The little girl is around 5 years old and begins socializing in Kindergarten. Innocently, she gives a friend a peck on the cheek or likes holding hands with the little boys in her class. Adults around her encourage her, saying how cute she is and taking pictures. They may even tease her about having a boyfriend so young!
A few years later and the girl is around 10+ years old. Her family asks her constantly if she has a boyfriend yet. When she replies she doesn't like boys they are in shock, asking her why not and teasing her that soon she will like them quite a bit.
A few more years go by and our little girl is now 15 years old, give or take. The age where everything is romantic and as a young teen girl she devours classic and modern dramatic romance novels and movies like jellybeans. She has discovered boys though she is shy about admitting it and soon has her first real boyfriend.
Her family encourages her and takes things fairly serious. They want to meet the boy, know about him, have him over for dinner, question his life plans. Things are going well for everyone it seems.
A few months, maybe even a year pass while our sweet girl dates her boy. They have their bumps with a few disagreements but seem to be working things out well. At the same time the relationship seems to be progressing at a nice pace for everyone. Until the day the girls comes home with a hickie. Or maybe a cute cheap ring or questions about birth control.
Then the advice changes. Suddenly we are telling her there are plenty of fish in the sea. Why tie yourself down to one person? How can you know what you want, you have only had one boyfriend? And my personal favorite; Life is short, why date one person, go out and enjoy yourself!!
Oh, by the way, stay a virgin.
Then later the advice is; Maybe you need to stop dating for a while. Concentrate on school. Figure out what you want to do with your life. Boys are a distraction you don't need right now. Oh, by the way, have fun in college it should be the best time of your life.
A few more years go by and if our girl has somehow followed our advice up to this point she is dating maybe, but not serious with anyone. Once again, the advice changes. Are you going to be single forever? Why don't you finally settle down with a nice boy? But yes, it is implied, just settle down with one. Commit yourself to someone.
Is it any wonder people get their sexuality screwed up? By the time our little girl is an adult we have given her advice ranging from chastity to promiscuity and variety to exclusivity. But the child isn't the problem, we as parents are. Why would our (parents) advice change so dramatically? Because we hope to control the child and steer them in the path we, and society, think is appropriate?
Maybe an even better question is how, considering the above path which I think is fairly common, did some of us end up polyamorous?
Maybe holding onto our childhood is the key. Maybe that is what poly people have done? They heard the advice when they were teens and stopped listening so they never heard anyone tell them to settle down. Get married. Or maybe they heard it and mentally said "Why the hell would I do that? I'm having a great time, things are working out wonderfully. I'm not changing a darn thing!!"
Does the above sound familiar? Was that a path you followed in life? What do you think of the advice I've outlined here?
Assuming that you are poly on some level since you are reading this blog, was the above advice given to you growing up? If so, how or what caused you to overcome it and find the poly lifestyle?