Welcome! I am so happy to have the opportunity to talk with you about polyamory. It is my hope that we will be able to discuss not only ideas, but our experiences too, and maybe even some difficulties we may be facing in our lives. I would love to talk with you and explore many aspects of polyamory, what it is, what some of the issues are being polyamorous such as: the potential for jealousy; the experience of marginalization or feeling left out, feeling different from others; raising children in polyamorous family systems; coming out poly; finding poly friends and a poly-friendly community; finding poly-friendly therapists and so much more. Today, as an introduction, I’d like to say a few words about myself and give you a brief definition of polyamory.
First a few words about me. Professional hat… I am a psychotherapist who has been practicing for approximately 20 years. Over that period of time I have had the privilege of working with wonderfully diverse people and in the past 6 years or so, dozens of polyamorous clients: individuals, couples, triads, quads etc. have appeared in my practice exploring their unique issues. In addition, I facilitate a vital, creative, polyamory support group that is into its third year in Chicago. Personal hat…I have been in a polyamorous relationship for almost thirty years with 2 loving partners. Via both streams, professionally and personally, I have learned a great deal about the complexity of living a polyamorous (poly) life.
A few words about polyamory. For those of you who might not know what polyamory is, I’d like to give you a brief definition. Very simply put, polyamory means many loves. Poly is a Greek word meaning many, and amor is a Latin word meaning love: thus, polyamory means many loves. The Oxford Dictionary offers this equally straightforward definition: polyamory is “the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.” Having defined it simply here, I also have to say that much of the literature about polyamory, and the conversations I have been engaged in, are devoted to exploring what it is and what it isn’t. As many polyamorists know, polyamory encompasses many configurations and constellations. Maybe it is the inherent freedom within polyamory that rejects predetermined constructs or mandates, which may be a reason why it has so many diverse definitions and constellations. This can get quite complex so I think that for now, I will leave this open and if there is interest we can pick it up at another time.