Those classic love triangle movies, he tells Web MD, were always frustrating to him. " While variety in sex is a big part of multiple romances, polyamorists say it's not the whole story."Why should the hero or heroine have to choose between two partners? And polyamory is definitely different from swinging, says Block."Everybody adds value to my life." Those who pursue an "open" or polyamorous relationship are obviously not conventional types, says William Doherty, Ph D, director of the marriage and family therapy program at the University of Minnesota, St. "There are always some people who want to push the limits of their experiences -- their joy, their ecstasy in life," he says. Those who pursue multiple relationships simultaneously, Doherty says, say they are capable of many loves and passion and that "artificial cultural constraints" tell them they should restrict their love and passion to just one person.Polyamorists, to their credit, are often open about it, Doherty says.
They also suggested that marriage partners be free to have their own separate friendships and that they trade domestic chores, for instance -- novel ideas back then, at least to some.
Now, the term polyamory or "poly" is viewed as the hipper term, with numerous web sites offering chat rooms, bulletin boards, and personal ads.
One even posts a glossary of poly terms, explaining that relationships can be triads (three people), vees (in which one person has two lovers who aren't involved with each other), quads (four), extended networks, and other arrangements.
Polys are not apt to be bored in other areas of life, either. Some say they learn something about relationship skills from their other partner or partners, something that can be applied with the primary partner, she says. "When I'm actively exploring multiple relationships, balancing my time and energy is usually the most difficult part,'' says Cherie." It can also be particularly draining if more than one of my partners has a crisis in their lives that they ask my assistance with, such as supporting them through a career change, family illness, problems in other relationships, or other challenging times." But if the other person has multiple partners, she says, they also have the benefit of getting multiple sources of help.
Handling the "fear response" in partners can be an issue, says Chris.