This is an English translation of the German Polyamory flyer we printed in 2014 (which can be downloaded here)
Loving more than one
An alternative relationship model
Questions and answers
„What is polyamory, anyway?“
Polyamory is formed from the Greek „poly“ (many) and the Latin „Amor“ (Love) and means „multiple love“. Polyamory is a generic term for types of consensual, responsible, long-term love relationships between more than two people, in which all involved parties are aware of the relationship network.
„But don’t people always live monogamous?“
The concept of lifelong monogamy is not as old or as widespread as many believe. In Europe, only in Romanticism (about 200 years ago) here was a trend for the staging of the couple as the ideal of happiness in life. But there were always people who lived and loved differently. Again and again the idea of the couple as the only desirable form of coexistence was questioned, e.g. by the „free love“ – movement.
„And what does such a polyamorous relationship look like?“
The practical forms of polyamory may take various shapes. Each relationship is unique and may differ from others. There are many different options, such as open (sexually non-exclusive) and closed (sexually exclusive) polyamorous relationships, relationships with many or few partners. All sexual orientations are represented. Some polyamorous relationships last for a very long time, others only for a few months or years; some have children, others don’t. Although there is this diversity, in all polyamourous relationships all partners know about each other, agree to and are happy with the relationship in its existing form.
„Several partners at the same time? This sounds like commitment-phobia, sexual greed and noncommitment!„
Polyamory is primarily about love, commitment and the desire for long-term relationships. Some people may also have fun being promiscuous. But this is indipendent of the relationship model.
„This does not work if only because of jealousy!„
But it is: In Germany alone there are already a few thousand people living in different polyamorous constellations. Jealousy may occur, but it is not such an inescapable feeling as is often claimed.
By exploring feelings of jealousy, there is much to discover about oneself. What is the cause for this feeling in me? Possessiveness? Fear of loss, or to miss out? Fear of comparison? Jealousy can be „unlearned“! And being glad for someone else leads to happiness.
„And what about faithfulness?„
Faithfulness is a virtue: being reliable for others. It is based on
mutual trust and loyalty and has nothing to do with sex or exclusivity. In polyamorous relationships faithfulness is of great importance: honesty, commitment and sticking to agreements are understood as central values.
„What are the rules in such relationships?„
Unlike in monogamous relationships, where the partners often default to implied rules, in polyamourous relationships the shape of the relationship is discussed and deliberatly chosen. This requires a high awareness of their needs by all participating partners and the ability to express them.
„So should everybody be polyamorous now?„
Of course not! But polyamory as a relationship model is a valid alternative to the traditional couple. Everybody should have the possibility to develop exactly the types of relationships with other people that work for them.
„Where can I have conversations about this idea?„
Polyamorous people can be found in all walks of life, professions and subcultures, therefore there is no uniform „polyamorous scene“.
Although this form of relationship is seen more and more often in the media, there are many polyamourous people living their relationships only in private. However, there are local groups and meetings in many places. Lists can be found at:
• www.beziehungsgarten.net/forum (➝ meetings)
• www.polyamory.de regional–meetings
„Are there any books on the subject?“
Yes, there is a lot of literature about polyamory, an overview of German works with short summaries can be found at:
„Where can I find information on the internet?„
The following pages are good starting points:
PAN eV takes no responsibility for the contents of the linked pages.
The polyamorous network (PAN eV) supports the exchange and the networking of people living in consensual and responsible loving relationships with multiple people (or looking to do so). The network makes no claim to sole representation for polyamorous people. It has no intention to define how polyamory should be lived or to propagate polyamory as particularly desirable. The network has no commercial interests. The work of its members and the executive board is honorary.
All rights to text, images and graphics in this flyer are in PAN e.V.
Responsible: Christopher Gottwald (spokesperson)
Ebersstrasse 11, 10827 Berlin-Schöneberg
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons license type
Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Germany License.
For details see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/de/