Lately I've been trying to listen to people a bit differently when they talk about polyamory. A lot of conversations I hear, and have, compare polyamory to swing. A lot of relationships also seem to have some overlap with the swinging lifestyle. At the same time, I've noticed two different perspectives on the question of poly vs. swing which has led me to a new theory. And no, I'm not going to try and settle the argument or bash either type.
What I'm thinking is that there may be two mentalities when it comes to polyamory. By the way, I'm talking about a specific set of feelings here and not encompassing the entire picture with respect to either poly or swing so I admit there are other aspects my theory may not address or include.
My theory is this. . .
There is one type of person practicing polyamory who has a conscious desire for multiple, fully involved partnerships. With intent and desire, they strive to continuously have multiple relationships. An important factor to this type of person is the variety of physical intimacy found with multiple partners. I would call this Active Polyamory.
The second type of person doesn't pursue multiple relationships with intent. Instead they literally don't possess the ability to deny feelings of love when experienced. Rather than actively seeking out relationships they prefer to allow for the possibility when they meet someone, allowing partnerships to evolve naturally. I would call this Passive Polyamory.
To expand on the theory a bit, the first type of person would be more inclined to have a swing component or aspect to their relationships. Their desire would include the physical aspect of relationships as strongly as it does the emotional connection, yet their poly beliefs may include some type of separation between emotional and physical relationships. This would allow for the possibility of more casual or physically focused relationships in addition to traditionally balanced physical and emotional relationships.
The second person wouldn't have such a separation between physical and emotional relationship components. They would likely require both aspects for a successful relationship and may even decline relationships that have a strong physical component yet lack a satisfying emotional connection.
The difference I'm proposing would help explain the never ending controversy between swing and poly. The Active Poly with a strong swing component in their beliefs would probably feel swing and poly overlap. The Passive Poly would likely believe that swing and poly are two completely different lifestyles and are possibly incompatible.
What do you think about this theory? Maybe? Maybe not? Do I need psychological counseling?