Can Polyamorous Relationships Work?

Polyamorous relationships
A recent story on Good Morning America about polyamory-the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the consent of everyone involved-got us thinking about monogamy, exclusivity, and whether polyamory is a viable approach to relationships. On the one hand, it seems reasonable-enlightened even-to acknowledge that perhaps no one person can be your everything and that love can exist in many different forms. On the other hand, as Dr. Drew would no doubt suggest, it seems likely that at least one of the parties involved in a poly-relationship would feel he or she is getting a bum deal. The partners featured in the Good Morning America piece suggest the latter. Jaiya and her lovers, Ian (the baby daddy) and Jon (the man she lovingly calls her "comfortable … shoe") are in a committed relationship. Although all parties seem dedicated to providing a loving home for Jaiya's two-year-old son, Aiman, it's pretty obvious that Old Shoe Jon is uneasy with the arrangement at times, telling the reporter that the relationship "can be tough; especially if that little voice of low self-esteem comes up or that social voice of 'that's your girlfriend.'"

Are Humans Hardwired for Monogamy?


Clearly Jon grapples with issues of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy in his poly-relationship, but to be fair, those feelings can be present no matter how many people are involved. Unconventional arrangements such as Jaiya, Jon, and Ian's are on the rise-roughly half a million households in the United States are polyamorous-which suggests that maybe there's something to this "more is merrier" philosophy when it comes to partnership. What do you think? Can polyamorous relationships ever work? Would you ever consider a less-than-traditional partnership? And if so, what would that look like?

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