What Will I Get Out Of This?
We’ve discussed The Challenges of transitioning from monogamous culture to polyamorous culture. If you haven’t read that article, you can find it here. It’s true there can be a lot of difficulties when transitioning over, but opening yourself up to polyamory/non-monogamy isn’t all bad. There is are a lot of ways that you can benefit from this change. There are many opportunities that spring up when you open the door of possibilities. And that’s a good thing. It’s a positive thing. It can make your life so much more full, more rich, more satisfying. Allowing yourself to fully embrace the good (along with the bad/the struggles), will give you the best outcome. You’ll feel much more capable and happy about your decision if you are able to take advantage of the opportunities that present themself. You might just find that moving from monogamy to polyamory has changed your life.
So, what’s in store exactly? What are these opportunities? What can you expect? What can you look forward to? After all, having something to look forward to is what will keep you going when things get tough. Having hope is the only thing that ever gets people through anything. Let’s examine what kinds of things you might have to look forward to…
How about compersion? Though definitely not the easiest one out of your possible opportunities, it is definitely one that people strive for, because it feels amazing! The concept alone opens you up to a whole new way of thinking about your partner, and of loving them. Compersion is great! The feeling of happiness for your partner’s happiness with another partner…it’s wonderful. It’s extraordinary. It’s also strange. People don’t typically grow up learning how to be happy for the sexual and romantic acts of the people that they’re in love with when those acts have nothing to do with them. Normally you’re taught (and typically encouraged) to be angered by these kinds of acts. Of course, when you think about the reasoning behind what you’re taught…it has to do with the fact that your partner is betraying you in some way. Is lying to you. Is cheating on you. I have wonderful articles on all 3 of those topics. And, yes, those things can all still happen in a non-monogamous relationship. Point is, however, that trust is important in any relationship. But beyond that…once you have that trust…you are capable of being happy for any and all happinesses of your partner (whether or not they spring from you). Compersion is a beautiful thing.
How many times in a monogamous relationship have you felt like you didn’t have a choice? Like you just had to ride along with how things were going, or with what your partner said? My boyfriend doesn’t want me to go out without him. My girlfriend will get mad at me if I don’t text her back right away. These controlling behaviors are infectious, and unfortunately monogamous culture is full of them. Abuse can be found in mild (or severe) amounts in almost every monogamous coupling. It’s sad. But that controlling nature, whether people want to admit it or not – that’s abuse. But guess what? That is something that’s about to change. Your eyes are about to be opened up to this amazing world of freedom.
Freedom of choice. Freedom of speech. Freedom to have a say over your own body, and your own mind, and your own actions. No one can tell you what you can and can’t do. No one can tell you how to live your life. Shocking revolution, isn’t it? Your teenage rebellion for autonomy was actually headed in the right direction. At least, you had the right idea. You deserve control over yourself (your body, your actions, your thoughts, and your life). Often times in monogamous relationships we view our partners actions as defiances against our rules, our words, our control. We have been wanting control so badly, ever since childhood, that once we are finally able to take control as adults…we expand that control to extend over not only ourselves, but our loved ones too. Our children. Our friends. Our partners. We want people to listen to us. We want people to do what we say, because we think we know best. But by taking control of others, we just take away their autonomy. And a person’s autonomy is not for us to take away. (Likewise, it is not okay for another person to take away our autonomy.) You will learn how to stand up for yourself. You will learn how to be assertive. You will learn how to take full control of yourself, and allow others to do the same.
Which brings us to another great benefit of transitioning over to polyamory – self-growth. Through your research, experiences, and discussion with other polyamorous community members, you will change and grow and adapt in ways you can’t even imagine. You will find your strengths. You will work on your weaknesses. You will explore yourself in great depth. And your ability to know yourself will translate into your ability to learn about others. It will help you build strong foundations within your relationships. It will bring you confidence. You’ll feel more self-worth. You’ll learn how to identify your needs and get those needs met. You’ll learn to trust yourself. You’ll learn to love yourself. I think that’s probably the most amazing opportunity you have out of all of them. The ability to learn to love yourself.
Now, I’m not saying any of this is easy. Everything, any kind of growth, takes work. Sometimes it’ll be hard work. Sometimes it’ll be quick. Sometimes it’ll be more gradual. Sometimes it will be really slow, and you’ll dread it, and it will be a pain in the ass. But when you step out onto the other side of all your self-work, you will be so pleased with yourself. You’ll be so much happier within yourself and your life. And why shouldn’t you be? You deserve to be happy. You deserve your chance at a full life. You deserve to feel like your filled to the brim with love. It takes work, but it can be achieved. All you have to do is take that first step. Lucky for you, moving from monogamy to polyamory has gotten the ball rolling for you. You just have to take advantage of all those opportunities to learn and grow as they appear in front of you. Ironically, a lot of the challenges you will face in your journey are exactly what you need. Start viewing those challenges as your opportunities to grow, and you’ll be on your way.