Society is shifting for the better. Gender roles and racial walls are beginning to be torn down and re-manufactured in new intriguing ways, celebrating our differences instead of our homogeneity. And as the barriers between gender and race are being destroyed, alternative lifestyles involving romantic relationships are evolving as well.
As prime time television has shown, non-nuclear families and (semi)non-traditional gender roles are now part of the common psyche. However, for the most part, even same-sex marriages and partnerships are typically depicted as being monogamous in popular forms of media. The purely monogamous aspects of these fictitious relationships presented to us shows one aspect of the traditional sphere which is not being changed on unconscious level. Extra-martial sex and extra-martial romantic relationships are seen as morally wrong. But polyamory is an option which, although not for everyone, can be a viable, functioning lifestyle choice.
In an interview with journalist Roc Morin, attorney Diana Adams gives us a tell-all about the pros and cons of her lifestyle and the impacts it has on herself and her long term primary partner Ed. Adams recognized early in her life that she was bisexual and attracted to many persons at the same time, so, other than her long term partner Ed (with whom she lives), she is romantically involved with other males and females as well. She elicits different forms of love for each of her partners, Adams explains:
...[W]ith my female partners, I feel a different kind of power dynamic. I feel a protective impulse toward women I’m involved with. It's a different kind of love feeling. My partner Ed is a wonderful feminist man, though sometimes I’d really like to be out on a date with the kind of man who wants to open car doors for me and treat me like a princess. I don't want that all the time, but I might want that once a month.
Although Adams feel that and open relationship can be “the catalyst for powerful personal growth”, she also warns of the importance of communication and that “Polyamory will find your buttons and it will push them.”
Pairing will with Adams’ lifestyle is her work as an attorney. She focuses on extending traditional marriage rights such as healthcare coverage, visitation rights, and even parenting rights to a third person in polyamorous situations. The Brooklyn based attorney feels that there should be many more options than the traditional marriage available as well and works with furthering domestic partnership as a concept to include polyamorous couples.
I find that what Adams had to say is very important for everyone to read. Personally, I could never engage in such a lifestyle, but many persons may benefit from such. it is important that polyamory be accepted as a viable options if not legally than at least socially. Prior to reading this article, my only concept of polyamory was a Mormon polygamist model. Adams however, is leading a very full life, filled with love, and with a much stronger positive connotation than typically thought of or depicted.