The Polyamorous Misanthrope was supposed to be a weekly column.
It was for awhile and then I started drying up for topics. Why? Well, as I study polyamory, I see more and more that the advice I give, the lessons I’ve learned and the observations I make are less about having good multiple relationships and more about having good relationships in general. Believe it or not, how people interact has less to do with the slippery bits and considerably more to do with what goes on between the ears.
I’ve said for years that there’s very little about being polyamorous that’s truly poly-specific. The website about poly families was a lot more about household management, and my advice here is a lot more about maintaining good relationship boundaries than almost anything else.
I think the reason for this is because we often give sex and romance an inappropriate focus. Please note I’m not calling sex and romance unimportant. It’s not. But we do give it a weird place in our lives and I think it causes a lot of trouble. We might use romantic relationships as a ranking system. We often use sex or romance as a proxy for something else — usually actual intimacy. And again when I look at this to analyze it, I can’t say that it’s polyamory-specific.
It makes being topic-specific difficult. The same communication principles that make my romantic life joyful interaction rather than unpleasant drama are principles that help my parenting, for goodness sake! They’re the same principles that let me have a decent relationship with my own parents.
That being the case, yes, I can write about a topic and hook it onto a romantic situation, but it’s just as likely to float through my mind because of the way my son responded to a request to empty the dishwasher, or how I’m encouraging him to speak up when he feels uncomfortable with something.
I want the columns I write to be useful in relationships, but useful relationship examples are hardly ever unique to polyamory.