JET Love

Examining the Open Relationship

At the peak of racial and social trauma in the world, one could argue that the last thing society should be concerned with is who or how many people a person decides to love. Yet, sex still stands to be one of the most taboo topics in our culture. Many will reject the idea that a person can love many, but for those who choose to live this lifestyle, their decision is supported by numerous benefits.

I would have purchased front row tickets to see the reactions on people’s faces as they watched world-renowned comedian, actress, and mother, Mo’Nique boast proudly about her open marriage. In a society that promotes monogamy and marriage, the boldness it takes to hold hands on a Christian-based television show and unapologetically declare that you have chosen a nontraditional arrangement should be praised.

As a proclaimed free spirit, I honor everyone’s right to choose a life and love of that is pleasing to them. I’ve both cheated and been cheated on. I’ve been in love, and still desired the conversation, affection, or time of other people. As a woman who has done all of these things, I wonder if Mo’Nique and her husband are valid in believing that it’s best to have an open relationship.

Polyamory is defined as the desire to have more than one intimate partner. I wonder if polyamorous relationships are a relief to all the difficulties that come with monogamous relationships, or would having more than one partner only complicate things on the home front?

While many will squirm at the idea of an open relationship, I think it’s worth examining. Those who practice a non-monogamous lifestyle would argue there are multiple benefits to open relationships including:

Strengthened Communication

At the core of a polyamorous relationship is the need for strong communication. Polyamorous relationships require constant open dialogue, truthfulness, and the consideration of your partner’s feelings. The constant exchange increases trust between partners, and the free flowing transparency gives permission for emotions to be addressed in a healthy way. Polyamory allows partners to openly express their attractions, desires, wishes and needs all in a way that minimizes unhealthy emotions like insecurity and jealously that is often present in more traditional unions.

You Stop Demanding Perfection in One Person

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule. It suggests that we will never get 100% of what we need from our partners. The friction occurs when we give more attention to the 20% we don’t receive. In monogamous relationships, you simply learn to appreciate what you do have, instead of focusing on the 20% you are not receiving. In poly relationships however, instead of going without a portion of what you need in order to experience complete satisfaction, you and your partner seek 100% satisfaction by connecting with more than one person.

It’s Not All about Sex

Most rush to judgment when it comes to polygamous relationships. Despite what the consensus may be, these relationships are less about sex and more about developing healthy, rich connections with people. Polyamorous relationships allow you the freedom to exchange energy and build healthy, empowering friendships with people who serve to connect you to your higher self. These connections may never lead to sexual intimacy.

Open Relationships Allow for Diversity

Open relationships allow partners to explore an array of emotional and sexual experiences. Compatibility is essential for a prosperous relationship. Instead of choosing to part ways with your mate because you do not align sexually or romantically, a polyamorous relationship allows you and/or your partner access to the fulfillment you need without forcing them to alter who they are to satisfy you.

Get In Tune with Who You Are

Nothing teaches you about who you are faster than relationships. Dating multiple people not only increases your personal support network, but it gives you multiple opportunities and avenues to get in touch with yourself. Personal relationships help us recognize our strengths, areas of opportunity and our needs. Different people bring out different elements of our personality. Polyamory has the ability to expedite the process of self-awareness while developing strong relationships with people you know have love for you.

You Control Your Destiny

If you do not know who you are, a relationship can easily strip you of your identity and individuality. Polyamory allows each individual to live life on their own accord. While the thoughts and feelings of your partner(s) are to be considered, you are allowed to place emphasis on your own wants. The freedom offered in polygamous relationships can ensure that in the process of getting to know another person, you do not lose yourself.

Whether there is agreement or not with this lifestyle, free love is the new movement and more individuals are deciding to spread love and receive it from multiple people.

Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013,  Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a“Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes in currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy on mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.