How to compare loving non-monogamy versus codependent monogamy

loving non-monogamyThe desire to know and share what’s true, to share what’s best in life, to love wholly without restraint, to live intensely! These values did not arise in me out of virtue, oh no! They BEGAN to clarify because of loss. My most beloved, died when I was nine. The tears that I feared would never end washed the dust from a jewel.

Why should I fear to tell the truth, or a broken heart? I already know l will lose you, THIS is the only time we have. I don’t want to waste our chance.

Death doesn’t give this gift to everyone, but was generous with me. Intensity was life’s gift, but death cut and polished it.

This beloved was my sister Evelyn.

When we truthfully embrace the risks of non-monogamy for the sake of love, it creates more possibilities for the best things in life and to adapt to the events life offers us. The best things in life require truth because to be good that good thing must be real. A lie is not real. We should be careful not to limit possibilities, even with our new ideas. Let’s beware that we cannot control another’s affections or even the outcome of our own affections regardless of whether we live inside or outside popular beliefs.

Contrast these alternatives:

A) Someone who longs for and chooses to consciously embrace a freer approach to sexual affection or loving non-monogamy

B) Someone who denies the facts about his or her own or a lover’s sexuality, including the fact of cheating.

The difference between these worlds should make them difficult to confuse. Sadly, that both involve non-monogamy tends to make unthinking observers see these extremely different viewpoints as the same. Why say both are the same sort of dysfunction when one is neither self deceptive or harmful? I’ll tell you why, it’s prejudice, hasty generalization, or willful ignorance.

Here is a non-sexual illustration of a hasty generalization. Imagine people gathered in a hotel lobby. Many may be there for a conference at the hotel, but three people are there to attend the opening of an art show, and another man may be a pickpocket looking for a victim. We might assume the hotel is busy simply because of the conference and casually lump all the people in that group, but that would be a mistake. Most people may be there for that reason just like many of the people who are non-monogamous pretend to be monogamous, they manipulate and lie and thereby create dysfunction.

A willingness to truthfully embrace sexual freedom and a person who turns away from facts are not the same. If we view our relationships as our identities or proof of our identities (i.e., who we think we are), then we can’t imagine ourselves without those relationships or, if we do imagine ourselves separated from our lovers, it is wholly unacceptable because the imagined selves seem defective. This type of self-centered fear is a problem; and codependence is as good a name for that problem as dysfunction etc.

Consciously embrace a freer approach to sexual affection; loving non-monogamy

The attempt to live beyond our old (poorly adapted) beliefs is not dysfunction, it’s an adaptation. In loving non-monogamy we face our fears to let go of old beliefs and step beyond the boundaries they imply. We take ourselves off autopilot and stop relying on habits and imitation of others. If we want to discover something new, we must do something new. So, we embrace the unknown and its uncertainty with the sense of adventure known by explorers in uncharted waters.

Our judgements on sexual matters will be directed by our beliefs. If those beliefs are flawed, then so are the judgments based on them. Both masturbation and homosexuality were looked upon as mental illnesses in the past and that conclusion caused the electro-shock torture of both gays and children. I suspect that the reason psychology has never apologized for that poor judgment is because many current judgments about mental health rest on the same grounds (i.e., some idea of normal). Depending on when and where we are born, the ideas of ‘normal’ will be extremely different.

Our aspirations to live better and love more are life impulses and such impulses are the engines of adaptation and loving non-monogamy is an adaptation. Let’s remember how different relationships were 100 years ago. The progress that we’ve made has been the result of those people who did NOT conform to the morality of their time, but, rather, sought to grow beyond the arbitrary limits of their eras and moralities. We have no reason to think such progress is over and we get to be part of that ongoing development or resist it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have 100 years to wait for others to blaze the trail so that freer relationships become the norm. Human progress inspires me to be a part of a vanguard that finds new ways to meet others in greater intimacy. How about you?

By Todd Vickers

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