Cheers, Sexy People!
Can choosing a relationship structure that works for us make us truly happier, even if we are coloring outside the lines of traditional relationships?
I can tell you it was definitely part of my journey to happiness in my life. At one point, I truly had an epiphany about happiness versus non-happiness. What I found was:
It is better to follow the voice inside and be at war with the whole world, than to follow the ways of the world and be at war with your deepest self.
So I am delighted to share with you how embracing, practicing, and identifying as polyamorous has proven to make me an infinitely happier person over the last eight years. I can speak about this very frankly as I used to practice monogamy fraught with its ups and down in my personal experience as well as confusion as to why it wasn’t working for me. I also went through a period of my life where I battled depression and a mid-life crisis over the course of five years. I can tell you firsthand that going down to the depths of depression and deep sadness can truly help one majorly appreciate the joyous and happy moments and periods of our lives! By the time I re-surfaced from that abyss, I had more clarity and understanding about my desires and who I was, the strength to determine what truly would make me happy, and the perseverance to bring those desires into reality!
To clarify what polyamory is and how it manifests in my life, polyamory in my general definition is the practice of engaging in multiple, loving relationships with full consent of all parties. After living many (many!) years as a serial, and cheating, monogamist, I finally identified as polyamorous after conducting much research on the practice of this relationship choice. This period of my life was much like a rebirth and an awakening. What I found was true for me was (to quote Jonathan Fields):
Before you can be unapologetically joyful, you gotta be unapologetically you.
Here are five ways that polyamory has made me a happier person:
1) Honors My Values
When we live in accordance with our values, everything feels a bit lighter, more harmonious, more fulfilling. Our values are principles we live by, the things that make us tick and drive us. After soul searching, I realized that polyamory really fits my personal values (yours of course will be different but for example, mine are connection, freedom, integrity, self-expression, and well-being). It can feel so rewarding (and happy-making!) to align our actions with our core values.
To help you determine your values, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Q: Think about a time when life was really good. What value was being expressed or honored?
Q: Think about a time when you were upset. What value was being challenged?
Q: Think about what you must experience in life. Why is that so important?
2) Self-Determination / Self-Acceptance
We all have the freedom to change the decisions that others made for us – this is our right to self-determination! At any moment we can take out what’s not working in our lives and re-invent ourselves. Our greatest freedom is the freedom of CHOICE. Otherwise we are a victim to life’s circumstances. Choice in terms of relationship structures is the freedom to determine who to love and how to love in a way that feels natural and comfortable to us, and to live as we create our lives to be. This can be a pathway for us to unlimited potential! It feels amazing to be in the joyful space of being yourself and accepting yourself! Your inner peace and happiness is a gift to the world.
3) Emotional Support / Family Building
There are many ways to find emotional support and to build families in the world today, not just one way. Many of us are often taught that monogamy and hetero-normative sex within marriage is the ONLY choice. This simply is not the case. I too followed the herd and tried to conform for many, many years — yet I found that this did not bring me happiness. Building my modern family in a way that feels good to me brings me joy and happiness from the inside out. My life is filled with love both in my multiple intimate relationships as well as my deep friendships. While practicing less jealousy and more understanding, even my friendships can go deeper.
4) Personal Growth
There is an understanding in the poly community that part of the path to success is “communication, communication, communication.” This is absolutely true, as well as working on our own emotional intelligence (or our ability to understand, interpret and manage our own emotions), and increasing our own self-knowledge and self-love. The added benefit to all of this hard work? Massive amounts of personal growth! I whole-heartedly believe that we are either growing or we are dying. I am very happy to say, I choose GROWTH, and that makes me happy! All healthy relationships require work in these areas mentioned, but polyamory requires one to truly hone your skills in these areas partly due to the increased number of partners and amount of communication thus required.
5) Sex Positivity / Exploration
Let’s face it: We were brought into and live in a sex-negative world. We are told through much of the media, movies, our schools, and religious establishments that there is a lack of choices in not only a healthy relationship structure, but also a healthy sex life. All of this fear-based thinking teaches us the scarcity model and can bring us feelings of shame, stigma, and confusion around sex, our bodies, and intimate relationships. Polyamory fits my world view of sex positivity, loving and embracing not only my body, but indeed my sexuality. I enjoy and love the act of sex and am proud of it. So do my partners. I enjoy the variety, acceptance, and love I feel around my sexuality, my body, and my love life. Yay!
I firmly believe happiness is a choice. Everyday, we can decide who we want to be and how we want to show up in our lives and our relationships. I invite you to consider giving yourself permission to find and live into your beautiful authentic self and your full potential for your own happiness. Find and be authentically you! And be the change that you want to see in the world today, creating new possibilities for yourself, and added self-awareness. You deserve to support your own happiness!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
Creator of the Loving Without Boundaries Mission