‘Today, I had a nightmare in Tesco trying to buy Valentine Day cards. I had to face a pink and red wall screaming ‘Be Mine!’ at me. In the end, I went for blank cards, to be able to convey my own message and represent myself and my relationships on my own terms.’
This week, across the world, millions of people will have (willingly or grudgingly) trudged off to their nearest luxury gift store/service station and forked out the minimum or maximum that tradition dictates they should each February 14. This is costly and difficult enough to get right with one partner, but what about with several?
Alongside mainstream society, many people will have been showing their appreciation towards their several partners. And that’s not including clandestine two-timing. Once the preserve of hessian-wearing hippies, polyamory today is a growing movement of sexual liberty. Arguably one of the last remaining societal taboos, Western culture largely doesn’t seem to mind if two consenting adults of any gender hook up, but if outside of that relationship there are others? Unthinkable!
Greg*, a 24 year old working in retail has been with his two male partners for 2 years and 18 months retrospectively. The first of his partners, although not polyamorous is ‘Open-minded’ about the situation and they both feel ‘equally valued, but most importantly, separate.’
Does he keep his relationships secret? ‘At work, of course. I don’t think it would go down particularly well at staff parties if I were to bring alternate partners! But my friends and family are important to me because they’re accepting of the people I care about.’
The message of polyamory, contrary to misconceived greed mostly seems to be that while everyone is individual and able to make other people happy, but in their own way. The myth of there being ‘The One’ who is going to sweep you off your feet can be demoralising for people who feel fulfilled in some ways within a relationship, but not in others. For those who it works for, polyamory is simply a way of getting the most out of life with those who are right for you.