Saturday, 28 January 2012

There Can Be Only One: Poly Myths 1

There is a pervasive idea that poly living breaks down the emotional bonds between pre-existing couples, as they are distracted by the new love interests in their lives.  There's a corresponding idea that poly makes it difficult for people who are single to build the 'exclusive couple bond' with their new poly partner that we all, apparently, need desperately in our lives.

When a couple has a child, both parents bond with the baby *as they should do*. Should either parent feel that they are less important to the other because their partner has bonded with the infant? Of course not. That would be very unhealthy for the relationship and for the child. In a healthy couple relationship, when a couple has a child, the adults still feel securely bonded to one another, and still know that they can rely upon one another.

Similarly, if we start a relationship with a single parent, is it reasonable to assume that we cannot properly bond with our new partner because their child is 'in the way' of our relationship?  It's a ridiculous assumption, isn't it?  Beginning a relationship with a single parent is bound to be more complex than beginning a relationship with a childless person, but that doesn't mean we can't bond strongly with that person, especially if we take a genuine interest in their child.  Similarly, beginning a poly relationship is bound to be more complex than beginning a mono relationship, and it will work better and more easily if we have genuine concern for our metamours.

In a healthy poly relationship, there is the same sense of being securely bonded to one’s partners as there is in a mono relationship.  Emotional bonding with an adult no more precludes the possibility of additional strong emotional bonds with other adults than being part of a loving couple precludes building strong emotional bonds with your baby, or than being a single parent precludes building strong emotional bonds with an adult.

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