyamory seems like a bad idea,' or 'our polyamorous heroes are in extreme peril' in the one scifi novel where we got to leave our relationship all together that I've read in the last couple years - isn't something the mainstream is portraying in lengths longer than a one-off article. (I'm glad we get one-off articles now, even if they still have a touch of question in their tone about whether these crazy relationships can work - it's better than getting nothing.)
I watch and read for joy as well as drama - it's ok for some stories to be tragedy but I want the payoff sometimes. What do you think? Are you waiting for a non-monogamous romcom? A polyamorous marriage plot?