Polyamorous love. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? How could you possibly know until you’ve given it a try?
Writer Jeff Leavell and his husband Alex have been together for almost five years. A year and a half ago, they opened their relationship up to include a third man, Jon, and the three became a triad.
“Before I found myself in one, I resisted the idea of a polyamorous relationship,” Leavell admits in a new piece published by Vice. “I made fun of my friends who were in ‘triads.’ I thought the whole concept was ridiculous. But when we met Jon, my perspective shifted.”
Of course, polyamorous relationships have been around forever. But it wasn’t until recently that people have started speaking openly about them. More and more folks are giving polyamory a try.
A recent online survey, which surveyed approximately 5,000 people between 2012 and 2015, found that nearly 15 percent of respondents either were currently in or had previously been in a polyamorous relationship, and 25 percent were open to the idea. And dating websites like gaypolyamorous.com and polymatchmaker.com have begun springing up all over the Internet.
Leavell continues: “Falling in love with Jon—and watching Alex fall in love with Jon—taught me that there is more love out there in this world than I had ever imagined.”
But it wasn’t without complications.
“We struggled in the process,” he says. “Three-way fucking is hot; three-way fighting is a nightmare.”
Other challenges, Leavell writes, included the obvious: Jealousy.
I’ve found that if I ever feel jealousy, the root of that emotion almost always comes from not feeling good enough for Jon or Alex. Jealousy always equals insecurity for me.
And jealousy is normal—it happens all the time, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in. It’s part of being human. But at the end of the day, it’s how we react to that jealousy that matters. I constantly have to remind myself to shift the focus of my thoughts back to me:What am I really afraid of? Why do I not believe I am deserving of all this love?
Then, of course, there is the stigma and stereotypes that many people associate with polyamorous love. This, Leavell says, was only intensified by the fact that the three men are gay.
Someone told me I was proving every right-wing religious conservative’s wildest fears about gay people true—that we were all amoral sluts, incapable of monogamy or serious relationships, who couldn’t take marriage seriously. And this dude was gay. My response was: So what? Why can’t I live my life on my own terms? Isn’t that what we’re fighting so hard for—the right to live how we choose? To not have my love and sex dictated by some arbitrary social structure? Why should anybody tell me how and who to love?
Ultimately, however, Leavell says he’s happier as a triad than he was as a couple. Polyamorous love, he writes, can “open doors inside you that you never knew existed—and it may even bring an opportunity to grow.”
What do you think? Would you be in a polyamorous relationship? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments section below.