Solo Poly: A Free Agent
Being a polyamorous person is one my favorite things about myself, but it does come with challenges. So often in society we are groomed to go on that relationship escalator and enmesh ourselves into another person, even if we are polyamorous. The Relationship Escalator, for me, is this default set of societal expectations for intimate relationships. Partners follow a progressive set of steps, each with visible markers, toward a clear goal. The goal at the top of the Escalator is to achieve a permanent cohabiting marriage — legally sanctioned if possible. In many cases, buying a house and having kids is also part of the goal. Partners are expected to remain together at the top of the Escalator until death.
Mostly it’s what people grow up believing (or more accurately, assuming especially thanks to social media and corporations like Disney) that intimate relationships “should” look like this and this is what a “healthy” adult should want. In polyamory, there is still a relationship escalator it’s just easier to go up down and can be more fluid.
This idea of relationships only being successful when entangled with another person still made me queasy as it plays into the concept of couple privilege (Franklin Veaux wrote an amazing blog on it on his site), though I do love the freedom of fluidity that the poly person gets on the escalator. Hey, if you have to get on it you might as well enjoy the ride. I’ve always been radical so when the concept of not stepping on the damn escalator came up I jumped on board faster then rabbits can fuck. This concept of SoloPoly where you get to keep your independence and have a loving and committed relationship is the best of everything for me. I prefer to throw caution and societal expectations to the winds and create my own expectations. It’s not for everyone, but for me it makes sense. The most important thing we need to remember is that lots of people, probably people you know, look to your right then your left, handle their relationships differently, and are loving it. Love isn’t one-size-fits-all, so it’s good to explore your options and never let anyone tell you how to love someone.