Once upon a time (I just love starting articles that way) I had a girlfriend. We started dating when I was about 15 yrs old. Like all teens we had our ups and downs and eventually went our separate ways. She married, had kids and I did the same. During that time we stayed friends though our communications were sporadic. After we both divorced we tried dating a couple of times but things just never really developed beyond a good friendship with the occasional physical venture, or adventure if you prefer.
Now that you know the history we can get down to the gritty pieces with a girl we'll call Lucy.
During the history I have outlined Lucy has pretty much been a serial monogamist. She comes from a fairly strict Christian family so my lifestyle is somewhat of a problem. Over the years I've explained to her my Polyamorous beliefs. And we talk enough, about the details of our lives, for her to know how I manage my relationships.
I've watched her enter into relationship after relationship, with guy after guy, who cheats on her. Lies to her. Hides things from her. I've heard about the guys she later found out were married. The guys who had other girlfriends. The guys who only wanted sex and dumped her soon after they got it.
Most recently the drama was a guy she was dating who was also dating another woman. Both Lucy and the other woman thought they were having a relationship with the guy. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook they both realized what was going on. The guy's response; "I'm not in a relationship with either of you." Obviously his way of saying; "I didn't lie to you". I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say no, he didn't lie. But he wasn't forthcoming about a situation he created that he knew was wrong.
What struck me about this was Lucy's reaction. She told the guy they could still be friends and even hinted she might be willing to continue dating him as long as he didn't hide the fact he was dating another woman.
Now for the rest of this to make sense I need to admit that I love Lucy. I'm honestly not sure of the depth of that love but I do know that were I unable to ever have a romantic relationship with her, I would still love her. We have shared enough of our lives and our emotions that I will always care for her.
What doesn't make sense is that Lucy doesn't want a romantic relationship with me because of my lifestyle. She doesn't like the idea of 'sharing' me with someone else and the concept of Polyamory conflicts with her Christian beliefs. Yet I won't lie to her about dating others or the details of those relationships, I would have no reason to cheat, and would definitely want a relationship more substantial than just sex.
Why is it that some monogamists often will come to accept infidelity, dishonesty, and betrayal in their relationships after having successive relationship failures most of their lives. It is almost as if after a certain number of failures we begin to believe the flaw must not be in the people, but in the design, and the flaws will need to be accepted for the design to work.
Strangely, while accepting those flaws, the same people will still disapprove of Polyamory claiming that it is a flawed design that disrupts the sanctity of marriage, family values, morality, and a number of other things.
Which leads us to my question of the day. Assuming a monogamist has come to the point I mention above, where the flaws are accepted, what makes their relationship design different from Polyamory? They may be having a relationship with someone who is sleeping with someone else. Granted, they will be hiding it or lying about it, but beyond that are Poly and Mono much different? To push the point, I think Poly would be preferable then as it would exclude the bad parts of the relationship like lying, deceit, etc.
Have you noticed this same progression of events with your life, or with your friends lives? Do you think people come to a point in their lives or relationships where Polyamory and Monogamy overlap or are very closely related? Or once again, am I alone in the cornfield suffering delusions from excessive use of moonshine?