Friday, February 15, 2013

Progressive Love and Open Relationships: My Thoughts

{Disclaimer: Every opinion expressed is that of my own, supported by previous research and experiences.  I am aware of the controversial theme of this topic that could possibly cause debate, but before commenting, I ask that you please read the article thoroughly, and to be respectful of me, as well others who have commented before you. Try not speak out from a defensive standpoint, rather than an intellectual one. Thank you so much for your cooperation.}
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Growing up, I was constantly exposed to couples who held monogamous romantic relationships in high regard. Naturally, it molded my perspective on relationships.  Not to say that everything I grew up with is still relevant to how I choose to live my life now, because there are several beliefs and practices that I don't hold onto anymore, but for the most part, my core values haven't changed.

When it comes to progressive love, there are certain aspects of this theology that I respect and happily apply them to any relationship I have, such as open communication and the principle of constant growth.  The part I don't understand is the celebration of several different committed relationships at once.  People who practice open relationships have clung to the theory that in order to enhance, enrich, and create harmony within their love and sex lives, they would allow love and sexual energy to flow through to multiple partners at one time. It wasn't until Kenya K. Stevens {to watch her video on What is Progressive Love, click here} hosted a seminar at my college that I knew it was even a thing; to ditch ancient ideas of love and relationships and shift into this contemporary paradigm that went against all "normal" standards of society. 

I've always thought of myself as an open-minded person, which is the way I am with religion and spirituality. I'm not the type of person who is completely for or against anything that involves my faith and that of others, because I think that truth can be found from all sources. On the contrary, when this movement became more mainstream to my culture, it made me rethink how open I really am.  

In the past, this topic has served as a great subject in conversation among friends, but it was always one of those ideologies I was completely opposed to. The questions that always lingered in my mind: 

How can happy couples possibly remain happy together, or gain more happiness, by sharing all the gifts they give to each other and ones that they have vowed to keep sacred within their union with other people? Does this concept mean that cheating is acceptable through universal love, and therefore isn't really cheating at all? 

Despite my own rigid beliefs in regards to marriage, or how any committed relationship should operate, it was still intriguing to discover that people are actually okay with their partners participating in outside emotional and sexual relationships, even the individuals who grew up with the same understanding I did.  No matter how much it was discussed, my reaction was unchanging, a stiff opposition each time.

Now more than ever, couples across the board have deviated from traditional lifestyle values and migrated towards what I'd like to call, an agreement of infidelity. It's not to sound harsh, but that's the way I view it. Maybe the switched views brings about different terminology, but in chemistry, the form may change but the identity doesn't. In other words, no matter how it's worded, it's still the same and I honestly can't quite wrap my finger around that being an ingredient to a better relationship or marriage. Not implying that it is wrong; I'm just saying I don't think it's for me.

Just like anything else, monogamy, open relationships, and polygamy are a matter of personal taste and the preferences of the two (or more) individuals involved. I do not prefer to date women, but that doesn't mean I am against the people who love that way nor am I against same sex marriages. And if a group of people can experience love and happiness in a way that I may or may not comprehend, my opinion really doesn't matter. The opinion I have is not to knock someone else's view on how they want to live their life and I am in no position to dictate what is wrong or right for them. If anything, it sure does serve as a great debate piece, especially when all parties are willing to reveal why they hold on to certain beliefs, practices, ideas, etc. and are willing to listen to all sides presented. 

What do you guys think? Are you "hip" the whole idea of progressive love? Would you ever, or have you ever been involved in, an open relationship? Can you explain your experience?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Chymere Anais
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3 comments

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  2. Um I am not hip to it lol. My close friend will only enter relationships if the other person is willing for the relationship to be open or polyamorous. She has explained to me over and over again how it works and jealous is not an issue. She has explained to me over and over that energy should be shared with whoever your energy connects with and we are denying ourselves and the universe of what it needs when we limit our love. I don't give a f---! NO!!! haha But seriously, I understand it but I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that all parties involved are truly happy and not jealous. I'm very traditional when it comes to love, relationships and marriage; I'm not comfortable with sharing.

    I think now in our society we are starting to throw all traditions out the windows and those still holding on to past beliefs (like myself) are going to have it the hardest. I've been pressured to change my way of thinking to conform with the new rules of dating: 1. You must shack up before you wed because that's the only way you really know the person. 2. All men cheat, you might as well accept it. Be okay with him cheating because he's going to do it anyways. Otherwise you'll be single forever.

    I have been told those things and I say, I guess I'll be single forever because I'm not with it! Some people are really down for open relationship because they believe in free love rah rah, but some I think are settling into it because they think it's the only way to be with a certain person. They rather share than be alone.

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  3. I've never really had the discussion on polygamy and open relationships. I think my views on the topic fall in line with yours. I won't say it's "wrong". I don't understand it and while it's not for me, I won't say that other people are wrong if they feel like they benefit from it. In my mind, if you're gonna have an open relationship, why be in a relationship at all? But this is just one of those things. I don't think there will ever be a right or wrong answer. It's all a matter of preference.

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