This honest account of one man’s polyamorous journey reflects on his five-year experience with open relationships and his exit from the lifestyle.
—This article was originally published by our friends at elephant journal; we’re republishing (with permission!) because we love it… and them. Enjoy.—
I began practicing open relationships when I first began studying at a Tantric school in Thailand, with a large percentage of the community also living this lifestyle.
I never thought that this would be me.
I have had friends who were practicing open relationships for years, and never had any interest in it. It just seemed like unnecessary headaches and drama.
I only knew one friend in university who was living this way successfully. Most open relationships I knew about were fraught with jealousy, insecurity, with people hurting each other, and they usually ended badly.
But, something I now tell people all of the time after being in an open relationship myself for five years is:
It’s not just open relationships that are riddled with problems, it’s most relationships.
Seriously, think about it. How many people in your life have good relationships? If you are like me, or most people I know and have talked to about this, the answer is very few. Of course, we all know that couple that just seem to be magically in love, and have been for 10 years. And perhaps we know a couple who has been married for 50 years and still seems to get along and enjoy each others company. But most likely, we know way more people who are in unhealthy relationships, who are bored with their partner, who move from one relationship to another consistently recreating the same patterns.
So when I looked at it, the amount of people who I know that are in healthy, functional polyamorous relationships is at least directly proportional to the amount of people I know who are in healthy, functional monogamous relationships—it’s just that there are more people practicing the latter. And actually, most people I know who are in polyamorous/open relationships are quite committed to working on their relationships, have good communication skills and even when there are challenges, handle them in a more mature way.
But Im skipping ahead.
Why did I begin practicing open relationships?
I started when I went to a Tantric spiritual community. Not because everyone else there was doing it. But because I was given insight into this community’s intentions for living this way.
There are many varied reasons that people have for practicing this lifestyle, from sexual exploration and freedom, to rebelling against traditional culture, or even in unhealthy ways to punish a controlling partner, as a way to balance unequal sex drives, or to have different needs met by different partners.
So firstly, it was explained that whatever choices you make, do so with consciousness.
Every choice—if you choose to be a meat eater or a vegetarian, for example—do so consciously. Bring awareness into that decision. Why do you choose to eat meat, or abstain from meat? What pros and cons are there? What consequences are there to that choice? Is this a choice made from ego, or is this a choice made from a deeper truth?
So if you choose to be in a monogamous relationship—why? Just being in a monogamous relationship because it’s what you have always done, or because it’s normal, or because it’s safe—these reasons were rejected as being pedestrian and un-conscious.
Follow us to elephant journal to continue reading “Why I Was Polyamorous for 5 Years & Why I’m Not Now” and have a happy day.
About the Author
Amitayus Riha is a contributor with elephant journal. He has been teaching Yoga and working with men and masculinity through this Tantric lens for over 6 years, internationally. He has always been interested in the spiral path of spiritual evolution which led him to attain a degree in Religious Studies from Arizona State University. He feels that part of his dharma in this world is to spread these teachings and to empower others in their own lives and relationships through Yoga, self-inquiry and reflection, and how to bring their best gifts to the world. He feels that some of the most important work in this world is restoring the empowered, mature, divine masculine to its true potential in men and society. He is currently offering workshops on Yoga and Tantra in the Pacific Northwest – both in Seattle and Portland. He also offers Tantric Tarot readings, with over 22 years of experience. Connect with him on his website.