Meet Jon, the Sad Polyamorist

Today's Good Morning America delved inside the increasing faux-scandalous trend of polyamorous relationships. Turns out — sacrebleu! — that they can be as sad and boring as monogamous ones, especially when one member of the relationship comes off as strikingly unhappy. Meet Jon! He is in a poly relationship with his partner of 10 years, Jaiya, and her partner of 4 years, Ian. While Jaiya describes her relationship with Ian as "full of love, passion," she describes Jon "an old shoe," a term of endearment that he's obviously uncomfortable with (but it's such a nice thing to say! Can Jaiya please be all of our girlfriends?).


Later, when interviewed alone, Jon admits that being in a polyamorous relationship "can be tough...if that little voice of low self-esteem comes up." While issues of jealousy and confidence can be present in any relationship, it comes off as though Good Morning America is using Jon as a subtle argument against polyamory and wasting an opportunity to show that less traditional relationships can be functional and healthy. If Tilda Swinton is for it, it can't be all bad, right?

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Oh, good. More unhelpful bias against polyamory. I am personally monogamous and have been with the same person for nearly 20 years, but I have several friends who have open relationships and are ::gasp:: well adjusted people with the same love and commitment in their relationships (including the core one) as I do. All the comments about how so and so knows miserable polyamorists...I know lots of miserable monogamists. I'm not calling for monogamy to be judged, and monogamy carries the additional burden of being such a heavily socialized way of living that people think it's the default, or one size fits all. Let's remember that monogamy has become the default because of a lot of factors, including religious "values" being culturally accepted as a norm. Who knows what we'd think of relationships if we weren't basing so much on Judeo Christian morality that's become the status quo.

Polyamory is no less valid than monogamy, and it involves all the same things. Honesty, trust, love, commitment, etc. Some people are simply not monogamous, others may be bisexual and need the ability to have sex other than straight or gay outside their relationship, other people may need different things from different partners, etc. The example above, of one partner being unhappy, could be for a lot of reasons. Social stigma + cultural pressure to be like everyone can = unhappy. Or maybe he shouldn't really be in a polyamorous relationship, or maybe he just has depression. I have no idea.

I'm very tired of people assuming polyamory is just people who want to cheat and get away with it. No. You can be unfaithful to someone in a polyamorous relationship for the same reasons you can be in a monogamous one. If you break trust, respect, or otherwise the rules of that relationship. Just because the rules may be somewhat different doesnt' mean there isn't true love and commitment going on. I can't believe people are being so incredibly narrow minded.