Monogamy–we all know the term, a marriage or relationship between two people that society deems is the correct way of doing things. However, we also know that's not the case with how people are in their daily lives, divorce rates, relationships, and other factors. Loving more than one person is more common than you think; it's just whether it's acted upon.
In today's society, polyamory is slowly growing to be more visible, especially in places like social media, where people are more open about their relationships. While the community is still small compared to the monogamous community, it's growing.
If you think about it, most people are serial monogamists (having multiple relationships one after another with one person), or eventually, open up to having multiple relationships throughout their lives. Whichever path is taken, neither is wrong, but divorce rates show that monogamy and staying with one person for 50 years isn't for everyone.
Only 17% of societies in the world are strictly monogamous; according to Bernard Chapais, in this study, he did back in 2013 with most societies embracing many relationships. This means that 83% of societies around the world allow poly relationships as an everyday occurrence. If you think about that number, that's truly something to be in awe of considering that monogamy is often seen, sadly, as the special relationship to have, even by some polygamous people.
Younger people, especially those under the age of 30, have reported that they feel less inclined to be in monogamous relationships due to time, work, and other factors that fill their lives. Their needs are not something they place aside, but something that they feel is often met with more than one partner and more open to the experiences. Almost 1/5th of the population in the United States has taken part in polyamory at one point in their lives, and this spans across all ages, not just younger millennials.
Men, more likely than women, are usually the ones to engage in this activity throughout their lives, and those that identify as LGBTQIA were more likely as well. There's a growing interest in polyamory within the past decade in the American public, something people have noted and are exploring.
It's no surprise that more people are opening up the way for polyamorous relationships to where they're openly seeking them or speaking about them on social media. Poly relationships are an excellent way to have an open, trusting, meaningful bond between not only one, but multiple partners over some time. Even if the relationship doesn't end up lasting a lifetime, you'll likely end up with a lifetime friend.
A problem that comes up with poly relationships is the social stigma that comes attached to them. Despite 83% of societies worldwide being open to them, it's still frowned upon and seen as not the norm (yet). With this stigma comes worry for many in a poly relationship that they'll face discrimination if they come out as poly, and that's not unfair to be worried about. There are talks of the possibility of having protections for other kinds of relationships other than monogamy, just like there were strides for gay marriage; however, it's not there yet.
Facing the stigma surrounding poly relationships can be hard to do; however, with the support of those around you, it can be overcome. Communities are popping up all over the place. Instagram has a vast community; sites like OkCupid and eHarmony give polyamorous relationships a place to be open and thrive. It's becoming more of a thing to be seen rather than hidden, and more accepted as an open-minded concept.
If you think about it, even our distant cousins, the apes have no problem being in a poly relationship, being open about their gatherings and sexual relations. In a BBC special, they showed it that in the animal kingdom, polyamory is more accepted than not and that it's rare that any species hooks up for life with one mate. Even those that do are prone to infidelity at some point in their lives, and it's usually only males that want to become monogamous because they failed to dominate the females of their species.
What the future holds for polygamous relationships is yet to be seen, but with the way they're going, it will make a positive turn for the better. Finding your niche within the poly community may take some time and patience, but it's worth taking the time to do. Poly relationships are based on trust, mutual consent, and excellent communication. Doing your part and being open-minded will only help with those around you being open-minded too.