Growing up, most of us are taught that one day we will find – and fall in love with – our one true soul mate, get married, have a family, and live happily ever after. This is the conditioning of our current monogamy-based society. Why does monogamy sound so much like monotony? Is it just boredom, or do we actually need more than one person to share our love? It’s hard to say if we all accept monogamy as a way of life, or even if most of us are meant to be with a single partner.
Whatever the case may be, many people have deviated from the social standard and have embraced a polyamorous lifestyle, and there are many others who have not yet taken this step, but do want to learn more. There are challenges in every relationship, and having multiple relationships adds to those challenges. Not just in the sense of having multiple partners, but in dealing with new emotions, finding support, and handling communication. If you are polyamorous, or considering going beyond monogamy, don’t worry – you are not alone.
“Polyamory – or poly for short – involves openness to multiple loving relationships, with honesty, openness, and consent among all partners.” This is what is written on the Vanpoly website. The website is a wonderful resource for online forums, in person meet-ups, support groups, pub nights, parties, and discussions.
- There are two monthly discussion groups at Yagger’s Pub, in a private and comfortable back room.
- The first Wednesday of the month involves many participants that also share an interest in BDSM.
- The third Thursday of the month is a general poly discussion group but everyone is welcome to attend either or both.
- There is a Facebook page for Vancouver Poly 101, and from there you can gain access to their closed Facebook group that has over 500 members.
- If you have a profile on Fetlife, (it’s like Facebook for kink,) here is the Fetlife Group link.
I spoke with the very handsome, charming, and well-spoken facilitator of the Vancouver Poly 101 discussion group. (He will be referred to as BK.) The discussion group has been going on for two and a half years, and was actually started due to the group Victoria Poly 101 coming over to hold a discussion on Commercial Drive. BK says that new participants should expect to hear about other people’s experiences, and hopefully take away some tools and information about polyamory that they can use in their own life. The discussion group is very civil, and it never gets heated or results in an argument. BK also makes it very clear that before the discussion begins, attendees are reminded that the discussion group is a safe space where everything that is discussed does not leave the room.
One of the topics that often comes up in discussions is jealousy, as this is something that even the most open and communicative partners can experience. Other frequent topics are time management and emotional availability, since those are things that can restrict where you are going to go in a multiple relationship lifestyle structure. It’s helpful to share information – not just for resolution, but also to realize that you share common ground with others. It also helps knowing that other people are going through the same experiences, as it can help you get through your challenges – knowing that you aren’t being negatively judged. On that note, if you are already polyamorous and want to share your experiences and challenges, the Vancouver Poly 101 discussion is a must.
It should be noted that If you’re looking to meet new partners, the Van Poly website is certainly a place to start, but traditional online dating sites such as OkCupid can work better, as they allow you to vet people more eaily, (since there are profile questions about open relationships on there). But if falling in love with just one person is not doing it for you – or if you feel you might be open to multiple relationships – the Vancouver Poly 101 discussion is a great place to discover if non-monogamy is the lifestyle choice for you.